Queen’s University, MA, PhD

My research and teaching of Indigenous literature are informed by the environmental humanities, gendered histories of colonization, and theories of biopower. I am currently completing a SSHRC-funded book, Directing Traffic: Roads, Mobility, and Violence in Indigenous Literature. This project explores racialized and gendered experiences of mobility through a selection of writing and visual art by Marie Clements, Marilyn Dumont, Tomson Highway, Joseph Boyden, Richard Van Camp, annie ross, Kelly Greene, and Kent Monkman. Building on Raymond Williams’s observation that “traffic is not only a technique; it is a form of consciousness and a form of social relations,” this book pulls into focus sexual, racial, and environmental violence localized around roads.

Directing Traffic contributes alternative ways of thinking about roads by extending recent theoretical discussions of the spatialization of racial and class categories to my readings of Indigenous-authored texts. Examining this archive next to lived struggles over spatial justice, I argue that roads are spaces of complex signification whose ties to colonial violence reveal how biopolitics are infrastructural. Along with exploring these fraught histories of mobility, I consider ways in which Indigenous communities have transformed roads into sites of political resistance and social memory.

I find teaching a deeply rewarding part of the profession, and my objective is to foster vibrant and stimulating discussion in all my classes. My last five years at UBC have been focused on teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on Indigenous writing and the environmental humanities with attendant analyses of the gender and sexual politics of settler colonialism. I also have used funding from two SSHRC grants to train and employ students as research assistants. I would be interested in supervising graduate students whose areas of focus are Indigenous writing, the environmental humanities, or Canadian cultural studies.

Recent Publications:

  • “Kent Monkman’s The Big Four as Automobiography.” a|b: Auto|Biography Studies. Forthcoming 2016
  • “Idling No More: The Road in Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters.” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 2.2. Forthcoming 2015.
  • “Roads.” Fueling Culture: Politics, History, Energy. Ed. Imre Szeman, Jennifer Wenzel, and Patricia Yaeger. New York: Fordham UP. Forthcoming 2016.
  • “A Metaphysics of Scrap: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’s Automobile Art.” Wi: Journal of Mobile Media special issue on “Mobile Trash.” Forthcoming 2016.
  • “Mobility and Its Disenchantments in Marie Clements’ The Unnatural and Accidental Women and Burning Vision.” Literature and the Glocal City: Reshaping the English Canadian Imaginary. Ed. Ana María Fraile. London: Routledge, 2014. 21-38.
  • “For King and Country? War and Indigenous Masculinity.” Contested Spaces: Counter-narratives and Culture from Below. Ed. Domenico Beneventi and Roxanne Rimstead. Toronto: U of Toronto P. Forthcoming 2016.
  • “Word Warriors: Indigenous Political Consciousness in Prison.” Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada. Ed. Melina Baum-Singer et al. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012. 229-44.
  • “‘In this inverted garden’: Masculinities in Canadian Prison Writing.” Journal of Gender Studies 21.1 (2012): 77-89.
  • “‘In this inverted garden’: Masculinities in Canadian Prison Writing.” Journal of Gender Studies 21.1 (2012): 77-89.
  • “On Making The Meaning of Life: An Interview with Hugh Brody.” Canadian Literature 208 (2011): 30-47.
  • “‘It’s a double-beat dance’: The ‘Indian Cowboy’ in Indigenous Literature, Art, and Film.” Intertexts 14.2 (2010): 75-92.
  • “‘Here the country is uncertain’: Canadian Incarcerated Authors Trans-scribing Prison.” Biography 32.1 (2009): 102-13.
  • “‘Docile bodies shuffling in unison’: The Prisoner as Worker in Canadian Prison Writing.” Life Writing 6.3 (2009): 313-27.

Monograph:

  • From the Iron House: Imprisonment in First Nations Writing. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2008. Indigenous studies series.