Essential Texts

Given the amount of reading suggestions I toss out to folks who wish to know more about critical Indigenous and other decolonial perspectives on settler colonialism, capitalism, racism, the state, decolonization and other subjects, I have decided to cull many of them into an essentials list.

Note though that this does not contain a number of foundational texts and authors such as Frantz Fanon & Amílcar Cabral, various works from the heterogeneous Marxist stream of critical theory and other Western Marxisms (such as that of Antonio Gramsci), some poststructuralism or Dependency Theory and World-Systems Analysis, all of which are essential very much so in their own right. 

Creating a list that also includes those foundational works would go someways to defeating the purpose of this already long condensation of the texts I consider essential to my worldview. Thus this list primarily contains recent and recent-ish works from Native North American, Black/African and Latinx writers, along with a few critical whites/settlers. 

Ahmed, Sara. 2006. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Barker, Adam J. 2012. “(Re-)Ordering the New World: Settler Colonialism, Space, and Identity.” Ph.D dissertation, Department of Geography, University of Leicester.

Bruyneel, Kevin. 2015. “Codename Geronimo: Settler Memory and the Production of American Statism.” Settler Colonial Studies.

—. 2010. “Exiled, Executed, Exalted: Louis Riel, Homo Sacer and the Production of Canadian Sovereignty.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 43 (3): 711-732.

—. 2007. The Third Space of Sovereignty: The Postcolonial Politics of U.S.–Indigenous Relations. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Byrd, Jodi. 2015. “Mind the Gap: Indigenous Sovereignty and the Antinomies of Empire.” In The Anomie of the Earth: Philosophy, Politics, and Autonomy in Europe and the Americas, edited by Frederico Luisetti, John Pickles and Wilson Kaiser, 119–136. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. Byrd, Jodi. 2011. The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota.

Ciccariello-Maher, George. 2017. Decolonizing Dialectics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2014. “Decolonial Realism: Ethics, Politics and Dialectics in Fanon and Dussel.” Contemporary Political Theory 13:2-22.

—. 2012. “The Dialectics of Standing One’s Ground.” Theory & Event15(3).

—. 2010. “Jumpstarting the Decolonial Engine: Symbolic Violence from Fanon to Chávez.” Theory & Event 13(1).

Coulthard, Glen. 2014. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

—. 2007. “Subjects of Empire: Indigenous Peoples and the ‘Politics of Recognition’ in Canada.” Contemporary Political Theory 6: 437-460.

Day, Iyko. 2016. Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2015. “Being or Nothingness: Indigeneity, Antiblackness, and Settler Colonial Critique.” Critical Ethnic Studies 1(2): 102-121.

Deer, Sarah. 2015. The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Dussel, Enrique. 2013. Ethics of Liberation: In the Age of Globalization and Exclusion. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2011. Politics of Liberation: A Critical World History. Manila, PH: SCM Press.

—. 2003. Philosophy of Liberation. Eurgene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers.

—. 2001. Towards an Unknown Marx: A Commentary on the Manuscripts of 1861-1863. London, UK: Routledge.

—. 1995. The Invention of the Americas: Eclipse of “the Other” and the Myth of Modernity. New York, NY: Continuum.

Edelman, Lee. 2004. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Forbes, Jack D. 2008. Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism. New York, NY: Seven Stories Press.

Goeman, Mishuana. 2013. Mark My Words: Native Women Mapping Our Nations. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Gordon, Lewis R. 2015. What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought. New York, NY: Fordham.

—. 2000. Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought. New York, NY: Routledge.

—, ed. 1997. Existence in Black: An Anthology of Black Existential Philosophy. New York, NY: Routledge.

—. 1995b. Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press.

—. 1995b. Fanon and the Crisis of European Man: An Essay on Philosophy and the Human Sciences. New York, NY: Routledge.

Grande, Sandy. 2015. Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Grosfoguel, Ramón. 2013. “The Structure of Knowledge in Westernized Universities: Epistemic Racism/sexism and the Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the Long 16th Century.” Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge 11(1):73-90.

—. 2010. “Epistemic Islamophobia and Colonial Social Sciences.” Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge 8:29–38.

Grosfoguel, Ramón and Ana Margarita Cervantes-Rodríguez, eds. 2002. The Modern/Colonial/Capitalist World-System in the Twentieth Century: Global Processes, Antisystemic Movements, and the Geopolitics of Knowledge. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Halberstam, Jack. 2011. The Queer Art of Failure. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Hill, Susan M. 2017. The Clay We Are Made Of: Haudenosaunee Land Tenure on the Grand River. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba Press.

Hunt, Sarah. 2013. “Ontologies of Indigeneity: The Politics of Embodying a Concept.” Cultural Geographies 21(1): 27–32.

Hunt, Sarah & Cindy Holmes. 2015. “Everyday Decolonization: Living a Decolonizing Queer Politics.” Journal of Lesbian Studies 19(2): 154-172.

