All things going to plan, I’ll be giving the following talk at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference, May 19-21 2011, Sacramento, California:
2012: The Use of Indigenous Voices from Australia and New Zealand
December 21 2012 is believed to mark the end of the thirteenth B’ak’tun cycle in the Long Count of the Mayan calendar. A growing number of people believe this date to mark the end of the world or, at the very least, the end of the world as we know it: a shift to a new form of global consciousness. With its adoption of indigenous meso- and North-American motifs, initial research on 2012 as a cultural phenomenon (Sitler, 2006) argues that it can be seen as a “new age appropriation of an ancient Mayan calendar”. However, 2012 is a global phenomenon. This paper argues that when the 2012 phenomenon manifests in Australia and New Zealand a similar process of indigenous cultural appropriation occurs, leading toward the mobilization of a singular pan-indigenous identity which renders silent the individual indigenous identities the phenomenon seeks to honor.
I usually talk about 2012 in a cultural or religious studies environment, so it will be a new challenge to see how this is received from an indigenous studies perspective.