• Audra Simpson

    Professor of Anthropology
    Department of Anthropology
    857 Schermerhorn Extension, Mail Code: MC 5523, United States
    +1 212 854 5901
    Office/Room Number:
    857 Schermerhorn Extension



    My primary research is energized by the problem of recognition, by its passage beyond (and below) the aegis of the state into the grounded field of political self-designation, self-description and subjectivity. This work is motivated by the struggle of Kahnawake Mohawks to find the proper way to afford political recognition to each other, their struggle to do this in different places and spaces and the challenges of formulating membership against a history of colonial impositions. As a result of this ethnographic engagement I am interested especially in those formations of citizenship and nationhood that occur in spite of state power and imposition and in particular, I am interested in declarative and practice-oriented acts of independence. In order to stay faithful to the words of my interlocutors I am interested as well in the use of narrative as data, in alternative forms of ethnographic writing and in critical forms of history. In order to stay faithful to my own wishes, I work at every turn to enter the fields of anthropology and Native American Studies into a critical and constructive dialogue with each other.

    My second research project examines the borders of time, history and bodies across and within what is now understood to be the United States and Canada.

    On leave Fall 2017 and Spring 2018



    In press. “Sovereignty, Sympathy and Indigeneity” in Ethnographies of U.S. Empire. Carole Anne McGranaghan and John Collins (eds.).  Durham: Duke University Press.

    2018. “Why White People Love Franz Boas or, The Grammar of Indigenous Dispossession” in Indigenous Visions: Rediscovering the World of Franz Boas.  Ned Blackhawk and Isaiah Wilner, (eds). New Haven: Yale University press. Pp. 166-181.

    2017 The ruse of consent and the anatomy of ‘refusal’: cases from indigenous North America and Australia, Postcolonial Studies v. 20: 1-16

    2016  "The State is a Man: Theresa Spence, Loretta Saunders and the Gender of Settler Sovereignty.” Theory & Event 19 (4).

    2016. "Consent's Revenge" Cultural Anthropology 31, no. 3 (2016): 326–333. 

    2016  Afterword: “Whither Settler Colonialism” in Settler Colonial Studies “Globalizing Unsettlement” (Bruno Cornellier and Michael Griffiths, eds.).  Vol. 6 (4): 1-8. in press. 

    2014 Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States Durham: Duke University Press  
    Introduction available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/217489164/Mohawk-Interruptus-by-Audra-Simpson

    2014 Theorizing Native Studies (co-edited with Andrea Smith). Durham: Duke University Press
    Introduction available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/219657906/Theorizing-Native-Studies-edited-by-Audra-Simpson-and-Andrea-Smith

    2011 "Settlement's Secret." Cultural Anthropology 26 (2) : 205-217

    2010 "Under the Sign of Sovereignty: Certainty, Ambivalence and Law in Native North America and Indigenous Australia."  Wicazo Sa Review 25 (2): 107-124.

    2009 "Captivating Eunice:  Membership, Colonialism and Gendered Citizenships of Grief.” Wicazo Sa Review 24 (2): 105-129.

    2008 “Comment: The ‘Problem’ of Native Mental Health: Liberalism, Multiculturalism and the (non) Efficacy of Tears. Ethos 36 (3): 376-9.

    2008 “Subjects of Sovereignty: Indigeneity, The Revenue Rule and Juridics of Failed Consent.” Law and Contemporary Problems 71: 191-215.

    2008 “From White into Red: Captivity Narratives as Alchemies of Race and Citizenship."  American Quarterly 60 (2): 251-7.

    2007 “On Ethnographic Refusal: Indigeneity, ‘Voice’ and Colonial Citizenship.”  Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue 9:  67-80.

    2007 “On the Logic of Discernment.” American Quarterly 59 (2): 479-491.

    2000 “Paths Toward a Mohawk Nation: Narratives of Citizenship and Nationhood in Kahnawake.”  Duncan Ivison, Paul Patton and Will Sanders (eds.). Political Theory and  the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Pp: 113-136.

    1999 Volume Editor, Recherches amerindiennes au Québec “Iroquois au présent du passé” Vol. XXIX, no. 2.

    1999 "Introduction: Au delà de la tradition des études iroquoises traditionelles” [translated from English by Dominque Legros] Recherches amerindiennes au Québec Vol. XXIX, no. 2 1999- 3-9.