LaRocque, Emma. 2010. When the Other is Me: Native Resistance Discourse, 1850-1990. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba Press.

Lowman, Emma Battell Lowman & Adam J. Barker. 2015. Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada. Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing.

Lowe, Lisa. 2015. The Intimacies of Four Continents. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Lugones, María. 2010. “Toward a Decolonial Feminism”. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 25(4): 742–759.

—. 2008. “The Coloniality of Gender.” Worlds & Knowledges Otherwise 2: 1-17.

—. 2007. “Heterosexualism and the Colonial/Modern Gender System.” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 22(1): 186–219.

—. 2003. Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalitions Against Multiple Oppressions. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield.

Maldonado-Torres, Nelson. 2008. Against War: Views from the Underside of Modernity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2007. “On the Coloniality of Being.” Cultural Studies 21 (2-3): 240–70.

Manuel, George & Michael Posluns. 2019. The Fourth World: An Indian Reality. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Maracle, Lee. 1996. I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism. Vancouver, BC: Press Gang Publishers.

Martinot, Steve. 2010. The Machinery of Whiteness: Studies in the Structure of Racialization. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

—. 2007. “Race and the Ghosts of Ontology.” American Philosophy Association Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience 6(2): 4-10.

—. 2004. “The Coloniality of Power: Notes Toward De-Colonization.” The Center for Global Justice.

—. N.D. White Skin, White Affect: Redundancy, Obsession, and Gratuitous Violence.

Martinot, Steve and Jared Sexton. 2010. “The Avant-Garde of White Supremacy.” Social Identities 9(2):169–181

Mbembe, Achille. 2017a. Critique of Black Reason. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2017b. “Difference and Self-Determination.” E-Flux 80.

—. 2008. “Necropolitics.” In Foucault in an Age of Terror: Essays on Biopolitics and the Defence of Society, edited by Stephen Morton & Stephen Bygrave, 152-182. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

—. 2001. On the Postcolony. Berkeley, CA:University of California Press, 2001).

Mignolo, Walter D. 2012. Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

—. 2011. The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2009a. “Dispensable and Bare Lives: Coloniality and the Hidden Political/Economic Agenda of Modernity.” Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge 7(2):69-88.

—. 2009b. “Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and De-Colonial Freedom.” Theory, Culture & Society 26(7-8): 1-23.

—. 2007. “Delinking: The Rhetoric of Modernity, the Logic of Coloniality and the Grammar of De-Coloniality.” Cultural Studies 21(2): 449-514.

—. 2008. “The Geopolitics of Knowledge and Colonial Difference.” In Coloniality at Large: Latin America and the Postcolonial Debate, edited by Mabel Moraña, Enrique Dussel and Carlos A Jáuregui, 225-258. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2003. The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, & Colonization. Ann Arbor, MN: University of Michigan Press.

—. 2002. “The Geopolitics of Knowledge and the Colonial Difference.” South Atlantic Quarterly 101(1): 57–96.

Mignolo, Walter D. & Catherine E. Walsh. 2018. On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Miner, Dylan A.T. 2014. Creating Aztlán: Chicano Art, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Lowriding Across Turtle Island. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

—. 2009. “From Aztlan to Red River: The Continental and Comparative Cultures of Chicana/o and Métis Anti-Colonialism.” In Métis Histories and Identities: A Tribute to Gabriel Dumont, 185-199. Winnipeg, MB: Les Presses Universitaires de Saint-Boniface.

Morgensen, Scott Lauria. 2011a. Spaces between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

—. 2011b. “The Biopolitics of Settler Colonialism: Right Here, Right Now.” Settler Colonial Studies 1(1): 52-76.

Moten, Fred. 2018. The Universal Machine. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2018. Stolen Life. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2017. Black & Blur. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2013. “Blackness and Nothingness (Mysticism in the Flesh).” South Atlantic Quarterly 112(4):737–780.

—. 2008. “The Case of Blackness.” Criticism 50(2):177–218.

—. 2008. “Black Op.” PMLA 123(5):1743–1747.

—. 2007. Black Optimism/Black Operation.

Moten, Fred and Stefano Harney. 2013. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. New York, NY: Autonomedia.

Mudimbe, Valentin Y. 1994. The Idea of Africa. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press.

—. 1988. The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Muñoz, José Esteban. 2009. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Pasternak, Shiri. 2017. Grounded Authority: The Algonquins of Barriere Lake against the State. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Puar, Jasbir K.  2017a. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2017b. The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Quijano, Aníbal. 2010. “Coloniality and Modernity/Rationality.” In Globalization and the Decolonial Option, edited by Walter Mignolo & Árturo Escobar, 22–32. London, UK: Routledge.

—. 2008. “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism and Social Classification.” In Coloniality at Large: Latin America and the Postcolonial Debate, edited by Mabel Moraña, Enrique Dussel and Carlos A Jáuregui, 181-224. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2002. “The Return of the Future and Questions about Knowledge.” Current Sociology 50(1):75-87.

