Disruptions: Indigenous Literatures of the Americas

Membership, contacts, brief description

Disruptions: Indigenous Literatures of the Americas

This working group will create a space to engage with how literary texts, including oral stories, spoken words, film, visual art, songs, fiction and non fiction, disrupt contemporary colonial structures through their demands for justice, healing, new methodologies and epistemologies, and radical pedagogies. Literary texts by Indigenous authors and artists emerge as a concerted challenge to the myths that have persisted in mainstream colonial societies across the Americas.  More precisely, each text creates a “cacophony,” understood by Jodi Byrd (Chickasaw) as a multiplicity of perspectives, both simultaneous and distinct within the context of colonialism (2011).  The concept of cacophony is essential to understanding the diverse ways in which authors develop vocabularies that celebrate Indigenous resurgence. In bringing together both literary and social science scholars, we aim to foster exchanges across disciplines. More precisely we ask, what use can we make of Indigenous literatures and arts in the humanities and the social sciences and in return, what tools can be applied from different disciplines in the study of narratives?  How do Indigenous literatures relate to pedagogies?  How do literatures create or strengthen communities?  An interdisciplinary approach to these questions will allow us to understand the reach of Indigenous literatures beyond the text.  The “Disruptions” group aims to 1) put into practice Indigenous pedagogies in which knowledge is shared through a focus on interpersonal relationships and dialogue, 2) engage with the TRC’s recent recommendations for universities to take a more dedicated approach to incorporating Indigenous knowledge and 3) build connections with First Nations community in Toronto. Through these goals, we intend to inscribe our practice within the principles of relationality, responsibility and reciprocity.

Élise Couture-Grondin, Ph.D student, Comparative Literature
Isabella Huberman, Ph.D. student, French

Faculty at University of Toronto
Courtney Jung, FAS Political Science
Smaro Kamboureli, FAS English
Neil ten Kortenaar, UTSC English
Andreas Motsch, FAS French
Keren Rice, FAS Linguistics
Graduate Students at University of Toronto

Nathaniel Harrington, Comparative Literature
Evangeline Holtz, English
Jenna Hunnef, English
Ashley Morford, English
Christina Turner, English

Faculty Members at Other Universities
Julie Cairnie, English & Theatre Studies, University of Guelph
Joëlle Papillon, French, McMaster University
Graduate Student at Other Universities

Travis Hay, History, York University