This essay draws upon critical ethnic studies, Indigenous critical theory, and settler colonial studies to consider how biopolitics and biocapital have converged in North America through the racial regimes inaugurated by settler colonialism. It does so by close reading the popular science fiction television series Orphan Black to interrogate how late colonialism saturates cultural productions and to demonstrate how dispossession functions through durative and recursive structures. Providing the extractive and appropriative logics underlying racial capitalism, dispossession is both generative and procedural as it produces investments in neoliberal subjectivity, property, and territoriality—and their loss—to ensure that the originary colonization of Indigenous peoples in North America remains the condition of possibility for settler colonial social relations.
“Variations under Domestication”: Indigeneity and the Subject of Dispossession
Jodi A. Byrd is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and associate professor of English and gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is also a faculty affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. She is the author of Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism (2011).