Kristen Bos (Historical Studies)
On this episode of VIEW to the U, Professor Kristen Bos from UTM's Department of Historical Studies talks about her research on Indigenous feminisms, with among other things, considers the past, present, and future of seed beads.
These little beads that have been used by Indigenous communities for thousands of years, vary in size but usually measure no more than 5 mm – or for a sense of scale, a bit smaller than a sesame seed – they tell stories, govern lands, and they have even been used as currencies, and on this edition of the podcast, Kristen covers all of this in fine detail, including how seed bead creations can be likened to a virus, how they help frame history, and how seed beads are “a visual reference to colonization,” but also to Indigenous futures.
Kristen Bos is Assistant Professor of Indigenous Science and Technology Studies in the Department of Historical Studies at UofT Mississauga. She has a graduate appointment in Women and Gender Studies Institute, and she is also the Co-Director of the Technoscience Research Unit, an Indigenous-led environmental justice lab at the University of Toronto.
Kristen did a Master of Studies at Oxford University and a PhD in Anthropology at UofT. She has a forthcoming book: what the seed beads saw: Indigenous Feminist Disruptions of Colonial, Gendered and Environmental Violence.
Kristen joined the faculty at UTM in 2020.
A full transcript of the interview is available.
- For more on Professor Bos's work visit her website.
- Kristen mentioned Indigenous artist Ruth Cuthand's seed bead work.
- Kristen mentioned the article by Professors Eve Tuck and Karyn Recollet: "Introduction to Native Feminist Texts."
- Kristen also mentioned the exhibit curated by Lisa Myers: "Beads, they're sewn so tight."
- Kristen mentioned the following books as recommended reading: A Third University is Possible (la paperson), Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments (Saidiya Hartman), and Theory (Dionne Brand).
- Lastly, the Reservation Dogs series by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi is the TV show she was enjoying lately. Highly recommend!