``Religious Transformations in Indian Territory``
Dr. Jennifer Graber, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin
November 6, 2019
Karen Hille Philips Center for the Performing Arts
Free and Open to the Public
Encounters between Americans and Kiowa Indians in the 1870s resulted in religious transformation. This talk considers what happened to members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who worked on behalf of the U.S. government to “civilize” and evangelize Plains Indian peoples. It also describes new ritual activities engaged by Kiowas, including a revitalization movement associated with armed resistance, affiliation with Christian churches, and ritual peyote ingestion. The examples show how frontier contact resulted in religious change for everyone involved.
Jennifer Graber is Professor of Religious Studies and an affiliated faculty member in the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Duke University in 2006. Professor Graber works on religion and violence and inter-religious encounters in American prisons and on the American frontier. Her first book, The Furnace of Affliction: Prisons and Religion in Antebellum America, explores the intersection of church and state during the founding of the nation’s first prisons. Her latest book, The Gods of Indian Country: Religion and the Struggle for the American West, considers religious transformations among Kiowa Indians and Anglo Americans during their conflict over Indian Territory, or what is now known as Oklahoma. Professor Graber has published in a variety of journals, including Material Religion, Religion and American Culture, and Church History. Her work has also appeared in edited volumes on religion and race, religion and politics, and religion in the Civil War era. Professor Graber teaches undergraduate classes on the history of religion in the United States, religion in the American West, Native American religions, and religious freedom. She teaches graduate seminars on religion and violence, religion and empire, religion and race, and approaches to the study of religion in the U.S. She also serves as the undergraduate advisor for the Native American and Indigenous Studies certificate program.