H&S Chairs & Directors

Theodore Van Alst

Theodore Van Alst

Associate Professor & Chair

Office: 203B
Email: theodore.vanalst@umontana.edu
Fax: 406.243.6432
Office Hours:

theodore.vanalst@umontana.edu


Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

Associate Professor and Chair, Native American Studies

Courses

Current Courses

NASX 235 – Oral and Written Traditions of Native Americans

NASX 360 – Native Americans and Cinema

NASX 304 – Native American Beliefs and Philosophy

NASX 340 – Native American Literature

NASX 105 – Introduction to Native American Studies

LIT 270 – Literature and Film

Personal Summary

Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. is Associate Professor and Chair of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. He is a former Assistant Dean and Director of the Native American Cultural Center at Yale University, and has been an Assistant Professor and Co-Chair of the Program in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut. His most recent work includes “Lapin Noir: To Del Rio It Went” in A Critical Companion to the Fiction of Stephen Graham Jones, ed. Billy J. Stratton from the University of New Mexico Press as well as the chapters “Navajo Joe,” and “The Savage Innocents,” in Seeing Red—Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins: American Indians and Film (2013), available from Michigan State University Press. His current book-length project is Spaghetti and Sauerkraut with a Side of Frybread, and his edited volume The Faster Redder Road: The Best UnAmerican Stories of Stephen Graham Jones was released in April 2015 by the University of New Mexico Press, who are also publishing a collection of his short stories in 2018. His fiction and photography have been published in Entropy, The Rumpus, Indian Country Today, The Raven Chronicles, and Yellow Medicine Review, among others. He has worked as a consultant on multiple projects for the Disney Channel as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered, and has recently appeared in multiple segments of the History Channel series Mankind the Story of All of Us. He has been interviewed by The Washington Post, Canadian Broadcast Corporation, Native America Calling, Smithsonian Magazine, and Al-Jazeera America Television on a variety of subjects, from Native representation and Tonto to Spaghetti Westerns, headdresses, and Twilight.

Education

Ph.D., Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies

University of Connecticut, 2008

Research Interests

Native American / American Indian Film and Literature, Native American / American Indian Studies, Film Noir, Spaghetti Westerns, Cinematic Adaptation, Hollywood Film.

Projects

Spaghetti and Sauerkraut with a Side of Frybread / Code Red: Revolution and American Indians in European Film

Field of Study

Native American / American Indian Literature, Native American / American Indian Film, Film Studies, Native American Studies.

Selected Publications

“Lapin Noir: To Del Rio It Went.” The Fictions of Stephen Graham Jones: A Critical Companion, ed. Billy J. Stratton. University of New Mexico Press, 2016.

“Pre-Contact Indigenous North America.” American Indian Health and Nursing, ed. Margaret Moss. New York, NY, Springer Publishing, 2015.

“Contemporary Indigenous Health Issues.” American Indian Health and Nursing, ed. Margaret Moss. New York, NY, Springer Publishing, 2015.

“Film in the Blood, Something in My Eye.” The Routledge Companion to Native American Literature, ed. Deborah L. Madsen. New York, N.Y., Routledge, 2015.

“Navajo Joe.” Seeing Red: Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins, eds. Denise Cummings, LeAnne Howe, & Harvey Markowitz. Michigan State University Press. 2013. 

“Savage Innocents (Quinn the Eskimo).” Seeing Red: Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins, eds. Denise Cummings, LeAnne Howe, & Harvey Markowitz. Michigan State University Press. 2013.

“Sherman Shoots Alexie: Working With and Without Reservation(s) in The Business of Fancydancing.” Visualities: Perspectives on Contemporary American Indian Film and Art, ed. Denise Cummings. Michigan State University Press, 2011. 

Publications

The Faster Redder Road: The Best UnAmerican Stories of Stephen Graham Jones Vol. 1, University of New Mexico Press (April 2015). 408 pp.

Honors

FELLOWSHIPS/SCHOLARSHIPS/HONORS

  • University Grant for research project Code Red: Revolution and American Indians in European Film. University of Montana, April 2015.
  • University of Maine at Presque Isle Educator of the Year, 2012
  • Provost’s Award for Excellence in Outreach and Public Engagement. University of Connecticut, 2007

Teaching Experience

Assistant Professor of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies

Co-Chair and Director of Graduate Studies for Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies

Departments of Modern and Classical Languages, English

University of Connecticut

2008—2010   

Indigenous Cinema Worldwide 

Introduction to Film Studies 

Film History

Classics of World Literature

Special Topics in Native American Film: Representation

Native American Literature

Literature and Other Disciplines

Native Women Writers and Activism: 1960-The Present

Lecturer / Instructor, University of Connecticut 2006-2008 Departments of Modern and Classical Languages, Anthropology, and English

Film Genre

Film History

Contemporary Native American Issues

Native American Literature

 

 

 

Professional Experience

Co-Editor, Creative Editor Transmotion. <https://journals.kent.ac.uk/index.php/transmotion>

Previous Positions

Assistant Dean

Director, Native American Cultural Center

Yale University

June 2010-August 2014

Lecturer, Yale School of Management, June 2013-August 2014

Director, Tribal Leadership Program Yale School of Management, June 2013-August 2014

Affiliations

CURRENT PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • Native American Literature Symposium
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association
  • The Literature/Film Association
  • Association for the Study of American Indian Literature
  • Western Literature Association

Past member:

  • American Comparative Literature Association
  • National Indian Education Association