Tensing, dancing, hoping: the future past of settler empire

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This article considers the complexities of space time as elaborated within Choctaw writer LeAnne Howe's 2005 poem “A Duck's Tune” from her award-winning collection of poetry and prose _Evidence of Red_. Paying particular attention to Howe's deliberate, nuanced use of grammatical tense and her narration of embodied performances that interrupt the ethnographic gaze, the article deploys settler colonial critique not only as a critical lens for textual explication but also–and more importantly–in order to explore the ways in which Indigenous voices productively challenge, abet, enhance, and/or reconfigure this critical analytic that has–with good reason–come to enamor so many scholarly fields. Through it's focus is on the work of Howe, this article centers a Native voice within a scholarly and activist conversation whose emphasis on settler practices and processes risks ironically marginalizing Indigenous perspectives. Unlike many scholarly iterations of settler colonial critique, “A Duck's Tune” relentlessly imagines otherwise by singing into existence the assured possibility of transformative Indigenous futures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-450
Number of pages7
JournalSettler Colonial Studies
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


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