Core Faculty

Danika Medak-Saltzman

Assistant Professor

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 Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado, Boulder. She holds graduate degrees in Comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree in East Asian Languages and Literatures (Japanese) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her work focuses on 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. She was the 2012-2013 Katrin Lamon Scholar in Residence at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM. Her articles have appeared in American Quarterly and The Journal of Critical Ethnic Studies, and Studies in American Indian Literature. She was a 2015-2016 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, affiliated with the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Institute at the University of British Columbia, for work on her second book project “Calling Forth Our Futures: Contemporary Political Movements, Indigenous Futurisms and the Art of the Possible.” Her work and teaching 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 narratives that mandate Native disappearance. She is a member and co-founder of the “Just Futures Project” and co-editor of the “Critical Race, Indigeneity and Relationality” book series for Temple University Press.

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. for the 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 (1860-1904), under contract with University of Minnesota Press.


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 & Research Journal, 27 (2) (2003): 121-123.


Research: 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 and historical silences.