The Indigenous Studies Discussion Group at the University of Cambridge is a graduate-led network that aims to (1) promote scholarship by and about Indigenous Peoples across disciplines and spaces to be a regular feature of the intellectual life of Cambridge and (2) promote the sharing and discussion of insights and ideas pertaining to Indigenous studies across peoples, disciplines, times and geographies.

Sign up for the network’s mailing list on the ISDG website.

Supported by CRASSH and co-sponsored by Cambridge Heritage Research Centre (CHRC)



  • Oliver Antczak (PhD Candidate in Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Downing College)
  • Leanne Daly (PhD Candidate in Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Gonville & Caius College)
  • Nishant Gokhale (PhD Candidate in Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, St John’s College)

Oliver Antczak is a Venezuelan and Polish anthropologist and archaeologist interested in the intersection between heritage and identity, particularly in the Caribbean. He received his B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology from Leiden University College (2016) and an MPhil in Archaeology, Heritage and Museum Studies, at the University of Cambridge (2018). His current PhD research, supported by the ESRC and Gates Cambridge, focuses on understanding how heritage is used in the resurgence and maintenance of Indigenous identities in the Southern Caribbean, and his work is currently focusing on a collaborative and comparative approach to Trinidad, Margarita, and Bonaire.

Leanne Daly has completed a BA in Archaeology at the University of Toronto (2018) and an MPhil in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge (2019). Her MPhil dissertation, ‘Catching Shadows: The Exhibition of Intangible Heritage of Oceania in Lisa Reihana’s in Pursuit of Venus [infected]’, was selected as one of 2019’s top dissertations from the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre. In 2020, she began her PhD research focusing on the role of absence and heritage in repatriating Indigenous human remains of the supposedly extinct Beothuk people of Newfoundland, Canada.

Nishant Gokhale obtained his undergraduate degree in law and humanities at NUJS, Kolkata and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. Before starting at Cambridge, Nishant worked for several years including as a judicial clerk at the Indian Supreme Court and as a litigator in criminal and capital cases. Nishant’s PhD research is about the British East India Company’s engagement with law at home and in India. Examining archival sources in the United Kingdom and India, his research delves into the Company’s project of legal ordering of the indigenous Bhil communities in Khandesh province (western India). His research examines the diverse manifestations of Bhil agency which resulted in the Company reordering itself at local levels. His research adds to the growing scholarly interest in the role that local and regional officers played in the project of legal ordering and will help situate indigenous communities in the imperial world of the 19th century. His research is chiefly supported by the Gates Cambridge Trust.

Faculty Advisors

  • Dacia Viejo-Rose (Deputy Director, Cambridge Heritage Research Centre. Senior Lecturer in Heritage and the Politics of the Past, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge)
  • Susanna Rostas (Senior research associate in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
  • Hank Gonzalez (Lecturer in Caribbean History, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge)
  • Paul McHugh (Professor of Law & Legal History, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge)
  • Pedro Mendes Loureiro (Lecturer in Latin American Studies and PhD Director, Centre for Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge)

Programme 2021-2022

Easter Term 2022

Indigenous Studies Discussion Group
Conservation and local populations: decolonising rights to nature in Africa
27 Apr 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Online


Wellbeing and the environment: traditional knowledge and the conservation of nature
4 May 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Online

Darren J Ranco (Maine), Clint Carroll (Colorado)

Honey at the top (2015) – film screening and Q&A
18 May 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT

Samuel Lunn-Rockliffe (UCL)

Engaging with myths of indigenous extinctions through museum collections
19 May 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Online

Nicholas Thomas (Cambridge), Laura Van Broekhoven (Oxford)

Lent Term 2022

Indigenous Studies Discussion Group
Erasures and constructions of indigeneity: challenging perceptions of continuity and authenticity
9 Feb 2022 19:00 - 21:00, Online

Tony Castanha (Hawai’i), Keolu Fox (California San Diego), Zoe Rimmer (Tasmania), Theresa Sainty (Tasmania)

The Beothuk story – Film screening and Q&A
23 Feb 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT

Christopher Aylward (Ryerson), Chief Mi’sel Joe (Miawpukek First Nation), Carmen Bartlett

Native mascots and misappropriation of imagery: symbols and name changes following the Exeter Chiefs for Change Campaign
30 Mar 2022 19:00 - 20:00, Online
Indigenous studies discussion group: The present and future of community-based research
5 Apr 2022 17:00 - 18:30, Online event

Part of the Cambridge Festival 2022

Michaelmas Term 2021

Indigenous Studies Discussion Group
Accomplice, ally, or appropriator? Exploring boundaries of indigenous scholarship
13 Oct 2021 17:00 - 19:00, Online

Gabriela Ramos (Cambridge), Clifford Atleo (Simon Fraser), Rick Colbourne (Carleton), Constance Khupe (Witwatersrand)

Criminal justice and indigeneity: perspectives from India, Australia and New Zealand
27 Oct 2021 20:00 - 22:00, Online

Dakxhin Bajrange (India), Alison Whittaker (Sydney), Juan Tauri (Waikato)

Policing and victimisation of Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities in the UK and Europe
10 Nov 2021 17:00 - 19:00, Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT

Zoe James (Plymouth), Nichola Padfield (Cambridge)

Birth 1871 (2014) – film screening and Q&A
24 Nov 2021 17:00 - 19:00, Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT

Dakxhin Bajrange (Filmmaker)


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk