Beyond Settler Time: Temporal Sovereignty and Indigenous Self-Determination
Mark Rifkin is Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program and Professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and the author of several books, including Settler Common Sense: Queerness and Everyday Colonialism in the American Renaissance.
This chapter engages with scholarly discussions of Native peoples as participants in “modernity,” raising questions about the implications of positing a time shared with non-natives. The chapter explores ways of addressing Native being-in-time and processes of change that do not rely on being included into a temporal framework organized around non-native identities, institutions, and imperatives. In this way, it develops a notion of temporal sovereignty, in terms of both ways of living indigeneity and how the settler-state disciplines Indigenous peoples through the imposition of ways of marking and organizing time. Turning to Deborah Miranda’s Bad Indians as an example, while drawing on queer studies and phenomenology to think everyday affect, the chapter investigates how Native forms of storytelling (re)conceptualize temporality while also expressing forms of temporal experience at odds with the horizontal sense of a universally shared present.