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The second chapter, “Domestic Affects,” offers and extraction history of the cultural genre and jurisdictional framework of “the domestic.” The chapter argues that, across its many cultural and political uses, the domestic at its heart indexes a quality of colonial social relation—the attachment to and reproduction of absence—that the chapter conceptualizes as “social vacancy.” Using Louise Erdrich’s novels Tracks and Four Souls to elaborate this theorization of social vacancy, the chapter parses legal and literary genealogies of the domestic, including the ways the domestic (as an inherently repressive affective gesture) proceeds through the repression of Indigenous human and more-than-human kinships and the ways those repressions inevitably fail. The chapter concludes with a reading of the ways Erdrich’s novels exceed and deconstruct the domestic as an anticipation of the contemporary activist framework of “land back.”

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