Idle No More

An Introduction to the Symposium on Glen Coulthard’s Red Skin, White Masks

In: Historical Materialism
Jeffery R. Webber School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary, University of London

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This article introduces the symposium on Glen Coulthard’s Red Skin, White Masks. It begins by situating the book’s publication in the wake of the extensive mobilisations of the Idle No More movement in Canada in 2012–13. Coulthard’s strategic hypotheses on the horizons of Indigenous liberation in the book are intimately linked to his participation in these recent struggles. The article then locates Red Skin, White Masks within a wider renaissance of Indigenous Studies in the North American context in recent years, highlighting Coulthard’s unique and sympathetic extension of Marx’s critique of capitalism, particularly through his use of the concept of ‘primitive accumulation’. Next, the article outlines the long arc of the argument in Red Skin, White Masks and the organisation of the book’s constituent parts, providing a backdrop to the critical engagements that follow from Peter Kulchyski, Geoff Mann, George Ciccariello-Maher, and Roxanne Dunbar-Oritz. The article closes with reflections on Coulthard’s engagement with Fanon, who, besides Marx, is the most important polestar in Red Skin, White Masks.

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