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Mandy Suhr-SytsmaAssociate Teaching Professor


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Mandy Suhr-Sytsma is an associate teaching professor in the Department of English and a core faculty member in the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Emory University. Her interests include Indigenous literatures, children’s/young adult literatures, multiethnic literatures, and rhetoric/composition. She regularly teaches undergraduate literature courses and first-year writing courses with Indigenous studies themes.

Dr. Suhr-Sytsma’s research focuses primarily on Indigenous literatures of North America, especially literary representations of childhood, adolescence, gender, sexuality, activism, and artistic expression. Her first book, Self-Determined Stories: The Indigenous Reinvention of Young Adult Literature (Michigan State University Press, 2019), illuminates how Indigenous young adult literature radically revises YA genre conventions, boldly troubles discourses of diversity, and dynamically imagines Indigenous empowerment in the contemporary era. Her scholarship has also appeared in the journals Studies in the Novel, Studies in American Indian Literatures, Children's Literature, Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, Wíčazo Ša Review, and The Writing Center Journal.

In the community, Dr. Suhr-Sytsma has taught for Freedom University, and she often consults with local schools, museums, and libraries. She maintains an annotated list of books and resources on “Learning more about Native Nations,” geared toward K-12 teachers and families. View that resource and learn more about Dr. Suhr-Sytsma’s work at her website,


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  • B.A., Calvin College


  • M.A. and Ph.D., The University of Connecticut

Selected Publications

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“Decolonizing Desire: The Indigenous YA Erotics of Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Hearts   Unbroken.” Studies in the Novel 53.4 (2022): 312-332.

“‘It’s my time to talk’: The Point of Protest in Eric Gansworth’s YA Fiction.”Research on Diversity in Youth Literature 1.2, Article 9 (2019): 1-10.

“‘A General Has to See the Whole Field’: The Life-Giving Power of YA Fiction from Indigenous Canada.” Children’s Literature Association International Committee Blog. Oct 2018.

“Jeannette Armstrong’s Slash and the Indigenous Reinvention of Young Adult Literature.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 28.4 (2016): 25-52.

“The View from Crow Hill: An Interview with Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel.”Studies in American Indian Literatures 27.2 (2015): 80-95.

“Spirits from another Realm, Activists in their Own Right: The Figure of the Yankton/Romantic

Child in Zitkala-Ša’s Work.”Children’s Literature 42 (2014): 136-168.

“In the Light of Reverence and the Rhetoric of American Indian Religious Freedom: Negotiating Rights and Responsibilities in the Struggle to Protect Sacred Lands.”Wíčazo Ša Review 28.2 (Fall 2013): 60-86.

“Addressing the Everyday Language of Oppression in the Writing Center.” With co-author Shan-Estelle Brown. The Writing Center Journal 31.2 (2011): 13-49. Reprinted in The OxfordGuide for Writing Tutors (Oxford UP, 2015) and Landmark Essays in Contemporary Writing Center Studies (Routledge, 2020).