On the penultimate page of her 2017 dystopian speculative fiction novel, The Marrow Thieves, Métis author and editor Cherie Dimaline evokes the sound of an echo as a means elucidate the reunification of two residential school surviours: The scene is significant for a number of reasons, not least of all because it contains the only […]
An excerpt from my forthcoming book The Theatre of Regret: Troubling Reconciliation in Canada. Available soon from UBC Press.
In the spirit of the TRC Reading Challenge (#ReadTheTRCReport) the following are my notes on the the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Final Report: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. The goal is to incite more people to read the report and to generate productive, ongoing conversation. Obviously, these notes are not comprehensive and they […]
An immense wave of anti-colonial and anti-imperial activity, thought, and revision has overtaken the massive edifice of Western empire, challenging it, to use Gramsci’s vivid metaphor, in a mutual siege. For the first time Westerners have been required to confront themselves not simply as the Raj but as representatives of a culture and even a […]
French Anthropologist Marcel Mauss put gift theory into circulation long ago in 1923, but his ideas continue to make important contributions to contemporary studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Anthropology and, as I argue, Reconciliation Theory. Of special importance in Mauss’s work was his identification of “hau,” a “spiritual mechanism … which obliges us to make […]
At this present moment it must be recognized that “apology” has been reformulated in Canada’s political discourse as a means to control narrative and protect the interests of the status quo. In this post, I would like to offer a brief critique of what might be called the “deconstructive” or “postmodern” approach to apology, which […]
We live in an “Age of Apology“. In a way that was unimaginable during the Cold War, “sorry” is now a primary element of intra-state politics. Some label the post-Cold War shift out of realpolitik as an indication of “the new international morality,” but apology is also a means for Nation States to recuperate and monetize “sorry”. The […]