Professor Fitzgerald's research is both interdisciplinary and trans-historical, and broadly focuses on Native women’s textual and cultural productions from the colonial era to the present. She is often asked why her work focuses on Native women, a question to which she promptly replies, “Why not?” As Patricia Albers and Beatrice Medicine noted back in 1983 in their edited volume The Hidden Half: Studies of Plains Indian Women (University Press of America), there is a dearth of scholarship on Native women in any discipline. And not much has changed since 1983.
While her academic publications to date center on Native women’s textual productions, she does not see her work as a recovery project. She is more interested in countering the historical erasure of Native women by drawing out the connections between gender, law and policy, and land dispossession. From migration narratives painted onto the sides of a late eighteenth century Mohegan woodsplint basket, to seventeenth century land conveyances penned in the Massachusett language, to twentieth century novels taking environmental justice as their focus, her research links the materiality of the texts to their specific historical, cultural, legal, and political contexts. Her current book project investigates contemporary Native women’s literary and rhetorical responses to certain defining moments in tribal histories relating to land dispossession, reading them against the court decisions, legislation, and federal policy that set them in motion.
Master's in American Indian Studies from UCLA
Ph.D. in English from Claremont Graduate University