The apocalypse will not be colonized: crisis, monsters, and futurism in recent Indigenous narratives
LE3 .A278 2022
Master of Arts
English & Theatre Studies
This thesis investigates how recent Indigenous apocalypse narratives depict the crises of ecological collapse and late-stage capitalism. Drawing on Gerald Vizenor (Anishinaabe)’s theory of survivance as well as Jacques Derrida’s theory of hauntology and Mark Fisher’s concept of capitalist realism, the thesis argues that Anishinaabe writer Waubgeshig Rice’s Moon of the Crusted Snow (2018), Mi’gmaq director Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum (2019), and Métis writer Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves (2017) each envision futures beyond the “end of time.” The thesis is framed by the Mi’kmaq concept of Etuaptmumk, or Two-Eyed Seeing, and begins by developing a theory of “colonialist realism”: the sense that colonialism is inevitable and viable in perpetuity. The chapters that follow examine how Rice, Barnaby, and Dimaline critique colonialist realism through their narratives of crisis and collapse, the colonial monsters that hunt Indigenous characters in each work, and the dreams that create Indigenous futurity beyond the apocalypse.
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