Spaces between Us

Spaces between Us

Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization

Scott Lauria Morgensen

Explores the intimate relationship of non-Native and Native sexual politics in the United States

336 Pages, 6 x 9 in



Spaces between Us

Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization

Series: First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies

Scott Lauria Morgensen

ISBN: 9780816656332

Publication date: November 17th, 2011

336 Pages

8 x 5

"This is a fascinating multi-disciplinary book that analyzes the intricate linkages, appropriations, and productions around discourses of Native and non-Native queer movements of indigeneity and national belonging. Scott Lauria Morgensen is a gifted writer and scholar with an elegant eye for detailed and nuanced analysis." —Martin F. Manalansan, author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora

"Spaces Between Us is brilliant work that is unceasingly critical, ethical, and illuminating in its research, analysis, and theorization. Morgensen challenges formations of queer settler colonialism in this major intervention undertaken with a critical methodology that has implications for numerous fields." —J. Kehaulani Kauanui, author of Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity

We are all caught up in one another, Scott Lauria Morgensen asserts, we who live in settler societies, and our interrelationships inform all that these societies touch. Native people live in relation to all non-Natives amid the ongoing power relations of settler colonialism, despite never losing inherent claims to sovereignty as indigenous peoples. Explaining how relational distinctions of “Native” and “settler” define the status of being “queer,” Spaces between Us argues that modern queer subjects emerged among Natives and non-Natives by engaging the meaningful difference indigeneity makes within a settler society.

Morgensen’s analysis exposes white settler colonialism as a primary condition for the development of modern queer politics in the United States. Bringing together historical and ethnographic cases, he shows how U.S. queer projects became non-Native and normatively white by comparatively examining the historical activism and critical theory of Native queer and Two-Spirit people.

Presenting a “biopolitics of settler colonialism”—in which the imagined disappearance of indigeneity and sustained subjugation of all racialized peoples ensures a progressive future for white settlers—Spaces between Us newly demonstrates the interdependence of nation, race, gender, and sexuality and offers opportunities for resistance in the United States.

Scott Lauria Morgensen is assistant professor of gender studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He is coeditor of Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature.



Part I. Genealogies
1. The Biopolitics of Settler Sexuality and Queer Modernities
2. Conversations on Berdache: Anthropology, Counterculturism, Two-Spirit Organizing

Part II. Movements
3. Authentic Culture and Sexual Rights: Contesting Citizenship in the Settler State
4. Ancient Roots through Settled Land: Imagining Indigeneity and Place among Radical Faeries
5. Global Desires and Transnational Solidarity: Negotiating Indigeneity among the Worlds of Queer Politics
6. “Together We Are Stronger”: Decolonizing Gender and Sexuality in Transnational Native AIDS Organizing