Alicia Cox talk (5/15)


The English Department Speakers and Events Committee invites you to a talk by Alicia Cox, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the UCD English Department, on May 15 at 2:10 PM in 126 Voorhies.

Title: “’To Make Love without Fear’: Reading a Sovereign Erotic in Sun Chief: The Autobiography of a Hopi Indian

Abstract: Don Talayesva’s life narrative, Sun Chief: The Autobiography of a Hopi Indian, was first published by Yale University Press in 1942, and it has been popular among historians, anthropologists, and other social scientists, but it has not received the attention of literary critics. This talk raises questions about the definitions of literature, authorship, discipline, and resistance, and it explores how contemporary concepts and theories being developed in the emerging field of queer indigenous studies might lend new insights for understanding older texts that foreground Native American eroticism. Through an engagement with theories of sexuality, sovereignty, and biopower, I argue that Sun Chief poses a fundamental challenge to the Euro-American ideology of individualism and critiques settler colonial policies of Indian assimilation. I demonstrate that the text narrates Talayesva’s sovereign erotic through his identity as "twins," a person with a male and female essence in one body; his resistance to sexual disciplining in Indian boarding school; and his inversion of the roles of the colonizer and the Native as the subject and object of civilizing discipline through surveillance and punishment.

Biography: Alicia Cox is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English at UC Davis. She also serves as affiliated faculty with the the Mellon-funded research initiative at UC Davis, "Social Justice, Culture, and (In)Security." Alicia completed her Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Native American Studies at UC Riverside in June 2014. Her research interests also include Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Hope you can make it!