WWW.ABSTRACT.DISLIB.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Abstracts, online materials
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 37 | 38 || 40 | 41 |   ...   | 64 |

«The Solidarity Encounter Between Indigenous Women and White Women in a Contemporary Canadian Context by Carol Lynne D’Arcangelis A thesis submitted ...»

-- [ Page 39 ] --

(Ghostly) Native Americans—as part of non-Native American citizen subjectivity—are now subject to non-Native (self) rule. And, non-Native Americans “become” Native. However, as Bergland (2000) notes, “The Indians who are transformed into ghosts cannot be buried or evaded, and the spectre of their forced disappearance haunts the American nation and the American imagination” (p. 5). In other words, settler subjectivity rests rather shakily on a sense of precariousness. In my study, I point to some of the moments in which white participants appear to wrestle with their precarious role as settlers and hence settler allies.

For Bergland (2000), the discursive removal of Native Americans corresponds to their material dispossession and an appropriation of Indigenous cultures broadly defined. Writing about settler subject-making processes in Canada, Erickson (2011) also tethers settler internalization of

Native “ghosts” to the material dispossession of Native peoples, “justified” by the perceived-asinevitable advance of capitalism and disappearance of Native peoples:

The inevitable disappearance [of Canadian wilderness and hence Native peoples] is heralded by modern capitalism, and the phantasy in white in a dead world—the creatures of wilderness and the night—were ghosts created by the advance of capitalism. Grey Owl’s literature invites his audience to ingest those ghosts and adopt them as their own, and thus begin to feel better about the changing nature of the world around them (along with their role in benefitting from that change). (pp. 26–27) The result, as Morgensen (2011) puts it, is that “Native disappearance haunts settler subjectivity and illuminates all cultures and politics in a settler society” (p. 22). In short, modern EuroAmerican subjectivity, with a colonizing move at the core, is driven by (and drives) the materiality of the colonial project through/in discourse.

Given participant passages such as Peggy’s that suggest a widespread (white) settler desire to live “legitimately, ethically, fully” on Indigenous lands, my analysis of the various manifestations of proximity discourse assumes the relevance of haunted rationalism for understanding white settler Canadian subject formation. In this way, I explore an aspect of the impulse to solidarity likely not unique to activist settings, but shared by non-Native people regardless of political affiliation—what Razack (2011) refers to as “the compulsion to perform the colonial fantasy” (p. 266). This compulsion “suggests that the settler’s crisis of identity is an ongoing one, born of the psychic and material need to emplace himself. Where the land is stolen, when entitlement to it must be performed over and over again in anxious repression of those indigenous to it, emplacement is the most urgent of tasks” (p. 266). In other words, I pursue the idea that (white) settler Canadians attempt to satisfy (however partially and temporarily) their desire for “emplacement” through mobilizing the colonial relation that Bergland (2000) and others argue is at the core of modern Western subjectivity in the Americas (and perhaps beyond).

Before proceeding, I want to reiterate an important aspect of the colonial relation: the internalized Other does not gain equal footing upon being internalized. As Colin Calloway (2008), LaRocque (2010) and others1 have assiduously pointed out, prevailing ideas about socalled civilized and uncivilized/savage peoples both facilitated and were facilitated by this transposition of modern subjectivity into the colonizer/colonized binary: “they” were uncivilized and thus deserved to be colonized by “us.” As Ahmed (2000) suggests in her discussion of the discursive effects/limits of “becoming the Other,” as Euro-Americans we retain a (troubled) sense of superiority vis-à-vis “our” internalized Native American Others—the “deep level of white supremacist thinking” noted by Indigenous participant Ryah (see Chapter 4). Assertions of Native heritage aside, Chloe displays such thinking when positioning herself “a little ahead of [Native women] in progression, in the good things of life.” It is worth considering if Chloe retains a belief in, as Ryah puts it, “notions of progress, this evolution within a Western lens, that whole myth that colonization was inevitable because Indigenous people were just huntergatherer primitive groups and Europeans had evolved further along, [that] Indigenous people’s lives were ‘nasty, brutish and short’ [and that colonization] was an evolution of humanity.” In using this famous phrase from Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, Ryah effectively captures the nonsensical, hierarchical thinking and superiority complex that defines colonial subjectivity and justifies settler emplacement. To what extent are such patterns identifiable in white participant narratives? What might deep appropriation and reproduction of hierarchal relations of the sort theorized by Bergland (2000) and Morgensen (2011) look like in the Canadian context? How might one describe in a more precise way some of the intersubjective paths to Canadian national belonging that are available to (white) settlers? For Morgensen (2011), it boils down to

processes of (white) settler colonial naturalization:

