Public Lecture – Poetic Printscapes: The State of Sequoyah Movement and Indigenous Literary Politics, 6 September 2023

Wednesday 6 September 2023, 5-7 pm

Hunter Council Chamber, Gate 1, Kelburn Parade

Public Lecture followed by refreshments.

Public Lecture hosted by Professor Nikki Hessell, and funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund, where Kathryn Walkiewicz, Assistant Professor of Literature at UC San Diego and an enrolled citizen of Cherokee Nation/ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, will speak about their newly published book.


In 1905, leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole nations lobbied US Congress to establish a new state, the State of Sequoyah. The Sequoyah movement functioned as a large-scale intratribal effort to curtail the transformation of Indian Territory (present-day eastern Oklahoma) into a settler-dominated, US-controlled space, ie, a US state. The state name “Sequoyah” invoked the Cherokee syllabary’s inventor and a long tradition of literacy, writing, and literature in Indian Territory.

This talk argues that, while unsuccessful in producing a state, the Sequoyah campaign was both a political and a literary movement that had a lasting impact on Native sovereignty and Indigenous literature, including the emergence of “Native American literature” as a distinct literary genre.  

More information and registration details can be found here