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UAS Power & Privilege Symposium

We would like to thank UAS students, staff, and faculty and broader community members for a series of engaging and thought-provoking discussions on the UAS Juneau campus on November 9, 2016. We hope these conversations continue in and out of the classroom and result in culture change which makes our campus and communities more welcoming and safer locations for all. Select 2016 sessions were recorded and will be available on this site by December 2016. Stay tuned for a fall 2017 event date to be announced early in the spring 2016 semester.

Program available online in PDF format as well as in the UAS Guidebook App.

Please contact Tara Olson or Nathan Bodenstadt with any questions.

About the 2016 UAS Power and Privilege Symposium

The 1st Annual UAS Power & Privilege Symposium was a one day conference-style teach-in designed to give members of the UAS & Southeast Alaska communities an opportunity to come together and engage in difficult, thoughtful, and honest conversation about the ways social hierarchies and identities manifest themselves in our communities. Discussions include those about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, religion, body size, ability, mental illness, class, and their intersectionalities.

Most UAS Juneau classes were cancelled to allow students and faculty the opportunity to attend and/or present at the Symposium.

While the Symposium was held on the UAS Juneau campus, keynote speeches and a selection of breakout sessions were made available live via distance. Check back for select recorded sessions to be made available.

Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote

Andrew James Archer — Manic Depression in America

Andrew James ArcherMania and depression are both culturally constructed as well as physiological processes. However, focusing on one side of the metaphorical coin (i.e., the biological or brain) we undermine the impact of modern societal changes. This lecture will use an anthropological lens to illuminate causal elements for the rise in mood disorders in the United States by examining stressors of contemporary life (i.e., economic instability, income inequality, the Western construction of the self) as opposed to mere biochemical abnormalities. In addition, listen to my own personal and familial experiences of mood episodes as we critically analyze the medical model of “mental illness” contextualized with the impact of culture, history and social changes.

Andrew James Archer, MSW, LCSW is a mindfulness-based practitioner who integrates Zen Buddhism and Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) as clinical interventions to unearth root causes of psychopathology. Andrew is the author of the 2013 memoir, “Pleading Insanity”, which details a genuine portrait of his own dramatic devastations through mania and depression as well as tools to manage symptoms. Andrew is a Field Faculty Instructor for the Social Work department at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Andrew writes as a Topic Expert for and practices psychotherapy at Midwest Center for Human Services in Madison, Wisconsin.

Afternoon Keynote

Mique’l Dangeli — Dancing Soverenignty: Reclaiming the Grease Trail Through Movement and Song

Mique'l Dangeli This keynote focuses on the ways in which Northwest Coast First Nations people continue and expand upon ancient practices of asserting land claims through the creation and performance of new songs and dances. My analysis centers on the negotiation and assertion of protocol (bodies of law which form Indigenous legal systems) integral to their work. Through protocol, these artists carry forward a powerful form of Indigenous governance which I refer to as dancing sovereignty. In honor of the symposium’s focus on power and privilege, I will address the ways that Indigenous dance practices in this region have been oppressed through colonial policies, marginalized through social hierarchies, and yet it has remained a vital expression of resistance. My talk will demonstrate how approaches to viewing and speaking about Northwest Coast First Nations dance can be decolonized in order to engage with, reinforce, and privilege the Indigenous rights maintained and affirmed through dancing sovereignty.

Dr. Mique’l Dangeli is Tsimshian from Metlakatla, Alaska. She belongs to the Lax̱sgiik (Eagle Clan) and carries the Tsimshian name Sm Łoodm ’Nüüsm and Tlingit name Taakw Shaawát. Mique’l is an Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Studies at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. Her work focuses on Northwest Coast First Nations visual and performing arts, art history, Indigenous protocols, politics, activism, sovereignty, language revitalization, and decolonization. She is a dancer, choreographer, and curator. Mique’l served as the Director of the Duncan Cottage Museum and Curator of the Healing Art Collection in Metlakatla. Since 2003, Mique’l and her husband Nisga’a artist and carver Mike Dangeli have shared the leadership of Git Hayetsk (People of the Copper Shield), an internationally renowned Northwest Coast dance group. She was recently awarded a two year artist-in-residence (2015-2017) at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver. She is also a Protocol Consultant for the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance in Toronto.

Evening Keynote

Aidan Key — Gender Transition: A Personal Change for One or a Paradigm Shift for Everyone?

