My area of focus is Native American literature. My current research builds on my dissertation, “We are All Related: Contemporary Native American Literature and the Nonhuman Turn,” to explore the portrayal of natural and cultural materials, like beaded dresses, trees, books, cars, and rivers in Native American literature. In reading the way these nonhuman beings perform in the literature, I elucidate long-held indigenous philosophies about materiality and make visible the ways those concepts speak to the recent turn toward materialism in critical theory. As a project participant for the Humanities Without Walls project entitled “Indigenous Art and Activism Along the Mississippi River in Changing Climates,” I am expanding my inquiry to Midwest and Great Lakes water relationships as represented in Native American writing over time. I am also an advocate for indigenous language revitalization efforts and am a student of Dakota language.
I have taught courses at the University of Minnesota and St. Olaf College across departments including English, Writing Studies, American Indian Studies, and Race and Ethnic Studies. In the classroom, I draw on Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) decolonizing methodologies to instill an ethics of reading and writing. I want to see students build diverse networks across histories by illuminating the threads that connect the literary world to material realities. I develop assignments that ask students to engage with each other, our texts, and our communities in a good way. In addition to helping students navigate issues of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity, I help students hone core skills in critical thinking, engaged reading, and clear oral and written communication.
I received my Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, my M.A. in English from the University of St. Thomas, and my B.A. degrees in English and Sociology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
- Native American and Indigenous literature
- Race and Ethnic Studies
- Materialisms and the Nonhuman
- 2020/105 MWF 12:00-12:50 Gymnasium 205W
- Texts, Social Systems, and Values: Water is Life: Indigenous Art and Activism in Changing Climates
- 4820/101 MWF 2:00-2:50 Cudahy Hall 114
- Studies in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies: Global Indigenous Literature and Trans-Indigenous Methodologies