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A Conversation with Tommy Orange

General Programming

dateDecember 2, 2021 timeThursday, 7:00pm EST locationVirtual Event
  • The Student Workers of Columbia are on strike for a living wage, comprehensive health insurance, and outside arbitration for workplace harassment cases. In solidarity with the striking students and at the request of the speaker, we are holding this event on a non-Columbia Zoom account, and will be sharing information about the strike, and how you can support the students, during the event.

  • Department of Anthropology
  • Work Inside and Outside the University Initiative
  • Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement
  • The Writing Program at Columbia School of the Arts
  • Oral History Master of Arts Program
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Headshot of Tommy Orange

Award-winning Cheyenne-Arapaho novelist Tommy Orange will discuss the role of oral history, documentary, and storytelling in There There as well as his novel-in-progress on Indian Boarding Schools.

Tommy Orange is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel There There, a multi- generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. There There was one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year, and won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Pen/Hemingway Award. There There was also longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Orange graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and was a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California.

Tommy Orange will be in conversation with Audra Simpson and Michael Witgen. Audra Simpson is a political anthropologist whose work is focused on contextualizing the force and consequences of governance through time, space and bodies. Her research and writing is rooted within Indigenous polities in the US and Canada and crosses the fields of anthropology, Indigenous Studies, American and Canadian Studies, gender and sexuality studies as well as politics. Her recent research is a genealogy of affective governance and extraction across the US and Canada. Michael Witgen is a professor in the Department of History and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University, and he is a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. He specializes in Indigenous and Early North American history, comparative borderlands, and the history of the early American Republic.