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Shannon Speed, Director

The Erotics of Sovereignty

Mon, February 4, 2013 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • Chicano Culture Room UNB 4.206 Texas Union


Professor Mark Rifkin Associate Professor Department of English

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Contemporary federal Indian law and policy regulates what can count as Native identity by
pegging it to notions of racial and cultural purity.   Trying to live these imposed, and
heteronormative, standards creates great distress and dissension in contemporary Native
communities, especially with respect to those tribal members whose sexual lives and
genealogies do not fit the federal ideal. Professor Rifkin will explore these dynamics
through discussion of the guidelines for tribal acknowledgment and Greg Sarris’
commentary on them in his novel Watermelon Nights.

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