Theorizing Native Studies

SKU: 9780822356790

Audra Simpson, Andrea Smith
Grade Levels:
College, University
Mohawk, Multiple Nations
Book Type:
Duke University Press
Copyright Data:

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Theorizing Native Studies is an important collection making a compelling argument for the importance of theory in Native studies. Within the field, there has been understandable suspicion of theory stemming both from concerns about urgent political issues needing to take precedence over theoretical speculations and from hostility toward theory as an inherently Western, imperialist epistemology. The editors of Theorizing Native Studies take these concerns as the ground for recasting theoretical endeavors as attempts to identify the larger institutional and political structures that enable racism, inequities, and the displacement of indigenous peoples. They emphasize the need for Native people to be recognized as legitimate theorists and for the theoretical work happening outside the academy, in Native activist groups and communities, to be acknowledged. Many of the essays demonstrate how Native studies can productively engage with others seeking to dismantle and decolonize the settler state, including scholars putting theory to use in critical ethnic studies, gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonial studies. Taken together, the essays demonstrate how theory can serve as a decolonizing practice. Editors Audra Simpson, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, and Andrea Smith, Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, have selected 10 outstanding scholars for this volume. Of particular interest are Vera B. Palmer's The Devil in the Details: Controverting an American Indian Conversion Narrative about Mohawk convert Kateri Tekakwitha; Dian Million's There Is a River in Me: Theory from Life about residential schools; and Robert Nichols' Contract and Usurpation: Enfranchisement and Racial Governance in Settler-Colonial Contexts. Contributors include: Christopher Bracken, Glen Coulthard, Mishuana Goeman, Dian Million, Scott Morgensen, Robert Nichols, Vera Palmer, Mark Rifkin, Audra Simpson, Andrea Smith, Teresia Teaiwa.

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