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Kelly Aguirre

Assistant professor

Political Science

Office: DTB A343 250-472-5458
PhD (2019) UVic
Area of expertise:
Indigenous politics, decolonial and critical theory

Office hours

Spring 2024 office hours: Mondays 1:30-2:30 pm or by appointment


  • Indigenous politics
  • decolonial and critical theory
  • storytelling and narrative
  • methodological ethics
  • rhetoric and poetics
  • neurodiversity and disability in decolonial discourses

About Dr. Aguirre

Kelly Aguirre received a BA Honours in Politics from the University of Winnipeg (2007) and an MA in Politics from the University of Manitoba (2009). Her PhD is from the University of Victoria (2019).

A mestiza woman of Nahua and ñuu savi ancestry, she was born in Mexico City and grew up in Winnipeg, MB Treaty 1 Territory, Anishnaabe, Cree and Métis homelands among her mother’s settler family of German-Russian and Welsh descent. Before to joining the department in 2021 as an assistant professor, Kelly worked as contract faculty, a curriculum writer and conference coordinator for the Indigenous Studies program and EyēɁ Sqâ’lewen: The Centre for Indigenous Education and Community Connections at Camosun College.

Her areas of research are Indigenous politics, decolonial and critical theory, methodological ethics, rhetoric and poetics and the roles or responsibilities of political theorists as storytellers of political life. More specifically, how theorists narrativize, remember and disclose political movements, actions and events. She is interested in approaches to address the dilemmas of potentially rendering these movements, actions and events vulnerable to various forms of ‘apprehension’ or capture through their storying practices. And for Indigenous scholars especially, balancing the imperatives for disclosure and public meaning-making with Indigenous stories and the risks of doing so in disciplinary and desiring forms, sites and languages.

Current projects include a book manuscript based on her PhD dissertation. She is also newly embarking on a project considering IBPOC (Indigenous, Black and people of colour) experiences of disability and neurodiversity in decolonial movements within academia and grassroots contexts. This includes interrogations of ableism within the discourses and practices of these movements, as well as the existing and possible contributions of disabled and neurodiverse scholars and activists to the decolonial political imagination.

To the latter focus she is particularly interested in the burgeoning work on Indigenous, Black and Queer transformation, futurities and utopias expressed through fantasy and speculative fiction literatures, artwork and other media.


Dr. Aguirre teaches courses on Indigenous politics.

Teaching 2023-24

Fall 2023:

  • No POLI teaching

Spring 2024:



  • Re-Storying Political Theory: Re-Storying Political Theory: Indigenous Storywork Refusing Colonial Apprehension (book manuscript in progress).
  • Editor, with Todd Lee Ormiston and Jacquie Green, S’TEṈISTOLW̱ : Moving Indigenous Education Forward. Victoria, BC: John Charlton Publishing, 2020.

Book chapters

  • With Mariam Georgis and Sarah Munawar “Your Absence is Not an Accident: storying feminist friendship from dissonance to dissidence” in Nisha Nath, Stephanie Paterson, Alana Cattapan and Fiona MacDonald Eds. Feministing in Political Science: A Manifesta for Change in the Academy. University of Alberta Press, forthcoming (2023).
  • "Decolonization is Also Metaphorical: Indigenous Feminist and Queer-Two Spirit Storywork Matters" in Gina Starblanket Ed. Making Space for Indigenous Feminism (Third Ed.), Fernwood Publishing, forthcoming (2023).
  • "Telling Stories: Idle No More, Indigenous Resurgence and Political Theory," in Elaine Coburn Ed. More Will Sing Their Way to Freedom: Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence, Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2015.

Journal articles

  • "Apprehending Indigenous Decolonial Movements: Questions on Recursivity in Critical Theory Scholarship." 2021 in "Robert Nichols in Conversation With Kelly Aguirre, Phil Henderson, Cressida J. Heyes, Alana Lentin, and Corey Snelgrove". Journal of World Philosophies 6 (2):181-222.
  • "Called to Witness: Considerations for Indigenous storywork in political theory scholarship" (Under Review)
  • With Sarah Marie Wiebe, Amy Becker, Leslie Brown, Israyelle Claxton, Brent Angell "Travelling Together? Navigating the Practice of Collaborative Engagement In Coast Salish Communities" in Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-engaged research, teaching, and learning 2.1 Special Issue: Engaging With Indigenous Communities (Spring 2016): 125-144.


  • Indigenous Relationality Workshop, Prairie Political Science Association Annual Meeting – Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta (September 17-18, 2022)
    Paper: "Towards Counter-Ableism in Resurgence Discourse"
  • Transcending Settler Colonialism: Decolonization, Reconciliation, and Transformation, McGill, Montreal, Quebec (May 26-27, 2022)
    Paper: "Decolonization is Also Metaphorical: Indigenous Feminist and Queer-Two Spirit Storywork Matters"
  • Indigenous Feminisms Symposium, UVic (April 21 -23, 2022)
    Panel: "Critical Interventions on Normativity"
    Paper: "Decolonization is Also Metaphorical: Indigenous Feminist and Queer-Two Spirit Storywork Matters"
  • American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Virtual Conference (September 30-October 3, 2021)
    Panel: Indigenous Political Thought and Pluralism
    Paper: "Towards Counter-Abelist Dialogue in Indigenous Decolonial Politics"
  • Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Virtual Conference (June 7-10, 2021)
    Panel: Listening Across Lifeworlds in Indigenous Politics
    Paper: "Counter-Abelist and Neurodivergent Challenges for Indigenous Decolonial Politics"
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Conference, U of Waikato, Hamilton NZ (June 26-29, 2019)
    Paper: "Called to Witness: Methodology and the ethical imperative for Indigenous storytelling in political theory scholarship"
  • Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, (June 4-6, 2019) Paper: "Called to Witness: Methodology and the ethical imperative for storytelling Indigenous political theory scholarship"
  • International Studies Association Annual Conference, Baltimore, Maryland US (February 22–25, 2017)
    Panel: Epistemic Authority and Changing Practices of Dissent
    Paper: "Practices of Refusal: Embracing Damnation, Enacting Self-Determination"