Critically Sovereign: Indigenous Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Joanne Barker is Professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University, the author of Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity, also published by Duke University Press, and the editor of Sovereignty Matters: Locations of Contestation and Possibility in Indigenous Struggles for Self-Determination.
This introduction addresses how diverse gender, queer, and feminist analytics are pursued within critical Native/Indigenous studies. The theoretical perspectives that these pursuits instance demonstrate that gender and sexuality are no longer topics—women, masculinity, two-spirit—but, instead, work as co-productive (analytic) forces of Native/Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and epistemology. In doing so, new kinds of questions are being generated about imperial-colonial histories, identities, and social formations, Native/Indigenous modes of reckoning social relationship and responsibility, and decolonization projects based on solidarity. These questions are reframing issues of Native/Indigenous knowledge, nationhood, citizenship, and rights to consider how, across the multiple conventional borders of woman-man, femininity-masculinity, heterosexuality-homosexuality, Native/Indigenous studies scholars are producing intellectual and political possibilities for a coalitional decolonial future predicated on a radical social ethics and justice of equity and responsibility.