The American Studies Program is pleased to welcome Dr. Kasey Jernigan to our faculty. Dr. Jernigan will be starting as an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Anthropology, with a joint appointment in both programs, in Fall 2019. Her hire was in the field of Contemporary Native North American Studies, and was part of a cluster hire on Race and Inequality sponsored by the Provost's Office.
Previously, Kasey Jernigan was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Native American Studies at Wesleyan University in the American Studies Department. Her work focuses on obesity, identity, and cultural uses of food among Oklahoma tribes. Using collaborative and participatory research methods, her research examines the socio-cultural, economic, political, and historical influences of health, while centering tribal citizens’ personal stories and meaning-making in these processes. In her current manuscript project, Embodied Heritage: Commod Bods and Indian Identities, Dr. Jernigan examines the ways shifting patterns of participation in food and nutrition assistance programs have shaped Indigenous foodways; how these foodways are linked to Indigenous bodies and health; and how foodways and bodies are intertwined with structural violence, identity, and heritage. Dr. Jernigan’s research has received support from numerous institutions, including the Ford Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the USDA’s Economic Research Service through Purdue University’s RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies, and the Northwest Native American Research Center for Health funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She received her PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a Graduate Certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies. She also holds an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and completed the NIH Native Researchers’ Certificate Program at Oregon Health & Sciences University. She is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.