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20 - Queer Sovereignty

from Part III - Native American Renaissance (Post-1960s)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2020

Melanie Benson Taylor
Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
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For nearly a century now Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, and/or Two-Spirit Indigenous writers have addressed the ways the intellectual sovereignty of their lives and art strengthens understandings of Indigenous nationhood. This chapter considers how and why these intersections of queerness and sovereignty have informed the fast-growing canon of queer Indigenous literatures in English. To do so, it examines the rise of queer Indigenous activism and health sovereignty work in HIV education alongside the history of queer Indigenous literatures in what is currently the U.S. and Canada. Looking across the work of writers like Beth Brant, Carole laFavor, Craig Womack, Daniel Heath Justice, Deborah Miranda, Gwen Benaway, Billy-Ray Belcourt, M. Carmen Lane, Tommy Pico, and Joshua Whitehead, the chapter highlights the range and breadth of sovereign embodiments from the 1960s to 2020 and argues that in the present day queer sovereignty holds a radical promise for Indigenous futures.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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