The Territorialities of U.S. Imperialism(s)

Conflicting Discourses of Sovereignty, Jurisdiction and Territory in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Legal Texts and Indigenous Life Writing

‘The Territorialities of U.S. Imperialism(s)’ sets into relation U.S. imperial and Indigenous conceptions of territoriality as articulated in U.S. legal texts and Indigenous life writing in the 19th century. It analyzes the ways in which U.S. legal texts as “legal fictions” narratively press to affirm the United States’ territorial sovereignty and coherence in spite of its reliance on a variety of imperial practices that flexibly disconnect and (re)connect U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction and territory.

At the same time, the book acknowledges Indigenous life writing as legal texts in their own right and with full juridical force, which aim to highlight the heterogeneity of U.S. national territory both from their individual perspectives and in conversation with these legal fictions. Through this, the book’s analysis contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the coloniality of U.S. legal fictions, while highlighting territoriality as a key concept in the fashioning of the narrative of U.S. imperialism.


Lynn Domina in: a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 37:1 (2022), 214-220

Katrina Philipps in: Biography, Vol. 45.1 (2022), 104-107

Inhalt (PDF 204kB)