Biographical Statement
Audra Simpson

The experience of being from two extraordinary places: Brooklyn and Kahnawake and at the same time not being in either place, has made "culture" and "identity" into matters of intense contemplation for me. There are some pretty basic questions that fuel my work: what is the importance of experience in creating identity? In creating one's community? What is the basis for defining "community," "peoplehood," and "nationhood?" "What is a Mohawk to one self and in relation to others?" And the inevitable, tired, but necessary, "What is an Indian?" Towards making sense of things I am currently doing my Ph.D. in the department of anthropology at McGill University. My Master's research was focussed on Mohawk nationalism and the embattled question of membership in Kahnawake and my Doctoral work is engaged with similar issues. More than anything however, I enjoy Spike Lee's movies, Louise Erdrich's novels and pretending like I understand hockey with my sister.

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