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|Title:||Caught Up: Indigenous Re/presentations of Colonial Captivity|
|Department:||English and Cultural Studies|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>"Caught Up: Indigenous Re/presentations of Colonial Captivity" examines the circulation and cultural function of what I call contact captivity narratives-written and visual accounts of interracial newcomer-native abduction and confinement in the (neo-)colonial period or contact zone. This project, the first sustained study of contact captivity in Canada, illuminates the extent to which Aboriginal peoples have been (and continue to be) subjected to technologies of capture and the degree to which Euro-Canadian freedom has been predicated upon Aboriginal confinement; it uncatalogus Indigenous response and resistance to such captures.</p> <p>An understanding of the colonial project as an attempt to capture Indigenous populations on a continental scale has been impeded by the canonical literary genre of the "Indian captivity narrative," with its untenable exclusion of non-white experiences of capture and its trade in racialized types. I propose a new set of classificatory labels: the contact, the colonialist, and the Indigenous captivity narrative. My dissertation studies the cases of five celebrated white women captives (in Australia, America, and Canada) to theorize sensationalized colonialist captivity tales as narratives of absolution strategically mobilized to mask contemporaneous captures of local Indigenous populations.</p> <p>One such instance of competing captivity narratives occurred during Canada's Northwest Rebellion in 1885 when the national focus on two 'captive' settler women and their autobiography, Two Months in the Camp of Big Bear, obscured or overwrote the Canadian internment of the western Cree on reserves and in jails and residential schools. I look to three generations of acimisowina (personal life stories) by mistahi-maskwa's (Big Bear's) descendents to grasp the implications of this massive capture and the often spiritual means of recuperating from it. The project concludes by considering how a selection of contemporary First Nations writing and painting imaginatively stages the repatriation of those once captured and how artistic self-definition is correlated to the self-determination inherent to First Nations sovereignty.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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