Scott L. Morgensen




I work primarily as an ethnographer and historian of social movements. My research in the United States and Canada investigates how racism and colonialism structure politics of sexuality and gender, and how such politics are transformed by anti-racist and anti-colonial activism. My first book examined how colonial relationships with Indigenous peoples structure white sexual minority cultures and politics in the U.S., and how Two-Spirit and queer of color activisms articulate and challenge settler whiteness. In a current SSHRC-funded project, I and collaborator Lisa Kahaleole Hall (Wells College) direct a research team in critically investigating queer whiteness and documenting decolonial memory within queer, trans, Two-Spirit and HIV/AIDS activism in Canada and the U.S. In addition to these themes, my published essays address queer and feminist ethnography, theories of sexuality and colonialism, and pedagogy in feminist and gender studies. My research and teaching endeavor to respond accountably to anti-racist, Indigenous and transnational feminisms, and I hold my own and my students’ work responsible to their intellectual and political leadership.

I received my PhD in Anthropology (Women’s Studies) from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2001. I am past co-Chair of the Association for Queer Anthropology (2010-2012). Currently I serve on the International Committee of the American Studies Association (2013-2016). With Leela Viswanathan I co-edit Journal of Critical Race Inquiry.

In the Gender Studies Master’s Program and the Cultural Studies Graduate Program I advise students who use ethnographic or historical methods to make research contributions to feminist, queer, trans, critical race, Indigenous and transnational studies.


GNDS 120 - Women, Gender and Difference

GNDS 320 - HIV/AIDS Movements: Histories of Community Health Activism

GNDS 375 - Queer / Race Studies

GNDS 432 - Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Politics

GNDS 801 - Theories in Gender Studies



Karl Hardy (PhD 2015, Cultural Studies Graduate Program) Unsettling Hope: Settler Colonialism and Utopianism

A.W. Lee (PhD cand., Cultural Studies Graduate Program) Performing ManChyna: Unmapping Promissory Exaltation, Multicultural Eugenics and the New Whiteness. (Co-supervised with Kip Pegley)

Postdoctoral Fellows

Cameron Greensmith, SSHRC Postdoctoral Researcher 2014-15: “Interrogating Whiteness within Canadian LGBTQ Politics”


Dana Wesley (MA 2015, Department of Gender Studies) Reimagining Two-Spirit Community: Critically Centering Narratives by Urban Two-Spirit Youth

Stephanie McColl (MA 2014, Department of Gender Studies) #surrogacy: Confronting the Coloniality of Twitter and Contemporary Transnational Surrogacy Practices in India

Auden Cody Neuman (MA 2012, Department of Gender Studies) Wounded Subjects: White Settler Nationals in Toronto G20 Resistance Narratives

Maya Thau-Eleff (MA 2012, Department of Gender Studies) Coming Home: Sovereign Bodies and Sovereign Land in Indigenous Poetry, 1990-2012

Emily MacGillivray (MA 2011, Department of Gender Studies) Red and Black Blood: Teaching the Logic of the Canadian Settler State


Selected Publications


Spaces between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (2011).

Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature. Qwo-Li Driskill, Chris Finley, Brian Joseph Gilley, Scott Lauria Morgensen, Ed. Tucson: University of Arizona Press (2011).


Edited Journal Issue

Karangatia: Calling Out Gender and Sexuality in Settler Societies. Michelle Erai and Scott L. Morgensen, ed. Settler Colonial Studies 2:2 (2012).



Cutting to the Roots of Colonial Masculinity. In Indigenous Men and Masculinities: Legacies, Identities, Regeneration, Kim Anderson and Rob Innes, Ed. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2015.

A Politics Not Yet Known: Imagining Relationality within Solidarity. American Quarterly 67(2): 309-315 (2015).

Indigenous Transnationalism and the AIDS Pandemic: Challenging Settler Colonialism and Global Health Governance. In Theorizing Native Studies, Audra Simpson, Andrea Smith, Ed. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014.

White Settlers and Indigenous Solidarity: Challenging White Supremacy, Answering Decolonial Alliances. Decolonization May 26 2014.

Margaret Little, Katherine McKittrick, Scott Morgensen, Beverley Mullings, Sarita Srivastava, and Jane Tolmie. What Does it Mean to Be a Feminist in 2014? Kingston Whig-Standard, April 2, 2014.

Settler Colonialism and Alliance: Comparative Challenges to Pinkwashing and Homonationalism. Jadaliyya April 03, 2013.

Fearlessly Engaging Complicity. In Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America, Christa Craven and Dána-Ain Davis, Eds. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books (2013).

The Representability and Responsibility of Cisgender Queer Men in Women’s Studies. Women’s Studies: An International Journal 42:1 (2013), 534-558.

Identity (Politics). Rethinking Women’s and Gender Studies. Catherine Orr, Ann Braithwaite, Diane Lichtenstein ed. New York: Routledge (2012).

Destabilizing the Settler Academy: The Decolonial Effects of Indigenous Methodologies. American Quarterly 64(4): 805-8 (2012).

Queer Settler Colonialism in Canada and Israel: Articulating Two-Spirit and Palestinian Queer Critiques. Settler Colonial Studies 2(2): 167-190 (2012).

Theorizing Gender, Sexuality, and Settler Colonialism: An Introduction. Settler Colonial Studies 2(2): 2-22 (2012).

Activist Media in Indigenous AIDS Organizing: Theorizing the Colonial Conditions of AIDS. Comparative Indigeneities in the Americas. Bianet Castellanos, Lourdes Gutierrez, Arturo Aldama, ed. Tucson: University of Arizona Press (2012).

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

Unsettling Queer Politics: What Can Non-Natives Learn from Two-Spirit Organizing? Queer Indigenous Studies, Q. Driskill et al, ed. Tucson: University of Arizona Press (2011).

Settler Homonationalism: Theorizing Settler Colonialism within Queer Modernities. GLQ 16 (1-2): 105-131 (2010).

Unsettling Settler Desires. Unsettling Ourselves: Reflections and Resources for Deconstructing Colonial Mentality. Unsettling Minnesota Collective, Minneapolis, pp. 156-157 (2009).

Activist Media in Native AIDS Organizing: Theorizing the Colonial Conditions of AIDS. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 32:1 (2008): 35-56.