Professor David Stirrup

Professor of American Literature and Indigenous Studies,
Director of Research & Innovation
+44 (0) 1227 823440
Professor David Stirrup


David Stirrup completed his PhD at the University of Leeds in 2003 and came to Kent the following year. His research interests in Indigenous Studies focus primarily on Native North American literature and visual art. He is particularly interested in the relationship between literary and artistic production; in the intersection of politics and aesthetics; and in the legal, political, and theoretical debates over cultural and political sovereignty, indigeneity, and post-Imperial Britain’s responsibilities to the peoples it made treaties with during the colonial era.

He is the author of two monographs (Louise Erdrich, Manchester UP, 2010; and Visuality and Visual Sovereignty in Contemporary Anishinaabe Literature, Michigan State UP, 2019), and has co-edited five volumes of essays and four special journal issues on subjects ranging from culture and the Canada-US Border to Native Americans in the European Imaginary. David is also co-founder and co-editor of the online, open access journal Transmotion, hosted by the University of Kent, which prioritises contemporary, innovative Indigenous writing.

From 2012-2015 David was PI on the Leverhulme-Trust funded network “Culture and the Canada-US Border” with Dr Gillian Roberts (University of Nottingham) and a number of collaborators from the UK, US, and Canada. Since 2017 he has been PI on the AHRC-funded “Beyond the Spectacle: Native North American Presence in Britain” with Prof. Jacqueline Fear-Segal (UEA) and Prof. Coll Thrush (UBC). This project runs until summer 2020.

In 2019 he launched a new Centre for Indigenous and Settler Colonial Studies at the University of Kent, drawing on a broad network of institutions in the UK, US, and Canada. This is the first Centre of its kind in the UK.  

Research interests

  • Indigenous Studies
  • Native North American literature and visual art
  • Indigenous mobilities
  • Cultural Rhetorics
  • Alternative Literacies
  • Border Studies
  • Settler Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
  • The Canada-US Border
  • Indigeneity and the Far Right
  • Indigeneity and the UN
  • Contemporary African American and Black Canadian writing
  • American Literature of the 20th and 21st centuries. 


To date David has supervised projects at MRes and PhD levels on Native American literature, Asian American literature, Mapuche activism in Chile, the contemporary Short Story Sequence, Violence in American Literature, and cultural encounter in the early Colonial Americas. He is interested in receiving proposals for projects in any of the areas under ‘Research Interests’ above.   


  • Member of the British Association for American Studies
  • Member of the British Association for Canadian Studies
  • Committee/founder member of the Native Studies Research Network UK
  • Member of the Association for Studies in American Indian Literature
  • Member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. 
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