Political communities are defined – and often contested – through stories and storytelling. Scholars have long recognized that two foundational sets of stories – narratives of contact and narratives of arrival – helped to define settler societies. We are only beginning to understand how ongoing issues of migration and settlement are linked to issues of indigenous-settler contact.
In Storied Communities, scholars from multiple disciplines disrupt the assumption in many works that indigenous and immigrant identities fall into two separate streams of analysis. The authors do not attempt to build a new master narrative – they instead juxtapose narratives of contact and arrival as they explore key themes: the nature and hazards of telling stories in the political realm; the literary, ceremonial, and identity-forming dimensions of the narrative form; actual narratives of contact and arrival in Canada, Australia, the Americas, New Zealand, and Europe; and the institutional and theoretical implications of foundation narratives and storytelling. In the process, they deepen our understanding of the role of narrative in community and nation building.
By bringing to light the links between narratives of contact and narratives arrival, this innovative volume opens up new ways to imagine, sustain, and transform political communities.
Students and scholars in a number of disciplines – law, political science, literature, Native studies, sociology, and history – will be interested in this book, as will anyone who wants to explore how stories have helped to create, and re-create, settler societies such as Canada.
Hester Lessard is a professor of law at the University of Victoria. Rebecca Johnson is a professor of law at the University of Victoria. Jeremy Webber holds the Canada Research Chair in Law and Society at the University of Victoria and is also a Trudeau Fellow.
Contributors: Kim Anderson, Bain Attwood, Michael Asch, Brenna Bhandar, J. Edward Chamberlin, Susan Bibler Coutin, Donald Galloway, Anne Godlewska, Sneja Gunew, Johnny Mack, Audrey Macklin, Martha Nandorfy, Jacinta Ruru, Blanca Schorcht, S. Ronald Stevenson, Patricia Tuitt, Richard Van Camp