University Press of Kansas Launches New Academic Series Focused on Indigenous Studies

The University Press of Kansas (UPK) is excited to launch The Lyda Conley Series on Trailblazing Indigenous Futures. Using Conley’s extraordinary life and work as a framework, this series features Indigenous trailblazers of the past, present, and future and promotes new scholarship in Native American and Indigenous studies that intersects with themes including gender and sexuality, sovereignty, education, and law, as well as literature, culture, activism, public history, and beyond.

Named in honor of Eliza “Lyda” Burton Conley (c. 1868–1946), this new series will strive to elevate women and gender in Indigenous studies and use the lives, work, and futures of Indigenous women as a springboard for analysis and scholarship. Conley spent much of her life carving new pathways to protect her Wyandot community and ancestors in Kansas. She pursued a law degree and became the first Native American woman to argue a case in front of the US Supreme Court, arguing to prevent the sale and desecration of the Huron Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas. Conley’s life as an inspiring trailblazer for Native peoples and for women serves as an inspiration to the series, which will promote and explore the issues of gender and sexuality in Native American and Indigenous studies.

While the primary audience for this series is professional scholars and undergraduate and graduate students, there will be a special emphasis placed on books that are accessible and appealing to general readers as well. The Lyda Conley Series will also emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of Native American and Indigenous Studies, and its books will be relevant and useful for scholars and others interested in history, Indigenous studies, political science, law, women and gender studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, critical race, religious studies, education studies, museum studies and public history, literature, sociology, and anthropology.

Farina King, Kiara Vigil, and Tai S. Edwards will serve as series editors and David Congdon will serve as acquiring editor. UPK plans to have books in the series by 2024.

“In addition to showcasing the important works in Indigenous studies that Kansas is already publishing, we were motivated by the need to address a lack of attention to gender and sexuality in older works in this field, which were often written by men and about men as a matter of course,” says Congdon, UPK senior editor. “While we at the Press have worked with Farina and Tai because of their previous books with us, I interacted with the three of them more closely thanks to the Kansas Open Books project. Kiara wrote a foreword to one of the books in that project, and then I organized a public webinar on Native and Indigenous Studies with all three of them. The conversation that began with the webinar was the genesis of the series.”

Dr. Farina King (Diné) is the Horizon Chair in Native American Ecology and Culture and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Kiara M. Vigil (Dakota/Apache) is associate professor of American Studies at Amherst College.

Dr. Tai S. Edwards is associate professor of history at Johnson County Community College.­

For more information, please contact UPK marketing director Derek Helms (