McGill University, BA
University College Dublin, MA, PhD

I teach courses on contemporary Indigenous and settler/multicultural Canadian writing, and on Critical Indigenous Studies and theory (ranging from hermeneutics to semiotics, critical race theory, socio-legal theory, poststructuralist theory, public memory and oral history, etc.). I welcome graduate supervisions in all of these areas.

I’ve been privileged to supervise theses and dissertations in a variety of fields and on topics ranging from narrative in immigration law to James Joyce & deconstruction,  Heidegger and the Festival of Being, Lisa Robertson’s poetics, posthumanism and animal studies, contemporary Indo-Canadian fiction, Derrida and Orientalism, the history of hermeneutics, and the representation of women in Manga.

My work in Indigenous Studies is community-based and committed to an ethical engagement with Indigenous knowledge keepers and knowledge systems. As a non-Indigenous person working in Indigenous Studies and as a guest on the unceded, ancestral and traditional territory of the Musqueam people, I take seriously my responsibilty of decolonial practice and the ironies of my own heritage as a fifth-generation Irish-Canadian descendant of Famine survivors who settled on Algonquin land.

I teach courses on contemporary Indigenous and settler Canadian writing, and on Critical Indigenous Studies and theory (ranging from hermeneutics to semiotics, critical race theory, socio-legal theory, poststructuralist theory, public memory and oral history, etc.). I welcome graduate supervisions in all of these areas.

Recent & forthcoming publications

  • “Oral History as a Practice of Freedom: The Tsilhqot’in Title Case in Context.” (forthcoming)
  • “‘Oral Tradition’ as Legal Fiction: The Challenge of Dechen ts’edilhtan in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia,” International Journal for the Semiotics of Law PDF
  • “‘Time Immemorial’ and Indigenous Rights: A Genealogy and Three Case Studies (Calder, Van der Peet, Tsilhqot’in) from British Columbia,” Journal of Historical Sociology 26:3 (2013) PDF
  • Lha Yudit’in (We Never Give Up: An Oral History of the Tsilhqot’in Title Case, in collaboration with Chief Roger William (Xeni Gwet’in) and the Tsilhqot’in People of Xeni. (book in progress)
  • Time and Space in “Tsilhqot’in Nation v. B.C.”, a book-length study of competing, culturally specific concepts of space and time in “Tsilhqot’in Nation v. B.C.”, including studies of the discursive production of “oral tradition,” spatial deixis and other discursive mapping strategies in Tsilhqot’in testimony, “time immemorial”, and survivor memory in this case;
  • The Tsilhqot’in Title Case Website, in collaboration with Chief Roger William (Xeni Gwet’in). Currently in the planning & fundraising stages.

As a theorist who has worked in a variety of contexts, usually comparative, I am interested in contact zones between regulatory discourses, often with an Indigenous and/or minority community focus.  My current research is focussed on several interconnected projects related to the Tsilhqot’in title case and spanning oral history, Indigenous law and epistemology, settler colonial studies and property law, and the anthropology and cultural geography of place: 1) a book-length oral history of the Tsilhqot’in title case focussed on interviews with Xeni Gwet’in Elders, Chief and commmunity; 2) a book on competing, culturally specific understandings of “time” and “space” in the Tsilhqot’in title case, including studies of the discursive production of “oral tradition,” spatial deixis and other discursive mapping strategies in Tsilhqot’in testimony, and “time immemorial” in this case; 3) a community-based website focused on the Tsilhqot’in title case and enabling a variety of readers to access accurate information about the case and the community.

Areas of Specialization:

  • Contemporary Indigenous and Settler/multicultural Canadian writing
  • Critical Indigenous studies (with particular interests in Indigenous law, oral history, Tsilhqot’in studies, place and representation, epistemology, land and resource extraction)
  • Theory (sociolegal studies, Indigenous epistemologies, Posthumanism, Semiotics, Poststructuralism, Hermeneutics, History of Theory, Critical Race Theory,)
  • Expressive freedoms & discursive regulation in Canada

 

The Tsilhqot’in Research Cluster at UBC

This collaborative research cluster is comprised of three linked projects undertaken by Lorraine Weir with Chief Roger William (Xeni Gwet’in) in relation to the Tsilhqot’in Aboriginal title and rights case:

  • Lha Yudit’in (We Never Give Up): An Oral History of the Tsilhqot’in Title Case, a book-length oral history undertaken by Weir with Chief William and the Tsilhqot’in people of Xeni (completion in 2017-18).  Supported by the Hampton endowment at UBC and by UBC Arts HSS grants.
  • the development of a community-based website focused on the Tsilhqot’in title case (2017-18);
  • Qatŝ’ay: The Basket Project. Sixteen Elders made the long journey from Xeni to the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Sept. 2016 to see the collection of baskets and other belongings made by their ancestors and to record their knowledge and experience. This project is part of the work of cultural and linguistic revitalization associated with the Tsilhqot’in Title case and an important part of the community’s reconnecting to its own proud artistic and cultural heritage.  Supported by the Hampton Endowment at UBC, FNIS & FNEL, the Longhouse, the English Department, & MOA. Material from this visit will be incorporated into Lha Yudit’in and included in the Title case website.
  • Nexwenen: The Voices of the Elders.  A new collaborative project focused on the transcription and translation of testimony in Tsilhqot’in by the Elders at trial in the Tsilhqot’in Title case.  Based on the court reporter’s deposition tapes, this project returns the voices of the Elders to their communities and provides essential materials for language revitalization and curriculum as well as for cultural and historical study.

Visit the Project website (“under construction”): https://tsilhqotin.wordpress.com