Settler colonialism is naturalized whenever conquest or displacement of Native peoples is ignored or appears as necessary or complete, and whenever subjects are defined by settler desires to possess Native land, history or culture. Settler colonialism must be denaturalized not only in social and political spaces, but also in definitions and experiences of subjectivity. (p. 16, emphasis added) Morgensen’s (2011) understanding of the naturalization of settler colonialism (and his call for its denaturalization in all realms including subjectivity) complements Ahmed’s (2000) theorising of the ways in which stranger fetishism works to conceal “histories of determination.” Viewed in this theoretical light, proximity discourses that manifest as “settler desires to possess Native land, history or culture” are clearly implicated in the naturalization (or “concealment” in Ahmed’s lexicon) of settler colonialism. In what follows, I look to those passages in white participant narratives that speak most directly to the central mechanisms of what Milligan and McCreary (2011) call “processes of national subjectification,” and what Bergland (2000) calls haunted rationalism: discursive removal and the appropriation of Indigenous identity.





Making up for Western Lack: Proximity, Appropriation and Nation Building in Canada According to several Indigenous participants, the white settler woman ally’s desire to “do good” (as personified by the emblematic “needy do-gooder”) manifests itself in many ways, including as an attraction to Indigenous culture or spirituality (e.g., for healing purposes) that can become appropriative, however unintentional. The corresponding discursive thread in white women’s narratives is often positively expressed as an appreciation for/identification with Indigenous culture, spirituality and/or values. This particular form of proximity discourse is strongly evident in a minority of white participant narratives (but implicit in more), and often incorporates a scathing critique of Western society and a sense of lack—a sense that something is missing in the non-Native/Western individual and/or collective. The appreciation of Native culture becomes appropriative, however, when it facilitates the settler subject’s sense of legitimacy/belonging.

To reemphasize a main point of this study, the making of white settler subjects is an ongoing, fraught endeavor by definition. The complexity of the process and ambivalence of white settler

subjectivity is apparent in Evelyn’s narrative:

See now, I’ve never been very national minded, but I do think that Canada is one of the greatest countries in the world. I don’t really want to travel anywhere else. I’ve been a lot of places in Canada, going to different places when I was a kid. I just think that there’s such a wealth here that we’ve lost. I mean, our government is completely destroying our country, completely dismantling it. I might have been blind to things as a child and a teenager, but now I’m more aware. It’s probably been happening all that time, but it’s on a massive scale. I’d like to stop it.

Evelyn is simultaneously critical and proud of Canada as “one of the greatest countries of the world.” When the passage is read in context, we understand that Evelyn is largely referring to a more sustainable environmental ethos linked to Indigeneity when she mentions the “wealth here that we’ve lost.” Other white participants express a similar ambivalence when asked if and how

solidarity work has affected their attitude toward Canada or being Canadian:

I think growing up you hear this, I would say, very one-sided view of Canada, not that Canada isn’t a great place to live. You hear from newcomers too, you know, it’s peaceful, you don’t have to worry, we’re very privileged to grow up here, to live here.

I’m always aware of that, but at the same time, there is a population at whose expense we’re having this great upbringing and this very privileged life. So, my view has kind of changed from being, from when I was younger seeing Canada in a completely positive light, and you’re instilled with the national anthem and all those patriotic things, I think, that I’m right now—I’m obviously very thankful to live here because I can’t really think of anywhere else that I would have the life that I do, but at the same time acknowledging that there are problems. This country isn’t perfect; there’s a lot of things that need to be improved and that it’s ok to be critical of it. That’s necessary if we’re ever going to improve things... if we improve things for Indigenous populations or whichever populations at whose expense we’re benefiting, it will be better for everyone. (Darcie) Like Evelyn, Darcie vacillates between praise and critique in a no longer “one-sided view of Canada.” She even acknowledges that “we’re benefiting” at the expense of the “Indigenous population or whichever populations.” How can her contradictory embrace of Canada be explained? Are Evelyn and Darcie made uneasy—or forever “haunted” (Bergland, 2000)—by the knowledge that being (a good) Canadian rests on the dispossession of Indigenous peoples?

