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The Transit of Empire – Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism | Minnesota Scholarship Online
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The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism

Jodi A. Byrd


In 1761 and again in 1769, European scientists raced around the world to observe the transit of Venus, a rare astronomical event in which the planet Venus passes in front of the sun. This book explores how indigeneity functions as transit, a trajectory of movement that serves as precedent within U.S. imperial history. The book argues that contemporary U.S. empire expands itself through a transferable “Indianness” that facilitates acquisitions of lands, territories, and resources. Examining an array of literary texts, historical moments, and pending legislations-from the Cherokee Nation of Okla ... More

Keywords: Venus, indigeneity, U.S. imperial history, U.S. empire, Indianness, indigenous nations, colonization

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780816676408
Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816676408.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jodi A. Byrd, author
Associate professor of English and American Indian studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign