Brief Description of Course: Canada’s entry into the “truth and reconciliation period” in its relations with Aboriginal peoples proposes to revise past colonial conduct in order to rebuild and renew social relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. In this course, we will explore literary texts that address this relationship in its pre- and post-reconciliation phases by assessing how creative writers contribute to this process of reconstruction. We will read literature that makes visible the uneasy practice of public accountability by focusing on the issues of transparency in knowledge sharing, narrating victim-centered accounts, and ‘making justice’ as a stage of reparation. Our goal will be to assess how literature challenges the privatization of certain forms of knowledge practices and how it revises forms of justice and reconciliation made possible by the state.
Required Reading: Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (1987); Basil Johnston, Indian School Days (1988); Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen (1999); Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, In Search of April Raintree: Critical Edition (1983, 1999); Shirley Sterling, My Name is Seepeetza (1992); Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse (2012).
First Three Authors/Texts: Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (1987); Basil Johnston, Indian School Days (1988); Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen (1999).
Method of Evaluation: Participation, short essays, research essay.