Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

WGS Research Seminar – Kim Tallbear, University of Alberta – Molecular Death, Desire and Redface Reincarnation:  Indigenous Appropriation in the U.S.

January 20, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

I trace simultaneous and related discourses of indigenous life and death (our ever-predicted vanishing) as these discourses and practices unfold in genome science and other cultural fields in which indigeneity is consumed for the benefit of settler-colonial society. Multiple, shifting definitions of indigeneity are co-constituted with diverse claims to biological and cultural patrimony. For half a millennia colonial states have claimed ownership and control of land and “natural resources.” Academic disciplines developed in ways that support such claims. U.S. social actors extend colonial claims of ownership to include indigenous peoples’ DNA, symbols, and representations. This talk pays special attention to how dominant definitions and representations of indigeneity privilege individual human ancestry, history and agency over that of the collective. Thus a core tenet of indigenous peoples’ own definitions of their peoplehood is undone. The individualizing and new genomic constitution of indigeneity undercut its salience as a category for mobilizing peoples who resist the assimilative state. Instead, such moves assist the settler state in appropriating indigeneity within the national body, a final ultimate claim of ownership.


January 20, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


D.G. Ivey Library
20 Willcocks Street, New College
Toronto, Canada
+ Google Map