Billy J. Stratton

Professor of American Literature and Culture; Native American Studies, University of Denver

Dr. Billy J. Stratton is an associate professor in the Department of English where he teaches contemporary Native American and American literature, poetics, film studies, and writing. His critical, creative, and editorial work focuses on contemporary American literature and culture and Native literary studies. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous books and journals including Oxford University Press, Arizona Quarterly, The Journal of American Culture, Wicazo-Sa Review, Studies in American Indian Literature, Rhizomes, Salon, and TIME.

Stratton's first book, 'Buried in Shades of Night' (2013), addresses Native American experience within the context of the Indian captivity narrative genre, King Philip's War, and colonial American history. His latest projects include a critical assessment of the “fictions” of Stephen Graham Jones, which is now available from the University of New Mexico Press (2016), as well as a work of fiction set in Appalachian coal country--an excerpt from which, "Mending the Centaur," was published in Cream City Review (39:1, 2015), with another forthcoming in the journal, Big Muddy.

He has been instrumental in efforts to create dialogue at DU around the issue of the Sand Creek Massacre, and has edited and published several works on that theme. Additionally, he serves at DU as Special Advisor on Native American Partnerships and Programs.



  • –present
    Associate professor of English, University of Denver


  • 2008 
    University of Arizona, PhD American Indian Studies, English Minor
  • 2002 
    Miami University, BA English and Philosophy


  • 2016
    "The Sand Creek Massacre Took Place More Than 150 Years Ago. It Still Matters", TIME
  • 2016
    A Critical Companion to the Fictions of Stephen Graham Jones, University of New Mexico Press
  • 2016
    "Remembering U.S. Soldiers Who Refused to Kill Native Americans at Sand Creek" , US News & World Report
  • 2015
    “‘Carried in the Arms of Standing Waves:’ The Transmotional Aesthetics of Nora Marks Dauenhauer” , Transmotion
  • 2015
    Chapter: “‘You have liberty to return to your own country:’ Tecumseh, Myth and the Mediation of Native Sovereignty” , Mediating Indianness
  • 2015
    Chapter: “Reading Through Peoplehood: Towards a Culturally Responsive Approach to Native American Literature and Oral Tradition” , Twenty-First Century Perspectives on Indigenous Studies: Native North America in (Trans)motion
  • 2015
    “Evocations of Survivance: Native Storiers in Word and Image in Remembrance of Sand Creek” , Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life
  • 2014
    Our Thanksgiving Responsibility: Native Americans, Honest History and the Simple Power of Remembrance" , Salon
  • 2014
    “Everything depends on reaching the coast:” Inscriptions of Placelessness in John Hillcoat’s adaptation of The Road” , Arizona Quarterly
  • 2013
    “‘A Reservation Hero is a Hero Forever:’ Basketball, Irony, and Humor in the Novels of James Welch, Sherman Alexie, and Stephen Graham Jones” , Native Games: Indigenous Peoples and Sports in the Post-Colonial World
  • 2013
    Buried in Shades of Night: Contested Voices, Indian Captivity, and the Legacy of King Philip's War, University of Arizona Press
  • 2012
    “Deterritorialization, Pure War, and the Consequences of Indian Captivity in Transnational Colonial Discourse” , Rhizomes
  • 2011
    “‘el brujo es un coyote:’ Taxonomies of Trauma in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian” , Arizona Quarterly