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Lecture 22

EN 2220 Lecture Notes - Lecture 22: Reappropriation, Pow Wow, Maria Campbell

Course Code
EN 2220
Andrea Medovarski

of 3
March 3rd, 2016
Lecture 23
EN 2220
-Aboriginal writing as a form of resistance (said by Jeanette Armstrong)
-Jerimah says "what else is there?" (183-4)
-Gabriel says, "there's Indian religion.."
-Gabriel categorizes Catholicism as the literal or orthodox view, not the mystical
(defamiliarization, one that readers may not have viewed it as before)
-imagery (crucifix now seen in literal sense - torture device, not as a form of saviour etc.
that Catholics, or readers predominantly read it as)
-Gabriel skeptical of Catholicism, says Amanda is too
-opposite extremes
-throughout the novel Catholic images are related to sexuality & violence (blurring of
imagery), reflecting the abuse that the brothers faced in residential schools
Jeremiah & Isolation:
-Jeremiah's experience of being alone is different from his fathers, as his father feels
isolated in the wilderness only,but still has connection to spiritual (p.104) while Jeremiah
feels absolute alienation from others (he doesn't have that acceptance/spiritual connection
that his father has- could be bc his father didn't experience the residential schools, also
Jeremiah going to the Church still didn't feel connection, even amongst people)
-Jeremiah is alienated and fragmented by not only his aboriginal culture but, also the
dominant culture that will never accept him (lack of acceptance b/w two epistemologies)
-suicide inducing Saturdays
Jeremiah & Internal Racism at the Pow Wow:
-Jeremiah & the pow wow (Amanda invited him to but he was reluctant)
-not familiar to customs and felt disengaged and even isolated again (but willingly this
-wants to distance self from the pow wow, and sees the native customs as savage
-has accepted assimilation now (residential school worked, internalized by the dominant
eurocentric culture) (similar to the disgust felt by Sandor when Hungarians coming off
train and he felt disengaged/distant from own community)
-accepting and even encouraging stereotypes of aboriginals and rejecting native
epistemology (cowboys representation that Maria Campbell in her poem Jacob defames)
-opposite of the heaven and hell passage prior to this
Jeremiah & Sexuality:
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-becomes purely intellectual, closes off emotions/feelings
-completely turns of his sexuality, represses it, becomes nonsexual
-p.205 "his body dead"
-possible response to trauma in residential schools
-he is constantly suppressing his sexuality and is negatively affected by sex relations in
past, as he only feels pleasure from the thought of sexual abuse
Gabriel & Sexuality:
-opp. of Jeremiah, as he becomes sexless as a result of trauma experienced in residential
schools, as his sexuality becomes stunted & warped
-he has several partners, even some he doesn't know, and without protection at times
-same trauma manifested in a very different way/response to Jeremiah's experience, as
everyone experiences it differently
-not Gay/homosexual bc of abuse (cannot be said, other factors)
-queerness in aboriginal context (theme)
-sees a drag queen in bar, more specifically a two-spirited individual ( embodies both
genders, non heterosexual normativity)
-aboriginal's have more than two genders, and one can occupy more than one normative
gender etc. (non binary like dominant culture)
-two-spirited individuals actually seen as having a gift that brought that closer to spirits,
which is why Gabriel is in awe later at the sight of the individual
Art, Healing & Collaboration b/w Gabriel & Jeremiah:
-theme of art(s) e.g. music/dance etc. as a means of healing, reconciliation
-art becomes a way to reconnect both brothers together (repairs relation, but even restores
some culture) (last 50 pages of novel)
-brothers can celebrate the repair of relations and the resumption of their lives, their
careers, and the overcoming even of trauma through arts
-begin to collaboratively work on performances that shows collaboration of their
aboriginal cree culture & their classical training (blend of two cultures)
-piano used in the performance for another way than what it was originally used for -
stretching boundaries (manipulate, to write another narrative)
-despite classical training meant for the solo artist, they use their training to collab
-p.285 2nd performance for collab, Ulysses Thunderchild
-reviewer misreads the show, as he doesn't see the priest image as accurate bc he is
looking at it through a white eurocentric lens/narrative ,not aboriginal (denial of
Jeremiah's experience, leads to the resurfacing of his trauma)
Positive (or not as negative) view of Christianity:
-a bit in the Pow Wow b/c it takes place in a church
-conflation of church and mall as same institute
-acceptance of non-orthodox Catholicism
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Post-Colonial Strategy Against Colonialism:
-used throughout literature & art, in which oppressed people take aspects of the
oppressor's culture and try to reinvent it and even insert their culture into that of the
-e.g. Jazz is a re-appropriation of the Blues, in which slaves tried to take a music genre
and adapt their experience & culture into the music, reinventing it (African cultural act of
resistance, hybridizing pre-existing imperialist culture)
-recolonizing the colonizer?
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