Scott L. Morgensen



As an ethnographer and historian of social movements, I examine how political communities struggle over differences, challenge and reproduce oppressions, and confront the demands of solidarity and alliance. My research projects examine racism and colonialism in U.S. and Canadian queer / trans communities, and those communities' responsibilities to Indigenous Two-Spirit / LGBTQ movements and to all queer / trans movements for decolonization (see Research, below). In addition, my theoretical writings examine: queer and colonial modernities; epistemologies of Indigenous solidarity; comparisons of white-supremacist settler colonialism in the Americas; and theories of bio/necropower in queer, critical race and Indigenous studies. In each case, I engage theories and methods in decolonial and transnational feminisms, and I hold my students responsible to these movements’ leadership.


I studied feminist ethnography and feminist theory at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I received my PhD in Anthropology (Women’s Studies) in 2001. My first book, Spaces between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization, was published in 2011, and won the 2012 Ruth Benedict Book Prize “Honorable Mention” from the Association for Queer Anthropology. I co-edited the collection Queer Indigenous Studies as well as a special issue of Settler Colonial Studies, “Karangatia: Calling Out Gender and Sexuality in Settler Societies.”

I am co-editor (with Barrington Walker and Leela Viswanathan) of Journal of Critical Race Inquiry. During 2013-16 I am an appointed member of the International Committee of the American Studies Association.


Current Talks and Publications 

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

Indigenous Governance and the Critique of Queer Settler Colonialism. American Studies Lecture Series, University of New Mexico, May 1 2014.

Indigenous Feminism and Settler Sovereignty: Responding to Idle No More. “Twenty-First Century Feminism and the Academy,” University of Western Ontario, October 18 2013.



Currently I am Principal Investigator of a SSRHC research project (2012-16) documenting perspectives on racism and colonialism within Canadian queer and trans politics.

 Prospective graduate students who seek research opportunities in this area are invited to inquire for more information.



GNDS 120 - Women, Gender, and Difference

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

GNDS 340 - Indigenous Women, Feminism, and Resistance

GNDS 375 - Queer / Race Studies

GNDS 432 - Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Politics

GNDS 810 - Gender, Space, and Place

PhD / MA Supervision

Currently I am advising graduate students who do research in Indigenous studies; critical studies of settler colonialism; and anti-racist / anti-colonial feminist, queer, and trans studies (based in Canada, the United States, India, Egypt, and Palestine). Graduate students with experience in queer / trans studies and social research may be able to participate as co-researchers in my ongoing SSHRC research project (see above).


Theses / Dissertations

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

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


Current Students

(Sole Supervision)

Karl Hardy (PhD candidate, Cultural Studies Graduate Program) 

Dana Wesley (Gender Studies MA program)

Natasha Stirrett (Gender Studies MA program)

Stephanie McColl (Gender Studies MA program)

(Joint Supervision)

Mohamed Abdou (PhD candidate, Cultural Studies Graduate Program) 

AW Lee (PhD candidate, Cultural Studies Graduate Program) 

Cameron Greensmith (PhD candidate, Social Justice Education, OISE / University of Toronto)

Filza Naveed (Cultural Studies MA program)

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).



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.