Journal article/ Cowboys and Catholic Priests from Kerala: Comparative Racialisation in the US

Sonja, Thomas. ‘Cowboys and Indians: Indian Priests in Rural Montana’. WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 47, nos. 1&2 (Spring/Summer 2019): 110-31. Project MUSE.

Abstract (edited): In this article, I examine Catholic missionary priests from India in rural Montana, US. Many of these Indian missionary priests in rural Montana come from Kerala and the Syro-Malabar rite of Catholicism.

I begin with an overview of Asian settler colonialism and gender, sexuality, and racialisation in the rural. I then discuss the dimensions of religious worker migration, racism, and settler colonialism.

Using a comparative racialisation framework, I locate how privileged groups use notions of victimisation to deploy ideas of place-based belonging against racial ‘others’—the dispossessed and foreign ‘import.’

I conclude by examining global connections between white cowboys and Indian priests. The South Asian diaspora in rural Montana provides context for the ways in which the Asian diaspora, settler colonialism, and comparative racialisations function in the US.

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Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

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