To be clear about my position: I teach Native American Studies in an institution where I have little hope of ever seeing even an Indigenous Studies minor, but where I do have lots of exciting colleagues with whom I'd like to pursue common interests.

In this position, I dream about a Center for Critical Race and Gender Studies that could give my classes and my scholarship a home here at UNH.  Today I'll write about the curricular side of things.

A Center would give my classes a home by making them visible within a larger framework, and by providing support for students who want to be able to stitch them together my classes in a meaningful way.  E.g., in an eventual "Race and Gender Studies Major," students could choose a "track" in Native American and Indigenous Studies, getting exposure to the specific intellectual history, content and methods of this field (as well as to the specific history and struggle that brought Indigenous Studies to universities in the first place). 

But if they also had to take a range of courses in, say, Africana Studies, Queer Literature, Middle Eastern women's history, Latin American criminology, they could be part of some really exciting new work and conversations: around the intersections of colonialism and conquest, racial chattel slavery, and white supremacist patriarchies and heteronormativities; around the limitations of the nation-state model; around the extra-national effects of globalization and privatization; and around the resistance strategies used by disparate oppressed people. (I'm lifting a lot of this language from the great CESA website ).
IMHO a new program in Race and Gender Studies (or whatever we wind up calling it) would NOT mean absorbing, erasing or assimilating our distinct fields, nor would it mean eliminating programs like Latin American Studies or Af-Am/Africana Studies that already have enough faculty and institutional resources to basically sustain themselves.  It WOULD, however, conjoin those of us who take race, ethnicity, and gender seriously as categories of analysis.  And it COULD let all of us--in the more secure and less-secure current minors alike--share precious-few resources, while supporting areas in particular jeopardy.

Sometime over the weekend I'll blog about scholarship and research.