Excerpt: As Palestinians continue to experience the violent decimation of their olive groves, the consumption of Palestinian olive oil grows increasingly popular through transnational fair trade circuits. A feminized commodity from the “land of milk and honey,” olive oil has emerged as a signifier of Palestinian femininity and indigeneity pitched to the conscientious palate. I use the Palestinian olive as an optic to explore the convergence of settler colonialism, environmental destruction, neoliberal multiculturalism, consumption, and desire through multisited and multisensory ethnography in a transnational feminist cultural studies framework. Tracing the production, circulation, consumption, and representation of Palestinian olives, I argue that settler colonialism relies on gendered logics of disappearing native peoples, lands, and cultures. I analyze the neoliberal consumption of Palestinian olive oil and visual representations in contemporary television shows, like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, against the ongoing disappearing of Palestinian landscapes. While Palestinian olives are often represented as part of Palestinian dispossession, my ethnographic findings indicate that tasting, eating, and cooking animate alternative ways of narrating history and reanchoring Palestinians to their land. In particular, I show how Palestinian women use food to connect back to villages depopulated during and following the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe). This dissertation project asks new theoretical questions about settler colonialism as a process of vanishing native peoples and their subjectivities, one that coresides with neoliberal, multicultural tropes of consumption and desire. I introduce a framework I call transnational feminist food studies: an epistemology and methodological practice that explores how food mediates power but also challenges hegemonic narratives of colonialism and other structures of power. Transnational feminist food studies serves as an innovative intervention in cultural studies, food studies, post-colonial theory, and environmental justice.

Abstract: Ethical standards of conduct in research undertaken at Canadian universities involving humans has been
guided by the three federal research funding agencies through the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct
for Research Involving Humans (or TCPS for short) since 1998. The statement was revised for the first time in
2010 and is now commonly referred to as the TCPS2, which includes an entire chapter (Chapter 9) devoted
to the subject of research involving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada. While the establishment
of TCPS2 is an important initial step on the long road towards decolonizing Indigenous research within the
academy, our frustrations—which echo those of many colleagues struggling to do research “in a good way”
(see, for example, Ball & Janyst 2008; Bull, 2008; Guta et al., 2010) within this framework—highlight the
urgent work that remains to be done if university-based researchers are to be enabled by establishment
channels to do “ethical” research with Aboriginal peoples. In our (and others’) experience to date, we seem to
have been able to do research in a good way, despite, not because of the TCPS2 (see Castleden et al., 2012). The
disconnect between the stated goals of TCPS2, and the challenges researchers face when attempting to
navigate how individual, rotating members of REBs interpret the TPCS2 and operate within this framework,
begs the question: Wherein lies the disconnect? A number of scholars are currently researching this divide
(see for example see Guta et al. 2010; Flicker & Worthington, 2011; and Guta et al., 2013). In this editorial,
we offer an anecdote to illustrate our experience regarding some of these tensions and then offer reflections
about what might need to change for the next iteration of the TCPS.

Abstract: I use the lens of the “critical traveler” to argue that the international border crossing of Palestine/Israel is both a settler colonial technology for the State of Israel, and a site of resistance for the transnational Palestinian solidarity movement. Israel deems certain travelers as critical to its settler colonial project. Israel marks Palestinian and Muslim travelers as racially critical to Israel that aims to be a Jewish majority state. Israel also marks travelers as critical because it suspects that these travelers espouse critical views of Israel’s settler colonialist ideology and practice. As such, Israel has established a border security system to identify and subject critical travelers; the system consists of segregated surveillance, intelligence collection, biopolitical techniques, and border expansion. Furthermore, Israel is an occupying power and critical travelers vary in nationalities; therefore, third states – states that are not Israel or Palestine – are also accountable to Israel’s treatment of critical travelers. As a third state, through policymaking and rhetoric, the United States has supported Israel’s unilateral control of international Palestine/Israel border crossings. However, the transnational Palestinian solidarity network harnesses the narratives written by critical travelers to inform the legal and cultural discourse of critique of Israel’s colonial past, present and future.The struggle between the critical traveler and Israel’s border security is not simply a matter between an individual traveler and a sovereign nation-state. Rather the struggle serves as an analytic for the global perpetuation of as well as the global resistance to Israel’s ongoing settler colonial project in Palestine.

Abstract: South Carolina was a staggeringly weak polity from its founding in 1670 until the 1730s. Nevertheless, in that time, and while facing significant opposition from powerful indigenous neighbors, the colony constructed a robust plantation system that boasted the highest slave-to-freeman ratio in mainland North America. Taking this fact as a point of departure, I examine the early management of unfree labor in South Carolina as an exemplary moment of settler-colonial state formation. Departing from the treatment of state formation as a process of centralizing “legitimate violence,” I investigate how the colonial state, and in particular the Commons House of Assembly, asserted an exclusive claim to authority by monopolizing the question of legitimacy itself. In managing unfree laborers, the colonial state extended its authority over supposedly private relations between master and slave and increasingly recast slavery in racial terms. This recasting of racial slavery rested, I argue, on a distinction, pervasive throughout English North America, which divided the world into spheres of savagery and civility. Beneath the racial reordering of colonial life, the institution of slavery was rooted in the same ideological distinction by which the colonial state’s claims to authority were justified, with the putative “savagery” of the slave or of the Indian being counterpoised to the supposed civility of English settlers. This article contributes to the literatures on Atlantic slavery and American colonial history, and invites comparison with accounts of state formation and settler colonialism beyond Anglo-America.

A link to the book’s page.

Abstract: In 1939, Wisconsin readers of a weekly newspaper column by Mitchell Redcloud, a member of the Ho-Chunk Indian community settled within the rural township of Komensky, were greeted with a set of headlines from the imaginary “Komensky News” about an actual local event. The headlines reported that despite opposition from local whites, Ho-Chunk people had successfully elected a Ho-Chunk candidate to the township board. This article draws on studies of Indigenous media and recent efforts to develop field-theoretic accounts of social action to understand the interdependence of Redcloud’s headlines and the Ho-Chunk vote as part of an incipient project of Indigenous political action. Using census records, I first describe the positions in the everyday field of race and class relations that Ho-Chunk people occupied in Komensky, based on their incomes, educations, and occupational statuses. I then draw on this description to understand Redcloud’s position-taking strategies before the election. I next examine Redcloud’s writing career in the newspaper to understand his strategy of self-positioning as a marked Indian voice within a print-based discursive field that denigrated other Ho-Chunk voices. I finish by examining new position-taking strategies manifest in the 1939 vote and in Redcloud’s turn to headline register. I argue that both media and electoral mechanisms offered relatively autonomous fields that made these experiments with Indigenous action possible despite the absence of tribal political institutions necessary to transform the positions Ho-Chunk people occupied in their everyday lives. Together, the headlines and the election suggest the interdependence of activism carried out in media and in governmental structures in the production of transformative acts of political self-representation.

1) Tequila Sovereign’s astute questioning, 30/06/15.

2) The Daily Beast‘s ‘scoop‘, 30/06/15.

3) Moontime Warrior’s resonable response, 01/07/15.

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