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Past Postdoctoral Fellows


2015-2017 Fellows

Silvia Soto

Silvia Soto earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in Native American Studies, her M.A. from the University of New Mexico in Latin American Studies, and her B.A. from the University of California, Davis is in Sociology and Spanish Literature. She is currently working on turning her dissertation, Unstoppable Clamor: The Reconstruction of a Mayan World in Chiapas, into a book length manuscript. Her work engages in a post 1994 analysis of the Mayan world in Chiapas through a dialogue with and between Zapatismo and knowledge systems of Indigenous Mayan peoples.


Brianna Theobald

Brianna Theobald earned her PhD in History at Arizona State University, where she also completed a certificate in Gender Studies and a secondary field in global studies of gender and comparative colonialism. Her research and teaching interests include Indigenous Studies, gender, health and medicine, and the U.S. West. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled "Reproduction on the Reservation: Federal Indian Policy and Reproductive Politics in the Twentieth Century," which explores the complicated relationship between Indigenous women's biological reproduction and the struggle between Indigenous communities and white Americans over land in the twentieth century.


Korinta Maldonado

Korinta Maldonado holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas in Austin. Her research centers on indigenous movements, human rights and racial formations in Mexico and Latin America. She specifically concentrates in the Totonac region of the state of Puebla. There she examines the construction of indigeneity in the context of a rapacious neoliberal multiculturalist regime. She has done long-term research in Puebla as well as in Chiapas, a result of years of engagement and collaborative work with indigenous organizations within these states.

Among other works, she has published along with anthropologist Adriana Terven, a monograph in Spanish The Indigenous Courts of Cuetzalan and Huehuetla: The Force and Reproduction of Normative Systems of the Peoples of the Highlands of Puebla.


2012-2015 Fellows

Kevin Whalen, 2014-2015

Kevin Whalen holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Riverside, and his research and teaching interests include Indigenous studies, labor, migration, and the United States West. His book manuscript, "Beyond School Walls: Labor, Migration, and Indian Education in Southern California, 1900-1945" explores how Indigenous communities used Sherman Institute, a federal Indian boarding school in Riverside, California, to access wage labor markets and develop intertribal social networks in Los Angeles well before the federal relocation programs of the post-war era. His publications have appeared in American Indian Culture and Research Journal, American Behavioral Scientist, and in edited volumes.


Marisa Elena Duarte, 2013-2015

Marisa Elena Duarte (Pascua Yaqui) was born and raised between southern New Mexico and southern Arizona. She received her doctorate in information science from the University of Washington Information School, where she focused on the social and political implications of U.S. tribal command of local broadband Internet infrastructures. Her current project, "Seamless Technologies: Weaving Information Systems into Indian Country," is an investigation into the changes that seamless technologies -- smart homes, wearable sensors, and other forms of surveillance technologies -- may initiate as they ripple throughout Indian Country.


Kate Williams, 2012-2014

Kate Williams was born and raised in Wales, and completed a Ph.D. in History at the University of Minnesota. Her project, "Cyd-Safiad (Standing Together): The Politics of Alliance of Welsh and American Indian Rights' Movements, 1960s-Present," explores how the American Indian Movement and Welsh nationalists formed transnational political alliances with each other and related groups worldwide, from Australian Aborigines to Irish Republicans, and analyzes the practical and ideological significance of the relationships.

2011-2012 Fellows

Jessica Bardill

Jessica Bardill's research on the narrative power of blood and its relation to current trends in tribal citizenship policies, including the possibility of DNA testing, takes further the work she began at Duke University's Graduate School. Her work "Beyond Blood and Belonging" turns to alternarratives for what they can provide for community belonging, including thinking about the ways that narrative acts as medicine.

Thomas Swensen

Thomas Swensen was born and raised in Kodiak, Alaska though he graduated at a non-traditional age from the Benny Benson Secondary School in Anchorage. He holds a PhD in Comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, a MA in English from University of Oregon, and holds a double major BA in English, Fine Arts, and a post baccalaureate degree in Urban Planning and Theory. He has worked as a fisherman, a set designer, and a bartender. Luckily he has been the recipient of many honors such as the University of California, Berkeley Prestigious Chancellor's Fellowship, the Koniag Education Foundation's Larry Matfay Alutiiq Heritage Scholarship, and was awarded the 2010 Autry Prize in Public History from the Western History Association for his work as a lead author on the We Shall Remain: The Utah Indian Curriculum Project. Additionally he was fortunate to work with the Utah Natural History Museum creating public programming for the local five nations indigenous to the Utah region under a fellowship provided by the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers in 2010.

