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Who's the White Guy?: Land, water, and relational dis/embodiments on unceded Coast Salish territories

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Who's the White Guy? Land, water, and relational dis/embodiments on Unceded Coast Salish Territories is an experimental autoethnography that explores the Settler positionality of the author, a White cis-gender middle-class, second generation male Canadian in his forties living in New Westminster, British Columbia. Who's the White Guy? is a play with accompanying prose, describing, analyzing, and creatively re-imagining the results of three years of research Waller carried out using multisensorial auto-ethnographic methods in New Westminster and along the Sto:lo (Fraser) River and its tributaries. Simultaneously investigating his socially, economically, politically, and spiritually emplaced "somatic modes of attention" (Csordas, 1993: 138) of and with Coast Salish land, waters, rivers, and oceans. Waller also focuses an ethnographic lens on becoming; that is, asking himself a question posed by Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J. Barker (2015): Is it possible for a White Settler to "belong in a way that doesn't reproduce colonial dispossession and harm?" (19). Given, for example, Mayan scholar, annie ross' (January 21, 2021) assertion that a primary source of racism and environmental catastrophe lies within (neo)colonial ontologies that separate non-humans from society, along with Anishinaabe scholar Leanne Simpson and Settler theorist Naomi Klein's (March 6, 2013) claim that "…extraction isn't just about mining and drilling, it is a mindset—it's an approach to nature, to ideas, to people"—the stakes inherent in Lowman & Barker's question requires attention on intersubjective levels that go beyond the overtly political, to micro-political "multisensorial, embodied…historically specific and politically charged" (Culhane, 2016: 14) zones of entanglement.
83 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Culhane, Dara
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