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The notion of the "autchthonic" in contemporary literature and the visual arts

La notion d’« autochtonie » dans la littérature et les arts visuels contemporains

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Published on Thursday, June 16, 2016 by João Fernandes

Summary

Since early 2010, there has been an explosion of Indigenous literary and artistic production. One of the most striking features of this creative upsurge is the international recognition of Indigenous artists. But what does it mean to be an “Indigenous” artist in the 21st century? It must be acknowledged that the notion of “Indigeneity”—its cultural, geopolitical, and historical meanings—is the subject of considerable debate among Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and theorists. This issue of Captures seeks to shed light upon current debates surrounding the concept of “Indigeneity” in the fields of literature and the visual arts.

Announcement

Argument

 Since early 2010, there has been an explosion of Indigenous literary and artistic production. One of the most striking features of this creative upsurge is the international recognition of Indigenous artists. But what does it mean to be an “Indigenous” artist in the 21st century? It must be acknowledged that the notion of "Indigeneity"—its cultural, geopolitical, and historical meanings—is the subject of considerable debate among Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and theorists.

First, it should be noted that there is no official definition of Indigeneity, but rather certain criteria common to all Indigenous peoples, including the occupation of ancestral lands, marginalization within a majority culture, cultural and linguistic continuity, and a sense of community belonging. International institutions, such as the United Nations and the International Labour Organization, tend to avoid rigid definitions of Indigenousness out of respect for the worldwide diversity of Indigenous peoples. In Canada and Quebec, art institutions have also adopted a flexible definition of Indigeneity, placing greater emphasis on self-identification. In the US, however, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 requires Indigenous people to prove membership in a government-recognized tribe before they may exhibit as an “Indian artist.”

Beyond the issue of tribal ancestry, the use of the term Indigenous continues to generate debates in artistic and literary spheres. Some scholars reject the notion entirely, claiming that it amounts to a racialist essentialism. Others question the relevance of classifying internationally renowned writers and contemporary artists as “Indigenous” when their work is in no way reducible to their cultural identity. On the other side of such critical perspectives are those who see the essentialism behind the concept of Indigeneity as an integral part of resisting neo-colonial assimilation. In the wake of these and similar debates, Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and theorists have begun arguing for alternative concepts, such as “Postindian,” Native, Neo-Native, and Aboriginal, which might better reflect the contemporary dimension of Indigenous creation.

This issue of Captures seeks to shed light upon current debates surrounding the concept of “Indigeneity” in the fields of literature and the visual arts. It will include contributions from Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, writers, and artists that emphasize the recent proliferation of contemporary Indigenous creation. These contributions may take the form of theoretical texts, case studies of specific works or artistic events, and interviews.

Submission guidelines

Authors interested in this theme are invited to send a 250-word abstract and a short CV to Jean-Philippe Uzel (uzel.jean-philippe@uqam.ca)

for September 15, 2016.

The original articles (a maximum of 6 000 words, footnotes included) should be sent by June 1, 2017, and will be submitted to a double-blind peer review. The issue will be published in the spring of 2018.

Editor

  • Jean-Philippe Uzel

Date(s)

  • Thursday, September 15, 2016

Keywords

  • autochtonie, artiste autochtone, identité, art contemporain

Contact(s)

  • Jean-Philippe Uzel
    courriel : uzel [dot] jean-philippe [at] uqam [dot] ca

Information source

  • Jean-Philippe Uzel
    courriel : uzel [dot] jean-philippe [at] uqam [dot] ca

To cite this announcement

« The notion of the "autchthonic" in contemporary literature and the visual arts », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, June 16, 2016, https://calenda.org/370190

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