Abstract: Two assumptions reign supreme in the secession literature. The first is that separatist groups seeking autonomy necessarily fall into one of two camps, one that stresses essentialist criteria for social membership, the other emphasizing instead a socially constructed collective identity. The second assumption is that secession can only be defined as taking place in the context of a separatist group whose claim to independence hinges on the attempt to galvanize a new state. This article challenges both assumptions by looking to a provocative counter-site. Amongst the Kanaka Maoli of Hawai’i secession is increasingly framed precisely as a rejection of those Western idioms that have historically undergirded colonial expropriation and racial subjection. As such, secession is being framed not as a struggle for new statehood, but rather as a reinvigoration of indigenous lifeworlds. In so doing, the Kanaka Maoli are asserting community boundaries in ways that contest the idea that indigenous identity is solely about biological criteria such as blood quantum, but also challenge the notion that indigenous self-determination can be reduced to postmodern identity politics. The argument I defend suggests that articulation theory can offer us orienting power in situating some of the stakes of Kanaka Maoli stateless secession. Articulation theory expresses the idea that identities are volatile collective self-assertions that take place at discrepant scales of interactive exchange. This article argues that we can detect some important emergent practices of articulation at play in the Kanaka Maoli’s experimental revisioning of what secession can mean today.

Abstract: Set in New Zealand during the Land Wars, William Satchell’s Bildungsroman, The Greenstone Door is widely considered to be one of the most seminal novels in New Zealand literary history. The text contrasts the rural topography and the social life of the Waikato with the urban landscapes and mentalities of Auckland and relates the development of its main protagonist, Cedric Tregarthen, to these (symbolic) spaces. This article examines the forms and scope of Satchell’s use of German literary discourses to narrate and comment on the New Zealand Land Wars, and on the ascent of bourgeois modernity and colonial mentalities in New Zealand. Authors and works considered in this comparative context include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, Friedrich Schiller’s ‘Das Lied von der Glocke’, Novalis’s Heinrich von Ofterdingen and Karl May’s Winnetou. Drawing on theories developed by Sigmund Freud, Yuri M. Lotman and Mikhail Bakhtin, this article focuses in particular on The Greenstone Door’s key ‘chronotopes’. In this context, special emphasis is paid to the cave scene in which the novel’s protagonists anticipate the tragic future of traditional Maori culture. My reading suggests that the cave scene in The Greenstone Door can be understood as an adaptation and inversion of the cave scene in Novalis’s early Romantic novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen, thus necessitating an extension of Bakhtin’s and Lotman’s theoretical framework, which may be termed ‘chronotopical intertextuality’. The article concludes with a critical assessment of Satchell’s and Novalis’s ‘prophetic’ passages about the political and cultural future of German and New Zealand culture.

Description: No matter where in Canada they occur, inquiries and inquests into untimely Indigenous deaths in state custody often tell the same story. Repeating details of fatty livers, mental illness, alcoholic belligerence, and a mysterious incapacity to cope with modern life, the legal proceedings declare that there are no villains here, only inevitable casualties of Indigenous life.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 135 other followers