14 November 2016

Book Review: Queer Indigenous Studies

Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics and Literature was editted by Qwo-Li Driskill, Chris Finley, Brian Joseph Gilley and Scott Lauria Morgensen. Qwo-Li Driskill is a Cherokee and assistant professor of English at Texas A&M University. Chris Finley is a Colville Native having earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Brian Joseph Gilley is an associate professor and director of the First Nations Education and Cultural Center at Indiana University. Scott Lauria Morgensen is an assistant professor of gender studies at Queen's University.

This turn in "queer theory" is interesting. I have read for twenty years now queer theory and in many ways, I have thought, does this middle-class white professor realize that his assertions of citizenship, reify the state and its settler colonial framework.

As LGBT activism moved from liberation to assimilation with the consolidation and concentration of capital in LGBT media, it became increasingly complicit in the settler colonialism as it directed its claims towards expanding the group of first class citizens.

Capitalism operates to tear asunder the traditional authority that binds a human to his "natural superiors" and leaves no nexus between humans other than naked self-interest, that is private property and the cash nexus. Of course, this is a great, although incomplete, definition for settler colonialism.  So queer indigenous studies helps to reorient or break epistemologically with the capitalist notion of gay/lesbian in indigenous communities while still allowing space to critique indigenous communities in their adoption (or negotiation of settler colonialism) of heteronormativity and patriarchy, for example.

I found the piece by Samoan painter and poet Dan Taulapapa McMullin to be the most intriguing and easily connected to issues of Philippine nationalism and indigenous peoples in the Phiippines, but all of it was very interesting.

The version I read was a 258 page cloth published by University of Arizona Press on March 15, 2011. ISBN: 978-0816529070. Lowest price seems to be abebooks.com and amazon.com

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