Daniel Justice

Daniel Heath Justice is a Colorado-born Canadian citizen of the Cherokee Nation/ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ. He received his B.A. from the University of Northern Colorado and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before coming to UBC, he spent ten years as a faculty member in the Department of English at the University of Toronto in Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory, where he was also an affiliate of the Aboriginal Studies Program.

Daniel currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture at UBC on unceded Musqueam territory. His most recent book is Why Indigenous Literatures Matter, a literary manifesto about the way Indigenous writing works in the world. He is the author of Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History and numerous essays and reviews in the field of Indigenous literary studies, and he is co-editor of a number of critical and creative anthologies and journals, including the award-winning The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature (with James H. Cox) and Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature (with Qwo-Li Driskill, Deborah Miranda, and Lisa Tatonetti). Other writings include the animal cultural history Badger in the celebrated Animal series from Reaktion Books (UK) and the Indigenous epic fantasy novel, The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles.
Daniel’s current projects include Raccoon (also in Reaktion’s Animal Series), a collection of essays titled This Hummingbird Heart: Indigenous Writing, Wonder, and Desire, an edited collection on Indigenous land privatization and allotment co-edited with White Earth Ojibwe historian Jean M. O’Brien, and a long-gestating Indigenous steampunk novel.

Visit Daniel Justice’s website.

FNIS 400 (6) Practicum/Advanced Research Seminar
In FNIS 400, students will conduct an applied research/community oriented project designed and implemented in collaboration with student, faculty and Indigenous community organization. Emphasis on examining ethical issues and developing culturally respectful and academically rigorous forms of research. Credit will be granted for only one of FNIS 400 or FNSP 400. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
Prerequisite: Either (a) all of FNIS 310, FNIS 320 or (b) all of FNSP 310, FNSP 320. Students must pass FNIS 320 or FNSP 320 with a B- or higher or request program approval.
Instructor: Gaertner, David and Daniel Heath Justice
Term 1 and 2

FNIS 456 (3) Indigenous Two-Spirit and Queer Studies
In this course, students will learn about the cultural contexts, scholarship, literature, and artistic expressions of Queer, LGBTI, and Two-Spirited Indigenous people, both as an academic area of study and as lived experience and relationship.
Prerequisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220 or instructor permission.
Instructor: Justice, Daniel Heath
Term 2

For a full list of our course offerings and their instructors, please visit this page.

Areas of research interest: Cherokee intellectual history; Indigenous literary expression, intellectual sovereignty, and critical theory; Indigenous expressive culture; representations of race and sexuality in the literatures of the fantastic; cultural history of animals

  • Daniel’s current scholarship focuses on the role of Indigenous writing, art, and performance in expressing, transforming, and creating meaningful kinship relationships, especially between Indigenous peoples and the other-than-human world.
  • Academic projects in development include: a short monograph on why Indigenous literatures matter, a cultural history of raccoons, a study of other-than-human kinship in Indigenous literature and arts, and a new Indigenous fantasy series.
Selected Publications


Critical Work: Books

  • Why Indigenous Literatures Matter (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2018).
  • Badger (Reaktion Books, 2015).
  • The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature, co-edited with James H. Cox (Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History (University of Minnesota Press, 2006).


Critical Work: Essays

  • “The Boys Who Became the Hummingbirds.” Graphic story illustrated by Weyoshot Alvitre (Tongva). Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collective, Volume 2. Ed. Hope Nicholson, Alternate History Comics, 2017. 84-94. Winner of the 2018 Prism Award from Prism Comics and the Cartoon Arts Museum, Small to Midsize Press category..
  • “Tatterborn.” Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island. Eds. Sophie McCall, Deanna Reder, and David Gaertner, Wildrid Laurier UP, 2017. 327-336.
  • “Indigenous Writing,” The World of Indigenous North America, ed. Robert Warrior (Routledge, 2015).
  • “Indigenous Peoples’ Writing in Canada,” The Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature, ed. Ato Quayson (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • “‘To Look upon Thousands’: Cherokee Transnationalism, at Home and Abroad,” in The New Centennial Review 10.1 (Spring 2010).
  • “Notes Toward a Theory of Anomaly,” GLQ 16.1-2 (2010).
  • “‘Go away water!’: Kinship Criticism and the Decolonization Imperative,” in Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008).
  • “Renewing the Fire: Notes Toward the Liberation of English Studies,” in English Studies in Canada 29.1-2 (March/June 2003).
  • “We’re Not There Yet, Kemo Sabe: Positing a Future for American Indian Literary Studies” in American Indian Quarterly 25.2 (Spring 2001).


Creative Work

  • The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles, revised omnibus edition of the Way of Thorn and Thunder trilogy (KynshipWyrwood, and Dreyd, all published by Kegedonce Press in Canada), University of New Mexico Press, 2011.