Against colonial grounds: Geography on Indigenous lands

Andrew Curley, Sara Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In this response to Natalie Oswin’s provocation, ‘An other geography’, we consider how we might work against settler narratives and structures from our situated positions in the discipline and in a specific academic institution in the US South. Following Diné student Majerle Lister, we ask what it would mean to consider giving the land back: what does that entail? The academic institutions we inhabit were built to insure white futurity, on fictive histories. Can they be retrofitted in the present to enable the futurity of Indigenous people and theorizations? Can we turn our discipline’s history of erasure inside out, to center the land, people, and practices that were both crucial to and absent from it except as shadowy and metaphorical presences? We draw on our own teaching, and from scholarship in Indigenous and Black Studies, to consider what it might look like to return land and reconfigure relations among those who have been cast aside by white patriarchal settler structures, but in incommensurate ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
JournalDialogues in Human Geography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Black studies
  • Indigenous geographies
  • decolonization
  • feminist geography
  • settler colonialism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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