Indigenous Studies

WILMA MANKILLER: HOW ONE WOMAN

WILMA MANKILLER: HOW ONE WOMAN

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Wilma Pearl Mankiller's great-grandfather survived the deadly forced westward march of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. She rose to lead the Cherokee Nation more than 150 years later as principal chief, the first elected female chief of a Native nation in modern times. Throughout her reign from 1985-1995, cut short only by her own severe health challenges, she advocated for extensive community development, self-help, and education and healthcare programs that revitalized the Nation of 300,000 citizens. Wilma Mankiller will continue to shine as an inspirational example of the faith in her belief that ethnicity should never be forgotten--nor come before family unity, society, and country.
Written by the Body: Gender Expansiveness and Indigenous Non-Cis Masculinities

Written by the Body: Gender Expansiveness and Indigenous Non-Cis Masculinities

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Examining the expansive nature of Indigenous gender representations in history, literature, and film

Within Native American and Indigenous studies, the rise of Indigenous masculinities has engendered both productive conversations and critiques. Lisa Tatonetti intervenes in this conversation with Written by the Body by centering how female, queer, and/or Two-Spirit Indigenous people take up or refute masculinity, and, in the process, offer more expansive understandings of gender.

Written by the Body moves from the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century archive to turn-of-the-century and late-twentieth-century fiction to documentaries, HIV/AIDS activism, and, finally, recent experimental film and literature. Across it all, Tatonetti shows how Indigenous gender expansiveness, and particularly queer and non-cis gender articulations, moves between and among Native peoples to forge kinship, offer protection, and make change. She charts how the body functions as a somatic archive of Indigenous knowledge in Native histories, literatures, and activisms--exploring representations of Idle No More in the documentary Trick or Treaty, the all-female wildland firefighting crew depicted in Apache 8, Chief Theresa Spence, activist Carole laFavor, S. Alice Callahan, Thirza Cuthand, Joshua Whitehead, Carrie House, and more.

In response to criticisms of Indigenous masculinity studies, Written by the Body de-sutures masculinity from the cis-gendered body and investigates the ways in which female, trans, and otherwise nonconforming masculinities carry the traces of Two-Spirit histories and exceed the limitations of settler colonial imaginings of gender.