Queer Indigenous Studies
258 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Mar 2011

Queer Indigenous Studies

Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature

The University of Arizona Press
“This book is an imagining.” So begins this collection examining critical, Indigenous-centered approaches to understanding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and Two-Spirit (GLBTQ2) lives and communities and the creative implications of queer theory in Native studies. This book is not so much a manifesto as it is a dialogue—a “writing in conversation”—among a luminous group of scholar-activists revisiting the history of gay and lesbian studies in Indigenous communities while forging a path for Indigenouscentered theories and methodologies.
The bold opening to Queer Indigenous Studies invites new dialogues in Native American and Indigenous studies about the directions and implications of queer Indigenous studies. The collection notably engages Indigenous GLBTQ2 movements as alliances that also call for allies beyond their bounds, which the co-editors and contributors model by crossing their varied identities, including Native, trans, straight, non-Native, feminist, Two-Spirit, mixed blood, and queer, to name just a few.
Rooted in the Indigenous Americas and the Pacific, and drawing on disciplines ranging from literature to anthropology, contributors to Queer Indigenous Studies call Indigenous GLBTQ2 movements and allies to center an analysis that critiques the relationship between colonialism and heteropatriarchy. By answering critical turns in Indigenous scholarship that center Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies, contributors join in reshaping Native studies, queer studies, transgender studies, and Indigenous feminisms.
Based on the reality that queer Indigenous people “experience multilayered oppression that profoundly impacts our safety, health, and survival,” this book is at once an imagining and an invitation to the reader to join in the discussion of decolonizing queer Indigenous research and theory and, by doing so, to partake in allied resistance working toward positive change.
Qwo-Li Driskill is a Cherokee Queer/Two-Spirit writer, scholar, and performer. S/he is the author of Walking with Ghosts: Poems and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of English at Texas A&M University. Chris Finley is a queer Native feminist finishing her PhD in American culture at the University of Michigan. She is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes located in Washington State.

Brian Joseph Gilley is an associate professor of anthropology and director of the First Nations Education and Culture Center at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the author of Becoming Two-Spirit: Gay Identity and Social Acceptance in Indian Country. Scott Lauria Morgensen is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Queen’s University. His work as a white queer critic of settler colonialism appears in his book Spaces between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization.
Qwo-Li Driskill, Chris Finley, Brian Joseph Gilley, and Scott Lauria Morgensen

Section I: Performing Queer Indigenous Critiques
1 Decolonizing the Queer Native Body (and Recovering the Native Bull-Dyke): Bringing “Sexy Back” and Out of Native Studies’ Closet
Chris Finley
2 Queer Theory and Native Studies: The Heteronormativity of Settler Colonialism
Andrea Smith
3 A Queer Caste: Mixing Race and Sexuality in Colonial New Zealand
Michelle Erai
4 Fa’afafi ne Notes: On Tagaloa, Jesus, and Nafanua
Dan Taulapapa McMullin

Section II: Situating Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous Movements
5 ᎠᏎᎩ ᎠᏰᏟ (Asegi Ayetl): Cherokee Two-Spirit People Reimagining Nation
Qwo-Li Driskill
6 Exploring Takatapui Identity within the Maori Community: Implications for Health and Well-Being
Clive Aspin
7 Two-Spirit Men’s Sexual Survivance against the Inequality of Desire
Brian Joseph Gilley
8 Unsettling Queer Politics: What Can Non-Natives Learn from Two-Spirit Organizing?
Scott Lauria Morgensen

Section III: Reading Queer Indigenous Writing
9 Indigenous Fantasies and Sovereign Erotics: Outland Cherokees Write Two-Spirit Nations
Lisa Tatonetti
10 The Erotics of Sovereignty
Mark Rifkin
11 Gifts of Maskihkîy: Gregory Scofi eld’s Cree Métis Stories of Self-Acceptance
June Scudeler
12 The Revolution Is for Everyone: Imagining an Emancipatory Future through Queer Indigenous Critical Theories
Qwo-Li Driskill, Chris Finley, Brian Joseph Gilley, and Scott Lauria Morgensen
Works Cited
About the Contributors
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