Political communities are defined – and often contested – through stories and storytelling. Scholars have long recognized that two foundational sets of stories – narratives of contact and narratives of arrival – helped to define settler societies. We are only beginning to understand how ongoing issues of migration and settlement are linked to issues of indigenous-settler contact.
In Storied Communities, scholars from multiple disciplines disrupt the assumption in many works that indigenous and immigrant identities fall into two separate streams of analysis. The authors do not attempt to build a new master narrative – they instead juxtapose narratives of contact and arrival as they explore key themes: the nature and hazards of telling stories in the political realm; the literary, ceremonial, and identity-forming dimensions of the narrative form; actual narratives of contact and arrival in Canada, Australia, the Americas, New Zealand, and Europe; and the institutional and theoretical implications of foundation narratives and storytelling. In the process, they deepen our understanding of the role of narrative in community and nation building.
By bringing to light the links between narratives of contact and narratives arrival, this innovative volume opens up new ways to imagine, sustain, and transform political communities.
Students and scholars in a number of disciplines – law, political science, literature, Native studies, sociology, and history – will be interested in this book, as will anyone who wants to explore how stories have helped to create, and re-create, settler societies such as Canada.
The book is a welcome addition to the recent work of scholars such as Andrea Smith, Patrick Wolfe, Sherene Razack and Sunera Thobani, who have drawn fundamental connections between the structural elimination of Native peoples and the racialization of (and violence against) non-Native minority groups in settler colonial states.
Delightfully original and daring ... Storied Communities presents the most original and challenging uses of narrative methodology as a tool for legal and political analysis.
It is neither easy nor commonplace in contemporary Canada to realize a coming together of storytellers and scholars immersed in Aboriginal identities on one hand and recent immigrant identities on the other. That is what this book promises and largely delivers.
Hester Lessard is a professor of law at the University of Victoria. Rebecca Johnson is a professor of law at the University of Victoria. Jeremy Webber holds the Canada Research Chair in Law and Society at the University of Victoria and is also a Trudeau Fellow.
Contributors: Kim Anderson, Bain Attwood, Michael Asch, Brenna Bhandar, J. Edward Chamberlin, Susan Bibler Coutin, Donald Galloway, Anne Godlewska, Sneja Gunew, Johnny Mack, Audrey Macklin, Martha Nandorfy, Jacinta Ruru, Blanca Schorcht, S. Ronald Stevenson, Patricia Tuitt, Richard Van Camp
Part 1: Introduction
1 Introduction / Hester Lessard, Rebecca Johnson, and Jeremy Webber
Part 2: Narratives of Contact and Arrival in the Canadian Political Space
2 Canadian Sovereignty and Universal History / Michael Asch
3 Historicizing Narratives of Arrival: The Other Indian Other / Audrey Macklin
4 The Conceit of Sovereignty: Toward Post-Colonial Technique / Brenna Bhanda
Part 3: Narratives and Narrative Form
5 Show Me Yours / Richard Van Camp
6 Horseflies, Haireaters, and Bulldogs: In Conversation with Richard Van Camp / Blanca Schorcht
7 Counter-Narratives of Arrival and Return: Testing the Interstices of Resistance / Sneja Gunew
8 Common Ground around the Tower of Babel / J. Edward Chamberlin
Part 4: Contact and Its Narratives
9 Juxtaposing Contact Stories in Canada / Anne Godlewska
10 Native Women, the Body, Land, and Narratives of Contact and Arrival / Kim Anderson
11 The Batman Legend: Remembering and Forgetting the History of Possession and Dispossession / Bain Attwood
12 Layered Narratives in Site-Specific “Wild” Places / Jacinta Ruru
Part 5: Arrival and Its Narratives
13 Narratives of Origins and the Emergence of the European Union / Patricia Tuitt
14 “Robbed of a Different Life”: Alternative Histories, Interrupted Futures / Susan Bibler Coutin
Part 6: Institutional Implications: How Would We Do Things Differently If We Took Narrative Seriously?
15 Toward a Shared Narrative of Reconciliation: Developments in Canadian Aboriginal Rights Law / S. Ronald Stevenson
16 Hoquotist: Reorienting through Storied Practice / Johnny Mack
17 Proof and Narrative: “Reproducing the Facts” in Refugee Claims / Donald Galloway
Part 7: Theoretical Implications: Where Do We Go from Here?
18 Differentiating Liberating Stories from Oppressive Narratives: Memory, Land, and Justice / Martha Nandorfy
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