Photo by Melissa Michal. Image of four stacks of books side by side.
"There Is No Question of American Indian Genocide"
As the bridge between reader, knowledge of Indigenous genocides, and the articles, I set forth an argument denying the question of American Indian genocide that emerges out of Haudenosaunee ways of knowing. I specifically focus on the United States in my argument because this is my scholarly background. However, these steps can be applied in different ways to other genocides throughout the Americas. Each section calls the reader’s attention to acts of witnessing that should be considered some of the defining factors of genocide. From the very title of this article, “There Is No Question of American Indian Genocide,” I mean to spark a dialogue amongst those who agree, those who haven’t thought about genocide in this way, and those who deny American Indian genocide, both inside academic spaces and within our communities and sites of work. My introduction will move through three assertions: 1) the current definition of genocide is derived from a legal model that relies heavily on a particular non-Indigenous model of intent, which allows some scholars and non-scholars to take a position denying genocide; 2) by redefining genocide from an Indigenous perspective, a Good-Minded positionality means this article adds to the currently narrow, legalistic definitions of genocide in order to account for both the experiences of and witnessings to the effects of policies and the processes of extermination of those who suffer from the policies; and 3) repositioning an understanding of the effects of this suffering from such an Indigenous perspective will enable future revisions of legal discourse to allow all of us to better address the full scale of Indigenous experiences. (Read more at Transmotion (Vol 4 No 2 2018))
"Healing Is Listening: Stories of Micro Aggressions, Abuse, and Racial Battle Fatigue, the Good Mind in Action"
The examples from other students and colleagues of difference that I will analyze will show that these are more than micro-aggressions, or the casual daily degradation of underrepresented peoples or issues, or even hazing where there are challenging initiations into social systems. The micro aggressions and hazing rituals imposed on students and scholars of difference compile and are mental and emotional abuses. What the students and colleagues recognized is that microaggresions begin early on—from elementary school on through college level work. The system has set up students of difference to consistently feel less than with passive aggressive mistreatment which places students of difference at a disadvantage and behind in the system’s expectations. It’s a pattern of dominoes slowly put into place starting in elementary school that causes students of difference to either remain silent so as not to fight, to assimilate to the dominant ways, or to fight and receive constant push backs that exhaust the body and the mind. Abuse is necessary here to help in two ways: for those of us experiencing these situations to heal from such trauma and to show both those causing these abuses, and those potentially witnessing these situations, how these are not simply “just how academia is,” but how the system, and those abusing power in it, significantly harms others, and quite frankly, denies our rights to a just education. (for Presumed Incompetent: Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. Second Edition. Editors: Yolanda Flores Niemann, Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs, and Carmen G. Gonzalez. Forthcoming for Utah State University Press, Spring 2020.)
"Shifting the Speculative: Stephen Graham Jones’ All the Beautiful Sinners Breaking Horror Borders from Written Pages to Cyberspace"
Importantly, Jones’ genre fiction and his experimentation with Nativeness are not mutually exclusive because these formal preferences set the foundations for Native representation interventions. Through their varying genres and publishers, his novels enact how Native authors do not fit a particular structure or shape or plot. And they shouldn’t have to. I argue that the control with which Jones uses speculative writing and literary qualities; how he leverages his choices with editors of the printed version; and when he posts his own Kindle version of ATBS; he shapes both a nouveau novel and a nouveau writer—Anishinaabe writer and critic Gerald Vizenor’s call for Indigenous work outside of the typical Indian novel. Both novel versions reveal control rather than submission to expected norms by publishers—shifting how we might perceive colonized publishing and erasing the borders between the Indian novel, literary writing, and genre work and breaking boundaries in print and electronically. When we consider what the author does based on his own critical intentions, and add these considerations to scholarly critiques, criticism also shifts, which engages less control and more understanding. By pointing this out, instead of erasing him, I am creating a space for him to speak alongside where I critique both his work and his intentions. (Under review)