Unsettling Poetics

Authors: Sarah De Leeuw*, University of Northern British Columbia
Topics: Cultural Geography
Keywords: boundary-work, anticolonial geography, poetry, cultural geography, British Columbia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Hoover, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Part long-poem and part (disrupted) geographic scholarship, this paper argues that --through torqued ingestible wording-- geopoetics grounded in anticolonial theory is “boundary-work” with the potential of igniting new and productive understandings about white settler colonial violence in British Columbia. Responding in part to growing critiques about Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation project, I suggest that some (especially Anglo-academic and policy) language (at the scale of words and sentences) might be complicit in perpetuating well-established imaginaries about colonialism being an always ‘out-there not now not me’ project about which (especially white) settlers are innocent as opposed to complicit. The paper celebrates Indigenous poets while poetically dialoguing with colonial archives and contested and colonized geographies in order to demonstrate ways of re-languaging/graphing places on British Columbia’s northwest coast.

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