Penelope Kelsey headshot
Professor of English • Professor of Ethnic Studies

Office: Hellems 120

Penny Kelsey is of Seneca descent (patrilineal) with family roots in western New York and Pennsylvania. She received her BA from Manchester College and her PhD from Minnesota. She studies Native American literature, language, film, and theory. Her first book, Tribal Theory in Native American Literature: Dakota and Haudenosaunee Writing and Worldviews, was published by University of Nebraska Press in 2008; her second book, Reading the Wampum: Essays on Hodinöhsö:ni’ Visual Code and Epistemological Recovery, was published by Syracuse University Press in 2014. She edited a collection of essays, Strawberries in Brooklyn: Maurice Kenny Considered, which appeared with SUNY Press in 2011 and won the Woodcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers Best Literary Criticism Award. Her current project is Sovereign Stories and Subjectivities, which considers how indigenous languages embed alternate subjectivities, temporalities, and historiographies into Native literature and narrative.

Areas of Specialty

  • American Literature
  • Environmental Literature
  • Ethnic American Literature, Literature of the Americas, Post Colonial Literature
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Modern and Contemporary Literature