Carolyn Dunn, PhD., is a wife, mother, daughter, poet, playwright, journalist, teacher, fiction writer, and catechist born in Southern California. She is an American Indian artist of Cherokee, Muskogee Creek, and Seminole descent on her father's side, and is Cajun, French Creole, and Tunica-Biloxi on her mother's. Primarily a poet and a playwright, she is also a former radio producer and host whose work appeared on National Native News and does voice-overs for film and television. She is the author of several books including Outfoxing Coyote and Coyote Speaks, and her play The Frybread Queen has been produced for the stage at Montana Repetory Theater in Missoula, Montana, and Native Voices at the Autry in Los Angeles.
Carolyn received her PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California (USC), her M.A. in American Indian Literature, Folklore & Mythology from UCLA and a BA from Humboldt State University. Her academic work has primarily focused on landscape in American Indian women's literature (poetry, prose, and drama), and urban American Indian identity formation in California. She has taught at Humboldt State University, Four Winds Indian School in Chico, California, and California Polytechnic State University, Pomona. She is the founding director (with Tina Toledo Rizzo) of the American Indian Theatre Collective. She is a member of the all woman Native drum group The Mankillers, whose cd's All Woman Northern Drum and Comin to Getcha! were released on Without Rez Records, and the indigenous rock band Red Hawk. In 2002, the group released a third cd, Killing You Softly, on their own label, MK Records, and arecurrently producing their fourth cd of traditional songs from their various tribes.
She lives with her husband, James Anderson (Choctaw) and their children in Northern California.
Working here at UCSC is a great opportunity for me to bridge my academic and my student support services experience, having worked for Upward Bound and Talent Search and Humboldt State and Cal Poly Pomona. I am so excited to be part of the American Indian Resource Center, as well as the other Ethnic Resource Centers, and look forward to strengthening our native community here on campus.