Thinking Spaces 2020-21: Jessica Bissett Perea

This Thinking Spaces talk, with guest Jessica Bissett Perea, took place on March 12, 2021.

This talk frames improvisation as a practice through which we can better understand the densities and significance of performing Indigeneity in its many forms, including is/as an idea, analytic, and process. Bissett Perea shares examples from her in-press book Sound Relations: Native Ways of Doing Music History in Alaska (Oxford UP, 2021) to demonstrate how privileging the aesthetics and logics of tribal and intertribal musicians with whom she works develops a more Native music studies, and a more musical Native American studies. This work addresses a greater need to ask more Indigenous-led and Indigeneity-centered questions in arts and humanities research to generate transformative possibilities for more just futures locally and globally.

Jessica Bissett Perea is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work intersects the larger fields of Native American & Indigenous Studies (NAIS) and Music & Sound Studies. She specializes in Critical Indigenous Studies approaches to performance, media, and improvisation studies; arts and activism in North Pacific and Circumpolar Arctic communities; and relational studies of Indigenous and Black experiences and creative expressions in the Americas. She is the founding director of the Indigeneity Collaboratory, an Indigenous-led and Indigeneity-centered research collective working to advance relational ways of being, knowing, and doing to generate more just futures for Indigenous communities.

This event was co-presented with the University of Guelph’s Music Students’ Association during their 15th Annual Music Symposium.