Invested Indifference
284 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Release Date:15 Feb 2021
Release Date:15 Jun 2020
Release Date:15 Jun 2020
Release Date:15 Jun 2020

Invested Indifference

How Violence Persists in Settler Colonial Society

UBC Press

In 2004, Amnesty International characterized Canadian society as “indifferent” to the high rates of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls. When the Canadian government took another twelve years to launch a national inquiry, that indictment seemed true.

Invested Indifference offers a divergent perspective on the contemporary disappearance and murder of Indigenous women and girls in Canada. It does so by examining practices at three different historical moments in the same location, the place we now call Edmonton, juxtaposing late-nineteenth-century texts, documents concerning the former Charles Camsell Indian Hospital, and contemporary online police materials. Through a critical analysis of the seemingly disparate discourses circulating through these materials, Kara Granzow makes the claim that what we see as societal indifference does not come from an absence of feeling but from a deep-rooted and affective investment in framing specific lives as disposable.

Granzow demonstrates that through mechanisms such as the law, medicine, and control of land and space, gendered and racialized everyday violence against Indigenous people has become symbolically and politically entrenched as a central practice in the social construction of Canadian nationhood. Invested Indifference exposes the thread of violence not as past, but as running through our settler-colonial present.

Scholars of sociology, settler-colonial and postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and gender studies will find this book to be of interest, and, as national attention is finally paid to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, it will also have a broad readership among those involved in front-line services.

Granzow has produced a must-read book on Canada’s murdered and disappeared indigenous women… This book is highly recommended, as it will surely lead to excellent discussions and insights into issues of continued colonization. L.L. Lovern, Valdosta State University, CHOICE
Invested Indifference is a much-needed political intervention for an urgent social problem. Margot Francis, associate professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Brock University
Kara Granzow’s book raises vital questions about how ‘missing and murdered Indigenous women’ are represented and deconstructs taken-for-granted understandings of societal indifference. Victoria Freeman, author of Distant Relations: How My Ancestors Colonized North America
Kara Granzow is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta.



1 A History of the Present: Methodology

2 “It in no way makes you safer”: Contemporary Policing and Remaking the City

3 “All they could do to help”: Imaging, Diagnosing, and Transforming Indian Tuberculosis and the City

4 “All traces of his footsteps are fast being obliterated”: Fictioning and Controlling Land and Life

5 “Just bury them and be done with it”: Managing Affect and Producing the Past


Notes; References; Index

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