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Keynote Speaker N. Scott Momaday

Date: September 30, 2004

N. Scott Momaday is a poet, Pulitzer prize-winning novelist, a playwright, a painter, a storyteller, and a professor of English and American literature. He is a Native American (Kiowa), and among his chief interests are Native American art and oral tradition.

Referred to as “the Dean of American Indian writers” by The New York Times, Momaday holds an important place in the American literary arts. Momaday was the first Native-American to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, House Made of Dawn. But it is through the spoken word that his dedication to his people’s heritage is most profoundly felt. Born a Kiowa in the Oklahoma Dustbowl, Momaday was raised on reservations in the Southwest, steeped in the oral tradition.

In his lectures, Momaday brings the oral tradition to life. “His complete control of his rich voice captivates any audience privileged to hear him.”

Currently the Regents Professor of Humanities at the University of Arizona, Momaday has published fiction, poetry collections, a memoir, a children’s book, and two plays. He is currently working on a new book.

Dr. Momaday kicks off Lewis & Clark College’s two-day symposium with a lecture on September 30, 2004, 8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th Ave, Portland. This event is ticketed separately from the symposium. Tickets are available from TicketsWest at 503.224.8499 or


September 30-October 2, 2004

Last year’s symposium, Unveiling the World of 1800, emphasized science, politics, and the Enlightenment, examining the world on the eve of Thomas Jefforson’s presidency. Participants examined the myriad of economic, political, and social motivations behind the Lewis and Clark Expedition and emerged from the symposium with a transformed sense of the Expedition as a project of the Enlightenment.

This year’s symposium, Encounters, delves into the Expedition itself, painting a picture of the Expedition not as a linear excursion across space but rather as a series of encounters that frame rich and unprecedented experiences. Although Lewis and Clark set off with every confidence of their own cultural protocols, they soon moved beyond the customary boundaries of their social, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds, and responded to these new stimuli in different ways. Encounters will explore the Expedition’s interconnection with other peoples, landforms, the limits of language, and the Self’s response to unfamiliar landscapes and unprecedented situations.

View the Encounters Schedule

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