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The Border-Crossing Fiction of Louise Erdrich, Tomson Highway, Thomas King, and James Welch

Applicant Zanella Patrizia
Number 168634
Funding scheme Doc.CH
Research institution Département d'Anglais Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline German and English languages and literature
Start/End 01.09.2016 - 30.09.2019
Approved amount 216'208.00
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Keywords (5)

Indigenous literary studies; comparative North American studies; border-crossings; US-Canadian border; multilingualism

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Diese Dissertation verfolgt das Ziel, die verschiedenen Formen von Grenzüberschreitungen in Romanen zeitgenössischer indigener nordamerikanischer Autoren/innen zu untersuchen. Insbesondere wird dabei der Frage nach der Darstellung der amerikanisch-kanadischen Grenze nachgegangen. Zudem werden Grenzüberschreitungen im übertragenen Sinn, das heißt im Bezug auf Kultur, Ethnizität, Religion, Sprache, Gattung sowie Gender und sexuelle Orientierung, berücksichtigt.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

Das vorliegende Projekt fügt sich in das Forschungsfeld der nordamerikanischen Studien ein, welches Werke über ihren unmittelbaren nationalen Kontext hinaus analysiert. Bei Louise Erdrich, Thomas King, Tomson Highway und James Welch handelt es sich um indigene Autor/innen, in deren Romanen die Grenze zwischen Kanada und Amerika oft überschritten und kritisch hinterfragt wird. Ziel dieser Dissertation ist allerdings nicht, sich unreflektiert in den Trend der transnationalen Studien einzureihen und realitätsfern nationale Grenzen systematisch zu sprengen. Viel mehr soll das Verhältnis zwischen der indigenen Bevölkerung zu den Nationalstaaten und der nationalen Grenzen besser verstanden werden, wobei geschichtliche und legale Dokumente die Analyse der Romane komplementieren sollen.

