The mission of the American Indian Studies Department is to educate, inspire, and prepare students for engaged careers and/or graduate school and to be an educational hub and site for community participation and learning focused on the Indigenous peoples of the northern Americas.



Joanne Barker, Professor and Chair


News and Announcements


AIS Red Tawks



Joshua Whitehead

Making Love with the Land 


Tuesday, February 15, 2022 

4:00 – 5:30 pm PST (Zoom)

Flyer: Click Here


Joshua Whitehead (he/him) is a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary and is housed in the English and International Indigenous Studies Departments. He is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks 2017) which was shortlisted for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. He is also the author of Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press 2018) which was long listed for the Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Award, the Governor General's Literary Award, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award and won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction, the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction, and Canada Reads 2021. Whitehead is currently working on a third manuscript titled, Making Love with the Land to be published with Knopf Canada, which explores the intersections of Indigeneity, queerness, and, most prominently, mental health through a nêhiyaw lens to be published in 2022. You can find his work published widely in such venues as Prairie Fire, CV2, EVENT, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Fiddlehead, Grain, CNQ, Write, and Red Rising Magazine.


*Registration Required: https://sfsu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAqcu2prD4uGdSaWoOd-aHebxcQSqhif-XM. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


The Johnet Scholarship for Native Americans


Application: https://sfsu.academicworks.com/

The Johnet Scholarship was established to recognize the academic achievements of SFSU Native American students (especially Cheyenne Indians) and to assist them financially with the pursuit of their education.

Project Director: Joanne Barker, Professor and Chair, American Indian Studies (jmbarker@sfsu.edu)

SPRING 2022 Applications open on January 24 and close March 1. Awards will be issued early April.

Applications are submitted and reviewed in AcademicWorks/BAM.

Must be Native American, which refers to a status of legal citizenship and/or cultural membership in an American Indian tribe or Alaska Native band.

Must be a current, full-time student (undergraduate or graduate).

Must maintain satisfactory academic standing, to be evaluated primarily but not only by GPA.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 is strongly recommended.

One to five awards given each semester. Minimum award is $250.00.


New Publications


Joanne Barker, Red Scare: The State's Indigenous Terrorist (American Studies Now Series, UC Press, 2021).

Joanne Barker, Jodi Byrd, Alyosha Goldstein, and Sandy Grande, "Catastrophe, Care, and All that Remains,” Social Text (2021).


Robert Keith Collins, "African and Native American Contact in the Americas." Wednesday, November 17, 2021 (City of Menlo Park, 2021).

Robert Keith Collins, “How Did Black Folks Become Indians? What Lived Experiences Say About Belonging, Culture, and Racial Mixture in Native America.” In The Complexities of Race: Identity, Power, and Justice in an Evolving America. Charmaine Wijeyesinghe, ed. (NYU Press, 2021).


Roger J. Kuhn, “Sexual Sovereignty and Erotic Survivance: Two-Spirit Sexual Health and Vitality: An Intersectional Approach to Sex Therapy.” In Centering the Lives of Indigenous, Racialized, and People of Color. Reece M. Malone, Marla Renee Stewart, Mariotta Gary-Smith, and James C. Wadley, eds. (Routledge, 2022).

Roger Kuhn, “Two-Spirit Love at the BAAITS Powwow,” in Critical Sexual Literacy: Forecasting Trends in Sexual Politics, Diversity, and Pedagogy. Gilbert Herdt, Marzullo Michelle, Petite Nicole Polen, eds. (Anthem Press, 2021).


John-Carlos Perea, “Music in Native America: The Intertribal Powwow” (in Global Music Cultures, eds. Bonnie C. Wade and Patricia Sheehan Campbell. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).


Paul Steward and his father, as the band Twice as Good, have released a CD with original music, Double Down (2021). You can listen here. Video clip here.



Awards and Honors


CONGRATULATIONS: Sarah Dilley as been included on the Native American 40 Under 40 by The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.


CONGRATULATIONS: Roger Kuhn has been appointed to the LGBTQ+ advisory committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.


CONGRATULATIONS: John-Carlos Perea's book chapter, "Native 'Noise' and the Politcs of Powwow Musicking in a University Soundscape," is part of an edited collection, Music and Modernity among First Peoples of North America, that has won the 2020 Ellen Koskoff Prize for Edited Collections from the Society for Ethnomusicology.