Publications in the World Already

Temin, David Myer. Remapping Sovereignty: Decolonization and Self-Determination in North American Indigenous Political Thought (2023, University of Chicago Press)

Book Symposium on Remapping Sovereignty in Review of Politics (forthcoming)

Temin, David Myer. “Development in Decolonization: Walter Rodney, Third World Developmentalism, and ‘Decolonizing Political Theory.’” American Political Science Review 117.1 (February 2023): 235-248.

Temin, David Myer. “Our Democracy: Laura Cornelius Kellogg’s Decolonial-Democracy.” Perspectives on Politics 19.4 (December 2021): 1082-1097.

Temin, David Myer. “Custer’s Sins: Vine Deloria Jr. and the Settler-Colonial Politics of Civic Inclusion,” Political Theory 46.3 (2018): 357-379.

Temin, David Myer and Adam Dahl. “Narrating Historical Injustice: Political Responsibility and the Politics of Memory,” Political Research Quarterly 70.4 (December 2017): 905-917.

Temin, David Myer. “‘Nothing Much Had Happened’: Settler Colonialism in Hannah Arendt,” European Journal of Political Theory 21.3 (2022): 514-538.

Temin, David Myer. “The Funeral and the Riot: #BlackLives Matter, Antagonistic Politics, and the Limits of (Exceptional) Mourning” in The Democratic Arts of Mourning: Political Theory and Loss, edited by Alexander Hirsch and David McIvor, Rowman and Littlefield: 2019.

Temin, David Myer. Review of Settler Colonialism, Race, and the Law: Why Structural Racism Persists by Natsu Taylor Saito, in Perspectives on Politics 19.2 (May 2021): 607-608.

Temin, David Myer. Review of Life of the Indigenous Mind: Vine Deloria Jr. and the Birth of the Red Power Movement, by David Martínez, in American Literary History Online Review (2023).

Temin, David Myer. “Indigenous Sovereignty against Family Separation,” in Starting Points: A Journal of American Principles and Practices, symposium on Indigenous politics and political thought (December 1, 2022)

Manuscripts in Progress

Temin, David Myer. “A Decolonial Wrong Turn: Walter Mignolo’s Epistemic Politics” (under review)


Some proponents of a “decolonial turn” have touted the concept of “de/coloniality” as an improvement on earlier projects of decolonization and the enterprises of critique accompanying them. I focus here on a critique of the specific version of decolonial thought, de/coloniality, advanced by the Argentinian (US-based) semiotician and philosopher Walter Mignolo. Specifically, it seeks to diagnose the limitations at issue in Mignolo’s decolonial interventions as a form of “epistemic politics” that displaces more politically attuned forms of critique that a) seek to contribute to the analysis of past and ongoing imperial and colonial power relations and b) to bring sharply into view, with a practical intent, the concrete political stakes and philosophical substance at issue in specific struggles over decolonization. In concluding, I briefly propose an alternative approach to this influential focus on de/coloniality, what I call “worldly anticolonialism.”

Temin, David Myer. “Author’s Response” in book symposium on Remapping Sovereignty, Review of Politics  

Temin, David Myer. “Wages for Earthwork.”


In recent years, an increasing number of scholars have recognized the connections between imperial expansionism, capitalist modernity, and catastrophic climate change—connections that have long been antithetical to the favored politics of carbon offsets and conservation land grabs that serve as frequent solutions to climate crisis in western environmentalist spaces (Gilio-Whitaker 2019; Hernandez 2022). Focus on elucidating these connections has likewise fostered greater efforts to examine longstanding links made between historical projects of reparations and the anticolonial/decolonial popular politics of pan-Africanist, Indigenous, and Third World struggles more generally to questions of ecology and climate justice. Most prominently in international politics, these projects have taken the form of demands from the leaders of Barbados and Pakistan at COP27 for restitutions and reparations for the unfolding violence of climate apartheid, whereby whiter, wealthier countries are able to “adapt” while abandoning to floods and droughts or externalizing the most extreme results of climate change onto what was once called the Third World.

There is now an excellent interdisciplinary literature that envisages the fight for climate justice as an integral part of contemporary struggles to transform global racialized and colonial hierarchies (Taiwo 2021; Sultana 2022). What this literature focuses on examining is the manifold violence of climate change as a denial of the basic capacities, rights, material resources, and livelihood to colonized and postcolonized populations.