The colonial logic of invoking “lack”

I propose that these seemingly contradictory stances toward Canada by white settlers are broadly sustained by (and reflect) the colonial logic encapsulated in Bergland’s (2000) notion of haunted rationalism, and the attendant dynamics of becoming, transformation and transcendence discussed in Chapter 4. We can see this logic in operation when white participants set in motion a four-step discursive pattern with lack as its lynchpin: articulating a critique of Western society;

contrasting Western society with Native society; outlining the deficiencies of the former and the wisdom of the latter; and finally, adopting/appropriating Native identity or culture.

I suggest that, when they occur, discourses of lack are a distinctive component of the impulse to solidarity in white settler woman subjectivity. Invoking lack, for example, is not the usual discursive strategy deployed by Heron’s (2007) white/Northern women development workers.

They tend to reproduce their agentic selves “by erasing the agency of local peoples who are Othered in these processes, and by presenting ‘our’ (read white, middle-class Northern) knowledge, values, and ways of doing things as preferable and right, since the North, especially Canada, appears orderly, clean, and well-managed in comparison” (p. 3). In my study, however, a vocal minority of white participants state the exact opposite: rather than extol Canadian virtues, they excoriate certain beliefs and behaviours associated (by them and others) with the mainstream Canadian polity. My analysis converges with Heron’s (2007), however, in that both discourses serve the same goal: to re-centre the white/Western self as self-critical and thus moral.

Following Erickson (2011), I note the production of Native/non-Native hierarchical difference as a defining feature of this discursive pattern of lack. In his study of how the concept of wilderness works in “preserving the whiteness of the nation” (p. 22),2 Erickson (2011) explains that the notion of “absolute difference” is essential to colonial regimes in general and to (white)

settler impersonations of “Indians” in particular:

In the modern enactment of playing Indian, whether it be Grey Owl, the use of Indian names at summer camps... or in professional sport cultures... the surrogate Indian, rather than illustrating a common bond between cultures, works to provide a distinction between white and Native. (pp. 29–30) Erickson (2011) goes on to say, “Key to understanding the signifier ‘Indian’ in these cases was the difference it articulated between white and Indian, modern and primitive” (p. 30). In other words, in these discursive constructions of difference, the white settler enjoys a privileged modern standing, while the “Indian” is relegated to an inferior, primitive status, forever marked as “vanishing.”3 The following select passages from white participant narratives illustrate how such discursive patterns can unfold—often in a seemingly benign way.

Alicia is among the most sharply critical of white participants when it comes to identifying

what’s wrong with Western society:

I don’t think growing up in Western culture that [humility is] a value that’s really imparted. I think it’s the opposite: be the first to the finish line, be the first to put your hand up, be the first to get an A on everything. Compete, compete, compete for everything. Sell yourself. Say why you’re great.... That’s part of that capitalist competitiveness of white Western culture in Canada, I think. I learned from Aboriginal cultures and from elders to be quiet, to be humble, to listen... to be open to other ideas;

to not enforce your values [or] to shove your ideas down their throat. Do not insist on being right.



Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 37 | 38 || 40 | 41 |   ...   | 64 |


Similar works:

«The Pernicious Problems of the Scheme/Content Distinction Brendan Harrington Doctor of Philosophy University of York Department of Philosophy October 2012 Abstract This thesis offers a solution to the problems caused by a particular sort of philosophical project – that of attempting to identify the roots of normativity; of showing what it is that allows that we have norms which can be applied to the empirical world. Transcendental idealism sets the mould for the form of such projects as I...»

«Communication as Symbiogenesis On the Relationality of Mobile Phoning in Korea Namsook Park Thesis submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Centre for Cultural Studies Goldsmiths College University of London Declaration I declare that the work presented in this thesis is entirely my own. Namsook Park London, August 2011 Abstract This study understands communication as parasitic and symbiogenetic. It recognizes an object or technology no less and no more important than a subject, and...»

«Social Ontology, Philosophically In the spirit of both the workshop and the provocation piece that its organizers circulated in May, I have not written a proper paper, that is, one replete with introduction, development, and conclusion. Instead, following the organizers’ lead, and responding to select comments in their piece, I have produced a series of points, elucidations, and arguments. These, together, articulate my philosophical conception of social ontology. I. What is Social Ontology?...»

«The Philosopher and the Literary Critic: Eric Voegelin and Northrop Frye Copyright 2004 David Palmieri My presentation is an introduction to the doctoral dissertation I am writing at the University of Montreal in which I am combining Voegelin's theory of consciousness and Northrop Frye's mythological universe in order to analyze a corpus of about thirty Qu�b�cois and American poems. In the past, critics have attempted to combine Voegelin's insights with those of a complementary literary...»

«Writing Philosophically T HE INTRODUCTIONS, SUMMARIES, AND QUESTIONS for reading and thought found throughout Traversing Philosophical Boundaries are intended to help you get more out of your reading and to aid in class discussion. They should also prove useful in studying for the exams that you will probably be required to take. Since most philosophy classes require papers in addition to exams, what follows is an overview of how to write philosophically. It is intended to help you with each of...»

«SCIENCE WITHOUT BORDERS. Transactions of the International Academy of Science H &E. Vol.3.2007/2008, SWB, Innsbruck, 2008, p.300-315. ISBN 978-9952-451-01-6 ISSN 2070-0334 FORECASTING OF EARTHQUAKES: THE REASONS OF FAILURES AND THE NEW PHILOSOPHY E.N.Khalilov Scientific Research Institute of Forecasting and Studying the Earthquakes, International Academy of Science H&E e-mail: khalilov@wosco.org Resume There has been produced the review of the views at the possibilities of forecasting the...»

«Philosophy in Construction: understanding the development of expertise David Boyd BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, MCIBSE, ACIOB and Mark Addis MA, MSc, PhD Birmingham City University Birmingham, B42 2SU, United Kingdom Construction appears to have nothing to do with philosophy as it is a practical activity. This paper introduces a project funded by the UK, Arts and Humanities Research Council, that has supported a philosopher in residence in three construction companies. The project has taken up the...»

«University of Tartu Faculty of Philosophy Department of Philosophy Indrek Lõbus In Defence of Logical Omniscience MA Thesis Supervised by Daniel Cohnitz and Luis Estrada González Tartu 2016 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 1. Logical Omniscience and the Problem of Deduction 1.1. The Pragmatic Picture 1.2. Logical Omniscience 1.2.1. The Argument from Intuitions? 1.2.2. Support from Formal Semantics 1.2.3. The Problem of Deduction 2. Stalnaker’s Two-Part Solution 2.1. The Metalinguistic Theory...»

«In Vivo Measurement and Visualization of Pelvic Position and Orientation and Changes in Soft Tissue Shape and Thickness with Respect to Changes in Seating Surface Shape Thomas G. Ault CMU-RI-TR-05-56 November 9th, 2005 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Robotics Thesis Committee: Mel Siegel, Robotics Institute (Chair) David Brienza, University of Pittsburgh Stephen...»

«A COLLECTION OF OBSERVATIONS AND ADVICE ON UNIVERSITY TEACHING TODD HUMPHREYS Outline A Prime Directive: Don’t Bore the Students 2 The Secret to Classroom Buzz: Listen to, and Play Off, Students’ Questions 3 Puzzle, Enlighten, Repeat 4 Memorable Illustrations 5 Old School, Chalk and Notes 6 Research and Teaching Fusion 7 Backstage 8 Date: December 7, 2011. A Prime Directive: Don’t Bore the Students A great deal of my teaching philosophy flows from this one maxim: Don’t bore the...»

«  Imagining a New Belfast: Municipal Parades in Urban Regeneration Katharine Anne Keenan Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Under the Executive Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY     © 2013 Katharine Anne Keenan All rights reserved     ABSTRACT Imagining a New Belfast: Municipal Parades in Urban Regeneration Katharine Anne Keenan This work highlights civic events and celebration as functional...»

«Brno University of Technology Faculty of Information Technology Department of Computer Graphics and Multimedia Omni-directional image processing for human detection and tracking A THESIS SUBMITTED IN FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY. Ing. Igor Potúček Supervised by: Doc.Dr.Ing.Pavel Zemčík Submitted: June 2006 State doctoral exam: 14.June 2004 Availability: Library of the Faculty of Information Technology, Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2017 www.abstract.dislib.info - Abstracts, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.