Office: MHRA 3129
At UNCG Since: 2008
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania-2003
M.A. University of Pennsylvania-1999
B.A. Rutgers University-1996
Dr. Rifkin’s research primarily focuses on Native American writing and politics from the eighteenth century onward, exploring the ways that Indigenous peoples have negotiated U.S. racial and imperial formations. In particular, he is interested in how U.S. law shapes the possibilities for representing Native political identity and the ways that Native writers have worked to inhabit, refunction, refuse, and displace dominant administrative formulations in order to open room for envisioning and enacting self-determination. More recently, he has been drawing on queer theory to rethink the role kinship systems have played in Native governance and internationalism and to address the ways U.S. imperialism can be thought of as a system of compulsory heterosexuality.
- The Erotics of Sovereignty: Queer Native Writing in the Era of Self-Determination, University of Minn. P. (forthcoming, Spring 2012).
- When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, The History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty, Oxford University P, 2010.
- Manifesting America: The Imperial Construction of U.S. National Space. New York: Oxford University P, 2009.
- Ed.Sexuality, Nationality, Indigeneity: Rethinking the State at the Intersection of Native American and Queer Studies, special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, co-edited with Daniel Heath Justice and Bethany Schneider, 16.1-2, 2010.
- "Settler States of Feeling: National Belonging and the Erasure of Native American Presence," Blackwell Companion to American Literary Studies, eds. Robert Levine and Caroline Levander (forthcoming, 2011).
- "The Erotics of Sovereignty," in Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature. Eds. Qwo-Li Driskill, Chris Finley, Brian Joseph Gilley, and Scott Morgensen. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2011. 172-189.
- "Remapping the Family of Nations: The Geopolitics of Kinship in Hendrick Aupaumut's 'A Short Narration'," Studies in American Indian Literature 22.4 (2010): 1-31.
- “Indigenizing Agamben: Rethinking Sovereignty in Light of the ‘Peculiar’ Status of Native Peoples.” Cultural Critique 72 (Fall 2009): 88-124.
- “‘For the wrongs of our poor bleeding country’: Sensation, Class, and Empire in Ridge’s Joaquín Murieta.” Arizona Quarterly 65.2 (2009): 27-56.
- “Debt and the Transnationalization of Hawai`i.” American Quarterly 60.1 (2008): 43-66.
- “Native Nationality and the Contemporary Queer: Tradition, Sexuality, and History in Drowning in Fire.” American Indian Quarterly 32.4 (2008): 443-70.
- “Documenting Tradition: Territoriality and Textuality in Black Hawk’s Narrative.” American Literature 80.4 (2008): 677-705.
- “‘A home made sacred by protecting laws’: Black Activist Homemaking and Geographies of Citizenship in Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl.” Differences 18.2 (2007): 72-102.
- “Romancing Kinship: A Queer Reading of Indian Education and Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Storie.” GLQ 12.1 (2006): 27-59.
- “Representing the Cherokee Nation: Subaltern Studies and Native American Sovereignty.” boundary 2 32.3 (2005): 47-80.
Awards and Honors
- Faculty Research Assignment, UNCG, 2011-2012.
- Best Special Issue, award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals for Sexuality, Nationality, Indigeneity, 2010.
- New Faculty Grant, UNCG, 2009.
- Ad Hoc Grant, Skidmore College, 2006.
- Faculty Development Grant, Skidmore College, 2006.
- Postdoctoral fellowship, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, University of Chicago, 2004-2005.
- Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize, English Department, University of Pennsylvania, 2004.
- Teaching Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2001-2003.
- Steinberg Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2000-2001.
- University Dissertation Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1999-2000.
- Teaching Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1996-1999.
- Distinguished English Honors Thesis, Rutgers University, 1996.