Formations of United States Colonialism

Formations of United States Colonialism

Book Pages: 432 Illustrations: 14 illustrations Published: November 2014

American Studies, Native and Indigenous Studies, Theory and Philosophy > Race and Indigeneity

Bridging the multiple histories and present-day iterations of U.S. settler colonialism in North America and its overseas imperialism in the Caribbean and the Pacific, the essays in this groundbreaking volume underscore the United States as a fluctuating constellation of geopolitical entities marked by overlapping and variable practices of colonization. By rethinking the intertwined experiences of Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, Chamorros, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Samoans, and others subjected to U.S. imperial rule, the contributors consider how the diversity of settler claims, territorial annexations, overseas occupations, and circuits of slavery and labor—along with their attendant forms of jurisprudence, racialization, and militarism—both facilitate and delimit the conditions of colonial dispossession. Drawing on the insights of critical indigenous and ethnic studies, postcolonial theory, critical geography, ethnography, and social history, this volume emphasizes the significance of U.S. colonialisms as a vital analytic framework for understanding how and why the United States is what it is today.

Contributors. Julian Aguon, Joanne Barker, Berenika Byszewski, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, Augusto Espiritu, Alyosha Goldstein, J. K?haulani Kauanui, Barbara Krauthamer, Lorena Oropeza, Vicente L. Rafael, Dean Itsuji Saranillio, Lanny Thompson, Fa'anofo Lisaclaire Uperesa, Manu Vimalassery


 "[T]he strength of Formations of United States Colonialism is in the scope it offers for the reader to make their own connections. As such, the ideas it presents should prove fertile ground for further study." — Nick Cleaver, Journal of American Studies

"However you read this book, by dipping in to chapters or by reading the whole thing, you will emerge with a deeper understanding of the different facets of the United States’ interactions with indigenous peoples within the United States and outside its national borders. ... This book allows readers to take a step towards acknowledging the intricacies of America’s colonial past, and towards understanding the wider implications of U.S. colonialism, both historically and now." — Sophie Cooper, U.S. Studies Online

"The volume is a significant resource for U.S. historians and other scholars of American studies who seek to grapple with the place of indigenous people in the development of the United States." — Malinda Maynor Lowery, Journal of American History

"[T]he volume... bring[s] together the often-separated histories of US domestic and overseas imperialism/colonialism usefully, and, in places, the parallels raised between seemingly unconnected chapters are truly satisfying." — Adam Burns, History

"The volume features an impressive set of rigorous essays on the coloniality of the United States, itself a 'volatile assemblage' of discourses, practices, events, actors and institutions.... I highly recommend the book for both the insightful depth with which it explores the practices of settler colonialism and the range of topics, cases and time periods the contributors examine so well." — Kevin Bruyneel, Journal of Colonialism & Colonial History

"This volume makes several key contributions to the study of empire and colonialism, especially in regard to Indigeneity and U.S. exceptionalism.... This important collection is recommended for undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in Native American and Indigenous studies, American studies, critical ethnic studies, and postcolonial studies. It is required reading for scholars studying and/or teaching U.S. empire. Overall, this book should be widely read and discussed." — Juliana Hu Pegues, Native American and Indigenous Studies

"Formations of United States Colonialism is an ambitious, theoretically innovative collection that builds from and poses generative interventions across fields that include indigenous studies, history, postcolonial theory, critical geography, anthropology, and political science.... In this collection, the themes of storied land, mapping, and cartography, the politics of recognition, and conflicting regimes of racialization, among many others, emerge as signposts for vital and necessary work that connects various formations of United States colonialism and imperialism. While many scholars and activists have understood the continental conquest of North America and United States’ empire-building as discrete projects, this anthology makes a significant intervention in multiple fields and inspires new coalitional possibilities." — Savannah J. Kilner, American Indian Culture and Research Journal

"Formations of United States Colonialism is an excellent collection of state-of-the-art essays that critically examine US colonial discourse and grapple with the complexities of cultural decolonization.... Formations of United States Colonialism deserves attention for its historically grounded insights into the complex and dynamics relationship among power, identity, and knowledge. Within its pages, one cannot yet see the outlines of a decolonized world, but one can sense which direction to take to reach it." — Christopher Powell, Canadian Journal of Native Studies

"With their emphasis of indigenous agency and resistance, the articles challenge existing narratives of US colonialism and provide a productive and inspiring starting point for future research.... Goldstein’s collection succeeds in connecting one of the most productive theoretical approaches of recent years to indigenous agency and resistance" — Julio Decker, H-Soz-u-Kult, H-Net Reviews

"This book allows readers to take a step towards acknowledging the intricacies of America’s colonial past, and towards understanding the wider implications of U.S. colonialism, both historically and now." — Sophie Cooper, U.S. Studies Online

"This indispensable anthology makes a significant intervention in multiple fields by bridging what has often been seen as two separate processes, the consolidation of U.S. control over the continent and the rise of formal overseas interests at the end of the nineteenth century. The collected essays offer rich and substantive directions for future investigations to scholars interested in what American Indian and Indigenous studies bring to American Studies and U.S. imperial studies."
— Jodi A. Byrd, author of The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism

"I can't think of an anthology published since Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease's Cultures of United States Imperialism (1994) that so directly engages the question of colonialism and empire in American Studies. What makes Formations of United States Colonialism so distinctive is its deep grounding in Native American Studies as the basis for a radical rethinking of the comparative study of U.S. empire, both on the North American continent and overseas."
— Chandan Reddy, author of Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the US State


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Alyosha Goldstein is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of Poverty in Common: The Politics of Community Action during the American Century, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction. Toward a Genealogy of the U.S. Colonial Present / Alyosha Goldstein 1

Part I. Histories in Contention

1. The Specters of Recognition / Joanne Barker 33

2. Colonizing Chaco Canyon: Mapping Antiquity in the Territorial Southwest / Berenika Byszewski 57

3. The Prose of Counter-Sovereignty / Manu Vimalassery 87

4. A Sorry State: Apology Politics and Legal Fictions in the Court of the Conqueror / J. Kehaulani Kauanui 110

Part II. Colonial Entanglements

5. Missionaries, Slaves, and Indians: Fragmented Colonial Exchanges in the Early American South / Barbara Krauthamer 137

6. American Empire, Hispanism, and the Nationalist Visions of Albizu, Recto, and Grau / Augusto Espiritu 157

7. Becoming Indo-Hispano: Reies López Tijerina and the New Mexican Land Grant Movement / Lorena Oropeza 180

8. Seeking New Fields of Labor: Football and Colonial Political Economies in American Samoa / Fa'anofo Lisaclaire Uperesa 207

9. The Kepaniwai (Damming of the Water) Heritage Gardens: Alternative Futures beyond the Settler State / Dean Itsuji Saranillio 233

Part III. Politics of Transposition

10. Our Stories Are Maps Larger Than Can Be Held: Self-Determination and the Normative Force of Law at the Periphery of American Expansionism / Julian Aguon 265

11. Governmentality and Cartographies of Colonial Spaces: The "Progressive Military Map of Porto Rico," 1908–1914 / Lanny Thompson 289

12. "I'm Not Running on My Gender": The 2010 Navajo Nation Presidential Race, Gender, and the Politics of Tradition / Jennifer Nez Denetdale 316

13. Translation, American English, and the National Insecurities of Empire / Vicente L. Rafael 335

Bibliography 361

Contributors 399

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5810-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5796-4
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