Honours B.A. McGill, M.A. and PhD York
a. teaching philosophy: Learning is a life-long process of co-creation, and my students and colleagues teach me a great deal. I love the challenge of trying to balance critical thinking with a safe space for collectively exploring ideas, sharing stories, and celebrating Indigenous cultures. Women’s contributions to community matter, as does everyone’s perspective.
b. courses taught: 2300Y (Introduction to post-colonialism), 2485H (Indigenous women’s creative non-fiction), 3485H (Indigenous women’s fiction), 3500Y (Indigenous women), 4300 (Critical theory and Indigenous studies), 6603Y (Indigenous research theory and methods)
Statement about research: Research focussed on artistic and creative expression is often described as qualitative research by social scientists, and includes interdisciplinary, arts-based research methodologies informed by social science approaches. From a humanities standpoint, a wide range of theoretical and empirical frameworks are also available for addressing the place of Indigenous creative arts.
Research Interests: What does it mean to say that stories matter? Indigenous women’s voices include many kinds of storytelling, from oral and written versions of family and community history to autobiography, life-writing, poetry, theatre and performance, fiction, and essays. I am interested in understanding relationships to place and nation as articulated in the arts.
Current research projects: Literary contributions by First Nations and non-status people from Atlantic Canada and Quebec have not received much critical attention. Born in Wabenaki territory and raised in Innu territory, I address creative writing by Indigenous women from the East, some of whom work in French as well as in their First Nations language.
Selected Recent scholarly articles and book chapters:
- “Leanne Simpson’s Decolonial Aesthetics: “Leaks,” Leaks, Community, and Collaboration,” in Canadian Literature (accepted, in press)
- “More than Where the Heart Is: Meeting Places in Wabenaki Poetry by Cheryl Savageau and Mihku Paul, in Journal of Canadian Studies 49: 2 (Spring 2015).
- "Pimuteuat/ Ils marchent/ They walk: Movement in Contemporary Indigenous Poetry in French,” in Indigenous Poetics in Canada, ed. Neal McLeod. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier UP, 2014.
- “Embodying the Glocal: Immigrant and Indigenous Ideas of Home in Tessa McWatt’s Montreal,” in Literature and the Glocal City: Reshaping the English-Canadian Imaginary, ed. Ana Maria Fraile-Marcos. New York: Routledge, 2014.
- “Indigenous Criticism and Indigenous Literature in the 1990s: Critical Intimacy,” in Unruly Penelopes and the Ghosts: Narratives of English Canada, ed. Eva Darias-Beautell. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012.
- “Introduction to Indigeneity in Dialogue: Indigenous Literary Expression across the Linguistic Divides,” (co-authored with Heather Mackenzie), in Studies in Canadian Literature 35.2 (Winter 2011).
- “`Come on, Dave’: Indigenous Identities and Language Play in Yves Sioui Durand’s Hamlet-le-Malécite,” in Studies in Canadian Literature 35.2 (Winter 2011).
- On Critical Frameworks for Analyzing Indigenous Literature: the Case of Monkey Beach,” in International Journal of Canadian Studies 41 (2010).
- “La critique littéraire en amérique du nord: approches anglophones mises en contexte,” in Littératures autochtones, ed. Maurizio Gatti and Louis-Jacques Dorais. Montreal: Mémoire d’encrier, 2010.
Selected Recent Conference Presentations:
- “We were not the savages”: Mi’kmaq and Acadian encounters in Indigenous Writing,” at the NAAAS annual conference, Baton Rouge Louisiana, February 2016.
- “Relationships between oral, written, and videographic narrative forms in the work of Leanne Simpson,” at the inaugural meeting of ILSA, Six Nations and Brantford, Ontario, October 2015.
- “Relationships between print, digital and oral storytelling modes,” at the CINSA conference held at Concordia University, Montreal, June 14 2015.
- “Technologies of Transportation and Metaphors of Movement in Contemporary Innu Literature,” at the “Contesting Canada’s Futures” ICCS conference, Trent University, May 1015; the ACQS Biennial Conference, Montreal, October 2014; and the “Indigeneity and French Canada Conference,” Centre for Quebec and French Canadian Studies, University of London, UK May 2014.
- “Some thoughts on Acadianité and Indigeneity: Literary Representations of Self and Other in the Atlantic Region,” at the “Meeting Places” ICCS Conference, Mount Allison University, September 2013.
- "Approaching Indigenous Literatures in the Twenty-first Century: How Shall We Teach These?" at the “Teaching Indigenous Literatures” workshop, Dept. of English and First Nations Studies, Simon Fraser University, February 2013.
Aki Mashkiki Earth Medicines: training at Peguis First Nation, community work at Peguis, Hiawatha, Sagamok and Wahnapitae First Nations (since 2001).