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Sarah Dees

Visiting Assisting Professor, Department of Religious Studies

Sarah Dees is a scholar of American and Indigenous religious history and culture. She received her PhD from Indiana University in 2015. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled The Materialization of Native American Religions: Cultural Science in an Era of Assimilation, which is based on her dissertation “The Scientific Study of Native American Religions, 1879-1903.” This project describes the history and legacy of government-funded research on Native American religions, arguing that academic discourse on Indigenous religion has justified legal restrictions on Native American religious practices. Additional areas of interest include the commodification and appropriation of religion, popular culture, science and healing, materiality, and contemporary museum practices. Dr. Dees is a part of the Politics of Religion at Home and Abroad project at Northwestern.
Dr. Dees has taught courses on Indigenous religions, race and religion in America, religion in museums, and religious freedom and discrimination. At Northwestern, Dr. Dees will be teaching REL 260: Introduction to Native American Religion (Winter 2017).
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