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Joshua B. Nelson

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Joshua B. Nelson

Joshua B. Nelson

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Cornell University, 2010


President's Associates Presidential Professor Joshua B. Nelson, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a native Oklahoman, is an associate professor of English and affiliated faculty with Film & Media Studies, Native American Studies, and Women's & Gender Studies, focusing on American Indian literature and film. His book, Progressive Traditions: Identity in Cherokee Literature and Culture, looks to dismantle the pervasive assimilated/traditional dichotomy plaguing American Indian literary criticism. It explores the empowering potential of traditional, adaptive strategies and practices to address cultural and historical dilemmas.

Prof. Nelson takes a pluralist interest in tribalist, postcolonial, anarchistic, feminist, and pragmatic theoretical perspectives. His work has appeared in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature, and The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Film Comedy. He is at work on a documentary film about two American Indian Medal of Honor awardees in the 45th Infantry Division during World War II; a book on representations of the body in Indigenous film; and is Co-Producer, narrator and interviewer on the forthcoming PBS documentary Searching for Sequoyah (dir. James Fortier, pro. LeAnne Howe; He teaches courses on American Indian literature, literary criticism, and film. He is Lead Organizer of the Native Crossroads Film Festival and Symposium ( He and his wife divide their time between Norman and Park Hill, Oklahoma.

Office: Cate 2, Room 327

Research and Teaching Interests:
American Indian literature; literary criticism and theory; film

Progressive Traditions: Identity in Cherokee Literature and Culture (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014)