Melanie K. Yazzie

Melanie K. Yazzie [article image]

Melanie K. Yazzie is bilagáana born for Ma’iideeshgiizhinii. Her chei is bilagáana and her nalí is Tótsóhnii. She is a fifth year doctoral candidate (ABD) in the department (2009 cohort). She specializes in feminism, violence studies, Indigenous critiques of liberalism and colonialism, the politics of life/death, and Diné studies. Her dissertation is a critical historical and ethnographic examination of how twentieth century Navajo life is moralized in social practices of tradition and violence conditioned by liberal recognition of Navajo self-determination. She has benefited from many opportunities during her time at UNM, including its participation in the Newberry Library Consortium in American Indian Studies; its excellent collections in twentieth century American Indian history at the Center for Southwest Research; and its biannual Indigenous Book Festival--which brings together innovative and diverse Indigenous studies scholars--sponsored by the Institute for American Indian Research. She is a UNM Regents Fellow, a Ford Foundation Diversity Pre-Doctoral Fellow, and a newly elected member of the Navajo Studies Conference, Inc. Board, an organization that promotes Diné Studies as its own field of specialization. She has taught courses in race, class and ethnicity; Southwest studies; critical theory; and Indigenous gender and sexuality studies. She holds an M.A. in American Studies from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College.