"Tlingit Art, Spirit and Ancestry: Healing Histories of Dispossession"
In the late nineteenth century, Presbyterian missionaries brought hundreds of Tlingit belongings from southeastern Alaska to the Princeton Theological Seminary. Moving from the Department of Geosciences to the Art of the Ancient Americas, the institutional drift of these Tlingit belongings reflects an ongoing condition of broken knowledge. Where does Tlingit art belong at Princeton University, and how might knowledge be restored to those from whom the items were taken? This symposium seeks to explore this question by reuniting Tlingit scholars and artists with these belongings. Our symposium will confront histories of dispossession and ask how we can restore ancestral connections. Speakers will reorient Western understandings of material objects towards Tlingit and Indigenous experiences of embodiment, spirituality, land, and kinship. We envision this symposium as the beginning of an ongoing partnership between Princeton University and the University of Alaska Southeast.