Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)

Degree Level





Sean Teuton

Committee Member

Yajaira Padilla

Second Committee Member

Jeannie Whayne


American Literature, Gender, Indigenous Peoples, Settler-Colonialism


“Indigenous Resistance: Settler-Colonialism, Nation Building, and Colonial Patriarchy,” interrogates the Western Hemisphere’s spatial construction by settler-states, Indigenous nations, and activists groups. In this project, I assert that Indigenous/Settler contact zones are significantly more convoluted than current scholarship’s use of contact zones in that the distinctions between Indigenous actors and settler-colonial ones are often blurred. These hybrid contact zones sometimes contain negative outcomes for all participants and often include undercurrents of insidious power dynamics within and across settler-states and Indigenous peoples alike. Using critical cartographic theory and deconstruction methods, this project first illustrates how empires ascribed a racialized patriarchy onto the Western Hemisphere through sixteenth century decorative maps and atlases. From there, I trace continued patriarchal manipulations of the hemisphere’s racial hierarchy into the nineteenth century as newly independent settler-states used intermarriage and assimilation to regulate their Indigenous populations. Finally, this project turns to Indigenous activist groups, especially as related to Indigenous women. In doing so, this project positions colonial patriarchy as integral to the global capital system and the types of Indigenous knowledge production that draw attention to related institutional failings. By working within a hemispheric dialogue across Indigenous America, this project draws out types of multivalent Indigenous resistance to settler-states, identifies the lasting effects of colonial patriarchies, and demonstrates how much settler-state power rests on the erasure of Indigenous women.