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Dwanna Robertson

Assistant Professor

Dr. Robertson completed a PhD (2013) in Sociology and a graduate certificate in Indigenous Studies (2013) from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  She also holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Central Oklahoma, and Master's degrees from Oklahoma State University (Sociology) and East Tennessee State University (Business Administration). She is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is returning to academia after an appointment as the Secretary of Education for her tribal nation.

Dwanna fuses an active research agenda in social inequality, intersectionality, and indigenous identity with broad interdisciplinary knowledge.  Her work focuses on the reproduction of social inequality through institutionalized race, ethnicity, and gender processes within the structure of policy, particularly as related to Indigenous Peoples of the geographical U.S.  Trained as a multi-methods researcher and statistician, Dwanna also practices indigenous and decolonizing approaches. Her research and teaching interests include Indigenous identities and epistemologies, gendered race processes in work and occupations, and a sociohistorical lens of race, ethnicity, and national identity within the social institutions of crime, health, and education. Her most recent research, “Capitalists or Survivalists: Interpreting American Indian Women’s Self-Employment,” examines the economic violence experienced by Native women and other women of color as it challenges the normative political discourse of entrepreneurship as an economic strategy for marginalized groups. Dwanna has published in the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, American Indian Quarterly, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, and European Sociological Review, and numerous other academic venues. She is also active in public scholarship as a regular columnist for Indian Country Today, and has been featured on radio shows like Calling Native America and Minnesota's National Public Radio. Dwanna loves teaching and brings extensive experience in student mentoring, community advocacy, public sociology, and project collaboration.