The American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, proudly bears the title of the nation's oldest learned society.  Our founders participated in the birth of American democracy. It pains us greatly that all these years later, our nation's promise has yet to be fulfilled.  We join all Americans of good will in deploring the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Over these past months the Society has hosted a number of virtual programs.  Even as we now resume our work with the offering of new programs, our attention remains focused on the senseless loss of innocent lives and our commitment to the difficult, necessary conversations and actions we must all take to begin to ensure that such tragedies end. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. Read more about the APS response to COVID-19.

Indigenous Studies Seminar Series

Inspired by the work of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR), the APS Library & Museum's Indigenous Studies Seminar Series serves scholars and researchers in the Greater Philadelphia area working on projects in or aligned with Native American and Indigenous Studies.

Meetings of the inaugural series are held roughly once a month between September and May from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., followed by a reception. Most meetings center around a pre-circulated paper, which will be made available for download two weeks prior to the event.

Meetings are held in the Board Room in Library Hall (105 S. 5th St.) and are open to scholars in all fields and at all career levels.

Requests to receive access to the paper or to present work-in-progress should be sent to Adrianna Link, Head of Scholarly Programs, at

Spring 2020 Schedule

Friday, February 7: Jessica Locklear, Temple University, “A History of Lumbee Migrations to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1945-2004; Chapter 2: A Lumbee Church on Frankford Avenue, 1965-2004”

Friday, March 6: Rosanna Dent, New Jersey Institute of Technology, “Bureaucratic Vulnerability: Possession, Sovereignty, and Relationality in Brazilian Research Regulation”

Friday, April 24: Cindy Ott, University of Delaware, "Ranch Work: Conflict, Compromise & Collaboration Among Historic Rivals," chapter 1 of Biscuits & Buffalo: Reinvention of American Indian Culture in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries 

[Note: This seminar will be held virtually and will take place at 3:00pm EDT]

Friday, May 15: Peter Olsen-Harbich, The College of William & Mary, “"Quand ung homme a desservi mort” (When a Man Deserves to Die): Encountering Coercion in the Medieval Eastern Woodlands, 1501-1611”

[Note: This seminar will be held virtually and will take place at 3:00pm EDT]


Past Seminars

Fall 2019

September 18: Morgan Green, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and 2018-2019 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Native American Scholars Initiative (NASI) Predoctoral Fellow, "(Re)Thinking Indian: The Handbook of the North American Indian and the Body in the Decade of the Bicentennial"

October 30: April Anson, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Program for the Environmental Humanities, "Master Metaphor: Environmental Apocalypse and the Settler State of Emergency"

December 10: Kate Riestenberg, Postdoctoral Fellow in Linguistics, Bryn Mawr College, "Promoting Zapotec language learning through meaningful social interaction"