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Julie L. Reed

Associate Professor


Professor Reed’s forthcoming book Serving the Nation: Cherokee Sovereignty and Social Welfare, 1800-1907 examines the shift by Cherokee people from a holistic system of care for others rooted within a matrilineal clan system and governed by local community obligations and clan responsibilities that stretched across towns to the rise of nationally administered social services by the Cherokee Nation to individual citizens.  This shift ultimately resulted in the creation of an orphanage, a prison, and a facility for the (dis)abled and mentally ill in the period after the Civil War.  Reed considers major turning points and the internal debates that led to changes in Cherokee social policy, how these changes in social policy both mirrored and deviated from changes happening in the larger United States, and how these institutions served to protect Cherokee sovereignty when allotment and Oklahoma statehood threatened.

Her next project reconsiders Cherokee educational history.  Instead of assuming Cherokee educational efforts begin with Christian missionaries and U.S. officials in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Reed roots education in older forms of knowledge transmission and a general belief among Cherokee people that every member of Cherokee society regardless of age or gender could learn from or  teach every other member of society.  Given the far more expansive and less rigid access to knowledge, Reed will consider how this system moved forward as both Cherokees and non-Cherokees offered new ideas about the purposes, accessibility, and goals of education.


PhD in American History, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2011

MA in American History, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2008

M.T.S. in Theological Studies, Perkins School of Theology-SMU, 2000

B.A. in English Literature, University of South Florida, 1998

Selected Publications

Serving the Nation: Cherokee Sovereignty and Social Welfare, 1800-1907 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, forthcoming April 2016)

Contact Information

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