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Making Queer Family in the Shadow of Indian Child Removal - Research Colloquium
WhenTuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

No RSVP required. Free and open to the public.
Making Queer Family in the Shadow of Indian Child Removal
Sarah Dowling

This paper examines Frozen River (2008), a critically acclaimed and award-winning film focusing on two working-class women, one white and one Indigenous, who seek to improve their economic lot by smuggling Asian immigrants from Canada to the United States across the frozen St. Lawrence River, through the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. I argue that although none of its characters are explicitly coded as queer, Frozen River raises a number of questions at the heart of queer studies today. While many queer theorists have critiqued the ways in which the intimate sphere is increasingly figured as a privileged site for the management of racial conflict, I argue that Frozen River sketches a portrait of queer family that avoids the neoliberal trappings of gay marriage and adoption narratives, and of racial reconciliation. Instead, it raises profound questions about the wages of solidarity and alliance, and about the proper subjects of queer and queer Indigenous studies. In particular, the film presents a redistributive reversal of the politics of Indian child removal, and demands that white characters accede to and live within Indigenous characters’ articulations of political sovereignty as the condition of their economic survival.

Professor Dowling will be joined by guest discussant Dr. Dian Million from University of Washington Seattle.

This presentation is part of  IAS' 3 talk series Research Colloqium. For more information please click HERE>>

Campus locationUW Bothell UW1
Campus roomUW1-280 (Rose Room)
Event typesAcademics…
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