Unter anderem wird folgenden Leitfragen nachgegangen: Was unterscheidet und verbindet Amerika und Kanada im Bezug auf die indigene Bevölkerung? Wie werden die beiden Nationalstaaten in den Romanen der amerikanischen und kanadischen Schriftsteller/innen dargestellt? Welche Rolle spielt der indigene stammesspezifische Hintergrund der Autoren/innen? Wie wird das Fremde dargestellt und den Leser/innen näher gebracht ohne dabei enteignet zu werden? Wann, wie und wozu werden kulturelle, ethnische, religiöse, sprachliche und gattungsrelevante Grenzen überschritten? Und ebenso wichtig, wann werden diese Grenzen nicht überschritten? 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Das vorliegende Projekt bedient sich einer interdisziplinären Methodik. Dabei werden westliche Theoriemodelle mit indigenen Epistemologien verbunden und sowohl nationale, transnationale, regionale als auch stammesspezifische Eigenschaften in Betracht gezogen. Für ein Schweizer Publikum dürften insbesondere die sprachlichen Grenzüberschreitungen von Interesse sein.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 11.04.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
The Controversy Around Joseph Boyden’s Identity: A Missed Opportunity at Reconciliation
ZanellaPatrizia (2019), The Controversy Around Joseph Boyden’s Identity: A Missed Opportunity at Reconciliation, Vienna Working Papers in Canadian Studies, Vienna.
'not quite human, not quite wolf, but something in between': Liminal Spaces in Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach
Zanella Patrizia (2017), 'not quite human, not quite wolf, but something in between': Liminal Spaces in Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach, in Brandt Stefan L. (ed.), Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main; New York, 101-112.
Book Review of Mary Jane Logan McCallum. Indigenous Women, Work, and History: 1940-1980. Winnipeg: U of Manitoba P, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-88755-738-5. 320 pp.
Zanella Patrizia, Book Review of Mary Jane Logan McCallum. Indigenous Women, Work, and History: 1940-1980. Winnipeg: U of Manitoba P, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-88755-738-5. 320 pp., in SAIL (Studies in American Indian Literatures), 29(4), 112-116.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Europa-Universität Flensburg Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Simon Fraser University Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
University of Minnesota-Duluth United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
North American Studies Program at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
SGGF/SSEG (The Swiss Association for Gender Studies) Talk given at a conference MMIWG2S: Interrupting the Violence of Settler Colonial Archives 13.09.2019 University of Bern, Switzerland Zanella Patrizia;
CUSO (Conférence universitaire de Suisse occidentale/ Conference of Western Switzerland's Universities) Talk given at a conference The Border-Crossing Fiction of Louise Erdrich, James Welch, Thomas King, and Tomson Highway 23.03.2019 University of Lausanne, Switzerland Zanella Patrizia;
NALS (Native American Literature Symposium) Talk given at a conference "communal joy" and Kinship between Indigenous and Black Cowboys in Richard Wagamese's Dream Wheels 09.03.2019 Prior Lake, Minnesota, United States of America Zanella Patrizia;
International PhD Workshop: Current Research in American Studies Talk given at a conference Crossing the Medicine Line: Kinship Connections Across Nation State Borders 05.12.2018 Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany Zanella Patrizia;
Guest Intervention in Prof. Thomas Austenfeld's Lecture Course on Social Justice Debates in American Literature Individual talk Criminalization as State Response: Continuities between AIM, Standing Rock, and Violence at the Mexico-United States Border 27.11.2018 University of Fribourg, Switzerland Zanella Patrizia;
Witnessing Resurgence: Self-Determination and Allyship: The Fifteenth Annual Emerging Scholars' Forum of the GKS Talk given at a conference Black-Indigenous Kinship-Making in Richard Wagamese’s Dream Wheels 30.06.2018 University of Bern, Switzerland Zanella Patrizia;
Dear White People event series organized by the English student body Individual talk Let's Talk Indigenous Literary Studies, Appropriation, Stereotyping, and MMIWG2S 03.05.2018 University of Fribourg, Switzerland Zanella Patrizia;
NALS (Native American Literature Symposium) Talk given at a conference We had family here, blood and otherwise’: Survivance through Kinship, Story, Dreams, and Language in Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves 24.03.2018 Prior Lake, Minnesota, United States of America Zanella Patrizia;
WLA (Western Literature Association) Talk given at a conference Crossing the US-Canadian Border in the Fiction of Louise Erdrich and James Welch 25.10.2017 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America Zanella Patrizia;
Emerging Scholars' Forum of the Association for Canadian Studies in German-Speaking Countries Talk given at a conference Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Sexualized Genocide in North America 07.07.2017 Konstanz, Germany Zanella Patrizia;
ILSA (Indigenous Literary Studies Association) Talk given at a conference From the Lakes to the Prairies: Ethics of Belonging in Louise Erdrich's Birchbark House Series 18.06.2017 Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada Zanella Patrizia;
International PhD Workshop: Current Research in American Studies Talk given at a conference Crossing Borders & Redrawing Boundaries on the Back of the Turtle: The Sovereign Fiction of Louise Erdrich, Thomas King, Tomson Highway, and James Welch 16.06.2017 Flensburg, Germany Zanella Patrizia;
NALS (Native American Literature Symposium) Talk given at a conference Transnational Advocacy, Violence Against Indigenous Women, and the Role of Writers 02.03.2017 Prior Lake, Minnesota, United States of America Zanella Patrizia;
Lecture Given Within the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Minnesota-Duluth Individual talk Literature as Activism: Addressing Sexual Violence in Louise Erdrich's Fiction 28.11.2016 Duluth, Minnesota, United States of America Zanella Patrizia;
WLA (Western Literature Assocation) Talk given at a conference De-Essentializing the Relationship Between Humans and Nature in James Welch's Winter in the Blood 21.09.2016 Big Sky, Montana, United States of America Zanella Patrizia;


Abstract

This project aims to analyze the fiction of four North American Indigenous authors, namely Louise Erdrich, Thomas King, James Welch, and Tomson Highway, through the trope of border crossings. It will establish and examine literal and metaphorical border crossings as a defining trait of Indigenous literatures. Analyzing two authors based in what is currently the United States alongside two writers based in what is currently Canada, this project will be mindful of the specific historical and national (referring to both the nation state and the tribal nation) context in order to determine whether there are particular US American, Canadian, and/or Indigenous nation-specific features. It is located within the framework of Indigenous Studies, comparative North American Studies, and border studies. In order to successfully incorporate tribal epistemologies into the analysis and to learn some basic Ojibwe, indispensable for examining the linguistic border crossings in Louise Erdrich's fiction, an integral part of this project is a research stay at the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and at the First Nation Studies Department at Simon Fraser University.
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