Sarah E. Deer, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, is a lawyer, activist, and professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Kansas. Her Carnegie project will profile contemporary Native American women in the United States, with a particular focus on how they conceive of, and work toward, more democratic societies. For decades, Professor Deer has used her knowledge of federal and tribal law, as well as indigenous feminist principles, to develop policies to protect Native American women from domestic and sexual violence. The author of The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America (2015), Professor Deer has frequently testified before Congress as well as chaired a federal advisory committee on sexual violence in Indian country. Her work played a key role in the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, giving tribal courts power to prosecute non-Native Americans for violence against Native spouses or partners. Professor Deer, who received a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship in 2014, serves as chief justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals.
Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Kansas