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Kelly Wisecup

Associate Professor, Department of English

Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park

Kelly Wisecup (Department of English) researches and teaches Native American literatures, focusing especially on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Native American writers’ and activists’ engagement with colonial science, archives, and genres. Her first book, Medical Encounters: Knowledge and Identity in Early American Literatures (2013) explores how medical knowledge served as a form of communication among colonists, Native Americans, and African Americans, one in which people defined and defended their bodies as well as their relationship to the environment and to other than human beings. Her current book project, Assembled Relations: Compilation, Collection, and Native American Writing, investigates how Native American writers adapted forms of compilation and collection—herbals, vocabulary lists, museum inventories, catalogs, and commonplace books—to restore and remake environmental, epistemological, and interpersonal relations disrupted by colonialism. Her articles have appeared in the Native American and Indigenous Studies Journal, Early American Literature, Early American Studies, Atlantic Studies, Studies in Travel Writing, Literature and Medicine, and The Southern Literary Journal, and she has received fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the American Philosophical Society, the John Carter Brown Library, the Newberry Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

At Northwestern, Wisecup co-chaired the Indigenous Studies Research Initiative and served on the Indigenous Peoples Steering Committee in 2016-2017. She is project director for Archive Chicagou, a collaborative archival project that works with undergraduate students at NU, high school students at the American Indian Center (AIC), and members of the AIC and the American Indian Association of Illinois to digitize and make available histories of Native American organizations in Chicago.

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