KU Native American scholar selected for prestigious $200K Andrew Carnegie fellowship

photo by: Contributed/University of Kansas

Sarah Deer, a researcher at the University of Kansas and nationally renowned scholar on tribal law and violence against women, was awarded one of 27 Andrew Carnegie Fellowships on May 12, 2020.

Sarah Deer, a nationally recognized writer and researcher on the intersection of Native American law and violence against women, was awarded one of 27 Andrew Carnegie fellowships on Tuesday.

The prestigious $200,000 scholarships, created in 2015, are dedicated to research in the humanities and social sciences.

Deer, a University of Kansas researcher, will use the funding to finish a book focused on recent political activism in indigenous communities, such as the 2016 protests at the Standing Rock reservation in the Dakotas. The book will be titled “Indigenous Democracies: Native Women and the Future of Tribal Nations in the United States,” KU said in a news release.

Deer said she was humbled by the scholarship and excited by the opportunity to work closely again with native women.

“I am honored to be able to tell the story of native women’s contributions to American society in the face of oppression and violence,” she said in the release. “Their courage and deep connection to their relatives and communities is a testament to the enduring spirit that has allowed native people to weather the storm of settler colonialism and contribute to the improvement of American democracy.”

The Carnegie fellowship is not the first national recognition Deer’s work has received. In 2014 she was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, and was pivotal in the implementation of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.

Deer, a KU alumna who joined the university’s faculty in 2017, is also one of only five Kansans inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

She is the third KU researcher to receive a Carnegie Fellowship, according to the university’s release. Greg Cushman, an associate professor of history and environmental studies, was one of the inaugural Carnegie Fellows in 2015. In 2017, Cecilia Menjivar was named a Carnegie Fellow while a Foundation Distinguished Professor of Sociology at KU.

John Colombo, the interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said in the release that Deer was supremely deserving of the investment in her work.

“She has advocated for significant policy changes to better protect native women, who deserve much greater agency and representation in the legal system,” he said. “I am so pleased for her to be selected for this prestigious honor.”


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.