Aidan KeyWe often hear that we should “put ourselves into the other person’s shoes.” Aidan Key’s gender transition has allowed him to experience life in two genders — once as female and now as male — yet it’s not even that simple. It may be easy to speculate about these gendered experiences but what is it really like. How might a gender transition impact one’s relationship to race and class? Is a loss of a relationship to one’s faith or cultural community a forgone conclusion? What privilege might one gain? Lose? The conversation will expand to include the metamorphoses that occur in the lives of families with transgender children. Key will provide some contextual framework with respect to diverse gender experiences during this particular unstable time in history in which many who fall outside of society’s expected gender norms are scared, distressed, angry but also hopeful and excited for the paradigm shift that is just around the corner.

Key is the author of “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: Child Chapter” (2014, Oxford University Press) and co-author of “Gender Cognition in Transgender Children” (2015, Psychological Science). In 2001, Aidan Key founded the Gender Odyssey conference, then in 2007, the Gender Odyssey Family conference for families with transgender children and GO Professional Seminar for professionals/providers. He leads trainings for providers, agencies, and other child-based organizations. Key has the largest network of support groups in the nation at Seattle Children’s Hospital for parents of transgender and gender non-conforming children. Aidan founded Gender Diversity: Education and Support Services and serves as the organization’s director.

Evening Performance

Hieu Minh Nguyen — Spoken Word Poetry

Hieu Minh NguyenHieu Minh Nguyen is a nationally touring performance poet, writer, and teaching artist based out of the Midwest. A queer, Vietnamese-American creative, Hieu's work often focuses on the queer diaspora, creating safe(r) spaces, dissection of nostalgia, identity, family narratives, reclamation of shame, and the intersection of culture, gender, sexuality. His gripping and intimate work has been described as an astounding testament to the power and necessity of confession.

Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Press, 2014) which was a finalist for both a Minnesota Book Awards and a Lambda Literary Awards. A queer Vietnamese American poet, Hieu is a Kundiman fellow and a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine. A decorated slam poet, Hieu has performed and competed at national and international poetry slam festivals since the age of 16. His work has also appeared in the Southern Indiana Review, BuzzFeed READER, PBS NewsHour, Guernica, Ninth Letter, Devil's Lake, Bat City Review, the Paris-American, and elsewhere. His second collection of poetry, “Not Here”, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press. Hieu is a nationally touring poet, performer, and teaching artist. He lives in Minneapolis.

The breakout session schedule is available as a public Google Document.

Planning Committee Members

UAS Faculty

  • Alberta Jones
  • Amanda Sesko
  • Kathleen DiLorenzo
  • Lisa Hoferkamp
  • Robin Walz
  • Robin Gilcrist
  • Sol Neely
  • Lance (X̱ʼunei) Twitchell

UAS Staff

  • Tara Olson
  • Nathan Bodenstadt
  • Amanda Triplett
  • Amelia Emmens-Budd
  • Christopher Washko
  • Em Rademaker
  • Eric Scott
  • Gail Cheney
  • Gail Klein
  • Gloria Merry
  • Kayla Hood
  • Kolene James
  • Margie Thomson

UAS Students

  • David Russell Jensen
  • Felix Thillet Jr.
  • Jasmine Mattson-Wolff
  • Jenna Hallenbeck

Juneau Community

  • Ati Nasiah
  • Morgan Stonecipher

Keynotes and Recorded Sessions

All keynotes as well as select breakout sessions are available for viewing online. A list of available videos:

  • Áakʼw Ḵwáan Welcome with Marie Olson & Liana Wallace 
  • Opening Keynote - Manic Depression in America with Andrew James Archer, MSW, LCSW
  • Session 1 - Stereotyping and its Effects in Evaluative and Performance Domains with Amanda Sesko, Ph.D; Assistant Professor of Psychology, UAS
  • Session 2 - Rape Culture: Hiding in Plain Sight with Mandy O'Neal Cole, Deputy Director, AWARE Afternoon Keynote - Dancing Soverenignty: Reclaiming the Grease Trail Through Movement and Song with Mique'l Dangeli
  • Session 3 - How Anthologies Empower Communities by Weaving Literature with Politics with Martha Amore, Professor, UAA
  • Session 4 - Examining Climate Change through a Lens of Power & Privilege with a panel of UAS faculty, staff, and student representatives
  • Session 5 - The Act of Dreaming: Undocumented Students in the United States with Christina Gómez, Professor of Liberal Arts and Director of Diversity and Inclusion, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Evening Keynote - Gender Transition: A Personal Change for One or a Paradigm Shift for Everyone? with Aidan Key


We'd like to thank our generous event sponsors:

  • UAS First Year Experience
  • UAS Student Activities
  • UAS Native and Rural Student Center
  • UAS Counseling
  • NAMI