Speaker Series

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ISU Writing and Communication Consultations and the Academic Success Center present:

2022-2023 Speaker Series on Language and Communication Justice


"Rewriting, Reclaiming, and Reorienting in Digital Spaces"

Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 4:00-5:15 p.m. CT


Register Here



Join ISU Academic Success Center for a virtual speaker series event in conversation with artists and designers, Ashlee Bird, Joseph Erb, and Casey Koyczan. Panelists will each share their work advocating for Indigenous language justice through technology and design, followed by a Q&A with attendees.


Dr. Bird will discuss her research on decolonial design, utilizing games for “non-traditional” purposes, the power of language, and the importance of understanding the language of games. Professor Erb will share his work developing technologies for Indigenous expressions and stories, including expanding the use of Cherokee ​​​​language in technology and the arts. Casey Koyczan will explore how we can learn about and practice culture through technology, visualize and express culture with art and media, and imagine Indigenous people and the overall population across multiple timelines, galaxies, and universes.

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Ashlee Bird

Ashlee Bird is a game designer and PhD in Native American Studies. She is currently a Moreau Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is Western Abenaki and originally hails from the Champlain Valley of Vermont. Her work theorizes digital sovereignty, drawing on Native American studies, media studies, and game studies to address representations of Native American characters in video games and to replace these with decolonial methods of game design oriented around promoting Indigenous futures. Bird is currently working on a book manuscript titled Red Dead Redemption that explores the complex relationships that different players have with the Red Dead Redemption series and what the games have offered (or not offered) to their player bases. She has created three artworks, publicly exhibited seven times in group and solo exhibitions, and has curated one show. Among these are two of her original video games, One Small Step and Full of Birds, which have been featured in the InDigital Space at the ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Festival in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

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Joseph Erb

Joseph Erb (Cherokee Nation Citizen) is a filmmaker, digital media artist working in 2D and 3D animation, as well as other media. He teaches courses in film, digital storytelling, and animation. He served as the Digital Media and Language Technology Specialist for the Cherokee Nation. He created the first computer-animated film and the first planetarium show in a Native American language. Erb has led major projects—working closely with technicians and executives at major tech companies to embed the Cherokee syllabary on digital devices and social media sites. He continues to create animated independent shorts in indigenous languages and documentary films. He is also working to get all indigenous nations on digital maps.

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Casey Koyczan

Casey Koyczan is a Dene interdisciplinary artist from Yellowknife, NT, who uses various mediums to communicate how culture and technology can grow together in order for us to develop a better understanding of who we are, where we come from, and what we will be. He creates with whatever tools necessary to bring an idea to fruition, and specializes in sculpture, installation, 3D/VR/AR/360, video, and audio works such as music, soundscapes and film scores.

He is an international artist that has participated in many residencies, exhibits, festivals and collaborations in parts of the world such as Finland, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, The Netherlands, The USA, and the UK. He is also a musician, producer, filmmaker, actor/narrator, and advocate for future generations of artists and musicians.

He has a Multimedia Production diploma from Lethbridge College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Thompson Rivers University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Manitoba.