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James A Owen

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Assistant Director, Institute of Native American Studies
Academic Professional

James Owen is Instructor of US History and Native American Studies and Assistant Director of UGA's Institute of Native American Studies. He advises INAS certificate students and the Native American Student Association (NASA). His interdisciplinary work engages indigenous language revitalization, ethnomusicology, ethnobotany, and ethnozoology, as well as American religious history. His research focuses on indigenous-language translations of Christian hymns and biblical narratives from the seventeenth through the early nineteenth century. His work demonstrates that knowledge shared in multi-ethnic mission communities shaped evangelical Christianity. He has held fellowships with the Newberry Library, the American Musicological Society, and the UGA Graduate School. James has worked as a research assistant for Claudio Saunt (Unworthy Republic, West of the Revolution and the Invasion of America interactive digital history map) and Rebecca Nagle (Cherokee Nation journalist,This Land podcast and forthcoming book). Dr. Owen's publications include Community & Place, Ethnicity, Indigeneity, and Globalization (textbook 2020) and the book chapter, "Come Holy Spirit, Lord God: The Holy Ghost in the Cherokee Mountains" in Seeking Home: Marginalization and Representation in Appalachian Literature and Song. 



 Ph.D. US & Caribbean History/ Native American Studies, University of Georgia. Dissertation title: “’To Kindle a Flame of Sacred Love’: German Hymnody Among Arawaks, Cherokees, and Jamaican Slaves, 1738-1838.” Advisor: Claudio Saunt. 2019. 

M.A. US History/ Cherokee Studies, Western Carolina University. Advisor: Andrew Denson. 2012. 

Apprenticeship in Publishing, University of Georgia Press, Acquisitions and Manuscript editorial staff assistant. May – July, 2019. 

Apprenticeship in Printmaking, 16th-20th century techniques & materials. Hand-Cranked Letter Press, Lark Books, Asheville, NC. Lance Willie. 2003-2006. 

Journeyman Mason, architectural ceramics, Kossler Architectural Ceramics, Asheville, NC. Heinz Kossler. 1998-2003. 

B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies: Art, Music, and Culture. Appalachian State University. 1996. 

Events featuring James A Owen

Dr James Owen, Assistant Director of UGA's Institute of Native American Studies, will discuss the purpose of a land acknowledgement and why these statements are important, especially at an institution like UNG, which played a particular role in the dispossession of Cherokee Nation in teh early 19th century. Land acknowledgements are not about placing blame on Euro…

Tate Student Center Intersection Room

Join us for a talk and discussion on being a Native ally sponsored by UGA's Native American Student Association and the Institute of Native American Studies.

Being an ally of Native peoples takes more than just being interested in Native American people, more than just being a friend to Native peoples, and more than simply supporting Native activism and…

Miller Learning Center, Room 207

Calling all outdoor enthusiasts! Dr. James Owen will be presenting a talk titled "Indigenous Landscapes: Past and Present" on the Southeast and how to be mindful of the history of the land we explore outdoors.

Join us to hear about the settler colonialism that lead to present day "wilderness areas" while learning how to stop perpetuating it.


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