Defamiliarizing the Aboriginal: Cultural Practices and Decolonization in Canada
University of Toronto Press, 2007 - 319 ページ
From the Canadian Indian Act to Freud's Totem and Taboo to films such as Nanook of the North, all manner of cultural artefacts were used to create a distinction between savagery and civilization. In Defamiliarizing the Aboriginal, Julia V. Emberley examines the historical production of aboriginality in colonial cultural practices and its effects in shaping the everyday lives of indigenous women, youth, and children.
Adopting a materialist-semiotic approach, Emberley explores the ways in which representational technologies – film, photography, and print culture, including legal documents and literature – were crucial to British colonial practices. Many indigenous scholars, writers, and artists are, however, confounding these practices by deploying aboriginality as a complex and enabling sign of social, cultural, and political transformation. Emberley gives due attention to this important work, studying a wide range of topics, including race, place, and motherhood, primitivism and violence, and sexuality and global political kinships. Because of Emberley's multidisciplinary approach, Defamiliarizing the Aboriginal will be of interest to scholars and students of cultural studies, indigenous studies, women's studies, postcolonial and colonial studies, literature, and film.