Interrogating Intimacies: Asian American and Native Relations in Colonial Alaska

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Interrogating Intimacies: Asian American and Native Relations in Colonial Alaska

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Interrogating Intimacies examines intersections between Asian and Native peoples in Alaska during the American territorial period in order to critically understand the formation of settler colonialism. In four case studies that touch on the historical periods of Alaskan purchase, the Gold Rush, incorporated territorial status, and World War II, I demonstrate how the colonial project racialized and gendered Native and Asian people in Alaska in different yet interdependent ways. Interrogating Intimacies utilizes an expansive archive of texts (historical documents, interviews, travel narratives, literature, and photography) to inform how settler colonialism defines and delimits its proper subject. I contend that the narrative of Alaska as a democratic state rather than a colonial territory depends upon the disavowal of both Asian labor and Native land claims, made possible through the spatial and temporal logics of settler colonialism. Tracing the multiple violences rendered by these interlocking disavowals, as well as possibilities for creative resistance, underscores the crucial benefit to bringing Asian American and Native studies into closer conversation.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2013. Major: American Studies. Advisors: Erika Lee, Jigna Desai. 1 computer file (PDF); xv, 261 pages.

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Pegues, Juliana. (2013). Interrogating Intimacies: Asian American and Native Relations in Colonial Alaska. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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