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Caitlin Keliiaa – Occupational Risk: Sexual Surveillance and Federal Regulation of Native Women’s Bodies

January 19, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm  |  Virtual and In Person


This talk examines how bodily regulation unfolded on Native women domestic workers in the early 20th-century Bay Area and how sexual surveillance in the Bay Area Outing Program affected Native women. To this end, I analyze cases of sexual surveillance, presumed delinquency, sexually transmitted infections and policing of Native women’s bodies. Through these intimate stories, I demonstrate the ways in which the settler state attempted to and at times succeeded in managing and controlling Native women.


Caitlin “Katie” Keliiaa is Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She is an interdisciplinary feminist historian specializing in 20th-century Native experiences in the West. Her scholarship engages Indian labor exploitation, dispossession and surveillance of Native bodies especially in Native Californian contexts. Her book project examines how Native women domestic workers negotiated and challenged an early 20th-century Indian labor program based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In this work, Professor Keliiaa centers Native women’s voices uncovered from federal archives.

The Center for Cultural Studies hosts a weekly Wednesday colloquium featuring work by faculty and visitors. We gather at 12:00 PM, with presentations beginning at 12:15 PM.

For Winter 2022, the colloquium will take a hybrid format, in which some events are fully remote and others have the option of in-person attendance. Attendees have the option to attend in person in Humanities 210 or to watch the presentation on zoom. Those who attend in person must adhere to the campus mask mandate for all indoor activities and must complete UCSC’s symptom-check form before coming to campus. In person attendees are asked to please arrive at 12pm so that the event coordinators can verify the symptom check has been completed. To attend remotely via zoom, please RSVP in advance, and you will receive a zoom link on the morning of the colloquium. In most cases, speakers will appear remotely so that they will not have to present wearing a mask. To RSVP for the full Winter colloquium series, please use this form. If you have any questions about the colloquium, please contact Piper Milton (

Staff assistance is provided by The Humanities Institute.


January 19, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm