Skip to main content

Native American and Indigenous Studies (Cluster)

The Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) Cluster creates space for intellectual exchange and study in the theories and topics of NAIS.  An interdisciplinary field encompassing such areas as history, law, literature, political science, medicine, environmental studies, and more, NAIS examines Native cultural expressions, legal and political issues, and lived experiences across time, place, and disciplinary categories.  NAIS produces scholarship, creative expressions, and praxis that are theoretically informed and engaged with or responsive to tribal nations and communities and that seek to understand and transform political, pedagogical, and institutional structures grounded in settler colonialism.  The NAIS Cluster aims to create opportunities and training in NAIS for our students through our invited speakers, yearly themes, professionalization workshops, mentoring and symposia.  It will create a space in which faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students can come together for intellectual exchange, cross-pollination, and activism.  

How to participate

Matriculating graduate students interested in participating in this cluster should indicate their interest when they apply to their respective graduate programs. Current graduate students interested in participating in this cluster should contact Professor Kelly Wisecup at kelly.wisecup@northwestern.edu.

Who to contact

Please contact the program director, listed below, with questions about this program. Or, explore the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research website for more information.

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.

  • Complete cluster course requirements by taking three courses that address NAIS topics or scholarship. 
  • Attend Center-sponsored conversations and events on research and professionalization with visiting speakers through attendance and workshops.
  • Attend major conferences in NAIS (such as NAISA annual meeting) to present scholarship and attend panels (Center funding will be available for both attendance and presentations)
  • Apply for and attend Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies summer institute and spring workshop and fellowships (1 graduate student/organization is allowed to attend the institute and workshop each year.  Students apply to the Consortium liaison at each campus. Consortium students are also eligible to apply for summer fellowships).
  • Participate in mentoring workshops with faculty and postdoctoral fellows
  • Present on research at end of year symposia
  • Attend workshops on academic and alt-ac career opportunities hosted by the Center and TGS
  • Engage in activism on and off campus related to NAIS issues
  • Opportunity to serve on planning committee, chaired by cluster director, to select visiting speakers and themes for professionalization events and to organize these events
  • Opportunity to serve as graduate student representative on NAIS Center steering committee (one position, rotating)