Scholar Tiya Miles is Awarded $500,000

Tiya Miles, associate professor, American Culture, Afroamerican & African Studies, History, Native American Studies, University of Michigan, works in her office and the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan Photo Credit: Courtesy the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named 22 new MacArthur Fellows for 2011. Among them is public historian Tiya Mills. Other individuals who were identified work across a broad spectrum: an architect, a sports medicine researcher, a cellist, a developmental biologist, a radio producer, a neuropathologist, a conservator, a poet, and a technologist. They were selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.

According to Robert Galluci, president of the MacArthur Foundation, “The MacArthur Fellows exemplify how individual creativity and talent can spark new insights and ideas in every imaginable field of human endeavor.”

Tiya Miles, 41, is a professor in the Department of History professor and chair of the Department of Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Through her work, she:

“… explores the complex interrelationships between African and Cherokee people living and working in colonial America. In her first book, Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom (2005), Miles details the life of Cherokee farmer and celebrated warrior Shoe Boots … In prose that is reflective, precise, and insightful, Miles challenges folklore and mythology surrounding early Afro-Indian communities while also illustrating a broader tangle of intricate personal intimacies, sovereign allegiances, and ancestral tensions.”

Tiya Miles received an A.B. (1992) from Harvard University, an M.A. (1995) from Emory University, and a Ph.D. (2000) from the University of Minnesota. She holds additional appointments in the program in American culture, the Native American studies program, and the department of women’s studies.


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