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Doubleweave is a basket weaving technique in Southeastern Indigenous traditions in which separate inside and outside patterns emerge through one continuous weave. Drawing on the concept of doubleweave as both a material practice and political framework, this talk will weave together scholarship, poetry, and performance to honor Indigenous Two-Spirit/LGBTQ resistances to ongoing settler colonialism in the past, present, and future.
Qwo-Li Driskill is a non-citizen/unenrolled Cherokee Two-Spirit writer, performer, and activist also of African, Irish, Lenape, Lumbee, and Osage ascent. S/he is the author of Asegi Stories: Cherokee Queer and Two-Spirit Memory (University of Arizona), which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in 2017, and Walking with Ghosts: Poems (Salt Publishing). S/he is also the co-editor of Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature with Daniel Health Justice, Deborah Miranda, and Lisa Tatonetti (University of Arizona) and Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature with Chris Finley, Brian Joseph Gilley, and Scott Lauria Morgensen (University of Arizona).
Born and raised in rural Western Colorado, Qwo-Li attended the University of Northern Colorado, where s/he received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Women’s Studies, African Studies, and Theater) in 1998. In 2001, s/he received hir MA in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University, where s/he focused on Indigenous writing, theater, and story as tools to create coalitions to work for decolonization and the healing of historical trauma. Qwo-Li received their PhD in Rhetoric & Writing, with a concentration in Cultural Rhetorics, from Michigan State University in 2008. Their dissertation focused on Cherokee performance rhetorics and Cherokee Two-Spirit/LGBTQ people.
Qwo-Li’s interdisciplinary work spans poetry, performance, and theory. As a poet, hir work has appeared several publications including Aster(ix), Cloudthroat, Shenandoah, and Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice (Francisco X. Alarcón and Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Eds. University of Arizona). As a facilitator of “Theatre of the Oppressed,” s/he has conducted performance-based workshops in the United States, Canada, and Australia. S/he is currently developing an ensemble oral history performance based on oral histories of Cherokee Two-Spirit/LGBTQ people, which s/he has performed as a solo performance under the title Shaking Our Shells: Cherokee Two-Spirit Lives at Cornell University and the Morphologies: Queer Performance Festival in Minneapolis. Qwo-Li’s scholarly work been published in numerous journals and edited collections including GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Journal of Global Indigineity, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, Studies in American Indian Literature, and Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story: Teaching Indigenous Rhetorics (Rose Gubele, Joyce Rain Anderson and Lisa King, Eds Utah State University).
Qwo-Li was an assistant professor of rhetoric and writing in the Department of English at Texas A&M University from 2008-2012. In 2012, Qwo-Li became a faculty member in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University, where s/he is an Associate Professor of Queer Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies.