• Home
  • People
  • Affiliate Faculty

Affiliate Faculty

Headshot of Dr. Joseph Brewer, director of KU's Indigenous Studies Program.
Director, Indigenous Studies Program, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies
Lippincott Hall, room 6G

Natural resources management for American Indian and Alaskan Natives; energy sovereignty for American Indian tribes and Alaskan Natives; the Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program (FRTEP), Indian land tenure; and how local/regional Indigenous knowledge informs state/federal natural resources management offices.

Headshot of Prof. Norman Akers.
Associate Professor of Painting
Chalmers Hall, room 506

Issues of identity and culture, including Osage mythos, place, and the dynamics of personal and cultural transformation as a Native American artist.


Man with long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail and a short goatee, smiling at the camera.
Langston Hughes Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies and History

Kent Blansett is a Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Shawnee, and Potawatomi descendant from the Blanket, Panther, and Smith families. He is the Langston Hughes Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies and History at the University of Kansas. Professor Blansett also serves as the founder and executive director for the American Indian Digital History Project. He has published numerous articles and book chapters including When the Stars Fell from the Sky: The Cherokee Nation and Autonomy during the Civil War and San Francisco, Red Power, and the Emergence of an Indian City. His book, ​A Journey to Freedom: Richard Oakes, Alcatraz, and the Red Power Movement highlights Oakes’s pivotal role in Red Power activism from the 1960s and 1970s that sparked Native liberation movements throughout North America. Blansett’s book has garnered national attention.

Ignacio Carvajal, Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.
Assistant Professor, School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures - Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Wescoe Hall, Room 2628

Dr. Ignacio Carvajal specializes in interdisciplinary research on Mesoamerican literatures, languages and cultures, and pedagogical approaches to Indigenous languages instruction. He focuses on Mayan languages from Guatemala, particularly K’iche’.

Dr. Sarah Deer
Foundation Distinguished Professor
If you wish to speak to Professor Deer via phone, please email her to set up an appointment.
Blake Hall, Room 322

Dr. Sarah Deer (Muscogee (Creek) Nation) has worked to end violence against women for over 25 years and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2014. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims' rights. Dr. Deer is a co-author of four textbooks on tribal law. Her latest book is The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America, which has received several awards. Her work on violence against Native women has received national recognition from the American Bar Association and the Department of Justice. Dr. Deer is also the Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals.

head shot of Phil Duncan
Assistant Teaching Professor
Blake Hall, room 423
Teaches Introduction to Linguistics, Language & Culture in Society Syntax, and Indigenous Languages
Headshot of Vincent Francisco.
Kansas Health Foundation Professor, LSI Senior Scientist, Kansas Health Foundation Professor of Applied Behavioral Science, Director of the Work Group for Community Health and Development (a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre), Affiliate Faculty Indigenous Studies
Dole Human Development Center Room 4058
Headshot of Dr. Matt Gillispie.
Clinical Professor, Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic
(785) 864-4690
Haworth Hall, room 2103

Dr. Gillispie is a clinical professor and speech-language pathologist in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders and the Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders. He is interested in preschool and school-age children with speech, language, and literacy disorders. He provides services and clinical education in the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, as well as local schools. Dr. Gillispie is also interested in culturally responsive services, especially to children and families from Native American communities. Dr. Gillispie is also an affiliate faculty member of KU's Indigenous Studies Program.

Headshot of Dr. Melissa Greene-Blye, Indigenous Studies affiliate faculty
Assistant Professor
Stauffer-Flint Hall, room 205A

Melissa Greene-Blye is an enrolled citizen of the Miami Nation. Her research examines journalistic representations and negotiations of American Indian identity past and present. Most recently, her work has been published in Journalism History. She has presented research at the American Journalism Historians Association annual conference as well as the Joint Journalism Conference held in New York City each year.

Head shot of Dr. Jay T. Johnson, ISP affiliate faculty member.
Professor, Geography, Associate Chair of Geography & Atmospheric Science, Director, C-FIRST
Lindley Hall, room 402

Cultural geography, comparative Indigenous Nations studies, post-colonialism.


Dr. Kelly Kindscher
Senior Scientist, Kansas Biological Survey, Professor, Environmental Studies Program
Higuchi Hall, room 135A

Native prairies; prairie plants; plant communities; medicinal plants; searching for ethnobotanical and field data that help support the use of native plants.

Headshot of Dr. Andrew McKenzie.
Associate Professor, Linguistics
Blake Hall, room 428

Semantics, the grammar of discourse, and Native American languages.

Dr. Brent Metz
Professor, Associate Chair and Curriculum Coordinator, Anthropology
Fraser Hall, room 609

Changing quality of life and the politics of identity among impoverished Ch'orti'-Maya subsistence farmers in eastern Guatemala and western Honduras, and mestizos in the former Ch’orti’-speaking area of northwestern El Salvador.

Assistant Professor
Summerfield Hall, room 118C

Native/Indigenous film and media; new media poetics; transmedia activism; critical health studies.

head shot of Dr. Jennifer Raff.
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Anthropology
618 Fraser Hall

Research Areas: genomics, population genetics, ancient DNA, anthropological genetics, human evolution and population history, migration, bioarchaeology, scientific literacy, North America, Arctic

Head shot of Shawn Watts, affiliate faculty in Indigenous Studies
Clinical Associate Professor, KU School of Law, Director, Mediation Clinic, Director, Tribal Law & Government Center, Director, Tribal Judicial Support Clinic
403 Green Hall

Shawn Watts is a member of the KU Law lawyering faculty. He came to KU Law from Columbia Law School in New York City, where he was the associate director of the Mediation Program. He taught an Advanced Mediation Clinic and a Native American Peacemaking Clinic. He has been a visiting professor at both Yale Law School and National Taiwan University Law School in Taipei, Taiwan.


Professor, Museum Studies Program
Lippincott Hall, room 6

Historical and legal background by which museums have come to control culturally sensitive objects; the public representation and interpretation of culture; and concerns over the sustainability of local history museums.

Headshot of Dr. Michael Zogry.
Associate Professor, Religious Studies
Smith Hall, room 101

Native American/First Nations religions; theory and method in the study of religions with particular attention to the study of ritual, sport, play and games.

Give to Indigenous Studies

Give Now

Read the Latest ISP Newsletter
Follow Us

Twitter Facebook

Local Events

No Events at this time.

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times