Dr. Sandra Muse Isaacs
Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature
Professor of Indigenous Literature Sandra Muse Isaacs is of Eastern Cherokee descent (Ani-tsisqua, Bird Clan) and Gaelic heritage (Clan MacRae).
An alumnus of the University of Windsor (BA, English; MA, English and Creative Writing), Dr. Muse Isaacs grew up on the west side of Detroit. She remains deeply connected to the region and is honoured to once again live and work in the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe Peoples, of the Three Fires Confederacy.
Dr. Muse Isaacs holds a PhD in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University, where she was the first recipient and a four-time awardee of the Harvey Longboat Graduate Scholarship for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students.
Dr. Muse Isaacs previously taught Indigenous Literature at Saint Mary’s University in Mi’kmaq’i (homelands of the Mi’kmaq people), McMaster, and Laurier-Brant (both Haudenosaunee territory). She has also taught Native journalism courses at Western University (Anishinaabe, Leni-Lunaape, and Haudenosaunee lands).
Muse Isaacs’s research encompasses Indigenous Literature and critical theory, Indigenous oral storytelling, Orality theory, Oral Histories, Creative Writing, and Post-Colonialism. Her work examines the parallels between Indigenous oral traditions and their Earth-connected teachings. Dr. Muse Isaacs notes that much of Indigenous literature is based on ancient oral stories foundational to more than 500 nations/tribes throughout Turtle Island (North America). She is also interested in the interstices of Cherokee society and that of early Scottish settlers, along with the parallels between Indigenous cultures here and ancient Gaelic culture.
Dr. Muse Isaacs’s first book, Eastern Cherokee Stories: A Living Oral Tradition and Its Cultural Continuance, will be released in fall 2019 through the University of Oklahoma Press. The work documents and examines Eastern Cherokee Oral Tradition as both an ancient and contemporary literary form with emphasis on cultural survivance, nationhood, Indigenous resistance, and tribal sovereignty, along with its modern usage in land reclamation, cultural regeneration, and language revitalization.