Indigeneity and Decolonization Research Cluster

Coordinated by Macarena Gómez-Barris and John Carlos Rowe


            This cluster aims to document the experiences of militarization, forced removal, genocide, and the mass migration of indigenous people, creating new academic and community-based research while also making important comparative linkages to other Ethnic Studies sub-fields. Our objective is to think about native studies in relation to knowledge systems, settler logics and policies, and social contestations. Through book groups, meetings, presentations, graduate seminars, and dialogues between faculty and graduate students we develop a conceptual approach to legal recognition, racial violence, biopolitics and the way that colonialism casts its long shadow in modernity. Studying the dialectic between indigeneity and settler societies through grounded research and epistemological ruptures, we make links to the historical and contemporary oppressions of other communities of color.

We methodologically use knowledge formations that begin to trace out the subjectivities, memories, and complexity of state sanctioned violence in the intimacies of the every day, especially in relation to indigenous bodies. We note and analyze how the assault on native bodies, particularly native women, has been integral to US Empire. We analyze and pursue the theories and practices of decolonization. We complicate tradition, representation, property, genealogy and blood ties. Finally, we think through how settler and gender normativities produce complex social and cultural dynamics in the US, in the Western Hemisphere, and beyond.



Macarena Gómez-Barris

John Carlos Rowe

David Treuer

Neetu Khanna


Graduate Students:

Crystal Baik

Cecilia Caballero

Hoest Heap of Birds

Florencia Boj-López

Jih-Fei Cheng

Rebekah Garrison

Alex Young


Schedule of Events


JANUARY 24 2013, KAP 445

Speaker: Emma Perez, University of Colorado, Boulder

“Decolonizing Queer Racialized Sexualities”


THURSDAY NOV. 7 2013, 2-3pm, KAP 445

Speaker: Luis E. Cárcamo-Huechante, University of Texas, Austin

“Indigenous Grassroots Radio in the Bío-Bío”


THURSDAY, NOV. 7 2013, 4-5:30pm, SOS 250

Speaker: Florencia Mallon, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Narratives of Memory in Chile: Forty Years Later”

Co-sponsored by History Department



WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014, KAP 445, 3-5pm.

Speaker: Mishuana Goeman, UCLA, “Native Women Mapping: A Graduate Seminar,” co-sponsored by ASE Indigeneity and Decolonization Research Cluster.


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014, KAP 460, 2-4pm

Speaker: Nancy Postero, UC San Diego, “Wedding the Nation: Spectacles of Indigeneity in Plurinational Bolivia.” 


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014, KAP 460, 2-4:30pm

Speaker: Joanne Barker, University of San Francisco 

 “In Debt: A Reconsideration of ‘Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime’ from Manna-Hata,”


TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2014 KAP 445, 3-4:30pm,

Speaker: Neetu Khanna, USC Comparative Literature, "Progressive Feeling: Visceral Realisms and Marxist Aesthetics in the Literature of Decolonizing India.”

  • Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 South Vermont Avenue
  • Kaprielian Hall 462
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-2534