On the Reading List: Patrick Wolfe and J. Kēhaulani Kauanui

For today’s suggested reading, Marabou shares Patrick Wolfe’s article, “Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native” (2006). In this article, Wolfe explains his assertion that settler colonialism is a structure, not an event. Even though Wolfe’s work is not about museums, Marabou finds Wolfe’s explanation of settler colonialism’s structure and components very helpful in thinking about representation, particularly of indigenous populations in American museums. The lack of and invisibility of indigenous stories and voices in museums is directly tied to the idea that settler colonialism is based in the elimination of native populations.

As a complement to Wolfe, Marabou also shares J. Kēhaulani Kauanuis article, “A Structure, Not an Event”: Settler Colonialism and Enduring Indigeneity” (2016). Kauanui’s article highlights contemporary events that exemplify Wolfe’s idea of settler colonialism as a structure. In addition, she makes an argument that the study of settler colonialism is incomplete without considering issues and questions around indigeneity.

Marabou in sharing these academic journal articles together as an example of the dialogue necessary to make progressive change in the way we consider building historical narratives in museums and cultural spaces.

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