In the Round Series // Moving A Land Acknowledgment Statement Toward Action and Practice

This project communicates the vitality of acknowledging and learning about Native American cultures throughout the year.

Jenn Stucker 
Associate Professor
Bowling Green State University

Heidi Nees
Assistant Professor
Bowling Green State University

To situate the importance of Land Acknowledgment and Native American voices to the BGSU community, we established a year-long series for 2022 by hosting six speakers, one in each area from the Arts at BGSU: Creative Writing, Art, Design, Music, Theatre, and Film.

Our goals for the IN THE ROUND:

  • Educate our students and the broader campus and local communities about artistic expressions and processes with which they might not be familiar
  • Create space that is inclusive of Indigenous voices and Indigenous works that are currently underrepresented at our university
  • Contribute to decolonizing curriculum by offering opportunities for faculty to incorporate the guest artists’ engagements into their course syllabi
  • Connect members of our university community to Indigenous artists and help to build relationships with the artists that may foster further collaboration
  • Support BGSU’s strategic goals toward diversity and belonging

This project creates opportunities to enrich the learning, experiences, and perspectives of all members of our campus and local communities. Exposure to the artists’ works and techniques through which they share their experiences, worldviews, and reactions to the cultural and historical moments we all find ourselves can facilitate growth and dynamic learning opportunities for students, staff, and faculty. Furthermore, this project does not limit this celebration and visibility to Native American Heritage Month (November). While we recognize and appreciate the importance of this month, we also believe in sustained programming. This project communicates the vitality of acknowledging and learning about Native American cultures throughout the year.

Through this comprehensive project, the IN THE ROUND Speaker Series works to advance the contemporary presence of Native and Indigenous peoples to promote education, understanding, empathy, and reflection for the public good.

Creating, producing, and facilitating IN THE ROUND required:

  • Researching and curating the speaker series list in consultation with the Arts academic units
  • Regular meetings and email communications with a variety of stakeholders (approximately 800+ email correspondences and growing)
  • Fundraising ($44,000 for 2022) and budgeting for honorariums, travel, hotel, event rentals, photography, hosting, and promotions
  • Collaborating with the Arts areas, the Office of Diversity and Belonging, and Bowling Green community partners to coordinate events for maximum impact and reduce overlaps
  • Coordination of speaker invitations, travel arrangements, event agendas, classroom visits, ICS BG Ideas podcasts, radio interviews, and community activities at the Wood County District Public Library
  • Working with BGSU’s Jerome Library to produce LibGuides of collected research and resources for faculty, staff, and student access
  • Design of ITR promotional materials (website, social media content/posts, posters, thank you notes, digital signs, advertisements, post-event documents, and ephemera) to publicize the series and sponsors
  • Inviting university leadership to officially open the speaker series with the Land Acknowledgment statement and an introduction to the importance of creative work as a witness to our histories and envisioning new futures

The artists in this series engage in critical examination and exploration of issues facing Native and Indigenous Americans, including, but not limited to, sovereignty, representation, ecology, historical narratives, and present perceptions through a variety of artistic and expressive means. These outstanding speakers reached over 200 attendees at each event and connected their work to 1200 people from students, staff, faculty, and Bowling Green community members.

2022 In The Round Speakers

  • SETH THOMAS SUTTON, Artist. Activist. Filmmaker. Professor.
  • CAROLE LINDSTROM & MICHAELA GOADE, Author & Illustrator of We Are Water Protectors.
  • SADIE RED WING, Designer. Educator.
  • FRANK WALN, Hip Hop Artist. Music Producer.
  • MARY KATHRYN NAGLE, Playwright. Lawyer.
  • PAT PRUITT, Metalsmith Artist.

As creators of IN THE ROUND, Stucker and Nees soon realized creating a single-year event would not be enough to move BGSU’s Land Acknowledgment statement from words into action. Therefore, they have already secured $19,000 in funding for their Spring 2023 IN THE ROUND event. In March, the series will host Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal, author and illustrator of the award-winning children’s book Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story.


Jenn Stucker is an associate professor and chair of Graphic Design at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). She earned her BFA degree in Graphic Design from BGSU and her MFA in Graphic Design from Eastern Michigan University. Her work appears in several books on design, such as Graphic Design: The New Basics, Introduction to Graphic Design: A Guide to Thinking, Process and Style, and Collaboration in Design Education. She has also received award recognition in numerous design publications and has presented at several design conferences across the country and internationally on her teaching and research interests of design pedagogy, community engagement, and creative placemaking. She has co-chaired two AIGA Design Education conferences and, in May 2023, will chair the UCDA Design Education Summit. In addition to co-creating In the Round with collaborator Heidi Nees, Jenn is pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at BGSU.

Heidi L. Nees is an Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Department of Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University. She teaches theatre history and studies courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, she directs in the department’s production program. Her research interests include theatre historiography, Native American drama, representations of the American “frontier” in performance, and outdoor historical dramas. Heidi has published in Theatre History Studies, Popular Entertainment Studies, Theatre Annual, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, and Ecumenica, and is currently working on a monograph about representations of Native American histories in outdoor historical dramas. Heidi is also the co-creator, with Associate Professor Jenn Stucker (School of Art), of In the Round: a guest speaker series featuring Native American and Indigenous creatives at BGSU.

Towards a Typographic Pluriverse

The notion of decolonizing type is massive in scope: from its history, to its design, application, technology, and future.

Laura Rossi García
Professional Lecturer
DePaul University

This research examines the history, practice, and pedagogy of typography. Typography is at the core of design—both implicit and explicit in its role in shaping language, culture, and power structures—but it is mired in “racial homogeneity and dominated by white men.”1 The selection, use, and application of typography—from style to legibility—can uphold or disrupt dynamics of power: who can read it, who uses it, who made it, whose voice does it carry—human, machine, the included or the excluded. While there is great movement to decolonize design, less is happening specific to decolonizing typography, or decolonizing type pedagogy. “Letterforms are loaded cultural objects” 2 —a container for language— and an “extension of the spiritual, social, political, and historic mind-set of nations”.3

The very notion of decolonizing type is massive in scope: from its history, to its design, application, technology, and future. How do we broaden and re-frame the structures and systems that exist in order to make room for oppressed and marginalized voices and make inclusive the societies in which we live? This presentation will introduce a series of case studies that serve as examples for how to reconsider the very root of thought around type systems and their effects and influence on our students, the field of design, and ultimately our products, systems, and societies.

1. Munro, Silas. “Typography as a Radical Act in an Industry Ever-dominate by White Men,” AIGA Eye on Design, August 26, 2019. Accessed: December 15, 2020. URL:
2. Munro, Silas. Ib, id.
3. Shehab, Bahia and Haytham Nawar. “Early Arabic Printing” in A History of Arab Graphic Design. American University in Cairo Press: 2020. pp. 29-41.