Front cover of Nuclear Decolonization: Indigenous Resistance to High-Level Nuclear Waste Siting, by Danielle Endres, featuring a photograph of a far-off mountain with a cracked asphalt road leading to it, with a sign in the foreground reading No Trespassing. Skull Valley Goshute Reservation.

Nuclear Decolonization

Indigenous Resistance to High-Level Nuclear Waste Siting

Danielle Endres

236 pp. 6 x 9
10 illustrations
Pub Date: November, 2023

Subjects: Rhetoric & Communication
American Studies
Race & Ethnic Studies
Cultural Studies

Series: New Directions in Rhetoric and Materiality

order Hardcover $129.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-1556-2
order Paperback $34.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5891-0
Order PDF ebook$34.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-8317-2

“Endres’s book is a high-water mark of decolonial work in the field of rhetorical studies and critical-cultural studies in communication. It is a primer on the terms of decolonization, theories of decoloniality, and ways to study these concepts through responsible attention to Indigenous voices, providing inroads to unsettling Western perspectives and anchoring Indigenous scholarship.” —Jason Edward Black, coauthor of Mascot Nation: The Controversy over Native American Representations in Sports

“Based on years of encounters with communities and individuals, Nuclear Decolonization is an exemplar of both localized case studies and broader critiques of racism, nuclearism, and colonialism—all while demonstrating care and respect for subject matter, people, and culture.” —Stephen Depoe, coeditor of Breaking Boundaries: Innovative Practices in Environmental Communication and Public Participation

While research demonstrates how Indigenous populations have been disproportionately affected by the global nuclear production complex, less attention has been given to tactics that have successfully resisted such projects. Danielle Endres’s Nuclear Decolonization shifts the conversation around nuclear colonialism in important ways, offering an account of how the Western Shoshone, Southern Paiute, and Skull Valley Goshute peoples and nations prevented two high-level nuclear waste sites from being built on their lands.

Using a decolonial approach, Endres highlights two sets of rhetorical tactics—Indigenous Lands rhetorics and national interest rhetorics—used to fight nuclear colonialism. The book reframes nuclear decolonization as fundamentally a struggle for the return of Indigenous lands while also revealing how Native activists selectively move between Indigenous nationhood and US citizenship in order to resist settler decision-making. Working at the intersection of Indigenous antinuclear advocacy, Indigenized environmental justice, and decolonization, Nuclear Decolonization centers Native activism and voices while amplifying the power and resilience of Indigenous peoples and nations.

Author photo

Danielle Endres is Professor of Communication and Director of the Environmental Humanities Program at the University of Utah. She is the author of Participatory Critical Rhetoric: Theoretical and Methodological Foundations of Studying Rhetoric in Situ.


List of Illustrations




Introduction    Indigenous Rhetorics and Nuclear Decolonization

Chapter 1        From Nuclear Colonization to Nuclear Decolonization

Chapter 2        The Indigenous Lands of Yucca Mountain and Skull Valley

Chapter 3        Indigenous Lands Rhetorics

Chapter 4        Indigenous National Interest Rhetorics

Conclusion      Decolonization Tactics for Survivance




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