The Genderless Space (One-hour Video Interview)

To complement their published interview in Canadian Literature issue 250, here is Sam McKegney and Smokii’s Sumac’s extended one-hour interview (hosted with permission from the authors).



To honour Smokii Sumac’s contributions to both Indigenous literary and masculinities studies, I [Sam McKegney] invited the author to participate in an interview via Zoom on August 27, 2020, which I initially intended to use in the classroom and perhaps to share with other collaborators in the field. The resulting interview, however, proved worthy of disseminating more broadly, and we decided to have the conversation edited into a one-hour video (produced by Robyn Carruthers).

Alongside contemporary Indigenous scholar-artists like Billy-Ray Belcourt (Driftpile Cree), Tenille Campbell (Dene and Métis), and Joshua Whitehead (Oji-nêhiyaw), Sumac is working to re-map the contours of Indigenous literary studies in lands claimed by Canada through both his scholarship and poetry. Such collective resurgent work has not only literary but also gendered and erotic dimensions. In their writings, this new generation of Indigenous creative intellectuals revitalizes gender knowledges and modes of intimacy that have been targeted for destruction by settler colonialism, breathing life into teachings placed under erasure and imagining new teachings demanded by the pursuit of a more just and livable world.

Excerpt from “The Genderless Space: Masculinity, Indigenous Poetics, and Becoming”


For access to the published interview, please visit The Genderless Space: Masculinity, Indigenous Poetics, and Becoming.

This article “The Genderless Space (One-hour Video Interview)” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 250 (2022): 55.

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.