In this paper, I sketch a different and frequently overlooked axis of violence that results from climate colonialism, in service of reorienting the horizons of decolonial popular politics alongside these emerging literatures. Specifically, many Indigenous societies conceive of colonial invasion as a form of domination based on stripping away the active care-taking relations and responsibilities that they conceive as integral to their relational self-determination to and with the earth itself and to other peoples (Whyte 2016, 2018; Temin 2023). By (re)describing colonization as a practice aimed at stripping away the subjugated responsibilities, caretaking capacities, or “earthwork” integral to Indigenous governance systems, I then argue that we can bring to the fore more readily an already-present but systematically devalued set of constructive agendas that stem from these care-based practices—which are sometimes glossed as “stewardship” or “traditional ecological knowledge” (Kimmerer 2002).

To do so, I label the constructive agenda that emerges from this “wages for earthwork”, by analogy to the feminist wages for housework movement of the 1970s (Federici; Forrester 2022). The theoretical perspective that emerges from this project shows how “earthwork” is systematically devalued as unwaged-yet-necessary work and likewise denigrated in mainstream environmentalist projects. More novel to this argument is the insight that earthwork ought to be (re)valued at the heart of any kind of large-scale climate justice approach that claims to repair and reconstruct the world that colonialism has made. Rather than intending this as a kind of policy blueprint or recipe with concrete details for implementation, I instead imagine it—much like “wages for housework” advocates of the 1970s did—as a way of reorienting guideposts for political diagnosis and transformation.

Temin, David Myer and Adam Dahl. “The Need for Roots: Luther Standing Bear and Simone Weil on the Problem of Settler Rootlessness.”


What drives the “need for roots”? We ask this question by bringing together an unlikely pair of thinkers, Luther standing bear and Simone Weil. In their mutual reflections on the social pathologies inherent to settler colonization, both draw attention to what we refer to as the problem of “rootlessness” in colonial modernity. Whereas many have associated modernity with a generalized narrative of the disembedding of practical reason from its once-secure grounding in metaphysical authority and place-based tradition (Arendt, Habermas, McIntyre), we argue that such accounts eschew an analysis of the colonial processes that produce differential hierarchies and pathologies of relations to place at work in colonization—-not the disorienting groundlessness intellectuals have cast as generic to the modern condition as such.

We instead conceptualize rootlessness in each of their work as a kind of alienation that is specifically characteristic of settler-colonial conceptions of mobility and belonging. Rootlessness is a domination-seeking pathological detachment from place that helps to sustain the structured practices of colonial dispossession most typical of settler-colonial violence. Far from a generically modern condition, rootlessness in this sense is tied directly to the uprooting of colonized peoples from their lands. We contextualize these thinkers—one Lakota and one French—as engaged with these globally interconnected practices of settler colonization in their respective inquiries into roots, rather than figures representing quintessential metaphysical or normative differences between indigenous and western political thought. This interpretation then allows us to argue that the pathologies of settler colonization lie not just in the settler imposition of foreign ideologies and forms of life onto Indigenous peoples. Instead, we describe the problem in a different way: the imposition of a fundamentally alienating attempt to hierarchically universalize the conditions of rootlessness accruing to settler subjects. Colonization is pathological, in our account, by virtue of its erasure of alternative rooted practices that directly avow the project of building responsible and relational attachments to people and place.

Temin, David Myer. “Liberation or Resignation?: The Fall of Third World Developmentalism and the Turn to Sufficiency.”

Temin, David Myer. “Indigenous Liberation and Decolonization: Circulations between the Third and Fourth Worlds,” invited chapter in Oxford Handbook of the Histories of the Global South, eds. Anne Garland Mahler, Monica Popescu, Christopher J. Lee.


The history of Indigenous peoples’ liberation and decolonization movements have been undertheorized within—when not simply omitted from—-histories of the Global South. First, this chapter proposes that this kind of omission has gone largely uncontested in global histories of decolonization and postcolonial studies for three reasons: the deferral/repression of even formal decolonization in recalcitrant white settler republics from the United States to Rhodesia; the “domestication” of Indigenous peoples’ struggles within the narrow parameters of liberal civil rights integrationism; and the emergence of globalized Indigenous decolonization claims in the 1990s perceived to push against Asian and African postcolonial state defenses of sovereign “territorial integrity.” In this respect, the applicability of the decolonization framework and the limits of Third World solidarities have often been fraught with respect to Indigenous peoples movements, even as decolonizing discourses and practices of nationhood, national liberation, and autonomy and self-determination have been core to the latter. Second, this chapter explores how Indigenous Studies scholars have reconfigured the framework of Red Power to consider a longer 20th c. trajectory of Indigenous struggles against settler colonialism, imperialism, and racial capitalism. Finally, this chapter suggests the potentials in more recent attempts to uncover and theorize the far more complex political and philosophical connections between the “Fourth World” of Indigenous peoples’ decolonization movements and the “Third World.”


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