American Indian Studies

Native American Speakers Series

Dr. Orin Starn

Dr. Orin Starn will speak at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, as part of the Native American Speaker Series.

Dr. Starn’s presentation is titled “Braves, Seminoles, Indians, R--s….The Indian Mascot Controversy.” The recent protests against the name of the Washington football team have pushed the Indian mascot controversy onto the front pages. Why do American sports teams have names like Braves, Seminoles, and Indians in the first place? Is this practice racist, or at least wrong? Will it continue? This talk will explore these issues and what they tell us about Native Americans and U.S. society today and in the past.

His talk begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the auditorium of Moore Hall. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Dr. Starn is a professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He has served as faculty advisor to Duke’s Native American Student Association and is the author of many books about native culture and politics, including the award-winning Ishi’s Brain: In Search of America’s Last “Wild” Indian (2005, W.W. Norton & Company). He has a Ph.D. and M.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Starn is an anthropologist, writer, and occasional journalist. Early in his career he worked for many years in Peru, and is lead editor of the popular The Peru Reader as well authoring his own book Nightwatch about Andean village organizing. Starn’s Ishi’s Brain chronicles the life and legend of the last survivor of California’s Yahi tribe. More recently, Starn has written and taught about sports and society. His latest book, The Passion of Tiger Woods, examines the superstar golfer’s place in American society and culture. Starn is also the co-editor of Indigenous Experience Today about the history and politics of indigenous rights organizing. His op-ed pieces have run in the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, and other outlets, and he has appeared on NPR, ESPN and many other radio and tv programs. Starn has won Duke University’s highest undergraduate teaching award. His newest research projects focus on life in Peru and the experience of Latina housecleaners in North Carolina.

For more information, contact Lawrence T. Locklear at, 910.775.4579 or visit

The next Native American Speaker Series event features the 1491s, a Native American comedy troupe, on March 19, 2015.

This Native American Speakers Series event is sponsored by the Department of American Indian Studies, the Native American Resource Center, the Southeast American Indian Studies Program, the School of Education and the Office of Academic Affairs.


Past speakers

Dr. Walter Echo-Hawk
Dr. Walter Echo-Hawk