Ashley Cordes
image of Ashley Cordes


Ashley Cordes is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Communication at the University of Utah and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow. Her research lies at the intersection of Indigenous studies, digital media, critical/cultural studies, environmental storytelling, and community-based projects. Her recent work in these areas has been published in journals such as Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and Feminist Media Studies. Her current book project, From the Gold Rush to Code Rush: Communication of Alternative and Digital Currency in Indigenous Communities is under advance contract with MIT Press. Ashley is an enrolled citizen and Chair of the Culture and Education Committee of the Kōkwel/Coquille Nation.

Want to get in touch or setup a keynote or guest lecture? Email me at Ashley [DOT] Cordes [AT] Utah [DOT] edu

Recent Projects

Storying on the Coquille River

picture of salmon art

This StoryMap responds to the multiple crises facing the Coquille River Basin, including climate change, pollution and the fall Chinook Salmon decline. The project includes multimedia art, an interactive map, and additional learning resources for visitors to learn about the cultural history of the Coquille River, its intelligences, and what can be done to help our salmon kin.

Gold Rush to Code Rush

picture of bitcoin source code

This project examines colonial dynamics that manifest in US currency systems and counter-stories of Indigenous systems that resist them. In the past decade, humans experienced what is being framed as a payment revolution considerably enabled by communication technologies. Indigenous peoples consistently innovate methods to store memories, transmit trust, and create reciprocity, yet are largely erased from histories of newer digital currency. This project addresses the problem and articulates how currencies form small parts of much larger stories of Indigenous resistance.

Gifts of Dentalium and Fire

picture of dentallium

As part of the Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence project, this paper explores how to build trust and care for and with artificial intelligences through Indigenous epistemologies. Coquille values are applied to the production and use of AI, exploring relationships that act as an alternative to dominant capitalist, settler relations with AI.

Community Engaged Digital Art

  • A leaf
  • dentalium
  • A field with the Coquille language identifying objects
  • A forest with the Coquille language identifying objects
  • A stylizied river image
  • A flower


  • Book
    • Cordes, A. From the gold rush to the code rush?: Communication of alternative and digital currency in Indigenous communities. Book project in progress. Under advance contract with the MIT Press.
  • Journal Publications
    • Kvidal-Røvik, T., & Cordes, A. (2021). Into the unknown [Amas Mu Vuordá]? Listening to Indigenous voices on the meanings of Disney’s Frozen 2 [Jikŋon 2]. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Published online December 2020, 1-19. DOI: 10.1080/17513057.2020.1849774 -- PDF Copy
    • Cordes, A. (2021). Revisiting stories and voices of the Rogue River War (1853-1856): A digital constellatory autoethnographic mode of Indigenous archaeology. Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies, 21(1), 56-69. DOI:10.1177/1532708620953189 -- PDF Copy
    • Cordes, A. & Sabzalian, L. (2020). The urgent need for anticolonial media literacy. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 21(2), 182-201. DOI: 10.18251/ijme.v22i2.2443 -- PDF Copy
    • Chávez, C., & Cordes, A. (2017). Selling subversion: An African City and the promise of online television. Television and New Media, 19(3), 191-207. DOI:10.1177/1527476417712458 -- PDF Copy
  • Book Chapters
    • Cordes, A. & Merskin, D. (2019). #DontTrendOnMe: Addressing appropriation of Native American-ness in millennial social media. In Campbell, C. (Ed.). Media, myth and millennials: Critical perspectives on race and culture (pp. 277-299). Idaho Falls, ID: Lexington. -- PDF Copy
    • Battaglia, J., Cordes, A., Norris, K., & Banuelos, R. (2015). Love the real housewives but where is my feminism? In R. Silverman, R. (Ed.), The fantasy of reality: critical essays on the Real Housewives (pp. 139-158). New York, NY: Peter Lang.
  • Commentary and Criticism
  • Public Scholarship and Digital Humanities Projects
    • Cordes, A. (2021). Storying on the Coquille River: A digital humanities approach to human and non-human communication and prevention of the fall Chinook salmon extinction.
    • Cordes, A. (2021, April 10). Indigenous cryptocurrency: Finance, capital, and the digital ghosts of empire. Digital Matters.
    • Cordes, A. (2020). Gifts of dentalium and fire: Entwining trust and care with AI. Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence. The Initiative for Indigenous Futures and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) , 1(1), 58-68. -- PDF Copy
    • Cordes, A. (2020). Envisioning the artificial: Technology, time, and Indigenizing the future of AI. Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence. The Initiative for Indigenous Futures and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) , 1(1), 137-141. -- PDF Copy
    • Kronk Warner, E., Comer, A., Cordes, A. Dell, A., Menlove, B., Ned, D., Projansky, S., Sepulveda, C., Smoak, G. , Villarreal, M. (2020). University of Utah Tribal land acknowledgement statement [pdf]. Read at US Vice Presidential Debate 2020. Retrieved from
    • Cordes, A. (2019). Tr'e-ghes-tr'i', tr'aa-xe tr'e-svt-te. Tr'aa- xe lhaa-ni tr'vt-t'i [Illustration and language work]. In J. Hall, (Ed.), Nuu-wee-ya Naa-a: Speak our language. Eugene, OR: Luminaire Press.
    • Cordes, A. (2019). 'Aa-bv-lus 'aa-t'e's. Shu' 'al-srvn, shu' 'aa-ghvl-nvsh [Illustration and language work]. In J. Hall (Ed.), Nuu-wee-ya Naa-a: Speak our language. Eugene, OR: Luminaire Press.
    • Cordes, A. (2018). Documentary project: Archaeology of the Rogue River War: Tribal perspectives. Filmed and produced by Cordes, A. Presented to Lifestyles, Lifeworlds, Lifeworks. Portland, OR.
  • Book Reviews and Encyclopedia Entries
    • Cordes, A. (in press). Health disparities: Indigenous: Native American. In E. Ho, C. Byland, J. van Weert, I. Basnyat, N. Bol, M. Dean. The International Encyclopedia of Health Communication. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
    • Cordes, A. (2017). How would you like to pay?: How technology is changing the future of money. [book by Maurer, B.]. New Media and Society, 19(1), 161-162. DOI: 10.1177/1461444816666269c
  • Teaching Publications and Other
  • Work in Progress
    • Cordes, A. & Chávez, C. Anticolonial practices in the Arctic: Regeneration of Indigenous languages within the commercial music system. Presented at ICA conference 2021.
    • Cordes, A. Storying Indigenous cryptocurrency: Reckoning with the ghosts of settler colonialism in the cultural economy.
    • Cordes, A. Decolonial feminist storying on the Coquille River: A digital humanities approach to human and hon-human communication and prevention of the fall Chinook salmon extinction.
    • Sabzalian, L., Cordes, A., & Lewis, D. Refusing and restorying colonizing curriculum: Acknowledging Indigenous erasure in Oregon history curriculum.
    • Cordes, A. Both sides of the coin: Miss Liberty and the construction of 'the new Native' on currency in Oregon’s colonial period. In P. R. Gilbert, C. Bourne, M. Haiven, & J. Montgomerie (Eds.), Imagining the unseen: Twenty pictures of debt’s empire, then and now. Manchester, EN: Manchester University Press.
    • Cordes, A., Endres, D., & Na’puti, T. Indigenous methodologies for meaningful digital media and environmental communication research. (Equal co-authors)