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Theorizing Native Studies
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Duke University Press
Pub Date: 2014
ISBN: 9780822356790
Andrea Smith, Audra Simpson
Theorizing Native Studies
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Theorizing Native Studies

by Andrea Smith & Audra Simpson (eds)

This important collection makes a compelling argument for the importance of theory in Native studies. Within the field, there has been understandable suspicion of theory stemming both from concerns about urgent political issues needing to take precedence over theoretical speculations and from hostility toward theory as an inherently Western, imperialist epistemology. The editors of Theorizing Native Studies take these concerns as the ground for recasting theoretical endeavors as attempts to identify the larger institutional and political structures that enable racism, inequities, and the displacement of indigenous peoples. They emphasize the need for Native people to be recognized as legitimate theorists and for the theoretical work happening outside the academy, in Native activist groups and communities, to be acknowledged. Many of the essays demonstrate how Native studies can productively engage with others seeking to dismantle and decolonize the settler state, including scholars putting theory to use in critical ethnic studies, gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonial studies. Taken together, the essays demonstrate how theory can serve as a decolonizing practice.