Gregory D. Smithers
A scholar whose work has largely focused on Cherokee and Southeastern North American Indigenous history, based both at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Hull in England, Gregory D. Smithers virtually joins us to discuss his important new book, Reclaiming Two-Spirits: Sexuality, Spiritual Renewal, & Sovereignty in Native America (Beacon Press).
“From the onset of colonization until well into the present, the discourse and histories of Two-Spirit Indigenous peoples remains a puzzle for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike. Reclaiming Two-Spirits will help you solve that puzzle. Using familiar and obscure stories, Smithers skillfully reveals the centrality of Two-Spirit struggles within the matrix of settler colonial domination and the Indigenous struggle for freedom. He reveals the destructive nature of colonial violence and the possibilities of a Two-Spirit future. An original contribution to Indigenous cultural and intellectual histories, an understanding of the links between language and power, and Indigenous futures, this book will not only educate your mind, but will also touch your spirit.”—Kyle T. Mays (Black/Saginaw Chippewa).
“Smithers’s Reclaiming Two-Spirits compels readers to rethink gender and sexuality from the nonbinary point of view of Indigenous cultures, which uses gender-neutral and polyvalent words to express an array of identities. Smithers recovers the Two-Spirits who lie hidden beneath the homophobic language of archival records, obliging not only historians but everyone who cares about Indigenous peoples to be more aware of gender biases and how language is a tool of colonization.”—David Martínez (Akimel O’odham/Hia Ced O’odham/Mexican).