Assistant Professor | Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Office: 312B ENGL/PHIL
Areas of Specialization and Interest
American Literature; Ethnic/Postcolonial Studies; Literature and the Environment; Literature, Social Justice and the Environment
I'm working on two book projects, at the moment. The first (titled Unsettled: Native Modernism, and the Colonial State) challenges the erasure of Native writing from critical accounts of American modernism and modernity. Grounded in post-Allotment Minneapolis, it argues that conceptual infrastructures of American empire—property, culture, domesticity, the urban—are also the scaffolding for an emergent Native anti-colonialism. From 19th century works by William Warren and Charles Eastman to contemporary novels and activist texts by Louise Erdrich, David Treuer, Gerald Vizenor and AIM, Unsettled locates a flourishing Native modernism within the coordinates of a settler state. This account also revalues the city as a space of Native political intervention, rooting its theory of modernism within Native and postcolonial critiques of American empire.
My second project grounds a theorization of Native writing in the social and environmental impact of colonial settlement. I examine obscured landscapes of ecological catastrophe—like the Crandon Mine, Monument Valley, and fisheries on the Pacific Rim—as physical and metaphorical structures in which American empire endures outside the coordinates of the politically visible, often literally underground. Alongside studies of these controversial sites, I read poetry, by Joy Harjo, Sherwin Bitsui, Qwo-Li Driskill, Laura Tohe and others, that visualizes environmental disaster on tribal lands and exposes the 'undergrounds' of colonial discourses that make such disasters politically and economically lucrative. Linking Native poetics with the anti-colonial force of eco-criticism, this project models a more inventive and interdisciplinary methodology for Native studies scholarship, aimed at fully leveraging the political energy of tribal cultural forms generated in the era of radical climate change.
- "Against Native Invisibility: David Treuer's The Hiawatha and the Infrastructures of Settler Modernity." Under Review.
- Review of The Round House by Louise Erdrich. Chicago Tribune. 2013.
- "We Are All Related: An Interview with David Treuer." Los Angeles Review of Books. 2013.
- "The Autoethnography of William Whipple Warren." Wicazo Sa Review 27.2. 2012.
- "The Practice of Native History." The Public Humanities. November, 2011.
- "How bad can it be?" review of Bad Modernisms (Eds. Mao and Walkowitz). Minnesota Review Nos. 71-2. 284-288. 2009.
- "Petals Off the Bough: Gerald Vizenor, Anishinaabe Dream Song, and the Revision of Pound's Eastern Poetics." Columbia Journal of American Studies Vol. 8. 139-161. 2007.