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|Title:||At Home in Stories: Indigenous and Settler Writers Counter Exile in Canadian Narratives|
|Department:||English and Cultural Studies|
|Abstract:||<p> At Home in Stories asks how stories contribute to addressing the problem of becoming at-home for an exiled people or person. This question is set in the context of the internal exile experienced by First Nations and immigrant communities as a result of the dominance of Empire, nation-building, resource extraction and consumer-culture stories. How do members of an exiled community remember their story and continue their history in the face of and in response to all that estranges and threatens to erase them as a people? How do exiles write their stories to develop their own particular identity in contrast to a dominant story? Through close textual analysis I trace how these questions are imaginatively taken up in the following contemporary Canadian fictional stories: Margaret Laurence's The Diviners, Rudy Wiebe's A Discovery of Strangers, Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach, and Shelley Niro's It Starts With a Whisper and Suite: INDIAN. </p> <p> Drawing on critical work from fields including Indigenous Studies, hermeneutics, M.M. Bakhtin's philosophy of language, and postcolonial and postmodern theories, I explore the relationship between home-making and storytelling by highlighting three aspects of becoming at-home. Humankind is born into and a part of a particular ecological household made up of the relationships that sustain life in a specific locale, in itself a story-soaked place; becoming at-home includes cultural belonging whose integrity is marked by boundaries and a cultural hearth-fire; finally, as different cultures share the same land, developing a sense of mystery that indwells difference between peoples is crucial. </p> <p> This thesis takes up the ability of stories to get at the complexity of the meeting between different persons and cultures, the ways in which dominant stories silence the many non-human and human voices that make up life on earth, and how through their alternative vision other stories provide counter narratives to this silencing. </p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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