Kathleen Brown-Pérez

Assistant Professor
301 Commonwealth Honors College Building, 157 Commonwealth Ave.
Curriculum Vitae


B.A., Augustana College; M.B.A., The University of Iowa; J.D., The University of Iowa

Area(s) of Specialization:

Federal Indian law and policy; tribal sovereignty; issues of colonization; Indigenous identity; federal acknowledgment of Indian tribes

Research Description:

Kathleen A. Brown-Perez is a faculty member in the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with an appointment in the Anthropology Department. In the Anthropology Department, she teaches the Senior Honors Thesis seminar “Conquest by Law: The Use of Law to Subjugate and Marginalize in the U.S.” In CHC, she teaches “Ideas the Change the World” and “Criminal Law and Justice.” She has a law degree and MBA from the University of Iowa and is licensed to practice in Arizona and Massachusetts. Previously a corporate attorney in Boston, Kathleen now limits her legal practice to consulting with law firms that are suing the federal government on behalf of tribes. A member of the Brothertown Indian Nation (Wisconsin), her research and publications focus on issues of federal Indian policy and law, including sovereignty, identity, and federal acknowledgment.

Key Publications:

2018 “‘An Inconvenient Truth’: The Use of Federal Policy to Erase American Indians, Indian Tribes, and Indigenous Heritage,” Heritage at the Interface: Interpretation and Identity. (ed. by Glenn Hooper). University of Florida Press.

2017 “Clearing the Landscape: The U.S. Government’s Ongoing Attempts to Remove Indigenous Peoples,” New Diversities, a special issue by guest editor Manuela Picq.

2013 “A Right Delayed: The Brothertown Indian Nation’s Story of Surviving the Federal Acknowledgment Process,” Recognition, Sovereignty Struggles, and Indigenous Rights in the United States: A Sourcebook. (ed. by Amy E. Den Ouden and Jean M. O’Brien). University of North Carolina Press.

2012 “‘A Reflection of Our National Character’: Structurally and Culturally Violent Federal Policies and the Elusive Quest for Federal Acknowledgment,” Landscapes of Violence.