The University Record, March 6, 2000


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Faculty, researchers call for U to dissociate itself from Michigamua

To President Lee Bollinger:

As members of the University of Michigan’s academic community, we object to the University’s support of the Michigamua Society, a closed organization long engaged in the appropriation and misrepresentation of Native American objects, imagery and practices.

Granted exclusive use of a privileged space in the Michigan Union, the Michigamua Society links the University to practices demeaning to Native Americans and their histories. The Society’s meeting space decor, songs, graphics, hazing, and pseudo-Indian names utilize stereotypical images of Native American people and cultures to promote Michigamua’s identity. These images and actions have been integral to the Society’s history as an all-male (until 1999) and predominantly white organization representing itself as being the best of Michigan student leadership.

The Michigamua Society has long been aware of the Native American community’s objection to these practices. It signed an agreement with University officials in 1989 to cease these activities and free itself of all objects associated with them, an accord that it has violated despite minor changes.

In recognition of the principle that University support for any organization debasing another culture is objectionable, we ask that the University dissociate itself from the demeaning practices and privileged position of this group.

Fernando Coronil, Anthropology and History; Richard I. Ford, Anthropology and Biology; Lemuel A. Johnson, English; Patricia Gurin, Psychology; Geoffrey H. Eley, History; Katherine Verdery, Anthropology; Thomas E. Weisskopf, Residential College and Economics; William A. Alexander, English; Tomas Almaguer, Sociology and American Culture; Paul Anderson, American Culture and History; Kelly Askew, Anthropology; Catherine Badgley, Residential College; Ruby L. Beale, Psychology; David Beck, Linguistics; Judith Becker, School of Music; Ruth Behar, Anthropology; Charles Behling, Psychology; Betty L. Bell, American Culture and English; Anne G. Berggren, English; Anthony Berkley, Anthropology ; Seema Bhatnagar, Psychology; Crisca Bierwert, Institute for Research on Women and Gender; Sara Beth Blair, English; Charles L. Bright, Residential College; Jane Burbank, History; Gregory Button, School of Public Health; John Carson, History; Sueann Caulfield, History and Residential College ; David W. Cohen, History and Residential College; Melanie Cooley, English; George Cooper, English; Matthew J. Countryman, History and American Culture; Lincoln Faller, English; Gillian Feeley-Harnik, Anthropology; Thomas Finhott, School of Information; Janet L. Finn, Anthropology and Social Work; Monique Fleming, Psychology; Helen Fox, English; Phyllis Frus, English; Simon E. Gikandi, English and Comparative Literature; Luis O. Gomez, Asian Languages and Culture, Psychology; John Gonzalez, American Culture and English; Sandra Gunning, English and American Culture; Gabrielle Hecht, History and Residential College; Lawrence A. Hirschfeld, Anthropology and Psychology; Jeffrey J. Hulsler, Psychology; Deborah Jackson, Anthropology; Travis Jackson, Music; Susan Juster, History; Scott Kassner, English; Carol Karlsen, History and Women’s Studies; Webb Keane, Anthropology; Josie Kearns, Sweetland Writing Center; Arlene Keizer, English; Stuart Kirsch, Anthropology; Conrad P. Kottak, Anthropology; Ann Evans Larrimore, Women’s Studies and Residential College; Alaina Lemon, Anthropology; Sabine MacCormack, Classical Studies; Richard Dewey Man, Psychology; Bruce Mannheim, Anthropology; Jacqueline S. Mattis, Psychology and Women’s Studies; James H. McIntosh, English and American Culture; Joyce Meier, English; Michele Mitchell, History; Maria E. Montoya, History; Regina Morantz-Sanchez, History; Barbra S. Morris, English and Residential College; Valerie Moses, English; Erik A. Mueggler, Anthropology; Aamir R. Mufti, English; Steven G. Mullaney, English; Martin S. Pernick, History; Holly Peters-Golden, Anthropology; Adela Pinch, English and Women’s Studies; Stephanie Platz, History; Eileen Pollack, English; Yopie Prins, English and Comparative Literature; Elisha P. Renne, Anthropology; Janet Richards, Near Eastern Studies and Kelsey Museum; Jennifer Robertson, Anthropology; Guenter Rose, Psychology; Sonya Rose, Sociology; Daniel Rothenberg, Society of Fellows and Anthropology; Javier C. Sanjines, Romance Languages; Ann Savageau, Residential College; Denise Sekaquaptewa, Psychology; David Scobey, Arts of Citizenship; Carla M. Sinopoli, Anthropology; Margaret Somers, Sociology and History; Julie Skurski, Anthropology; Richard Candida Smith, American Culture and History; Sidonie Smith, English and Women’s Studies; Amy Stillman, Music and American Culture; Sejal Sutaria, English; Stephanie Teasley, School of Information; Theresa Lynn Tinkle, English; Hitomi Tonomura, History and Women’s Studies; Valerie Traub, English and Women’s Studies; Evelyn Velez-Aguayo, Dance and American Culture; Penny M. Von-Eschen, Program in American Culture; Alan Wald, English and American Culture; Martin W. Walsh, Residential College and Theatre and Drama; Susan Pratt Walton, Residential College; Henry T. Wright, Anthropology; Oscar Ybarra, Department of Psychology; Norman Yoffee, Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies; Alford Young, Sociology and CAAS