Dr. Caitlin Keliiaa, Assistant Professor of History and Feminist Studies
Assistant Professor of History and Feminist Studies

Ph.D., Ethnic Studies

Professor Caitlin “Katie” Keliiaa is an Indigenous Feminist Historian focused on Native American experiences in the Western Pacific region. She earned a B.A. in Native American Studies and Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley; an M.A., American Indian Studies from UCLA; and Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley in 2019. She explores the intersections of race, gender, and ethnicity and their historical consequences. As a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor of History and Feminist Studies at UC Santa Scuz, her scholarship centers Native agency and community engaged research. She draws from interdisciplinary fields and a variety of methodologies, including qualitative data analysis, digital humanities, oral history, in-depth interviews and archival research. 

Her current project, “Unsettling Domesticity: Native Women and 20th-Century Federal Indian Policy in the San Francisco Bay Area,” examines labor history adn dispossession that continues the U.S. project of settler colonialism, genocide, and surveillance of Native bodies. Specifically, this project examines how Native women domestic workers negotiated and challenged the Bay Area Outing Program. It focuses on how Native girls and women were able to create communities, access education, and leave the situations they were forced to be in. Native women’s voices, uncovered from federal archives, are the heart of her study. This project has been supported by competitive grants from the Ford Foundation, The American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Indian Graduate Center, among other organizations.