Assistant Professor
Focuses on Pacific History, Transnational Feminism and Critical Indigenous Studies 

Humanities #101

Kirisitina (Kiri) Sailiata earned her PhD and MA in American Culture from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and her BA in American Studies from Macalester College. She is at work on her first book project entitled “The Making of Samoa Amelika” which examines the formation of American Samoa as a territory and attending U.S. citizenship debates in the early 20th century. Her recent and forthcoming publications trace the history of transnational Native Pacific feminist movements, fishing rights, anti-nuclear activism, citizenship debates, and Pacific memory. Sailiata currently teaches courses on contemporary Indigenous visual culture, environmental justice, Indigenous politics, law and social movements with an emphasis on the Pacific Islands region. 

She is currently a project co-lead for the 2022-24 Macalester Mellon Humanities for All Time institutional grant which emphasizes community-engaged research and pedagogies with and along the Mississippi River. Sailiata has also served as a consultant for museum exhibitions including “The Fabric of Community” hosted by the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. 

As a Macalester alum, Sailiata was one of the first graduating cohorts in the Department of American Studies. She is a mentor and resource to students beyond the classroom and department through a range of programs and organizations emphasizing graduate school preparation; media justice, environmental justice, and climate justice; and multidisciplinary community-engaged projects. 

You can find more updates on her scholarship, teaching and more at