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AIR lecture features Muscogee Creek Sarah Deer, Sept. 19

Alan Flurry

Sarah Deer, 2014 MacArthur Fellow, Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals, and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies professor at the University of Kansas, is the featured speaker for the fifth annual American Indian Returnings (AIR) lecture September 19, 4:30 p.m. in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium at the Georgia Museum of Art. Th event is supported by the Eidson Foundation Fund, the Department of English, with support by the Institute of Native American Studies at the University of Georgia. The event is free and open to the public.

The American Indian Returnings, AIR, series celebrates Native American scholars and authors and their “return” from exile to the Southeast.  This year, Professor Deer confronts the issue of rape among Native women in North America.  Her work centers the intersection of federal Indian law and victims' rights in her book, The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America(U. of Minnesota Press 2015).  She writes, “National Crime Victimization Survey Data consistently reveal a very high rate of rape against Native women, an average annual rate of 7.2 per 1,000 persons, compared to 1.9 per 1000 persons for all races...In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report on the results of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, which found that 49 percent of Native women report a history of sexual violence.” 

Deer is a co-author of four textbooks on tribal law.  She provides a clear historical overview of rape and sex trafficking in North America, paying particular attention to the gendered legacy of colonialism in tribal nations—a truth largely overlooked or minimized by Native and non-Native observers.

Professor Deer began as a volunteer in a rape victim advocacy program and later received her JD with a Tribal Lawyer Certificate from the University of Kansas School of Law.  Her work on violence against Native women has received national recognition from the American Bar Association and the Department of Justice.  

LeAnne Howe, Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature in the UGA department of English, founder of the AIR lecture series with UGA professors Channette Romero and Jace Weaver said, “Each year on the return of the Autumnal Equinox, a scholar focuses on issues that effect Southeastern American Indian communities and beyond.”     

For more information on AIR lectures, contact Christine Lasek-White, 706-542-2659,

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