Dr. Harry A. Kersey, Jr. - In Memoriam

Ph.D., University of Illinois
Professor Emeritus

Areas of Expertise

  • American Indian History
  • Seminole and Southeastern Native Americans
  • Florida History

Email: kersey@fau.edu
Office Phone: (561) 297-3840

faculty photoDr. Kersey specializes in multicultural issues in the United States and abroad. He is a recognized expert on the Seminole and Miccosukee Indians of Florida, and served as a consultant to the Seminole Tribe in its federal land claims and water rights cases. For a decade, he was a member of the Florida Governor's Council on Indian Affairs, which advised the state's chief executive on policy issues affecting Native Peoples. Kersey has received numerous research grants and contracts from agencies including the American Philosophical Society, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Newberry Library Center for the History of the American Indian, The Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the East-West Center in Hawaii. In addition, he was the recipient of five Fulbright Senior Scholar and Senior Specialist awards, twice for teaching in African Universities, and most recently for conducting research in New Zealand.

Dr. Kersey has published more than seventy articles and chapters in scholarly works. He is the author or co-author of nine books including Pelts, Plumes and Hides: White Traders Among the Seminole Indians, 1870-1930 (Florida 1975), The Florida Seminoles and the New Deal, 1933-1942 (Florida 1989); An Assumption of Sovereignty: Social and Political Transformation among the Florida Seminoles, 1953-1979 (Nebraska 1996). In 2003 Buffalo Tiger, A Life in the Everglades (Nebraska 2002), a work co-authored with the venerable Miccosukee leader, received both the James J. Horgan Book Award from the Florida Historical Association and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Prize given jointly by the Florida Oral History Association and the Florida Historical Society. Professor Kersey's most recent book is The Stranahans of Fort Lauderdale: A Pioneer Family of New River (Florida 2003).

Kersey has served on the board of directors for both the Florida Humanities Council and the Florida Historical Society. He was selected for a 1995 Teaching Incentive Program award, and in 1998 received a Professorial Excellence Program award from the State University System. In 1998 Kersey received both the DAR National History Medal and the American Association for State and Local History's Award of Merit for "contributions to the understanding of Florida history."

At present, Dr. Kersey is engaged in comparative research on the indigenous sovereignty issues among American Indians and the Maori of New Zealand, and teaches courses at both Florida Atlantic University and the University of Hawaii.


Graduate Course

AMH 5905 - Readings in American Indian Leadership