Preface
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Preface

The recent history of American Quarterly suggests that the field of American studies is in the midst of being transformed by research in Indigenous studies. Over the last few years the journal has published important work at the intersection of those two fields, including Michael A. Elliot's "Indian Patriots on Last Stand Hill" (58.4), Michelle Raheja's "Reading Nanook's Smile: Visual Sovereignty, Indigenous Revisions of Ethnography, and Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner)" (59.4), Tiya Miles's "'Circular Reasoning': Recentering Cherokee Women in the Antiremoval Campaigns" (61.2), Shari M. Huhndorf's "Picture Revolution: Transnationalism, American Studies, and the Politics of Contemporary Native Culture" (61.2), and Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert's "Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912–1930" (62.1). Particularly significant in this regard is the forum "Native Feminisms without Apology: Native Feminisms Engage American Studies" (60.2), guest edited by J. Kēhaulani Kauanui and Andrea Smith. In their introduction, Kauanui and Smith argue that because settler colonial states (as well as certain tribal governments) are "built on the logics of heteropatriarchy," an Indigenous feminist project is devoted to articulating "alternative forms of governance beyond the United States in particular, and the nation-state in general" (244–45). The "Native Feminisms" forum was preceded in the issue by Thomas A. Bass's think piece, "Counterinsurgency and Torture," which suggests that the contemporary war on terror is mediated by histories of Indian warfare. In the wake of 9/11, the settler colonial U.S. state remains alive and (un)well, and in such a context scholars in American studies can ignore Indigenous studies only at great intellectual and political peril.

This special issue, Alternative Contact: Indigeneity, Globalism, and American Studies, builds upon and contributes to the Indigenous turn in American studies. More precisely, the following essays help us think about Indigeneity, race, gender, modernity, nation, state power, and globalization in interdisciplinary and broadly comparative global ways. Organized into three thematic sections—"Space of the Pacific," "'Unexpected' Indigenous Modernity," and "Nation and Nation-State"—this volume attempts to shift the analysis of settler colonialism from an exclusive focus on "first contacts" between Europeans and Indigenous peoples in order to clear space for other kinds of critical, comparative [Begin Page v] narratives about relations among Indigenous peoples and other kinds of colonial subjects, migrants, refugees, and racialized groups. And among other kinds of contact, the contributors to this special issue also imagine alternative connections between Indigenous and American studies.

Producing this ambitious special issue required the work of many hands, starting with the guest editors, Paul Lai and Lindsey Claire Smith. The members of the AQ Managing Editorial Board were immediately struck by the power and significance of their vision for the issue, and Paul and Lindsey have helped guide it to a brilliant completion. Additionally, I would like to thank board members who served as readers, including Macarena Gomez-Barris, J. Jack Halberstam, Dylan Rodríguez, John Carlos Rowe, Shelley Streeby, and Clyde Woods. I am particularly grateful to our managing editor, Jeb Middlebrook, for his excellent work on this issue and for the last three years. Thanks are also due to the incoming managing editor, Jih-Fei Cheng, and editorial interns Stacey Moultry and Heather Agnew from California State University, Fullerton. The issue was copyedited with great care and grace by Stacey Lynn, and the striking cover was designed by William Longhauser.

Though currently headquartered at a private university, American Quarterly significantly depends upon the labor of California State University and University of California graduate students and professors, many of whom serve on the journal's editorial board. In this current moment of neoliberalization and crisis in public education, it is especially important to recognize this labor. [Begin Page vi]

Curtis Marez
University of California, San Diego
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