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“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.
About the Author
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.
“Queer Indigenous Studies is an important contribution to queer social theory, Native studies, and the ethnography of American misunderstanding and the culture of comparison.”—Center for Great Plains Studies
“Drawing upon diverse fields ranging from anthropology, gender, sociology, feminism, ethnic and indigenous cultures, this book is a groundbreaking attempt to analyze politicized points intersecting the controversial discourses of queer and indigenous studies.”—AlterNative
“Raises the bar for critical discussions of race, gender, sexuality, and beyond.”—JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, & Politics