Expertise

  • Native American religious traditions
  • Folklore
  • Contemporary Native Identity
  • Sacred Space
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Myth and Narrative
  • Other non-textual religious traditions.

My approach to the study of Religion can be termed an ‘integrated approach,’ which is a cornerstone for the study of all indigenous, non-textual traditions. The integrated approach requires interdisciplinary expertise and the use of cultural context, and therefore requires the integration of areas such as history, gender studies, anthropology, sociology, and government to fully understand the ways in which religious activity wholly permeates the lives of people. It also requires direct contact and interaction with religious communities, and I try to integrate what I learn from community interaction as much as possible into the classroom experience for students.

My courses are designed around the notion that most students know very little about contemporary indigenous religious communities, and my goal is to get students to move outside of stereotypical ideas and try to understand religious traditions and concepts within their own internal frameworks and contexts. I ask students to rethink linear, temporal religious orientation and to begin to understand a circular, spatial religious orientation. My goal is to offer courses which will introduce students to indigenous, non-textual traditions at both the philosophical and practical level.

I also cross-list courses with multiple other disciplines, including Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies, Race and Ethnicity Studies, and LABS. This creates a more diverse body of students in my classes, and also allows students to see and think about connections across disciplinary boundaries.

Education

PhD, The University of California, Santa Barbara 2003
M.A., The University of Arizona 1996
M.A., Colgate University 1994
B.A., Colgate University 1992

  • My approach to the study of Religion can be termed an ‘integrated approach,’ which is a cornerstone for the study of all indigenous, non-textual traditions. The integrated approach requires interdisciplinary expertise and the use of cultural context, and therefore requires the integration of areas such as history, gender studies, anthropology, sociology, and government to fully understand the ways in which religious activity wholly permeates the lives of people. It also requires direct contact and interaction with religious communities, and I try to integrate what I learn from community interaction as much as possible into the classroom experience for students.

    My courses are designed around the notion that most students know very little about contemporary indigenous religious communities, and my goal is to get students to move outside of stereotypical ideas and try to understand religious traditions and concepts within their own internal frameworks and contexts. I ask students to rethink linear, temporal religious orientation and to begin to understand a circular, spatial religious orientation. My goal is to offer courses which will introduce students to indigenous, non-textual traditions at both the philosophical and practical level.

    I also cross-list courses with multiple other disciplines, including Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies, Race and Ethnicity Studies, and LABS. This creates a more diverse body of students in my classes, and also allows students to see and think about connections across disciplinary boundaries.

    Education

    PhD, The University of California, Santa Barbara 2003
    M.A., The University of Arizona 1996
    M.A., Colgate University 1994
    B.A., Colgate University 1992

  • My current research focuses on contemporary Native American religious identity, particularly among native people and communities located in urban settings. I am also interested in the intersection between Native American religion and “place”. My future work will focus on religious revival through material culture production, contemporary Native American music, and the connection between religion and sports.