He is currently working on the manuscript Cama'i America: Alaska Natives and the Spaces of Empire. He is a Koniag, inc. and Leisnoi inc. shareholder (formed under ANCSA) and a member of the Woody Island, Native Village of Targniaq, (an IRA tribal government).

2010-2011 Fellows

Manu Vimalassery

Manu Vimalassery earned a doctorate in American Studies at New York University. His project — "Skew Tracks: Racial Capitalism and the First Transcontinental Railroad" — rewrites the history of the transcontinental railroad through Chinese, Lakota, Pawnee, and Cheyenne histories.

Sarah Morales

Sarah Morales (Coast Salish and member of the Cowichan Tribes) is completing a Ph.D. in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria.

2009-2010 Fellows

Keith L. Camacho

Keith L. Camacho is a Chamorro scholar from the Mariana Islands. His area of expertise concerns the study of colonization, decolonization and militarization in the Pacific Islands, with an emphasis on indigenous narratives of survival and sovereignty.

Louellyn White

Louellyn White's project, "Free to be Kanienkeha'ka: A case study of educational self-determination at the Akwesasne Freedom School," provides an ethnographic and historical analysis of a community’s assertion of educational self-determination.

2008-2009 Fellows

Joseph Bauerkemper

Engaging the intersections of cultural studies and American Indian and Indigenous studies, Bauerkemper's research and teaching seek to cultivate innovative approaches to vexing questions regarding nationhood, history, decolonization, literary criticism, and critical theory.

Dustin Tahmahkera (Numunuu)

Within larger cultural frameworks of decolonization and indigeneity, Tahmahkera's work analyzes the genealogical and thematic development of representations of playing “Indian” by non-Native and Native characters in live-action and animated American sitcoms.

2007-2008 Fellows

Jill Doerfler(Anishinaabe)

Doerfler's research — "Fictions and Fractions: Reconciling Citizenship Regulations with Cultural Values Among the White Earth Anishinaabeg" -- engages the ways in which the ideology of race has functioned as a means to erase American Indian identity and how American Indians have asserted their own conceptions of identity.

Tol Foster (Mvskoke Creek, Oklahoma)

Foster's research — "Dividing Canaan: Oklahoma Writers and the Multicultural Frontier" -- asserts that with the full incorporation of Indian Territory into the United States, African-Americans and Native Americans crafted a rhetorical space to argue for an inclusive America based on their own terms and concepts.

2006-2007 Fellows

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert(Hopi)

Dr. Gilbert is working on a book manuscript titled Education Beyond the Mesas: Hopi Student Involvement at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929, which is under contract with the University of Nebraska Press. In August 2007, Dr. Gilbert joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies & History at the UIUC.

Kristina Ackley (Oneida/Bad River Chippewa)

Dr. Ackley's research extends her dissertation, "We Are Oneida Yet: Discourse in the Oneida Land Claim." Her scholarly interests closely connect her research with student-centered learning; including community-determined research, Indigenous theories and methods in Native American Studies, anti-Indian movements, and oral history.

Kim Benita Furumoto(Yaqui)

Kim Benita Furumoto is working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation, "Racial Juris-Fiction: Federal Indian Law from the Discovery Doctrine to Allotment" — an this interdisciplinary project traces the racial-colonial conceptions of Indians in U.S legal discourses, drawing upon critical race theory and studies of colonialism in various global contexts.

2005-2006 Fellows

Sarita Cannon

Dr. Cannon's research engages in the recent emergence of scholarship on Black Indians as she explores various iterations of this particular multiracial identity in verbal and visual texts in the past two centuries. Her teaching and research interests include 19th and 20th century U.S. Literature, Autobiography, Ethnic American Literatures, Feminist Theory, African American Studies, Native American Studies.

Andrea Smith

Dr. Smith is largely concerned with identifying resistance strategies within Native communities that will be helpful in promoting Native sovereignty struggles in particular and social justice in general. Her teaching and research interests include violence against Native American women, the Christian right, American Indian activism, religion/spirituality and political activism.

2004-2005 Fellows

David Anthony Tyeeme Clark

During his postdoctoral fellowship year, Dr. Clark continued his project "Roots of Red Power: American Indian Protest and Resistance, From Wounded Knee to the American Indian Chicago Conference," a study that will document the "history of American Indian activism and advocacy, as well as a cultural and gender study of Indigenous voice."

Larry Emerson

Dr. Emerson dissertation work, entitled "'Hozho Nahazdlii': Towards a Practice of Dine' Decolonization," investigates and seeks to understand "the dialectical nature of colonialism and decolonization." Professor Emerson's research and writing works to articulate "decolonized notions of Dine' education" by describing "Dine' patterns of resistance to colonialism through the active engagement and advocacy of Dine' non-modern, traditional thought and identity."