The University of Arizona

Unfolding The Dialogue: Where Transnational And Native American Studies Meet

April Petillo


Convinced that Transnational and American Indian scholars are talking about the same thing when they consider colonial statecraft processes and the US’ assimilationist policies, the author explores how the two disciplines might dialogue with one another. Where and how might one apply Transnational theories of migration, borders and identity in the context of American Indian Studies? How might American Indian Studies’ focus on distinguishing categories of sovereignty, identity and place inform Transnational Studies’ analysis? The article discussion considers indicators of transmigrant experience as applied to the indigenous peoples of North America and how expanded intersectional analytics in both disciplines can support more nuanced understandings. Using a focused review of foundational texts, the author considers the connections that both American Indian and Transnational Studies have to developing Settler Colonial Studies discourse and scholarship supportive of decolonization.


Transnational Studies, American Indian Studies, Border Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, interdisciplinary scholarship, intersectionality, statecraft, transmigrant, identity reformation, border theory, indigenous theory, decolonializing theory

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