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Award-winning journalist to deliver WCU’s annual James A. Cooper Memorial Lecture in Cherokee Studies

By Julia Duvall
rebecca nagle

Rebecca Nagle

Award-winning journalist Rebecca Nagle will deliver Western Carolina University’s annual James A. Cooper Memorial Lecture in Cherokee Studies.

Her lecture is titled, "We Are Still Here: Fighting Indigenous Erasure in the Media.” The annual lecture, which returns after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at WCU’s University Center Theater and again at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee.

“This year, we are very proud to bring Rebecca Nagle, a renowned journalist and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, to offer her perspective on Indigenous representation, or lack thereof, in the media and how that impacts Indigenous rights in the United States,” said Brett Riggs, WCU’s Sequoyah Distinguished Professor of Cherokee Studies.

Nagle is the writer and host of the podcast “This Land.” Her writing on Native representation, federal Indian law and tribal sovereignty has been featured in the Atlantic, the Washington Post, The Guardian, USA Today, Indian Country Today and other publications.

Nagle is also the recipient of the American Mosaic Journalism Prize, Women’s Media Center’s Exceptional Journalism Award, a Peabody Nominee and numerous awards from the Native American Journalist Association.  

The annual lecture is sponsored by WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences and Cherokee Studies program, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, with support from the WCU Department of Political Science, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, and Department of History.

Established in honor of James A. “Jimmy” Cooper (1929-2016), an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who served on the WCU Board of Trustees, this annual lecture seeks to spotlight Indigenous scholarship, particularly that of young Cherokee Scholars.

Cooper was active with many community causes and organizations, including the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and was a founding member of the Cherokee Historical Association. He was instrumental in establishing the Sequoyah Distinguished Professorship in Cherokee Studies at WCU in 1995, which later catalyzed the formation of the Cherokee Studies program and the Cherokee Language program at WCU. 

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