Eli Nelson

Eli Nelson

Assistant Professor of American Studies

Schapiro Hall Rm 104


B.A. Shimer College, Natural Sciences (2012)
M.A. Harvard University, History of Science (2013)
Ph.D. Harvard University, History of Science (2018)

Areas of Expertise

Professor Nelson (Mohawk) teaches in American Studies and Science and Technology Studies. His current book manuscript, Sovereign Knowledge: Indigenous Epistemologies and Native Science in the United States Empire, traces the history of Indigenous scientific knowledge production across different national contexts and disciplines in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to the history of Native science, Professor Nelson works on critical Indigenous theory, as well as Indigenous science fiction and futurism, and gender and sexuality.

Scholarship/Creative Work


Nelson, Eli. “Native American Doctor: Or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Prior,” Cosmologics, Black/Brown/Queer Geographies and Temporalities (forthcoming).

Nelson, Eli. “Walking to the Future in the Steps of our Ancestors”: Haudenosaunee Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Queer Time in the Climate Change Era,” New Geographies 09: Posthuman (2017): 133–38.


Book Chapters

Nelson, Eli. “Kānaka Maoli Voyaging Technology and Geographies Beyond Colonial Difference,” in Terrance Keel, Ahmed Ragab, and Myrna Perez Sheldon (eds.), Critical Approaches to Science and Religion, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).

McMahon, Ryan, Charmaine Nelson, and Eli Nelson. “When Colonization Road Ends…,” in Pierre Bélanger (ed.), Extraction Empire: Sourcing the Scales, Systems, and States of Canada’s Global Resource Empire. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2018: 775-785.


Other Media

Nelson Eli. “Canoes in Space,” in Shireen Hamza (producer), Ventricles Podcast, Season 1, Ep. 5, 2018: https://ventricles.simplecast.fm/dc580fc6.

Professional Affiliations

Boardmember and Director of Fellowships, The Center for Black, Brown, and Queer Studies

Current Committees

  • Committee on Educational Affairs