Informace o publikaci

Between vulnerability and resistance : Rhetorical strategies in Indigenous Canadian nonfiction



Rok publikování 2021
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj The Journal of Commonwealth Literature
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Klíčová slova Canadian literature; Henry Kreisel Lecture series; Indigenous nonfiction; resistance; vulnerability; Eden Robinson; Tomson Highway; Judith Butler
Přiložené soubory
Popis This article explores two Henry Kreisel lectures by Indigenous authors, Eden Robinson’s The Sasquatch At Home: Traditional Protocols & Modern Storytelling (2010, published 2011) and Tomson Highway’s A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance: Imagining Multilingualism (2014, published 2015), to demonstrate how Indigenous nonfiction employs complex rhetorical strategies in order to engage cross-cultural readers and address crucial issues related to contemporary Indigeneity. Both narratives are claimed to convey a fragile balance between cultural loss and cultural survival — a negotiation which is related theoretically to Judith Butler’s notions of vulnerability, precarity, and resistance, particularly to her premise that vulnerability and resistance do not have to be opposed and/or mutually exclusive but rather work in intricate relationships. The article shows that while Robinson (Haisla/Heiltsuk) combines family stories with ethnography to bear witness to both the precarity and resilience of Haisla cultural and ecological survival, Highway (Cree) presents a multimodal and multilingual performance to unsettle his audience through combining humor and confrontation. I ultimately argue that, if Indigenous writing has always expressed this duality of exposing vulnerability as well as inscribing resistance, then, it may serve as a model for transcending the binary structure powerful/powerless, a move that Butler sees as fundamental to her redefinition of vulnerability. In other words, through this optic the history of Indigenous writing is indeed a history of exploring the ways in which vulnerability and resistance relate and interweave, rather than stand in opposition.
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