Kim TallBear
American Indian Culture and Research Journal (2021) 45 (1): 157–167.
Publication year: 2021

This essay is voiced by “IZ,” a character personifying the evolving field of “Native American” or “Indigenous” studies in the United States. IZ was introduced to readers in Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s edited volume Critical Indigenous Studies: Engagements in First World Locations 2016, in which Moreton-Robinson wrote: “Twenty years into this century, Indigenous-centered approaches to knowledge production are thriving” and our “object of study is colonizing power in its multiple forms, whether the gaze is on Indigenous issues or on Western knowledge production.” Today, “critical Indigenous studies” represents a coming together of multiple national engagements by Indigenous scholars and sovereignty movements with universities around the world. In this essay, IZ’s object of study and critical polydisciplinamorous Indigenous engagement is a scientist searching for signs of “intelligent” life off-Earth.

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