Department of Ethnic Studies - College of Letters and Science - University of California, Berkeley

People / Graduate Students


Jen Smith

Alaska Native Studies, Northern and Arctic Studies, Human Geography, Native American Literature


Bio & Research Interests

Jen Smith (Eyak, Alaska Native) is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Ethnic Studies. Jen's dissertation "Indeterminate Natures: Making Land, Race, and Indigeneity in Alaska," examines the production of ambiguity in Alaska and the Arctic. She traces key historical and modern articulations of land, race, and indigeneity as the terms are co-constituted and remade as "indeterminate" through multiple material, institutional, and cultural practices that shape material landscapes and inform indigenous politics in Alaska and the Arctic. 

Jen completed her undergraduate degree in English with an emphasis in Literature and the Environment at the University of Alaska Southeast, and received her master's degree in Comparative Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. She is a recipient of the UC Berkeley Chancellor's Fellowship, an awardee of the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, and a Graduate Fellow with the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues.


Thomas Biolsi, Jake Kosek (Geography), Beth Piatote
Shari Huhndorf