PhD Students


Jennifer R. Valadez

PhD Program

Educational Background

B.A., 2007, University of Nebraska
MA, 2010, Southern Methodist University
PhD candidate, Southern Methodist University

Dissertation Advisor:  Sherry L. Smith
Fields of Study:  Native American History, Borderlands Study


Jennifer Valadez is currently writing her dissertation on how Native American intellectuals contributed to the evolution of ³Indian² identity at the turn of the 20th century. She is focusing on the personal lives and publications of Gertrude Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa) and Carlos Montezuma (Wassaja).

Contextualizing her themes within the United States between the 1880s and the 1920s, Valadez illustrates many of the social, racial, political, and cultural difficulties that had to be overcome by Native Americans as they sought to define themselves in a new era.

Other research interests include the history of ethnic relations in the Southwest (mainly New Mexico and West Texas). Valadez also has a passion for comparing changing interethnic relations between indigenous peoples and colonizing powers over time. The use of intermarriage between different ethnicities and the children of these unions as bridges of communication in all its forms are two of the cornerstones of her fascination with history.

The other is the process of creating ³history² itself, and how non-academics consume it.

Last updated 10/11