Kirby Brown

Kirby Brown profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-5819
  • Office: 330 PLC
  • Office Hours: Fall term: T, 12-2pm; W, 3-4pm; and by email appointment
  • Affiliated Departments: Ethnic Studies
  • Website: Website
  • Curriculum Vitae

Biography

Kirby Brown is an Associate Professor of Native American Literatures in the Department of English at the University of Oregon and an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He 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, sovereignty/self-determination studies, nationhood/nationalism studies, and genre studies. 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. Essays in contemporary Indigenous critical theory, constitutional criticism in Native literatures, Native interventions in the Western and in Modernist Studies have appeared in Sovereignty Separatism and Survivance: Ideological Encounters in Native North America (2009), Nakum Journal (2010), Studies in American Indian Literatures (2011), Routledge Companion to Native American Literatures (2015), Texas Studies in Language and Literatures (2017), and Western American Literature (2018). In addition to serving as a dissertation fellow with Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, Brown was awarded the Don D. Walker prize for the best essay published in western literary studies in 2012 by the Western Literature Association and was an Oregon Humanities Center Research Fellow in 2015-16. His book was also awarded an Andrew W. Mellon grant.

Education

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

  • Dissertation: "Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Early 20th Century Cherokee Writing," directed by James H. Cox
  • Graduate Certificate in Native American Studies

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

University of Texas at Austin, B.A., 1997, Biology

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, nation/nationalism studies, sovereignty/self-determination studies, and genre studies. 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 recently published 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 soveriegnty, self-determination, citizenship and belonging in Cherokee Country and Native American and Indigenous Studies today. 

Related to this project, I am also pursuing a critical edition of the collected writings of Ruth Muskrat Bronson (Cherokee, 1897-1982), two essays on Bronson's early poetry and fiction, and new research into Native American modernisms and modernities. 

Curriculum Vitae

Publications

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... 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.

Texas Studies in Literature and Language

Scholarship in the New Modernist Studies has significantly changed our understandings of the organizing terms of the field—modernity, modern, modernist—and dramatically expanded the contexts in which they are discussed and debated. Thanks to interventions by scholars taking new approaches and adopting new critical frameworks, we now speak of multiple modernisms and modernities taking place in... Read more