Kirby Brown

Kirby Brown profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Additional Title: Norman H. Brown Faculty Fellow, 2019-21; Director, Native American Studies
  • Phone: 541-346-5819
  • Office Hours: F21: Via Zoom - TUEs 3-4, WEDs & FRIs, 1-2, or by appt
  • Affiliated Departments: IRES
  • Interests: Native American Literary, Intellectual and Cultural Production From The Late 18th Century - The Present, Indigenous Critical Theory, Studies In Sovereignty/Self-Determination, Nationhood/Nationalism, Modernism/Modernity
  • Website: Website
  • Curriculum Vitae

Biography

Kirby Brown an Associate Professor of Native American Literatures in the Department of English and the Director of Native American Studies at the University of Oregon. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Kirby received his PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. His research interests include Native American literary, intellectual, and cultural production from the late eighteenth century to the present, Indigenous critical theory, and studies in sovereignty/self-determination, nationhood/nationalism, modernism/modernity, and genre. Essays in contemporary Indigenous critical theory, constitutional criticism in Native literatures, and Native interventions in the Western and in Modernist Studies have appeared in a variety of venues including Studies in American Indian Literatures, The Routledge Companion to Native American Literature, Texas Studies in Language and Literatures, and Western American Literature.

His book, Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018), examines how four Cherokee writers variously remembered, imagined and enacted Cherokee nationhood in the period between Oklahoma statehood in 1907 and tribal reorganization in the early 1970s. It was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon grant in 2018, earned the Thomas J. Lyons Award for best monograph in Western American Literary Studies by the Western Literature Association in 2019, and received Honorable Mention for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages by the Modern Language Association in 2020. New research projects include two essays on the politics of form in the short fiction of Ruth Muskrat Bronson, a chapter on Native American literary modernities, edited collections on Indigenous modernisms with Modernism/modernity journal and Routledge Press, and continuing work in Native American and Indigenous literary and cultural studies.

Since arriving at the UO in 2012, Brown has also participated in a number of programming intiiatives as co-organizer of two conferences, "Alternative Sovereignties: Decolonization Through Indigenous Vision and Struggle" and "Engaged Humanities: Partnerships between Academia and Tribal Communities," and co-curator of a UO Libraries exhibit on the Sac and Fox Olypian and athlete Jim Thorpe. He is also a faculty co-director for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Academic Residential Community, an advisor for the UO/Otago Indigenous Cultural Exchange program, and a founding member of the UO Native Strategies Group.

In 2010-11, Brown served as a dissertation fellow for the Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin and was named an American Council for Learned Societies dissertation fellow a year later. In 2014-15, Brown was named an Oregon Humanities Center Faculty Fellow and was recognized with a Tykeson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2016. In 2019, Brown was named as one of two inaugural speakers for the UO Authors Book Talk Series and was also recognized as one of two Norman H. Brown Faculty Fellows in research, teaching, and service in the College of Arts Sciences for 2019-21.

Education

University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., English, 2012

University of Texas at San Antonio, M.A., English, 2005

University of Texas at Austin, B.A., Biology, 1998

Statement

My primary research and teaching areas include Native American and Indigenous writing and cultural production from the late eighteenth century to the present, Indigenous critical theory, and studies in nationhood/nationalism, sovereignty/self-determination, modernism/modernity, and genre. More broadly, I am interested in the politics of race, nation, citizenship, and belonging in ethnic American writing and the relationships between narrative form, cultural representation, public policy, and the law.

Research

My book, Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Century Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970 (University of Oklahoma Press, Spring 2018), examines how four Cherokee writers variously remembered, imagined and enacted Cherokee nationhood in the period between Oklahoma statehood in 1907 and tribal reorganization in the early 1970s. Often read as an intellectually inactive and politically insignificant "dark age" in Cherokee history, I recover this period as a rich archive of Cherokee national memory capable of informing contemporary discussions about sovereignty, self-determination, citizenship and belonging in Cherokee Country and across Native American and Indigenous Studies today. 

I have also published essays in contemporary Indigenous critical theory, constitutional criticism in Native literatures, and Native interventions in the Western and in Modernist Studies in a variety of venues including Studies in American Indian Literatures, The Routledge Companion to Native American Literature, Texas Studies in Language and Literatures, and Western American Literature. New research projects include two essays on the politics of form in the short fiction of Ruth Muskrat Bronson and a critical edition of her collected writings, a chapter on Native American literary modernities for Cambridge University Press, edited collections on Indigenous modernisms with Modernism/modernity journal and Routledge Press, and continuing work in Native American and Indigenous studies.

Teaching

Honors and Awards

  • MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages for Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1906-1970. 2020. Honorable Mention. 
  • Town and Gown Sustainability Award for "Engaged Humanities: Parternships Between Academic and Tribal Communities," UO Office of Sustainability, 2020. 
  • Thomas J. Lyon Award for Oustanding Book in Western American Literary and Cultural Studies for Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1906-1970, Western Literature Association, 2019. 
  • Norman H. Brown Faculty Fellow, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oregon, 2019-21.
  • UO Authors Books Series Selection, University of Oregon, 2019-20. 
  • Lansdowne Visiting Speaker, University of Victoria, BC, February 2019.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas Grant for Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970, Summer 2017.
  • Tykeson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oregon, Winter 2016.
  • Oregon Humanities Center Faculty Fellow, University of Oregon, 2015-16.
  • Don D. Walker Prize for Best Published Essay, Western Literature Association, 2012.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship, 2011-12.
  • Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities Dissertation Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2010-11.
  • George H. Mitchell Award for Outstanding Graduate Research, Graduate School, University of Texas at Austin, 2010.

Curriculum Vitae

Publications

Recipient of the 2019 Thomas J Lyon Award.

Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Century Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970 (University of Oklahoma Press, Spring 2018) examines how four Cherokee writers variously remembered, imagined, and enacted Cherokee nationhood in the period... Read more

As a new contribution to the 2nd edition of SALMON IS EVERYTHING, this chapter explores the challenges and possibilities of teaching the play within the contexts of contemporary Indigenous environmental movements and disparate responses of state power at Standing Rock and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2017. As I attempted to make sense of these issues, I was compelled to work them explicitly... Read more

As part of an invited "Keywords" section of the 50th Anniversary issue, this article situates sovereignty as a crucial concept in US Western literary studies both as a signifier of state power and authority and as a strategic--if at times imperfect--site of Indigenous self-determination, resistance, and resurgence.