Timothy Powell

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Senior Lecturer
Contact Information
Office Address: 
213 Cohen Hall
Email Address: 
Office Hours: 
By appointment

Dr. Timothy Powell is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies and a Consulting Scholar at the Penn Museum.  He directs EPIC (Educational Partnerships with Indigenous Communities) through the Penn Language Center.  He serves on the advisory board for the Native American and Indigenous Studies initiative, the Penn Program for Environmental Humanities, and the governing board for the Price Lab for the Digital Humanities.  He also serves as a consulting scholar to the American Philosophical Society’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR), which he founded.  He has been awarded more than $3 million in grant funding to support the digital repatriation of archival documents to the Indigenous communities where these materials originated.  It is his great honor to count among his teachers elders from the Ojibwe, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Tuscarora Nation, and the Six Nations of Grand River.

Research and Teaching Interests: 

Native American Religions
Digital Humanities
Archival Activism

Selected Publications: 

"Digital Knowledge Sharing: Forging Partnerships between Scholars, Archives, and Indigenous Communities,” Museum Anthropology Review, vol. 10 no. 2, 2016, 66-89.  Available on-line at: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/mar/article/view/20269

Lyz Jaakola and Timothy B. Powell, “’The Songs are Alive’: Bringing Frances Densmore’s Recordings Back Home to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College,” Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation, ed. Frank Gunderson, forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2018.

 “Encoding Culture: Building a Digital Archive Based on Traditional Ojibwe Codes of Conduct,” written by Timothy B. Powell and inspired by Larry Aitken, The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age, eds. Amy Earhart and Andrew Jewell (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2011).  Also available on the DigitalCulturalBooks online imprint from University of Michigan Press: The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age

Work in Progress: 

Dr. Powell is currently writing grants to support his work with EPIC in partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Tuscarora Nation, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, and the Deyohahá:ge: Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Six Nations Polytechnic

Recent Courses: 

RELS 246 “Spirituality in the Age of Global Warming”
RELS 208 / ANTH 282 / CINE 282 "A History of Films By and About Native Americans"

Brief Biography: 

Tim Powell in a New Englander whose family has lived in the Connecticut River Valley in western Massachusetts for many generations.  He received his doctorate from Brandeis University in American Studies and has since changed fields from literature to cultural anthropology to religious studies, all of which are encompassed by Native American and Indigenous Studies.  He is devoted to his wife, Eve Troutt Powell, and his two sons Jibreel and Gideon.  His favorite quote is from James Baldwin: “God gave Noah the rainbow sign / No more water, the fire next time.”

Curriculum vitae: 
Beyond the Binary
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Ruthless Democracy
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The Singing Bird
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