Settler Contingencies, Indigenous Futures

ANIMA series, Duke University Press (under contract)

Settler Contingencies, Indigenous Futures argues that time and tense govern settler colonial maneuvers from the nineteenth century to the present. It rethinks the familiar temporalized discourse of settler colonialism, which includes concepts of “modernity,” “progress,” “civility” and “civilization,” to argue that such formulations fail to capture the complex temporal relations and economies that emerge from settler-colonial capitalism. The book analyzes the temporal economies and tenses of treaties, monuments, militarized technologies, nuclear waste sites, and border surveillance to argue that settler colonialism also depends on and functions by contingency, provisions for unknown and uncertain futures. And settler contingencies are the result of Native peoples’ ongoing presence, resistance, resurgence, and survivance. In short, settler colonialism is, and has always been, contingent—utterly dependent on its own formulations of progress and futurity—but it has no contingency plan for Native/Indigenous survival and resistance.