Quijano, Aníbal and Michael Ennis. 2000. “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America.” Nepantla: Views from the South1(3):533-580.

Quijano, Aníbal and Immanuel Wallerstein. 1992. “Americanity as a Concept, or the Americas in the Modern World-System.” International Social Science Journal 134:549-557.

Rabasa, José. 2010. Without History: Subaltern Studies, the Zapatista Insurgency, and the Specter of History. Pittsburgh, PN: University of Pittsburgh Press.

—. 2008. “Thinking Europe in Indian Categories, or, ‘Tell Me the Story of How I Conquered You’.” In Coloniality at Large: Latin America and the Postcolonial Debate, edited by Mabel Moraña, Enrique Dussel and Carlos A Jáuregui, 43-76. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Rabaka, Reiland. 2014. Concepts of Cabralism: Amilcar Cabral and Africana Critical Theory. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

—. 2010. Forms of Fanonism: Frantz Fanon’s Critical Theory and the Dialectics of Decolonization. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

—. 2010. Against Epistemic Apartheid: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Disciplinary Decadence of Sociology. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Robinson, Cedric J. 1999. An Anthropology of Marxism. London, UK: Ashgate Publishing.

—. 1983. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.

Saldaña-Portillo, María Josefina. 2016. Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

—. 2001. “Who’s the Indian in Aztlan? Re-Writing Mestizaje, Indianism, and Chicanismo from the Lacandon.” In The Latin American Subaltern Studies Reader, edited by Ileana Rodriguez and María Milagros López, Durham, 402-423. NC: Duke University Press.

Saldaña-Portillo, María Josefina, and Maria Cotera. 2014. “Indigenous but not Indian? Chicana/os and the Politics of Indigeneity.” In The World of Indigenous North America, edited by Robert Warrior. Florence, KY: Taylor & Francis Group.

Simpson, Audra.  2016. “The State is a Man: Theresa Spence, Loretta Saunders and the Gender of Settler Sovereignty.” Theory & Event 19(4).

—.  2014. Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. 2017. As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

—.  2011. Dancing On Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence. Winnipeg, MB: Arbeiter Ring Publishing

Spillers, Hortense. 2003. Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

—. 1987. “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book.” Diacritics 17(2):64–81.

Thiong’o, Ngũgĩ wa. 1986. Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. Melton, UK: James Currey.

Tinker, George E. 2008. American Indian Liberation: A Theology of Sovereignty. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

—. 2004. Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. 2012. “Decolonization is Not A Metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society 1 (1): 1-40.

Tuck, Eve & Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández. 2013. “Curriculum, Replacement, and Settler Futurity.” Journal of Curriculum Theorizing 29(1): 72-89.

Veracini, Lorenzo. 2014. “Understanding Colonialism and Settler Colonialism as Distinct Formations.” Interventions 16 (5): 615-633.

—. 2010. Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Weheliye, Alexander G. 2014. Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Wolfe, Patrick. 2016. Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race.London, UK: Verso.

—. 2012. “Against the Intentional Fallacy: Legocentrism and Continuity in the Rhetoric of Indian Dispossession.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 36 (1): 3-45.

—. 2011. “After the Frontier: Separation and Absorption in US Indian Policy.” Settler Colonial Studies 1 (1):13-51

—. 2007. “Corpus Nullius: The Exception of Indian and Other Aliens in US Constitutional Discourse.” Postcolonial Studies 10 (2): 127-151.

—. 2006. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” Journal of Genocide Research 8 (4): 387-409.

—. 1998. Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Anthropology: The Politics and Poetics of an Ethnographic Event. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Wynter, Sylvia. 2015. “The Ceremony Found: Towards the Autopoetic Turn/Overturn, its Autonomy of Human Agency and Extraterritoriality of (Self-)Cognition.” In Black Knowledges/Black Struggles: Essays in Critical Epistemology, edited by Jason R. Ambroise & Sabine Broeck. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press.

—. 2007. “On How We Mistook the Map for the Territory and Re-Imprisoned Ourselves in Our Unbearable Wrongness of Being, of Désêtre: Black Studies Toward the Human Project.” In Not Only the Master’s Tools: African-American Studies in Theory and Practice, edited by Lewis R. Gordon and Jane Anna Gordon, 107-169. New York, NY: Routledge.

—. 2003. “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation – An Argument”. CR: The New Centennial Review3(3): 257-337.

—. 2001. “Towards the Sociogenic Principle: Fanon, Identity, the Puzzle of Conscious Experience, and What It Is Like to be ‘Black.'” In National Identities and Socio-Political Changes in Latin America, edited by Mercedes F. Durán-Cogan and Antonio Gómez-Moriana, 30-66. New York, NY: Routledge.

—. 1984. “The Ceremony Must be Found: After Humanism.” boundary 2 12/13 (3/1): 19-70).

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