"Indigeneity", being native, has recently become a central category of ethnic studies. It has been closely connected with the postcolonial condition, that is, with the situation of the colonised peoples in former British colonies such as Canada, the USA, and New Zealand. In this course, we will start with readings and discussions of recent theoretical and analytical approaches to the study of indigenous cultures, followed by an introduction to Canadian history and the specific features and genres of autobiographical writing, establishing concepts, methods and questions to be applied to (excerpts from) autobiographical texts. The selection of texts will illustrate the great variety of forms of life stories but also introduce major issues regarding the history and current socio-political conditions of indigenous people in different parts of Canada. Issues range from painful memories of residential schools, dispossession, poverty, and discrimination to reconciliatory stories of (again) finding their indigenous identity and their place in 20th century Canada. A reader with a selection of theoretical texts and excerpts from some autobiographical texts will be provided at the Copyshop Margaretenplatz.
Please buy the following books and read them over the summer break:
- Auguste Merasty, ( (2015), The Education of Augie Merasty (2015)
- Bridget Moran, Stoney Creek Woman (1993 (1988))
- Richard Wagamese, One Native Life (2008)