Spaces Between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization

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by Scott Lauria Morgensen

University of Minnesota Press

2011, paperback

SKU: 9780816656332

 

We are all caught up in one another, Scott Lauria Morgensen asserts, we who live in settler societies, and our interrelationships inform all that these societies touch. Native people live in relation to all non-Natives amid the ongoing power relations of settler colonialism, despite never losing inherent claims to sovereignty as indigenous peoples. Explaining how relational distinctions of Native and settler define the status of being queer, Spaces between Us argues that modern queer subjects emerged among Natives and non-Natives by engaging the meaningful difference indigeneity makes within a settler society.

Morgensen's analysis exposes white settler colonialism as a primary condition for the development of modern queer politics in the United States. Bringing together historical and ethnographic cases, he shows how U.S. queer projects became non-Native and normatively white by comparatively examining the historical activism and critical theory of Native queer and Two-Spirit people.

Presenting a biopolitics of settler colonialism in which the imagined disappearance of indigeneity and sustained subjugation of all racialized peoples ensures a progressive future for white settlers Spaces between Us newly demonstrates the interdependence of nation, race, gender, and sexuality and offers opportunities for resistance in the United States.

Reviews:

"This is a fascinating multi-disciplinary book that analyzes the intricate linkages, appropriations, and productions around discourses of Native and non-Native queer movements of indigeneity and national belonging. Scott Lauria Morgensen is a gifted writer and scholar with an elegant eye for detailed and nuanced analysis."  - Martin F. Manalansan, author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora

About the Author:

Scott Lauria Morgensen is assistant professor of gender studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He is coeditor of Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature.