Indigenous science and technology Indigenous sexualities politics of nature
Kim TallBear, author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (2013), is Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta. She is also Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Society. In addition to studying genome science disruptions to Indigenous self-definitions and the colonial ethics historically of genomic and other physical sciences, Dr. TallBear studies colonial disruptions to Indigenous sexual relations. She also studies and promotes Indigenous scientific and cultural challenges to settler-colonial study and objectification of Indigenous populations and our social and cultural practices.
You can follow her research group related to Indigenous science, technology and society (Indigenous STS) at https://indigenoussts.com/ that she co-founded with her Faculty of Native Studies colleague, Assistant Professor, Jessica Kolopenuk. TallBear has published research, policy, review, and opinion articles on a variety of issues related to science, technology, environment, sexualities, and Indigenous peoples in academic and popular journals including Wicazo Sa Review, Social Studies of Science; Science, Technology, & Human Values, Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics, Journal of Research Practice, Indian Country Today, Buzzfeed, and High Country News as well as in edited volumes published by University of Chicago Press and Routledge .
Dr. TallBear co-founded and co-produces the sexy storytelling and cabaret show, Tipi Confessions, with McMaster University professor Tracy Bear (Nehiyaw’iskwew from Montreal Lake Cree Nation), and with Native Studies PhD student Kirsten Lindquist (Cree-Métis). Tipi Confessions is an offshoot of the popular Austin, Texas show, BedPost Confessions. After seeing the success of the Tipi Confessions show in Edmonton and across Canada, TallBear, Bear, and Lindquist founded a research-creation group, Re-Lab: Restory, Research, and Reclaim, in which faculty, students, and community members produce creation informed research and research informed creative works and performance.
Kim TallBear is a citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in present-day South Dakota and is also descended from the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, where she is also eligible for citizenship. TallBear "immigrated" across the settler-imposed border between the "USA" and "Canada" in 2015. In reality, she only moved across vast territories inhabited by her Peoples and ancestors for millennia. In addition to the aforementioned Indigenous nations, TallBear has ancestry among Cree, Métis, and Anishinaabe Peoples. But since ancestry alone is not a claim, she would never assert that she is more than a distant relation to individuals among those Peoples. She is grateful to be living now in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (Edmonton), Treaty 6 territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others.
Dr. TallBear tweets @KimTallBear. You can read her regular pre-academic essays/posts on her Substack newsletter, Unsettle: Indigenous affairs, cultural politics & (de)colonization. Dr. TallBear is also a regular panelist on the weekly podcast, Media Indigena, which is hosted by Rick Harp.
Dr. TallBear's teaching interests include Indigenous, feminist, and queer science and technology studies; the politics of nature; and Indigenous (de)colonial sexualities. Her University of Alberta courses include an undergraduate and open-enrollment totally online course, Native Studies 115: Indigenous Peoples & Technoscience; an upper-division undergraduate seminar, Native Studies 404: Disrupting Sex and Nature; and a graduate seminar, Native Studies 520/620: Theoretical Perspectives in Native Studies.
At previous institutions including the University of Texas Department of Anthropology where she was an Associate Professor and in UC Berkeley's Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management where she was an Assistant Professor, Dr. TallBear taught courses including a graduate seminar, Disrupting Sex and Nature; co-taught with Deborah Bolnick a Race and Science course; and also taught a graduate seminar, Indigenous, Feminist, and Postcolonial Approaches to Science, Technology, and Environment.
I am on sabbatical for the 2021-22 academic year. I will be interested in hearing from prospective graduate students again for the Fall 2023 application cycle (due in February 2023) who desire to work at the intersections of science, technology, environment and/or sexuality, and in Indigenous governance and culture. Keep in mind, however, that due to deep budget cuts to the University of Alberta by the province, incoming graduate students will want to have a plan for applying for external funding. I occasionally have funding for graduate students from my own external grants, however, all current funding is already committed to existing students. My recommendation is always that one not pursue graduate school (outside of the professional schools) unless one has full funding.