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 100 002 (3) Indigenous Foundations
The historical, cultural, political, economic and legal issues that inform the experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada, examined from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives. Credit will be granted for only one of FNIS 100, FNSP 100, or FNSP 200.

~Prerequisite: none

ENGL 551B 001 (3) Studies in Literary Movements: Queer and Two-Spirit Indigenous Prose, Poetics, and Performance
This course considers the literature, artistic expressions, cultural contexts, and scholarship of Queer, LGBTQ2SI, and Two-Spirit Indigenous people. Drawing on deep Indigenous traditions and emergent expressions of gender and sexual diversity alike, and engaging Indigenous and intersectional feminisms, Indigenous cultural and political activism, queer/LGBT2SI and gender studies, and Indigenous Studies scholarship more broadly, we will undertake a deep engagement of the artistic interventions, complications, and provocations in this area through a focused consideration of creative works from across Turtle Island, especially in those lands currently known as Canada.

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.