Michael Morden, ‘Across the Barricades: Non-Indigenous Mobilization and Settler Colonialism in Canada’, Canadian Political Science Review 8, 1 (2014).

Recently, a new body of scholarship on “settler colonialism” has emerged with the goal to analyze the non-Native dimension of Indigenous-settler relations, in Canada and other settler states. This paper will identify two shortcomings of the new literature: first, a tendency to conflate mass-level non-Natives with the state itself; and second, an erroneous, primordial presentation of non-Native norms and identity. The paper examines two case studies of settler political mobilization in opposition to Indigenous peoples, in the contexts of the Indigenous occupations at Ipperwash/Aazhoodena in the early- to mid-1990s, and Caledonia/Kanonhstaton in 2006. The cases reveal consistency in how the mobilization is framed by non-Native participants – as a defense of abstract procedural principles like equality before the law and public order. This normative framework does not resonate with settler colonial theory. They also illustrate the degree to which mass-level non-Natives are autonomous actors in the relationship. During both conflicts, local non-Natives often advanced divergent interests from those of the state, producing a tripartite political dynamic that is not anticipated in the literature.

Oliver Haag, ‘Racializing the social problem: reception of Samson and Delilah in Germany’, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies (published online 8 August 2014).

This article examines elements of German reception of the Aboriginal Australian film Samson and Delilah (2009). There is a discrepancy between the film’s recognition at the Cannes Film Festival and its less enthusiastic audience reception. On the basis of qualitative interviews with German viewers, this article traces some of the patterns of reception and shows that audiences did not recognize the cultural codes of Aboriginal sovereignty and agency contained in this film. Instead, Samson and Delilah has largely been interpreted through dominant German cultural frameworks on race and racism. The film’s reception has thereby resulted in the opposite effect of a racialized construction of social problems conferred upon Aboriginal Australians. The main reason for different comprehension of the film’s cultural codes, as this study argues, lies in the lacking rendition of culturally unfamiliar codes.


This special issue of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society takes as its focus the relationship between law and decolonization. Does the deconstruction of colonial institutions and practices such as law insinuate the eradication of the contemporary state-form as we know it? And if so, what does such a dismantling entail, and how might political-juridical framework(s) be newly imagined, let alone concretely constructed? Importantly, several of the articles contained herein point to settler-colonial sovereignty as an unfinished project. In so doing, this issue delves into the tensions raised by the question: What is the relationship between law and decolonization?


Canadian Journal of Law & Society 29, 2 (2014).

panama zonians


“It was a strange kind of artificial place,” says Michael Donoghue, author of Borderland on the Isthmus: Race, Culture, and the Struggle for the Canal Zone. His father travelled through the zone during World War Two, and compared it to “a small southern town transplanted into the middle of Central America”.


English was predominantly spoken and even life-long Zonians could get away with not learning Spanish.

“They were pretty much set apart from the general Panamanian population by their own decision,” says Alonzo Delaguardia, vice rector for university relations at Florida State University’s Panama campus. The school was established in 1957 at the request of the US Department of Defense to provide education for Zonians.


Kate Dailey for BBC News.

Settler Colonial Studies, Vol. 4, No. 4 (2014) 

is now available on Taylor & Francis Online. 


Marcelo Svirsky, ‘The collaborative struggle and the permeability of settler colonialism’.


Henry Reynolds, ‘Action and anxiety: the long history of settler protest about the nature of Australian colonization’.

Simone Bignall, ‘The collaborative struggle for excolonialism’.

Jennifer Newman, ‘Radical hope – surprising will’.

Alessandro Pelizzon, ‘Aboriginal sovereignty claims: contemporary voices in Australia’.

Colin Salter, ‘Intersections of the colonial and postcolonial: pragmatism, praxis and transformative grassroots activism at Sandon Point’

Ilan Pappé, ‘Collaboration in struggle in Palestine: the search for a thirdspace’.

Omar Barghouti, ‘Opting for justice: the critical role of anti-colonial Israelis in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement’.

Ariella Azoulay, ‘Civil alliances – Palestine, 1947–1948′.

Marcelo Svirsky, ‘On the study of collaborative struggles in settler societies’.


Carroll P. Kakel III, ‘German expansionism, imperial liberalism, and the United States, 1776–1945′.

Janne Lahti, ‘North American borderlands’.

Richard Broome, ‘Doing Aboriginal history’, Agora 49, 2 (2014). 

Aboriginal History emerged as a discipline in the 1970s. What is it? Why should it be done? How has it been done? How should it be done? What are the problems of doing Aboriginal history in various arenas? How might they be surmounted? Where is it going now?

