Dylan Robinson’s 2020 book Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies (U of Minnesota Press) is the winner of the 13th Annual Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award.
“Robinson’s 'Hungry Listening' is a superb work of original scholarship, which is both enjoyable to read and a major contribution to the field of Indigenous studies," said David Martinez, chair of the selection committee and an associate professor of American Indian Studies. "Robinson teaches the reader to not only pay attention to the aural environment as a site of cultural sovereignty, which needs to be decolonized as much as other Indigenous spaces, but also how to listen, compose and perform oneself as Indigenous people. Needless to say, the Labriola Book Award Selection Committee was unanimous in its admiration of Robinson’s achievement."
An associate professor, Robinson is a Stó:lō scholar who holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University, located on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples.
In his book, Robinson “evaluates how decolonial practices of listening emerge from increasing awareness of our listening positionality.” His book considers listening from both Indigenous and colonial perspectives, “presenting case studies on Indigenous participation in classical music, musicals and popular music.”
Honorable mention goes to Brittany Luby’s 2020 book Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishnaabe Territory (U of Manitoba Press).
Luby (Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation), an assistant professor of history at the University of Guelph, has received honorable mention because of the quality of writing and expertise exhibited, which the award committee wanted to acknowledge.
Her book, exploring Canada’s hydroelectric and infrastructure boom beginning in 1945, complicates “narratives of increasing affluence in postwar Canada, revealing that the inverse was true for Indigenous communities along the Winnipeg River.”
An award reception will be scheduled in the fall of 2021.
The Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award, sponsored by the Labriola Center and the ASU Library, is a national competition with book submissions from numerous academic presses, and the award recognizes the best scholarship for advancing the field of American Indian and Indigenous studies.
Criteria for the award emphasizes that the research be developed out of a meaningful relationship with the community on which it’s focused.
The judging committee is comprised of three distinguished ASU professors, who are themselves accomplished writers and scholars: David Martínez (award committee chair; professor of American Indian Studies); Henry Quintero (professor of English); and Marisa Duarte (professor of Justice and Social Inquiry in the School of Social Transformation.)
See the full list of Labriola Book Award winners.