Jennifer Nez Denetdale, professor of American Studies at The University of New Mexico, will be honored at the sixth annual Community Engaged Research Lecture. The annual event is one of the highest honors UNM can bestow on a faculty member in recognition of their community engaged research and creative activity.


The virtual event will be held via Zoom on Thursday, April 8 at 5 p.m. Participants must register for the event. The full program is here.

As part of the honor, Denetdale will discuss Dikos Ntsaaígíí  ΜΆ Building the Perfect Human to Invade: A Diné Feminist Analysis of the Pandemic and the Navajo Nation.

"The Research Policy Committee selected Dr. Denetdale for this honor based on her innovative and truly impressive history of scholarship on the social, political, and historical contexts of the struggle for women's and LGBTQ+ equality in Navajo communities. Her scholarship has had direct impacts on the advancement of human rights in indigenous communities, truly epitomizing the model of effective Community Engaged Research," said Melissa Emery Thompson, who chairs the committee.

Denetdale grew up in Tohatchi, a Navajo community 25 miles north of Gallup. As the first-ever Diné/Navajo to earn a Ph.D. in history, Denetdale is a strong advocate for Native peoples and strives to foster academic excellence in the next generation of students interested in Indigenous Studies. A professor of American Studies, she teaches courses in Critical Indigenous Studies, Indigenous gender and sexuality, Indigenous feminisms and gender, and Navajo Studies. She is also the author of Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita and a book for young adults, The Long Walk: The Forced Exile of the Navajo. In 2017, she was awarded the UNM Presidential Award of Distinction.

The annual Community Engaged Lecture Award recognizes exceptional scholarly work that embodies UNM’s commitment to community engagement and profoundly and systematically affects the relationship between the university and the larger community in a positive and meaningful way.

For more information, visit Community Engaged Research Lecture.