Portrait of Dr. Sarah Dees

Sarah Dees

  • Assistant Professor of American Religions
Dr. Sarah Dees is an ethnohistorian of religion, race, and culture in (and beyond) the United States. Her scholarship primarily focuses on the representation of Native American and Indigenous religions in political, scientific, and popular realms.

Her research and teaching areas include American religions; Indigenous religions; religion and museums; religion, race, and empire; method and theory in the study of religion; and religion, law, and politics


Contact Info

443 Catt Hall
2225 Osborn Drive


  • BA, Religious Studies and English (Creative Writing), University of Kansas, 2007
  • MA, Religious Studies and American Indian and Native Studies, University of Iowa, 2009
  • PhD, Religion in the Americas, Indiana University, 2015
  • Certificate, Museum Studies, Northwestern University, 2018

Previous Positions

2016-19 Luce Postdoctoral Fellow in Religion, Politics, and Global Affairs, Northwestern University
2014-16 Lecturer in American and Native American Religions, Department of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
2009-12 Associate Instructor, Indiana University, Bloomington

Awards and Honors

2020 Research Award, Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, Iowa State University
2020 Liberal Arts and Sciences Travel Award, Iowa State University
2019 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar, “Museums: Humanities in the Public Sphere” Summer Institute, Georgetown University, June 30 – July 28
2017-19 Participant, Young Scholars in American Religion program, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, IUPUI
2016-19 Luce Postdoctoral Fellowship in Religion, Politics, and Global Affairs, Northwestern University, Departments of Political Science and Religious Studies
2017 Digital Humanities Workshop, Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, to develop Indigenous Religions Meta-Archive (IRMA) project
2017 Undergraduate Research Assistant Program, Northwestern University, to hire research assistant for Indigenous Religions Meta-Archive (IRMA) project
2016 F. Stanley Lusby and John O. Hodges Teaching Award, Department of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee