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About C. Heike Schotten

Heike Schotten's research interests lie at the various intersections of queer theory, Nietzsche studies, biopolitics, the War on Terror, and liberatory critical theory.  Drawing on each of these areas, her research theorizes the various meaning of and possibilities for human emancipation within the specific contexts of U.S. imperialism, U.S. settler colonialism, and historically still-hegemonic Euro-American constructs of knowledge and knowing.
Her first book, Nietzsche’s Revolution:  Décadence, Politics, and Sexuality (Palgrave, 2009), argued for a re-reading of Nietzsche as the unlikely intellectual forebear of queer theory and, as such, an unwittingly revolutionary figure in his affirmation of the decay of traditionally raced and gendered bodies in 19th c. Europe. 
Her second book, Queer Terror:  Life, Death, and Desire in the Settler Colony (forthcoming with Columbia University Press), uses queer theory to offer a reading of U.S. settler colonialism as, on the one hand, a specifically futurist formation of desire and subject formation and, on the other, the precursor and necessary ground of U.S. imperialism’s current chapter, the War on Terror.  The unexamined hypermoralism of life and death animates the “with us or against us” absolutism of “terrorism” discourse is a deliberately reactionary attempt to disqualify decolonization as nihilism and evil that can and must be read as a direct outcome of the United States’ unresolved status as an only “incompletely” “successful” settler project.  Queer theory, then – as both a political project and a counterformation of desire – provides an unexpected if essential resource for liberatory resistance to U.S. imperial and settler formations.
Her current work expands in these directions,  making explicit the radical/Left politics promised by queer theory’s 1990s origins and providing readings and applications of this radicalism to decolonization, on the one hand, and political opposition to morality and moralisms of all sorts, on the other.
Professor Schotten's articles have appeared in differences, Foucault Studies, and the International Feminist Journal of Politics.  In 2009, she received the Okin-Young Award in Feminist Political Theory from the Women & Politics section of the American Political Science Association.


Present Associate Professor of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts Boston

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Honors and Awards

  • Okin-Young Award for Best Paper in Feminist Political Theory (2009)


  • HONORS 380 Revolutionary Desire
  • POLSCI 455 The Politics of Life and Death
  • POLSCI 452 Queer Political Theory

Contact Information

Telephone: 617-287-6920
Office Location: Wheatley Hall,05, Room 62


Books (2)

Peer-Reviewed Articles (9)

Edited Roundtable (1)

Contributions to Books (2)

Encyclopedia Entries (2)

Internet Publications (12)