Renae Watchman
Associate Professor, English & Cultural Studies

"Tódich’íi’nii éínishłị dóó Kinya’áanii báshíshchíín. Tsalagi éí da shichei dóó Táchii'nii éí da shinálí."

Dr. Watchman (Diné) is Bitter Water born for Towering House. She is Bird Clan (Cherokee) from her chei (maternal grandpa) and Red Running Through the Water from her nálí (paternal grandpa). She is a Diné (Navajo), whose family is originally from Shiprock, New Mexico.

Dr. Watchman teaches courses in Indigenous literary studies and Indigenous film (local and global).

Dr. Watchman is finalizing a long-term project, tentatively titled: Tsé Bitʼaʼí (The Winged Rock): From Dislocation to Restoration in Visual & Literary Storytelling, which is a monograph about the monolith that distinguishes her home community. Situated in northwest New Mexico, within the Four Sacred Mountains, Tsé Bitʼaʼí means “winged rock” or “rock with wings” and is known as Shiprock Peak (or just Shiprock) to locals. Tsé Bitʼaʼí, the matriarchal monolith, is at the cultural and storied center of the ancient Anasazi and the contemporary Diné and is also a prominent landmark of “The Land of Enchantment.” The oral stories about Tsé Bit’a’í are pedagogical and experiential, and these teachings from creation can be mapped onto Tsé Bitʼaʼí, giving historical and cultural context to Diné presence and resilience amid ongoing colonialism.
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