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Blood-Speak: Ward Churchill and the Racialization of American Indian Identity
Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies
  • Casey R. Kelly, Butler University
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After publishing a controversial essay on 9/11, Professor Ward Churchill's scholarship and personal identity were subjected to a hostile public investigation. Evidence that Churchill had invented his American Indian identity created vehemence among many professors and tribal leaders who dismissed Churchill because he was not a “real Indian.” This essay examines the discourses of racial authenticity employed to distance Churchill from tribal communities and American Indian scholarship. Responses to Churchill's academic and ethnic self-identification have retrenched a racialized definition of tribal identity defined by a narrow concept of blood. Employing what I term blood-speak, Churchill's opponents harness a biological concept of race that functions as an instrument of exclusion and a barrier to coalitional politics.

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies on 25 Jul 2011, available online:

Citation Information
Casey R. Kelly. "Blood-Speak: Ward Churchill and the Racialization of American Indian Identity" Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies Vol. 8 Iss. 3 (2011) p. 240 - 265
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