Tag Archives: reconciliation

“How can I share this?”: Sky Dancer Louise Halfe and the Poetics of the unsayable

“Listen to the bones”      -Louise Halfe, Blue Marrow Sky Dancer Louise Bernice Halfe breathes life into silence. For more than twenty-five years, Halfe, who is Cree, from the Saddle Lake reserve and Treaty Six territory, has used Cree poetics to delicately craft voice out of silence: out of the unheard; out of the ongoing […]

“A soul-deep desolation:” Reconciliation and the Vacuum of Unstoried Existence

Excerpted from The Theatre of Regret: Art, Literature, and the Politics of Reconciliation While it is intimately, and, perhaps, impossibly, entwined with Christian ideology and Western politics, the idea of reconciliation does not belong to the Western theory alone. Indigenous scholars such as Billy-Ray Belcourt, Daniel Heath Justice, Hadley Friedland, Val Napoleon, Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, […]

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Forgiveness, “a thousand pound word”

Conceived as re-joining, reconciliation is about groups who have been separated by historical injustice finding ways to cooperatively share space, both literal and epistemological. Apology is one aspect of that dialectic, but forgiveness—the discourse of the survivor—has been instrumental in providing theorists with the ground to imagine reconciliation.[i] Recognizing the significant role forgiveness studies have had on larger theories of reconciliation is vital to understanding the larger structure of feeling out of which the TRC model is constructed and maintained. That being said, because it is a topic that has been so thoroughly appropriated into theological and academic discourses, it is also necessary to bear witness to the ways in which surviours are grappling with the concept, particularly in the wake of the TRC.

Theatre of Regret Now Available in Paperback

The Theatre of Regret: Literature, Art, and the Politics of Reconciliation in Canada is now available in paperback via UBC Press. Some of the chapters were developed out of writing that I first shared on this blog. For instance the post “Reconciliation: ‘Like an Echo Turned Inside Out’” is the basis of the book’s conclusion, […]

Lack as Resistance in Joshua Whitehead’s Full-Metal Indigiqueer

Joshua Whitehead’s inaugural book of poetry, Full-Metal Indigiqueer is a series of poems told through Zoa, a trickster figure rendered through the lens of technology. Whitehead combines the figures of the singularity, virus, and hacker into a narrator that inhabits and deconstructs the Western literary cannon and popular media culture by infiltrating and re-writing the […]

Reconciliation: “Like an Echo Turned Inside Out”

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 […]

The Theatre of Regret: Establishing the Politics of Reconciliation after World War II

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 […]

The Deconstructed Sorry: Post-Structural Ethics of Apology in the Wake of World War II

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 […]

RECONCILIAITON ≠ TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE (Part II)

The relation of transitional justice to contemporary reconciliation studies is an issue that requires much more attention. Some of the most recent examples of reconciliation (Australia and Canada) have not taken place inside of a transitional justice paradigm, but are the consequence of previously democratic states coming to terms with past crimes. Inasmuch as reconciliation […]

Reconciliation Does Not Equal Transitional Justice (and other truths)

In tracing the legacy of reconciliation across Nuremberg, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Australia and Canada, there is at least one major difference in the latter two examples that demands explicit attention. Specifically, Nuremberg principles have traditionally been used to enforce measures of transitional justice for states beset by violence–the primary examples being El Salvador, Argentina, Chile […]