Jeff Berglund, PhD

Jeff Berglund Professor, President's Distinguished Teaching Fellow
Northern Arizona University
U.S. Literature, with a specialization in American Indian literature
Blg 23 Rm #319
Phone: 928-523-9237


I’m a Professor of English, President's Distinguished Teaching Fellow, and the Director of Liberal Studies for Northern Arizona University. I’m also affiliate faculty with Ethnic Studies and Applied Indigenous Studies and have previously served as the Coordinator of The Scholars Academy for the Center for International Education at NAU.

I teach a range of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including contemporary literature, U.S. literature, southwest literature, American Indian literature, Indigenous film, and multi-ethnic literature. One of my current senior capstone courses focuses on Indigenous films from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. I’m passionate about sharing great Indigenous writers and filmmakers with my students. My favorite authors are Louise Erdrich (Anishinabe), Sherman Alexie (Spokane), Simon Ortiz (Acoma), and Luci Tapahonso (Diné/Navajo). Warwick Thornton (Kaytej Nation) from Australia is a favorite director of mine because of his films Samson & Delilah and Greenbush; Boy, directed by Taika Waititi (Māori); 5th World, directed by Blackhorse Lowe (Diné); and, the short films of Melissa Henry (Diné), Sydney Freeland (Diné); and Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Muscogee) also make my list of favorites. I am always thrilled to see my students enthusiastically respond to these brilliant writers and filmmakers.

I am the author of articles and chapters on the pedagogy of American Indian literature; the poet Simon Ortiz; the poet Esther Belin (Diné); Diné/Navajo filmmakers; Disney’s Pocahontas; and, the Diné/Navajo punk band, Blackfire. I’ve also co-authored an article on terminology in Comparative Indigenous Studies published in the Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. My current work-in-progress focuses on the performance group and YouTube sensation, The 1491s. I am the editor of Sherman Alexie: A Collection of Critical Essays (Utah UP, 2010) which includes an introduction and another chapter I wrote, “The Business of Writing: Sherman Alexie’s Meditations on Authorship.” I’m also the author of Cannibal Fictions: American Explorations of Colonialism, Race, Gender, and Sexuality (Wisconsin UP, 2006). My newest book, the first of its kind, is the co-edited collection, Indigenous Pop: Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop (U of Arizona P, 2016). I’m currently collaborating with other editors on the first-ever anthology of Navajo writing, currently titled The Diné Reader: an Anthology of Navajo Writing.

In 2008 I was honored to be named a President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow and served on the Teaching Academy at NAU until 2015. In 2007 I received the President’s Award, given for “exemplary contributions to the NAU mission in at least three categories: creativity in teaching, creative use of technology, advising, assessment, recruitment/retention, collaborative research, diversity and service,” and in 2015 I was awarded The Provost Award for Faculty Excellence in Global Learning for my teaching and research.

Since 2010, I have been a member of the Working Group on Emergent Indigenous Identities which has led to numerous grant, research, and teaching-related collaborations with scholars in Aboriginal and Maori Studies in Australia and New Zealand. I have served as writing tutor and mentor during several study tours for Indigenous graduate students in Australia and New Zealand sponsored by Supporting Indigenous Research Excellence and through FIRE: Forum for Indigenous Research Excellence of which I’m a member. I am on the editorial board for the new Journal of Global Indigeneity and am the treasurer of the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures.

In 2006 I was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend for my project “Remembering the Long Walk to Hwééldi: Diné Memorial Histories” which was awarded a commendation for fulfilling the Endowment’s “We the People” initiative. In 2001 I co-directed the NEH Summer Institute on American Indian Literature for high school teachers. I have regularly presented papers at the annual conferences of the Modern Language Association, the American Studies Association, the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS), the Native American Literature Symposium, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, and the Navajo Studies Conference.

I love living in Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s been an incredible place to watch our two daughters grow up. I went to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, as a would-be Biology/Pre-Med major. I turned into an English major who then completed a Masters in English at Washington University, St. Louis, and then a Ph.D. in English at The Ohio State University. I taught at four different universities in Ohio, Virginia, and Michigan before finally settling in Flagstaff just below the beautiful San Francisco Peaks, mountains held sacred to thirteen tribal nations in Arizona. I love spending time with my family, traveling, hiking, running, reading, cooking, and, of course, watching great movies and television.