When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty

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9780199755455: When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty
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When Did Indians Become Straight? explores the complex relationship between contested U.S. notions of normality and shifting forms of Native American governance and self-representation. Examining a wide range of texts (including captivity narratives, fiction, government documents, and anthropological tracts), Mark Rifkin offers a cultural and literary history of the ways Native peoples have been inserted into Euramerican discourses of sexuality and how Native intellectuals have sought to reaffirm their peoples' sovereignty and self-determination.

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About the Author:


Mark Rifkin is Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is the author of Manifesting America: the Imperial Construction of U.S. National Space and the coeditor of Sexuality, Nationality, Indigeneity: Rethinking the State at the Intersection of Native American and Queer Studies.

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"When did Indians become straight? When we started pretending to be, with and without the help of those who would straighten us. Let's stop pretending or let's get crooked and pretend something better. Let's read Mark Rifkin's book that combines the best of historical inquiry, literary/theoretical analysis, and thinking outside straight lines in ways that confront us with the power of deviant views of familiar, and some unfamiliar, texts and policies." --Craig Womack, author of Drowning in Fire


"Mark Rifkin's When Did Indians Become Straight? provides an exciting and astute account of the relation between the erosion of Native sovereignty and the 'straightening' of sexualities in the history of the U.S. as settler-nation, from James Fenimore Cooper to Leslie Feinberg and Craig Womack. This is a major contribution to a meeting of the waters between Native Studies and Sexuality Studies." --Michael Moon, Professor and Director of American Studies, Emory University


"In asking 'When did Indians become straight?', Mark Rifkin isn't simply being provocative: he's setting the critical foundation for what is undoubtedly the most incisive, well-researched, respectful, and thoroughly engaging study of sexuality and gender in American Indian literature, and one of the best works of criticism in the field in recent years." --Daniel Heath Justice, Associate Professor of English, University of Toronto


"The ideas contained in Rifkin's book are fresh, provocative, and vital to understanding the American past, present and future." --LeftEyeOnBooks.com


"When Did Indians Become Straight? is a groundbreaking study of the uses of the native in the making of critical theory and national belonging."--Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Professor of Anthropology & Gender Studies, Columbia University


"Brilliant...The book is well researched, with rigorous and nuanced analysis and sophisticated theorization. Successfully spanning the entirety of U.S. history from the early republic to the early twenty-first century, this book is nothing short of a major feat, making serious contributions to American studies as well as literary studies, Native and Indigenous studies, queer studies, and anthropology." --American Quarterly


"A theoretically rich text...An expansive study." --American Indian Quarterly


"A towering achievement in two fields, American Indian studies and sexuality studies, and ought to be celebrated as paradigm shifting for both areas of study." --Studies in American Indian Literatures


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