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Bryan Brayboy: A Hairstory of Violence


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In this talk, Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy will make historical connections between land, race, indigeneity, and fear in the making of the United States. Drawing examples from the last four centuries, he will explore how hair has served as one focal point for attacking, intimidating, and policing indigenous peoples; attempting to sever cultural and historical ties by cutting the hair of Indigenous peoples through scalping practices, at boarding schools, and continuing today in neutrally-worded school dress code policies that target Indigenous students. Removing Indigenous peoples from their land — either by relocation or genocide — operates under a larger framework of “Terrortory,” underscoring how fear and violence are used to regulate belonging.

About Bryan Brayboy
Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy (Lumbee) is President’s Professor of Indigenous Education and Justice in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. At ASU, he is Senior Advisor to the President, Director of the Center for Indian Education, Associate Director of the School of Social Transformation, and co-editor of the Journal of American Indian Education. From 2007 to 2012, he was Visiting President’s Professor of Indigenous Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
He is the author of over 80 scholarly documents, including being the author/editor of eight volumes, dozens of articles and book chapters, multiple policy briefs for the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on the role of race and diversity in higher education, and the experiences of Indigenous students, staff, and faculty in institutions of higher education. He has been a visiting and noted scholar in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Norway. His work has been supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Ford, Mellon, Kellogg, and Spencer Foundations, and several other private and public foundations and organizations. He and his team have, over the past 17 years, prepared over 155 Native teachers to work in American Indian communities and over 15 American Indian Ph.Ds.

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