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K-State Today

July 15, 2013



American ethnic studies hires new assistant professor

By Tom Roesler

Dwanna Robertson

After a national search, which produced more than 90 qualified applicants, the American ethnic studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences selected Dwanna Robertson as assistant professor starting in August 2013.

"Dwanna is a strong addition to American ethnic studies and to the broader campuswide interests in inequality, food and hunger, racial and ethnic studies, and gender studies," said Spencer Wood, former American ethnic studies interim director who was part of the search committee led by Wayne Goins, professor in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. "We are thrilled to have Dwanna joining us in the program and the college."

Robertson will be teaching Native American Perspectives, Research Methods and Introduction to American Ethnic Studies this fall at K-State.

"I'm thrilled to join the K-State family," Robertson said. "With its innovative and dedicated faculty, administration and community of workers, K-State represents excellence in higher education."

Robertson is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, public sociologist, and columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network who comes to K-State from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she received a doctorate in sociology. She received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Central Oklahoma before earning a Master of Business Administration from East Tennessee State University in 2003 and a master’s degree in sociology from Oklahoma State University in 2010.

"I was born and raised in Oklahoma, so I've always known how wonderful the people are in Kansas," said Robertson. "Kansas State's strong commitment to diversity impressed me. K-State is excited about teaching how it benefits not just the university, but our entire society."

Robertson’s research focuses on the reproduction of social inequality, particularly for American Indians and other indigenous peoples. Robertson’s current project, "Navigating Indigenous Identity," examines the problematic processes around American Indian identity and the consequences associated with different forms of identity representation — ethnic, racial, tribal and legal — for indigenous peoples in the United States. She has authored or co-authored pieces in American Indian Culture and Research Journal, European Sociological Review, Research in the Sociology of Work, and Oxford Encyclopedia of American Business, Labor and Economic History.

"I'm excited about teaching Native American Perspectives this fall," Robertson said. "When I visited this spring, I heard all about K-State's great students. I'm also looking forward to doing great research with some of those students."