Welcome to the Gender Studies subject guide for Indiana University Bloomington
We're glad you're here. This guide contains information and resources pertaining to the field of gender studies. Here you'll find featured content, new titles, instructional support information, research tips, and curated, subject-specific resources for performing research in gender studies. You will also find a list of campus & community resources for women and LGBTQ+ people.
The subject specialist and collection manager for this area is nicholae cline. If you would like to contact them, please use the profile box located on the left-hand side of this page. If you would like to request a purchase for our collections, you can use this form.
About Gender Studies
The study of gender as a fundamental category of social and cultural analysis, while also considering the intersection of gender with other substantive categories of identity, including sexuality, race, religion, class, disability, and nationality. Gender studies encourages scholars to think beyond common sense accounts of gender to examine its complex construction in a range of historical epochs, cultural arenas, and global processes. The field of gender studies utilizes a wide variety of innovative approaches and methodologies, broad in reach, yet unified through a critical angle of vision.
To learn more about the IU Department of Gender Studies, visit their website.
This page provides suggested resources (books, video & film, articles & databases) relevant to Two-Spirit Identity and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) Indigenous Identity.
The term Two-Spirit (2S, 2Spirit, Two Spirit, Twospirited) was coined in 1990 at the Indigenous lesbian and gay international gathering in Winnipeg. The term is a pan-Indian, umbrella term used by a number of Indigenous Native Americans to describe Native Peoples who fulfill traditional third-gender or variant-gender roles in their communities and cultures. The term is generally accepted but faces controversy from critics who consider it as reinforcing western notions of binary gender or attempting to erase terms that already exist in traditional communities for gender-variant members.
Acceptance, treatment, status, and rights of LGBTQIA Indigenous peoples and Two-Spirit individuals have varied historically. Contemporary understandings of Two-Spirit identity and what it means to be Indigenous and LGBTQIA vary greatly from tribe to tribe. We hope the resources collected in these pages will help readers gain a nuanced understanding of Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA Indigenous Identity.
In his talk, Nick Metcalf gives insight into his experiences being a two spirit, and explains why gender fluidity is necessary in today’s world.
About the Playlist
This mix features two-spirit and other Indigenous LGBTQIA and nonbinary/transgender artists from across Turtle Island, as well as other parts of the world. A work in progress, we welcome suggestions for artists from these groups for inclusion.
Note: To enjoy the playlist in full, click on the white Spotify icon in the upper-right corner of the playlist, and press the "like" (♡) button in the application to save.
To learn more about the artists and communities represented in this playlist, check out some of the resources we consulted:
Further Reading & Resources
If you'd like to learn more about this month-long celebration of Indigenous communities and identity, we've created a guide with list of resources, as well as a playlist featuring Indigenous musicians, on the Media Studies Research Guide. There is also an overview of Indigenous Philosophy on the Philosophy Research Guide.
For more information about the Indigenous communities with ongoing and traditional ties to this land, and how to support Indigenous groups and movements, take a look at our Land Acknowledgment and Local Indigenous Resources guide.
"In this series for News Talk Radio's Meeting Ground we take the journey of indigenous gender identity tracing gender diverse First Nations people (or Two-Spirit) through their lives pre contact and then after residential schools. We learn what that journey means for the future of Two-Spirit people on Turtle Island today." – Kelly Malone
"In this webinar, three indigenous community leaders discuss their work and how it benefits the communities in which they live. They focus on how their identity as Two Spirits has influenced their activism, art, scholarly work, and vision. The webinar is presented by Rep. Susan Allen, LaDonna BlueEye, and Isaiah Brokenleg, and moderated by Sharon M. Day." - SAMHSA
Other Online Videos
Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQIA Drag Artists
Selected Scholarly Articles
Hames-García, M. (2013). What's After Queer Theory? Queer Ethnic and Indigenous Studies. Feminist Studies 39(2), pp. 384-404
Robinson, M. (2020). Two-Spirit Identity in a Time of Gender Fluidity. Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 67, no. 12, pp. 1675–1690.
Robinson, M. (2017). Two-Spirit and Bisexual People: Different Umbrella, Same Rain. Journal of Bisexuality, 17(1), 7–29.
Morgensen, S. L. (2011). Unsettling Queer Politics: What Can Non-Natives Learn from Two-Spirit Organizing? In Q.-L. Driskill, C. Finley, B. J. Gilley, & S. L. Morgensen (Eds.), Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature (pp. 132–152).
Lang, S. (2016). Native American men-women, lesbians, two-spirits: Contemporary and historical perspectives. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 20(3/4), 299–323.
Kongerslev, Marianne. (2018). Dance to the Two-Spirit. Mythologizations of the Queer Native. Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, 27(4).
Greensmith, C., & Giwa, S. (2013). Challenging Settler Colonialism in Contemporary Queer Politics: Settler Homonationalism, Pride Toronto, and Two-Spirit Subjectivities. American Indian Culture & Research Journal, 37(2), 129–148.
Suggested Keywords for database searches relating to Two-Spirit and queer Indigenous* identity:
*while there is some overlap and commonalities in understandings of gender and sexuality across groups, when doing research relevant to Indigenous identities, it is always best practice to search using the names of individual tribes, nations, and communities when possible
POC (people of color)
BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color)
Two-spirit (sometimes "two spirit", "two spirited" or "two-spirited")
Throughout history, communities of disabled, neurodiverse, crip, and sick people have been overlooked and oversimplified in academic conversations. Disability activism and political movements carved out a space for addressing ableism in research and academia; as a result, disability studies has emerged. Disability studies is an interdisciplinary field that explores disabled identities in the humanities and social sciences. For this spotlight on disability studies, we include neurodiverse, crip, and sick identities in our definition of disability.
To read more about disability language and the use of "crip," enjoy this article by Dean Strauss: "Queer Crips: Reclaiming Language," and Brittany Wong's Huffington Post article "It's Perfectly OK to call a Disabled Person 'Disabled,' And Here's Why."
We also recommend the following resources that helped with this feature:
Resources for Further Exploration
A selection of articles, online compilations, and other resources relevant to disability studies
The following features also cover topics of disability studies:
Image Description: A group of activists, including Judy Heumann (center, with yellow stockings) protest for the enforcement of Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, in April of 1977. Later that month, the protesters would occupy a federal building in San Francisco in protest in a sit-in that lasted more than 25 days. Photo by Wally McNamee / CORBIS / via Getty Images
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