Michelene E. Pesantubbee

Professor Michelene E. Pesantubbee
Associate Professor, American Indian Native Studies
PhD, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, 1994
312 Gilmore Hall
Office Hours: 
Tues/Thurs 1-2:20pm & by appt. (Fall 2018)
Curriculum Vitae: 

Dr. Pesantubbee joined the University of Iowa faculty in 2003.

Her research program focuses on Native American religious change spanning the period from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.  She is particularly interested in how contact experiences with European and European Americans affected Native American religious practices and Native women’s lives. Her published articles and book chapters examine Native American religious movements that arise in response to colonization.  Her book on Choctaw Women in a Chaotic World examines how contact experiences with the French and British led to significant changes in Choctaw women’s lives.  Her current projects address issues of gender and misrepresentation of Cherokee religious practices in the nineteenth century.  She is also working on a book-length project on the Shawnee movement of 1805-1812.

Research Interests: 
Native American Religious Practice, Religion and Gender, Religion and Violence
Selected Publications: 

(For complete list, please view Dr. Pesantubbee's CV):

  • Choctaw Women in a Chaotic World. Albuquerque:University of New Mexico Press, 2005.
  • “Beyond Domesticity: Choctaw WomenNegotiating the Tension Between Choctaw Culture and Protestantism with new Introduction” in Native Women’s History in Eastern North America before 1900, eds. Rebecca Kugel and Lucy Elerveld Murphy, University of Nebraska, 2007.
  • “Wounded Knee:  Symbol of Resistance and Recovery,” in Recovering Memory: Exposing Religion, Violence, and the Remembrance of Place, eds. Oren Baruch Stier and J. Shawn Landres, University of Indiana Press, 2006.
  • “Religious Studies on the Margins: Decolonizing Our Minds,” in Native Voices: American Indian Identity and Resistance, eds. Richard A. Grounds, George E. Tinker, and David E. Wilkins, University of Kansas Press, 2003.
  • “From Vision to Violence: The Wounded Knee Massacre.”  In Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence, Syracuse University Press, 2000.
  • "When the Earth Shakes:  The Cherokee Prophecies of 1811-12," American Indian Quarterly 17, 3 (Summer 1993):  301-17.
Courses Taught: 

Dr. Pesantubbee regularly teaches courses on Native American religious history and religious freedom issues as well as courses on religion and violence in America.  All Native American courses are cross-listed in American Indian Native Studies Program and Religious Studies.

  • 032:060 (149:060) Intro to Native American Religious Traditions
  • RELS:3976 (149:076) American Indian Environmentalism
  • 032:139 Religion and Violence in America
  • 032:158 (149:158; 131:159) Native American Women and Religious Change
  • RELS:2064 Tricksters, Fools, and Creators
Awards, Honors and Grants: 
  • Program Coordinator, American Indian and Native Studies Program, August 2009 to Present; July 2006 to August 2008.
  • Research Fellowship, Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, 2001-02.
  • Member, Program Committee, American Academy of Religion, January 2008 to Present.
  • Executive Secretary, American Academy of Religion, December 2004 to December 2007.
  • Board Member, Women’s Resource and Action Center, January 2007 to Present.