UPDATE: [Ethnic] 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: A Journal of
Lesbian and Gay Studies entitled “Sexuality, Nationality, Indigeneity:
Rethinking the State at the Intersection of Native American and Queer

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 and which came on the heels of
a similar statute in the Cherokee Nation. We were moved to ask how the
complex issues at play in these decisions might be opened into a broader
investigation of the ways heteronormativity serves as part of dominant
ideologies of political identity and legitimacy. These developments
suggest 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 formations.

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. 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
- the status or role of lgbtq identified Native people in their
- the role of notions of civilization in defining “normal” sexual behavior;
- 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.

Please send complete essays, under 10,000 words, by July 8, 2008 to any of
the 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 (bschneid_at_brynmawr.edu); Mark Rifkin
(mrifkin_at_skidmore.edu); and Daniel Heath Justice

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Received on Tue Jul 01 2008 - 16:04:47 EDT