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, modernism/modernity 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. It was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon grant in 2017.
Essays in contemporary Indigenous critical theory, constitutional criticism in Native literatures, Native interventions in the Western and in Modernist studies have appeared in a vareity of venues including 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 at the University of Texas at Austin 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. He is one of two Norman H. Brown Facutly Fellows for the University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences for 2019-21.
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
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, modernism/modernity 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.
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 sovereignty, self-determination, citizenship and belonging in Cherokee Country and across 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.
- ENG 244: Introduction to Native American Literatures
- ENG 245: Introduction to Ethnic American Literatures
- ENG 365: Race, Nation, and Modernist Form in the Ethnic American Bildungsroman
- ENG 361: Native American Writers (Novel)
- ENG 361: Native American Writers (Nationhood, Sovereignty, Story, and Place)
- ENG 361: Native American Writers (Contemporary Indigenous Women's Writing)
- ENG 488/588: Native American Literature and Film (Race and Film)
- ENG 660: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Belonging in the Ethnic American Bildungsroman
- ENG 660: Native American Writing from Allotment to the Renaissance, 1887-1968
Honors and Awards
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 Vice President for Research and Innovation Completion Fellowship, University of Oregon, 2015-16.
Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation Faculty Research Award, 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.