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Danika Medak-Saltzman

Danika Medak-Saltzman

Assistant Professor
Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

311 Sims Hall


    Danika Medak-Saltzman (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) is thrilled to be joining the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and her work focuses on Indigenous Feminisms, Native histories, Indigenous thought and theory, transnational Indigeneity, Indigenous futurisms, and visual culture—including film and cultural production. She also examines the transnational movement of American colonial policies–particularly in the case of Japan—which is a subject explored in her forthcoming book, Specters of Colonialism: Native Peoples, Visual Cultures, and Colonial Projects in the U.S. and Japan, with the University of Minnesota Press. Her articles have appeared in American Quarterly and The Journal of Critical Ethnic Studies, and Studies in American Indian Literature. In her scholarship, as in her teaching, Medak-Saltzman seeks to reevaluate representations of Native people to underscore how Native peoples have always worked to negotiate difficult situations and visualize/create/manifest Indigenous futures in spite of persistent colonial actions and narratives that mandate Native disappearance. She is a member and co-founder of the “Just Futures Project,” and alongside Iyko Day and Antonio T. Tiongson, Jr. she is co-editor of the “Critical Race, Indigeneity and Relationality” book series for Temple University Press.

    Research and Teaching Interests

    Visual culture, Native histories, Indigenous feminisms, cultural studies, comparative Japan/US colonial policies/histories, Indigenous futurisms, spectrality, comparative ethnic studies, transnational Indigeneity, race and representation, intersectional futurisms, gendered and historical silences.


    Refereed Articles

    “Coming to you from the Indigenous Future: Native Women, Speculative Film Shorts, and the Art of the Possible” in Studies in American Indian Literatures. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press; 29(1) 2017: 139-171.

    “Empire’s Haunted Logics: Comparative Colonialisms and the Challenges of Incorporating Indigeneity” in a special issue titled “The Perils and Possibilities of Comparative Work,” the Journal of Critical Ethnic Studies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; 1(2) 2015: 11-32.

    “Racial Comparativism Reconsidered” (co-authored with Antonio T. Tiongson, Jr.) in Journal of Critical Ethnic Studies special issue introduction. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press; 1(2) 2015: 1-7.

    “Transnational Indigenous Exchange: Rethinking Global Interactions of Indigenous Peoples at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition ”American Quarterly, 62(3) Alternative Contact: Indigeneity, Globalism, and American Studies (September 2010): 591-615. Awarded “Most Thought-Provoking Article in Native American and Indigenous Studies” for an article published in 2010 by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Assoc. June, 2012. (This AQ issue also earned “Special Recognition” by the American Studies Assoc. Oct. 2011).

    Contributions to Edited Collections

    Reprint of “Transnational Indigenous Exchange: Rethinking Global Interactions of Indigenous Peoples at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition” in Lai, Paul and Lindsay Clair Smith, eds., Alternative Contact: Indigeneity, Globalism and American Studies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, A Special Issue of American Quarterly Series, 2011), 185–209.

    Works in Progress

    Book length manuscript Specters of Colonialism: Native Peoples, Visual Culture and Colonial Projects in the U.S. and Japan, under contract with University of Minnesota Press.


    Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow, hosted by the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Department at the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. 2015-2016.

    Katrin H. Lamon Post-Doctoral Scholar in Residence, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM. 2012-2013.

    Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

    M.A. in Comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

    B.A. in East Asian Languages and Literatures (Japanese) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.