The distinction between indigenous peoples and arrivants (African slaves and their descendants), made recently by native studies scholar Jodi Byrd, was intended to simultaneously attend to the divergent manifestations of settler colonialism while opening space for intersectional theorization and praxis. Yael Ben-zvi’s Native Land Talk enters this conversation by exploring how the violent history of early America engendered a complex debate regarding the nature of “native status,” a threshold concept that both united and divided indigenous and black subjects in antebellum America. One of Ben-zvi’s stated aims in the book is to challenge the tendency toward compartmentalization within the field of American studies. Stressing the importance of developing a comprehensive theoretical framework for interrogating the settler colonial project, she aims to transcend the standard native/settler and black/white binaries to produce a more thorough interrogation of “imperial liberalism,” one focused on how the...

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