Teresa Montoya (Diné) is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago where she holds a position in Native American and Indigenous Studies. She earned a PhD in Anthropology from New York University where she also completed a filmmaking certificate in Culture and Media. She earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Spanish from the University of San Diego and an M.A. in Museum Anthropology from the University of Denver.
Her manuscript project tentatively titled, Permeable: Diné Politics of Extraction and Exposure, approaches territorial dispossession and environmental toxicity as pervasive features of contemporary Indigenous life. Based on over 15 months of ethnographic research on the Navajo Nation, her research engages local modes of relating, both in its political and kinship imaginings, to understand the entanglements of checkerboard allotment, tribal jurisdiction, and regulatory failure among Diné communities of present-day northern Arizona and New Mexico. Themes of environmental contamination and settler colonialism interrogated in her writing are central to her ongoing media work in the mediums of photography and filmmaking. A curated selection of images from her current photographic projects are shared in this website.
Her academic, political, and personal commitments are centered in Diné Bikéyah, the home that she carries with her and the home to which she always returns.