Collegiate Affiliation

Melanie K. Yazzie is a citizen of the Navajo Nation. She writes and teaches about a range of topics, including Navajo/American Indian history; (neo)liberalism; settler colonialism; Indigenous feminisms; Native American studies; social movements; urban Native experience; political ecology; queer Indigenous studies; biopolitics; water; media; Marxism; and theories of policing and the state.

Dr. Yazzie has held numerous fellowships. She was a Katrin H. Lamon Residential Scholar at the School for Advanced Research (2018-19), a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-17), an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellow (2015-16), and a Ford Foundation Diversity Predoctoral Fellowship (2011-14).

She has published over a dozen articles and book reviews in Gender, Place & CultureEnvironment & Society, Wicazo Sa ReviewStudies in American Indian LiteratureAmerican Indian QuarterlySocial Text, American Indian Culture and Research JournalDecolonization: Indigeneity, Education, Society, Native American and Indigenous StudiesNew Mexico Historical Quarterly, and American Quarterly. She is coauthor of Red Nation Rising: From Bordertown Violence to Native Liberation (PM Press, 2021) and The Red Deal: Indigenous Action to Save the Earth (Red Media, 2021). 

In addition to her academic work, she engages in extensive public intellectualism and community organizing and activism. She co-hosts and produces the podcast Red Power Hour and serves as lead editor for the open-access journal Decolonization. She is the advisory board chair for Red Media, an independent press and media project that centers Indigenous intelligence in all its forms. She also organizes with The Red Nation, a grassroots Native-run organization committed to the liberation of Indigenous people from colonialism and capitalism.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • PhD: American Studies, University of New Mexico
  • MA: American Studies, Yale University
  • BA: Political Science, Grinnell College


  • Indigenous feminist and queer studies
  • American Indian history
  • Diné/Navajo studies
  • Social and political theory
  • Political ecology and environmental studies
  • Social and political movements
  • Urban Native studies