In this second edition of our Graduate Summer School, we have chosen to look at how Indigenous literature and film are effective tools towards decolonisation across the Americas. Mohawk anthropologist Audra Simpson suggests – in line with Patrick Wolf – that colonialism is not an event but a structure, in such a way that to this day it remains a matter of concern, and that it has become somewhat of a grammar that continues to shape our lives. With this perspective in mind, we will look closely at the transformational power that emerges from both literary and cinematographic expressions, be they during the creative process, audience reception and/or the work in itself.
We will base our reflections on a number of different works and theories of decolonization by, for instance, Mohawk political scientist Gerald Taiaiake Alfred, Maori educational specialist Linda Tuhiwai Smith, filmmaker and professor of anthropology Beverly Singer, and Creek/Cherokee literary critic Craig S. Womack, many of whom have been greatly influenced by the works of Franz Fanon, Simon Ortiz, and Edward Said. Some of the issues that we will address include: territories of decolonization, political performance and discourse in the Americas, how Indigenous political and cultural events partake in the transformation of public space, Indigenous film as creative and relational process, Francophone Aboriginal literature, and the ethical and political challenges of doing research in Indigenous Studies.
This course is organized in partnership with the First People’s festival Présence autochtone of Terres en vues and the Wapikoni mobile.