Professor Melissa Tatum Named a Udall Center Fellow

Tatum among four UA faculty members selected for 2017-18

Alejandra Cardenas Cuestas

Melissa TatumThe Udall Center Fellows Program named Research Professor of Law Melissa Tatum as one of four faculty members selected for the 2017-18 cohort. The program, entering its 28th year, offers fellows a semester off from standard teaching, allowing for creative policy-relevant scholarship and pursuit of funds.  

Tatum has dedicated her career to studying how law and culture in indigenous communities relate to cultural aspects of heritage, knowledge, appropriation and property. Her work bridges the intersection of law, socio-legal studies, anthropology, intellectual property, environmental and natural resource protection, public lands and religion.

“I was thrilled and honored to learn I had been selected as a Fellow,” said Tatum. “I have admired the work of the Udall Center and the Native Nations Institute for years, and I am looking forward to this opportunity.”

As a fellow, Tatum will work on “Spaces of Indigenous Justice” as a project. “Essentially its premise is that human rights and adversarial litigation are often not the best approach to seeking justice for Indigenous people,” she said. “Instead, the project seeks to use interdisciplinary methods, including involving indigenous people and communities as partners in the planning process, to develop more effective methods of achieving justice.”

Additional fellows selected for the program are Brian Mayer, associate professor in the School of Sociology; Susan Swanberg, associate professor in the School of Journalism; and Valerie Trouet, associate professor in the College of Science and the Laboratory for Tree-Ring Research.

The Udall Center has hosted 144 University of Arizona faculty fellows from 42 departments and centers in 10 colleges in the last 28 years, encouraging scholarly work from all disciplines and enriching policy dialogues on and off-campus.