ACLA 2015 Call for Papers: Settler Colonial Literatures in Comparison

We are inviting papers for a seminar to be hosted at the American Comparative Literature Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting, in Seattle, Washington on March 26-29. This seminar explores how settler colonial studies contribute to our study of comparative literature, both within and beyond Anglophone settler spaces.

Recent scholarship has re-conceptualized settler colonialism as a distinct structure of domination. Despite inherent heterogeneity within settler and indigenous societies, structural opposition between the two continues beyond invasion. As such, ethnic minorities in white settler countries may participate in indigenous dispossession, and third-world postcolonial nation states may have untold histories of settler colonialism. Settler colonial history in the global scale thus entails particularly complex flows of power and structures of relation, whereby one moves vertically (structurally) from being indigenous to being settler (or vise-versa) along the horizontal global flows of migration, invasion, and settlement. In this framework, it may also become possible to examine migrants in Australia, the USA, Canada, and New Zealand for their participation in the settler order, and to query how much settler colonial domination has given legitimacy to states like Taiwan or Japan’s many islands and contributed to the ongoing conflicts in Israel or the Chinese borderlands.

In response to these complex networks of relation brought to light by settler colonial studies, this seminar examines the particular challenges and new possibilities in reading literatures comparatively across settler colonial conditions and structural positions, between postcolonial, indigenous, and ethnic literary studies. What may be our new ethos and strategies of reading and how can we engage with the particular temporal and spatial juxtapositions and scaling in settler texts? In what sense may it be productive to study literatures outside of the Anglophone settler colonies as settler colonial? Then, do settler literatures in Chinese, Japanese, or other tongues, invoke distinct literary traditions to narrate settlement and do these narratives produce divergent structures of relation? Perhaps even more importantly, can literary texts effectively narrate and envision the decolonization of settler colonialism?

We welcomes theoretical and methodological explorations of comparative settler colonial literary studies, close readings of specific sites of settler colonial heterogeneity, or comparative works that investigate relations across locations, languages, or political systems. Proposal by Aug 24, 2014. Contact: ythuang – at – ucla.edu.


Amanda Nettelbeck, ‘“On the Side of Law and Order”: Indigenous aides to the mounted police on the settler frontiers of Australia and Canada’, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 15, 2 (2014). 

The history of colonial policing has received considerable scholarly attention in terms of its function to extend and consolidate the legal jurisdiction of British rule over colonised territories and populations. This paper compares some of the complex roles played by Indigenous people who were employed primarily as “trackers” and “scouts” within mounted police forces on Australia’s and Canada’s settler frontiers. A comparative picture of indigenous participation in policing reveals parallels in colonial decision-making that went beyond local conditions, but also illuminates the different pressures of local conditions which affected the value of Indigenous auxiliaries to mounted police. These not only provide insight into the motivations of colonial authorities in enlisting indigenous people into policing networks, but also into how Indigenous people influenced the rule of law into which they were co-opted.

Daniel Stewart, ‘Indigenous people as equals?’, Legaldate 26 3 (2014).

As the founding document of the nation, the Australian Constitution should, at a minimum, recognise Indigenous people as the first people of the continent. This article argues that Parliament’s cross-party support for a referendum on constitutional recognition of Indigenous peoples provides a timely opportunity for creating both formal constitutional recognition and racial equality for Indigenous people. Such recognition, as will be discussed below, was not possible until recently.

Jordana Rosenberg and Chi-ming Yang, ‘The Dispossessed Eighteenth Century’, The Eighteenth Century 55, 2-3 (2014).

This Introduction to our special journal issue is organized around the concept and lived history of dispossession. Its immediate occasion is provoked as much by our current, post-2008 economic crisis as by the legacy of domestic and imperial enclosures in the British Empire of the long eighteenth century. We trace recent debates on dispossession and settler colonialism to Marx’s writings on primitive accumulation and debt, alongside his eighteenth-century sources, with particular attention to the prominent role assigned to Asian states for Enlightenment theorists of absolutism and twenty-first century theorists of capitalism alike. To the extent that recent debates in political economy have centered on China and India as potential rival hegemons to U.S. power, we note that the specter of the “Asiatic” has shaped and continues to shape and disrupt Western chronologies of capitalist development. Moreover, the history of capitalist production—with its attendant crises and violent consolidations of power and resources—must be studied through the development of slavery and race. We argue that literary and materialist approaches to these interconnected phenomena can illuminate the ways in which capitalism’s baleful and bloodthirsty proscriptions have been discursively sedimented; so, too, have otherwise-occluded histories of resistance become aesthetically encoded. The perspicacity and the Eurocentrism of the longue durée approach toward the history of world economic change continue to confront historians and theorists alike, and it is this conversation between history and theory—across time and space—that we foreground here.


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