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Kirby Brown

Dr. Kirby Brown

Dr. Kirby Brown

Exchange Professor
Chair of English Literature | Korte

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

Dr. Brown received his PhD in English with a certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. 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, Western American Literature, and Modernism/modernity.

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 an essay on the politics of form in the short fiction of Ruth Muskrat Bronson for the Routledge Companion to Gender and the American West, a collection on North American Indigenous modernisms with Routledge Press co-edited with Stephen Ross and Alana Sayers, and continuing work in Native American and Indigenous literary and cultural studies.

At the University of Oregon, Dr. 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, Dr. 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 in 2011-12. In 2014-15, he was named an Oregon Humanities Center Faculty Fellow and was recognized with a Tykeson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2016. In 2019, he 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.



2018 Present Associate Professor of English; Director, Native American and Indigenous Studies
University of Oregon
2012 2018 Assistant Professor of English
University of Oregon
2012 Ph.D., English
University of Texas at Austin
2005 M.A., English
University of Texas at San Antonio
1998 B.A., Biology
University of Texas at Austin


University of Freiburg:

  • Introduction to Indigenous Literary and Cultural Studies
  • North American Indigenous Modernisms


University of Oregon:




  • Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970. American Indian Literature and Critical Studies Series. University of Oklahoma Press, 2018.


Peer Reviewed Articles:

  • Sovereignty. Journal of Western American Literature. Special Issue: On the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary. Vol. 53, No. 1 (May 2018): 81-89.
  • American Indian Modernities and the New Modernist Studies’ ‘Indian Problem. Texas Studies in Language and Literature. Vol. 59, No. 3 (Fall 2017): 287-318.
  • Citizenship, Land & Law: Constitutional Criticism and John Milton Oskison's Black Jack Davy. Studies in American Indian Literatures 23.4: (Winter 2011): 77-115.
  • 'Since I was given a name by the kind Fathers I take more pride in myself': Historical Recovery, Colonial Mimicry, and Thoughts on Disappearing Indians in Elena Zamora O'Shea's El Mesquite. Nakum Journal 1.1 (December 2010): 11-37.


Book Chapters:

  • Teaching Salmon is Everything in the Literature Classroom, in Salmon Is Everything: Community-Based Theatre in the Klamath Watershed, 2nd edition, Oregon State UP. December 2018.
  • Identity, Culture, Community, and Nation: Native Literary Theory as Politics and Praxis.Routledge Companion to Native American Literature. Ed. Deborah Lea Madsen. New York and Oxford: Routledge P, 2015. 284-96.
  • Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Nations: Interrogating Contemporary Indigenous Intellectualisms. Sovereignty, Separatism, and Survivance: Ideological Encounters in the Literature of Native North America. Ed. Benjamin D. Carson. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009. 82-109.