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Cultural geographies essay: Indigenous spectrality and the politics of postcolonial ghost stories

[journal article]

Cameron, Emilie

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Abstract This essay considers the politics of describing Indigenous peoples as ghostly or haunting presences. Focusing on the history of haunting tropes in Canadian cultural production and the recent re-emergence of the spectral Indigenous figure in, among other places, a wilderness park in southwestern British Columbia, I argue that the mobilization of haunting tropes to make sense of contemporary settler-Indigenous relations reinscribes colonial power relations and fails to account for the specific experiences and claims of Indigenous peoples. At a time when cultural geographers are contemplating the possibilities of a ‘spectral turn’, this essay asks what politics are involved in deploying a spectro-geographical approach to studies of the colonial and postcolonial.
Classification Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology
Free Keywords haunting; Nlaka'pamux; postcolonialism; spectrality; Stein Valley;
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 383-393
Journal Cultural Geographies, 15 (2008) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)