Core Faculty

Danika Medak-Saltzman

Danika Medak-Saltzman

Assistant Professor

On leave AY 2015-16

University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Ethnic Studies, 339 UCB
Ketchum 273
Boulder, CO  80309-0339


Curriculum vitae



Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley - Ethnic Studies, 2008
M.A., University of California, Berkeley - Ethnic Studies, 2003
B.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst - East Asian Languages and Literatures, 1998


Danika Medak-Saltzman (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) is committed to working in the broad field of Global Indigenous Studies while staying focused on the specificity of American Indian history and experience. Her research and teaching interests focus on American Indian women, Indigenous histories and Indigenous feminisms, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Indigenous thought and theory, Post-colonial Science Fiction, Indigenous Futurisms, Visual and material culture—including film and cultural production, and the transnational movement of American colonial policies –particularly in the case of Japan—the latter of which is the subject her current book project. Medak-Saltzman is also working on the burgeoning topic of Indigenous Futurisms as portrayed in horror, sci-fi and fantasy narratives—which she anticipates will be the focus of her second book project. These two manuscript projects, while seemingly divergent, are focused on reevaluating representations of Native people and recognizing that both in the past and in the present Native peoples have managed to negotiate difficult situations and visualize/create a future in spite of persistent colonial narratives that mandate Native disappearance. As a result, Medak-Saltzman sees her work at a productive crossroads of several traditional fields of inquiry, while remaining rooted in cultural studies, history, and Native studies. Ultimately, Medak-Saltzman hopes to complicate understandings about the roles Native people have played as equal actors in unequal histories, so that our collective understandings of Indigenous Studies, "America," and the narratives we construct about them become more reflective of and nuanced about Indigenous experiences.

Medak-Saltzman’s article,  “Transnational Indigenous Exchange: Rethinking Global Interactions of Indigenous Peoples at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition” published American Quarterly was awarded “Most Thought Provoking Article of the year in Native American and Indigenous Studies” for 2010 by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA). After concluding her appointment as the 2012-2013 Katrin H. Lamon Fellow at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, N.M., recently, Medak-Saltzman is now back in Boulder, teaching, working on in-progress articles and completing her book manuscript, Specters of Colonialism: Native Peoples, Visual Culture, and Colonial Projects in the U.S. and Japan (1860-1904), which is under contract with the University of Minnesota Press.

Selected Publications

Refereed Articles

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. (Nominated for Most Thought-Provoking Article of 2010 in Native American and Indigenous Studies at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Conference May, 2011)

Contributions to Edited Collections

Reprint of “Transnational Indigenous Exchange: Rethinking Global Interactions of Indigenous Peoples at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition” as a chapter in the volume Alternative Contact: Indigeneity, Globalism and American Studies, Johns Hopkins University Press: A Special Issue of American Quarterly Series, May, 2011.

Works in Progress

Article length work “From Vanishing American to Indigenous Futurisms: Moving Beyond Native Portrayals in Hollywood Horror and Science Fiction” 

Book length manuscript in progress Specters of Colonialism: Native Peoples, Visual Culture and Colonial Projects in the U.S. and Japan (1860-1904)

Book Reviews

“Inside Diné Histories” Jennifer Nez Denetdale. Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita, New Mexico Historical Review. 85 (4) (Fall 2010): 453-454.

“Who’s Indian, Whose Indian?!” C. G. Calloway, G. Gemunden, & S. Zantop, (Eds.). Germans and Indians: Fantasies, Encounters and Projections, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 27 (2) (2003): 121-123.