Professor J. Kēhaulani Kauanui joins the Department of Anthropology and the Effron Center for the Study of America

April 1, 2024

With great excitement, we welcome Professor J. Kēhaulani Kauanui to Princeton University. Kauanui is jointly appointed with the Department of Anthropology and the Effron Center for the Study of America. She is a groundbreaking scholar who specializes in Indigenous Studies and is joining the University as the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Professor of Indigenous Studies, effective July 1.

Kauanui comes to Princeton from Wesleyan University, where she has taught since 2000, most recently as a full professor in American Studies and affiliate faculty in anthropology. She served as director of Wesleyan’s Center for the Americas from 2017 to 2019 and was the founding director of the school’s Indigenous Studies Research Network. She was an inaugural council member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.

Kauanui has published two pathbreaking monographs, “Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Indigeneity and Sovereignty” and “Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty: Land, Sex, and the Colonial Politics of State Nationalism,” and she is working on a third, “A Question of Decolonization: Hawaiian Indigeneity and the Dilemma of Feminism.”

Kauanui has edited six books or collections and co-edits a book series called “Critical Indigeneities” for the University of North Carolina Press. She recently guest-edited a special issue of Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies, “The Politics of Indigeneity, Anarchist Praxis, and Decolonization.” She serves on the editorial boards of the journals AGITATE!, American Indian Quarterly, and Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being, and has co- and guest-edited special issues of journals such as Pacific Studies, The Contemporary Pacific, and Cultural Anthropology. A leading public intellectual, she has published articles in The Guardian UK, Mississippi Review, The Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Star Bulletin, and Hawaii Island Journal.

She recently received the American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western History Association. Among her many other honors, she is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society, and the American Studies Association and Organization of American Historians have both appointed her to their distinguished speakers programs. She was a Fulbright scholar in New Zealand in 1994-95.

Kauanui has received research fellowships from the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History, the National Science Foundation and the Rockefeller Archives Center, among others. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of California-Santa Cruz and a B.A. from the University of California-Berkeley.

In Professor Kauanui’s words, “I’m excited to be part of both the renowned anthropology department and the new Effron Center with its focus on cutting edge interdisciplinary scholarship -- and especially thrilled as part of a campus-wide initiative to build Native American and Indigenous studies. It is a great honor to join the faculty at Princeton.”

We eagerly look forward to engaging with Professor J. Kēhaulani Kauanui and learning from her timely and powerful work in the years to come.

Kehaulani Kauanui Images


J.Kehaulani Kauanui Images


J.Kehaulani Kauanui Images


J.Kehaulani Kauanui Images