CFP: [Gender Studies] Intersections of Native American/Queer Studies –– GLQ special issue

full name / name of organization: 
Mark Rifkin
contact email: 

We are looking for essays for a special double-issue of GLQ
entitled “Sexuality, Nationality, Indigeneity: Rethinking the State at
the Intersection of Native American and Queer Studies.”

In 2005, the Navajo Nation passed a statute banning same-sex marriage, a
measure that passed in spite of a veto by the Nation’s president and
public objections by traditionalist elders. We were moved to ask how the
complex issues at play in this decision might be opened into a broader
investigation of the ways heteronormativity serves as part of dominant
ideologies of political identity and legitimacy. This effort to affirm
Navajo straightness suggests the importance and timeliness of bringing
together many of the questions being asked in Native American studies and
queer studies about the relationship between political and cultural

Native and queer studies have, together and separately, worked to
theorize and defend various kinds of diversity as well as individual and
collective self-representation in the face of totalizing state legalities
and ideologies, and we want to explore the intersections of those
sometimes consonant, sometimes dissonant, interventions. We seek essays
that consider the ways putting these two areas of study in dialogue can
contribute to our understanding of the U.S. nation-state, Native polities
and peoplehood, and the complex role of culture(s) in the process of
political expression and identification. How can Native American and
queer studies, especially as informed by each other, complicate,
challenge, and reconfigure available ways of conceptualizing the state,
national identity, and their multivalent social influences in the U.S.
and among Native peoples?

Essays may address any period in U.S. history and any Native group over
whom the U.S. extends political authority (including Native Hawaiians).
Topics of interest might include the following:

- the usefulness and place of queer theories in Native American studies
and vice versa;
- the heterosexism of the logic of blood quantum;
- efforts to recognize and/or reorganize Native kinship systems;
- the role of internationalism in queer and Indigenous critiques of the
- defining and crossing U.S. national boundaries;
- the status or role of lgbtq identified Native people in their
- the role of notions of civilization in defining “normal” sexual
- the ways public discourse around nonnormative sexuality (for and anti)
deploys whiteness, monogamy, and the nuclear family;
- the reliance on notions of citizenship and the coherence of U.S.
national space in lgbtq forms of identification.

We recognize that the question of representation is always at issue, so
we want to note that we are both non-Native, although we have
longstanding commitments to Native American and queer studies. We feel
conveying that fact is important in order to let potential contributors
decide for themselves what it means in terms of their desire to take part
in the project.

Please send complete essays, under 10,000 words, by July 1, 2008 to
either of the co-editors. We welcome preliminary inquiries, however
decisions will be made on the basis of full essays after the deadline.
We can be reached at the following:

Bethany Schneider


Mark Rifkin

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Received on Fri Sep 07 2007 - 14:56:40 EDT