Dr. Jennifer McLerran

Jennifer McLerran, PhD
Assistant Professor
Riles 117
(928) 523-5623



Jennifer McLerran is Assistant Professor of Art History at Northern Arizona University, where she is developing a Museum Studies program. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Washington, an interdisciplinary master's degree in art and literature from the University of Colorado, and an M.F.A. in painting from Colorado State University. Her areas of specialization are twentieth-century Native American art, museum studies, and feminist theory. She has taught women's studies and art history courses at Ohio University, writing and art history courses at the University of Washington, and painting at Pacific Lutheran University and Colorado State University. She formerly served as curator of the Kennedy Museum of Art's Edwin L. and Ruth E. Kennedy Southwest Native American Collection at Ohio University, where she conducted extensive research and curated exhibitions on Navajo weaving and Navajo, Hopi and Zuni silverwork and jewelry traditions. Dr. McLerran has also served as a NAGPRA consultant to Yellowstone National Park and conducted NAGRA consultations for the Kennedy Museum of Art, successfully repatriating sacred and ceremonial objects to the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes.

Dr. McLerran’s most recent publications include A New Deal for Native Art: Indian Arts and Federal Policy 1933-1943 (University of Arizona Press, 2009), a study of Native American art's commodity status and the indigenous maker's position as colonial subject during the New Deal era, and Weaving Is Life: Navajo Weavings from the Edwin L. and Ruth E. Kennedy Southwest Native American Collection (University of Washington Press, 2007). Other publications include Art Words: A Glossary of Contemporary Art Theory (co-authored with Thomas Patin) and Old Age in Myth and Symbol (co-authored with Patrick McKee) and articles in American Indian Culture and Research Journal, The Gerontologist, American Indian Art, The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, and Feminist Studies.