Area of Study
Email Address

Seth Schermerhorn specializes in the interdisciplinary study of Native American and Indigenous Peoples and traditions, particularly in the southwestern United States and beyond. Although Schermerhorn has worked with several Indigenous Peoples, he works most extensively with the Tohono O'odham Nation in southern Arizona and northern Sonora. Schermerhorn teaches classes on Indigenous lifeways, Indigenous Knowledge, Native American religious freedom, pilgrimage, global Christianities, and method & theory.

Recent Courses Taught

Indigenous Lifeways
Global Christianities
Sacred Journeys
Native American Religious Freedom
Indigenous Ecologies
Senior Project Seminar
Introduction to Native American Studies
Native American Spiritualities
American Pilgrimages


Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society
Phillips Fund for Native American Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society
Jacobs Research Funds Individual Grant
Upstate-Global Collective Working Group Grants from the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium, from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Class of 1963 Faculty Fellowship
Wellin Museum Grant for Innovative Teaching
Faculty Research & Innovation Award from the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center
The Steven B. Sands ’80 Faculty Innovation Fund

Selected Publications


  • “‘O’odham, Too’: Or, How to Speak to Rattlesnakes,” Native American Rhetoric, edited by Lawrence W. Gross (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2021), 103-126.
  • Through Indigenous Eyes: A Comparison of Two O’odham Photographic Collections Documenting Pilgrimages to Magdalena,” Religious Studies and Theology: Interdisciplinary Studies in Religion, 36:1 (2017), 21-54. Co-authored with Lillia McEnaney ’17.
  • “Global Indigeneity and Local Christianity: Performing O’odham Identity in the Present,” Handbook of Indigenous Religion(s), edited by Greg Johnson and Siv Ellen Kraft, 192-203. Leiden: Brill, 2017.
  • “Walkers and their Staffs: O’odham Walking Sticks by Way of Calendar Sticks and Scraping Sticks,” Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief, 12:4 (December 2016), 476-500.
  • “O’odham Songscapes: Journeys to Magdalena Remembered in Song,” Journal of the Southwest 58:2 (Summer 2016), 237-260.

College Service

Committee on Student Awards and Prizes
American Studies Program Committee

Service to Professional Organizations and Beyond

Founding Editor of Indigenous Religious Traditions
Co-Chair of the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit, American Academy of Religion
Chair of the Board of Directors, Edward H. & Rosamond B. Spicer Foundation
Consultant for “The Pilgrimage to Magdalena” documentary film, Border Community Alliance, 2021

Professional Affiliations

Native American and Indigenous Studies Association
American Indian Studies Association
International Association for the History of Religions
American Academy of Religion
North American Association for the Study of Religion
Society for the Study of Native American Religious Traditions
American Anthropological Association
Society for the Anthropology of Religion
Western History Association
Southwest Oral History Association

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., Arizona State University
M.A., University of Colorado
B.A., Colorado State University

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