Jenny L. Davis

Indigenous Anthropologist, Activist, Sleep Enthusiast, Nerd

See you there! (Talks/readings/events)


Facilitator, “So you read the Land Acknowledgement Statement, now what?”. Humanities Research Institute Work-In. Dec. 2.

Discussant, “Transformational Texts.” Language Lives in Unexpected Places Symposium.  The Center for Humanities & Information, Penn State University. Pen State University. Nov. 18.

Moderator, Native Artists in Conversation. Native American House, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Nov. 12.

“Manifesting Pandemic Destiny: Parsing the tense and aspect of settler immunopolitics in Indian Country.” Out of Isolation Series. Humanities Research Institute. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Nov. 10.

Moderator, “Making Progress While Stranded in Crisis: Graduate Student Experiences and Adaptations in 2020,” Raising Our Voices Conference, American Anthropological Association. Nov. 7.

Panelist, “Creating Reciprocal Avenues to Meaningful Change: Tribal Experts Respond to Burdens and Excuses from Museums, Universities, and Other Institutions”. 6th Annual Repatriation Conference: Growing community & moving forward after 30 years of NAGPRA. Association of American Indian Affairs. Oct. 26.

“Collaborative, Reciprocal, and Redistributive Models of Research.” Presentation for the Humanities Without Walls Grand Research Challenge, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Oct. 19th 

Sovereignty and Indigeneity in the Big Ten: Telling Our Stories.” Big Ten Native Alliance Indigenous Peoples Day Event. Oct. 12.

Keynote, “Our languages hold a place for us: Reclaiming Indigenous systems of gender, sexuality, and kinship in language revitalization”. Indigenous Peoples Day Conference. Kansas State University. Manhattan, KS. Oct. 12.

Commenter, Community-Based Language Revitalization panel Relationships, Reciprocity, and Responsibilities: Indigenous Studies in Archives and Beyond Conference, Community-Based Language Revitalization panel, American Philosophical Society. Sept. 23.

Poetry reading, Indigenous Queer Poetics. Equality Arizona Queer Poetry Salon. Aug. 22.

Poetry reading, Two Spirit Pride 2020. Bay Area American Indian Two Spirit Society. June 26

Plenary, “Who counts and who is doing the counting?: ‘Expectation’ and ‘anomaly’ in Native American language use”.  Sociolinguistic Symposium. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Feb. 27.


“Toward heretical ontologies of animacy: A stealth ethnography of the dominant models for studying language.” Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Meeting, Vancouver, British Colombia. Nov 23.

In the future, robots will speak Chickasaw”: Indigenous language futurism and the temporalities of language reclamation”. Marc and Constance Jacobson Lecture, Institute for the Humanities. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. October 23.

“Switching up the Framework: Where linguistic and cultural documentation fits within the call to ‘repatriate everything’”. Paper at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Conference, University of Waikato.  Hamilton, New Zealand. June 24-27.

Our language on outsider’s tongues: Situating non-heritage language users of Native American languages.” Talk for the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies. Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. June 21.

Invited Panelist. Belongings: A Critical Forum on Museum Practices, Critical Forum hosted by The Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. April 26.

“From ‘Last Indians’ to ‘Last Speakers’: 17th Century tropes in 21st Century Discourses of Language Endangerment”. Talk for the Discourse Lab, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles. April 30.

“Who is speaking, and what do they say?”: Mapping the disjunctures between realities and perceptions in Native American language use. Keynote at the Symposium About Language and Society (SALSA) Conference XXVII, University of Texas, Austin. Austin, TX. Apr. 12-13.

Two Spirit activism at the intersections of language, gender, sexuality, and religion. Plenary at the Colloquium on Language, Religion, and Sexuality. University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Mar. 22.

“The inter-, intra-, and multi-national dynamics of NAGPRA and the repatriation of anthropological collections”. Talk  for the Central Illinois Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. Mar. 31.


“Talking to family, God, animals, and even white people: Chickasaw language as kinship and responsibility.” Paper presented at American Anthropological Association Meeting, San Jose, CA. Nov. 18.

“Linguistic Sovereignty”. Colloquium on Indigeneity and Native American Studies (CINAS), Northwestern University. Chicago, IL. Nov. 29.

“Chickasaw Language Use and Revitalization as Kinship Practice. Talk for the Language In Context Reading Group (LICO), University of Illinois, Chicago. Chicago, IL. Oct. 24.

“Our languages hold a place for us: Two spirit healing through language reclamation”. Paper at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) meeting. Los Angeles, CA. May 17.

“Queer Footnotes or Representative Speakers?: Two-Spirit activism and Indigenous language Use”. Talk for the Dept. of Linguistics, UC Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, CA. May 15.

2018    “From Standing Rock to Two Spirit Gatherings: Indigenous language reclamation in ‘Unexpected Places’”. Keynote at the International Center for Global Diversity Annual Symposium, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL. April 10.

“Dancing Two Spirit Grandmothers into Being”.  Talk for the Haskell & University of Kansas Native American and Indigenous Studies Workshop. Haskell Indian Nations College, Lawrence, KS. February 23.


“Earth mother protect you”: Mock American Indian English and ‘playing Indian’ in World of Warcraft. Paper at the American Anthropological Association Conference. Washington, DC. Dec. 3.

“Indigenous Language and Playing Indian in Digital Domains. Paper at the American Studies Association Conference. Chicago, Il. Nov. 11.

“Cuentos en Chikashshanompa’ en la revitalización del idioma Chickasaw/ Chikashshanompa’ stories in Chickasaw language revitalization”. Plenary at Voces Andinas y Conocimientos Ancestrales Symposium. Pontifica Universidad Católica del Ecuador. Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 26.

“Always the Countdown: ‘Lasting’ Indians and Indigenous Languages”. Modern Critical Theory Lecture on Indigenous Studies. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Oct. 24.

“Where do queer linguistics and language revitalization meet?: Indigenous language reclamation In Two-Spirit activism”. Paper for invited panel at the International Association of Applied Linguistics Conference. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. July 26.

“Multilingualism in Unexpected Places: Indigenous language practice versus academic presentation”. Paper at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) meeting. June 22. Vancouver, BC. June 24.

“Chickasaw Language Survivance Across Time and Space.” Paper at the Canadian Anthropology Association (CASCA), May 2. Ottawa University, Ottawa, Ontario. May 3.

“Religion, Politics, and Money: Thinking through the social factors in language revitalization,” Keynote at the Symposium of the American Indian. Northeastern State University. Tahlequah, OK. April 19.

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