Indigenous Studies Group


This group aims to generate an interdisciplinary and interregional dialogue among researchers working with Indigenous peoples and Indigenous scholars, writers, activists, and filmmakers.

The group will critically engage with the history and politics of the category of ‘indigeneity’ and discuss it comparatively, to trace both its steadiness and malleability across space and time. Discussions will centre on colonial and settler colonial legacies and engagements with difference; territorial and ecological struggles; vernacular sovereignties; and questions of historicization and museumization; and cultural, religious and linguistic revitalization.

By exploring the situatedness and shared quality of these themes and struggles, we aim to develop conceptual tools to understand indigeneity and its contribution to some of the most important issues of our time. By prioritizing indigenous methodologies we will move beyond binaries of colonizer and colonized, or resistance and oppression. This will challenge the epistemic boundaries of Eurocentric discussions of Indigeneity by engaging directly with the pluralistic approaches utilised by Indigenous scholars and activists themselves.

The recent global calls for decolonisation of the academy by Black Lives Matter and Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford have generated a much-needed debate about reforming the epistemological landscape of the University of Oxford. Alongside issues of underrepresentation of Black and ethnic minority communities in the academy and decolonisation of the curriculum, discussions about marginalised Indigenous forms of knowledge are urgently needed. To this end, as an ally of the current focus on Critical Race studies, our discussion group will fill an important gap by engaging Indigenous studies complementarily.  

Our research is based across the Americas, South Asia and Oceania.

The Indigenous Studies Group is creating a reading group for everyone interested in discussing the concept of Indigeneity and how it can be applied effectively to the most important problems faced by indigenous peoples across the globe. The group will be a regular forum for discussing texts exploring a specific theme related to Indigeneity, meeting monthly. 

Our first session will focus on the experience of Indigeneity. Together, the three readings address Indigeneity as an identity anchoring individuals’ experience of their worlds, as well as the difficulties of navigating the complex problems that such an identity imposes on those who embrace it. Cadena and Starn summarise accelerating attempts to reconceptualize Indigeneity itself; J. Kēhaulani Kauanui relates her own experience of the implications of blood quantum rules for indigenous Hawaiians; and Blythe George describes her complicated efforts to retain her identity as a Yurok of Northern California while attending Dartmouth College in the USA. We strongly recommend reading at least one of these chapters. 

To be added to our mailing list and receive details of the readings for our first meeting, please e-mail 

The conveners

  • Malvika Gupta - DPhil in Department of International Development, Green Templeton College.
  • Daniel Green - DPhil, Department of History, Wadham College.
  • Dr Natalia Buitron - Leverhulme early Career Research Fellow, 2021-2023, ODID.
  • Mai Misaki - DPhil, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, St. Antony's College.


We can be contacted at