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 white sexual minority politics in the U.S. formed from within colonial relationships to Indigenous peoples, and how Two-Spirit and queer of color activists critically articulated and challenged queer settler whiteness. In my current SSHRC-funded research, I join co-director Lisa Kahaleole Hall (Wells College) and our research team in interrogating whiteness and documenting decolonial memory in queer, trans and Two-Spirit activism in Canada and the U.S. Building from these bases, my essays address such topics as queer ethnography; Two-Spirit and Indigenous HIV/AIDS organizing; white settler colonialism; pedagogy in women’s and gender studies; and the politics of solidarity. My research and teaching endeavor to respond 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) at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2001. I am past co-Chair of the Association for Queer Anthropology (2010-2012) and currently I serve on the International Committee of the American Studies Association. With Leela Viswanathan I co-edit the Journal of Critical Race Inquiry, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal based at Queen’s University that publishes Canadian and international works in critical race studies.

Currently I advise Master’s students in the one- and two-year streams of the Gender Studies MA program, and I advise doctoral and Master’s from other departments who use ethnographic methods in their research contributions to Indigenous, critical race, sexuality and gender studies.


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 801 - Theories in Gender Studies

GNDS 810 - Gender, Space and Place

Supervised Theses / Dissertations

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).



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.