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"Ask the Colonial Ghosts": Intimate Histories, Harmful Complicities, and the Search for an Accountable Relationship with the Past

"Ask the Colonial Ghosts": Intimate Histories, Harmful Complicities, and the Search for an Accountable Relationship with the Past

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Title: "Ask the Colonial Ghosts": Intimate Histories, Harmful Complicities, and the Search for an Accountable Relationship with the Past
Author: Lewis, Johanna Madeleine
Abstract: I take episodes from my life and my familys past as sites through which to explore connections between individual lives and larger structures, between the ways we tell our stories and the ways that histories are constructed, between colonial pasts and colonial presents. By researching and contextualizing the lives of my ancestors who homesteaded in Saskatchewan and those who participated in the British Raj, I analyze the lived practice of particular colonial structures and racial logics, and the consequences of our relationships with these histories. I then explore my contemporary participation in settler colonial seizure and amnesia, and my connection and responsibility to the Indigenous peoples who have lived (and continue to live) in relation with this land we now call Toronto. Grounded in a decolonial analysis, I aim to challenge both the erasure of unpalatable histories and the denial that these histories have any bearing on our world today.
Subject: History
Keywords: History
Colonialism
Empire
Colonial history
Settler colonialism
Family history
Autoethnography
Memory studies
Decolonial frameworks
Decolonial autobiography
Remembrance
Relationality
Intergenerational
Microhistory
White supremacy
Homesteads
Saskatchewan
British Raj
Toronto
Indigenous studies
Temporality
Privilege
Accountability
Settler harm reduction
Responsibility
Story
Legacy
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/32694
Supervisor: Haig-Brown, E. Celia ; Creet, Julia ; Mongia, Radhika
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Program: Interdisciplinary Studies
Exam date: 2016-06-28
Publish on: 2016-11-25

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