Download e-book for iPad: Settler Common Sense: Queerness and Everyday Colonialism in by Mark Rifkin

By Mark Rifkin

ISBN-10: 081669057X

ISBN-13: 9780816690572

In Settler universal Sense, Mark Rifkin explores how canonical American writers participate in the legacy of displacing local american citizens. even if the books he makes a speciality of should not approximately Indians, they function examples of what Rifkin calls “settler universal sense,” taking with no consideration the felony and political constitution by which local peoples stay dispossessed.

In studying Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables, Rifkin exhibits how the radical attracts on Lockean conception in help of small-scale landholding and substitute practices of homemaking. The publication invokes white settlers in southern Maine because the foundation for its ethics of development, eliding the power presence of Wabanaki peoples of their fatherland. Rifkin means that Henry David Thoreau’s Walden opinions estate possession as a sort of perpetual debt. Thoreau’s imaginative and prescient of autoerotic withdrawal into the desert, notwithstanding, depends upon recasting areas from which local peoples were dispossessed as areas of non-Native regeneration. As opposed to the flip to “nature,” Herman Melville’s Pierre offers the town as a perversely gratifying position to flee from inequities of land possession within the nation. Rifkin demonstrates how this account of city chance overlooks the truth that the explosive progress of new york within the 19th century was once attainable purely due to the huge and revolutionary displacement of Iroquois peoples upstate.

Rifkin finds how those texts’ queer imaginings depend on treating settler notions of position and personhood as self-evident, erasing the advancing expropriation and career of local lands. extra, he investigates the ways in which modern queer ethics and politics take such ongoing colonial dynamics as an unexamined framework in constructing principles of freedom and justice.

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Additional info for Settler Common Sense: Queerness and Everyday Colonialism in the American Renaissance

Example text

We often only have eyes for the spectacularity of racist practice, not its everyday machinations” (27), later observing, “[W]e might come to think differently about the historical—we might find a grounding for racist practice that acknowledges both systemic practices and quotidian effects that far exceed our patterned understanding of how history has happened to us” (52). When and how do projects of elimination, replacement, and possession become geographies of everyday nonnative occupancy that do not understand themselves as predicated on colonial occupation or on a history of settler–Indigenous relation (even though they are), and what are the contours and effects of such experiences of inhabitance and belonging?

As Ahmed suggests, Ordinary Life and the Ethics of Occupation 15 “Histories shape ‘what’ surfaces: they are behind the arrival of ‘the what’ that surfaces” (44). 19 Everyday experiences of dwelling, personal autonomy, relation to others, and (non)relation to the state remain anchored in settler sovereignty, in the sense of being dependent on forms of state jurisdiction and policy that themselves subsume and displace Indigenous presence and territoriality. Merleau-Ponty observes that “former experience is present to” current perception “in the form of a horizon which it can reopen” (26), and state-endorsed geographies, shaped in their initial construction by extant political discourses and pressures, function as such experience due to the ways they are materialized as given in the contours of everyday occupancy, providing both the background and implicit horizon for present thought, feeling, and action.

S. 34 The operation of the United States as a settler-state cannot be understood in isolation from the naturalization of racial identities and racialized access to resources, particularly inasmuch as the privileging of whiteness shapes nonnatives’ experience of possession and personhood. 35 I seek to address the ways that the legalities of the settler-state shape everyday experiences of givenness for all nonnatives, such that antiracist projects (along with other articulations of opposition, as in the texts I address) can recycle those lived grids of intelligibility as a basis for their alternative imaginings.

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Settler Common Sense: Queerness and Everyday Colonialism in the American Renaissance by Mark Rifkin

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