Abstract: This dissertation illustrates the role of indigenous trading women in significant events that shaped the borderlands Great Lakes region, including the French and Indian War, the American Revolutionary War, the Northwest Indian War, and treaty negotiations. Understanding the role of Native women traders is necessary to understanding both how these events unfolded and how they were affected by gendered indigenous practices, including kinship and hospitality. These women influenced the flow of commerce by producing and distributing valuable trade goods and contributed to the mapping and enforcement of political borders through their participation in legal conflicts and treaty negotiations. Recognizing the lives of Great Lakes trading women is essential to understanding the intertwined development of economics and politics in the region. Furthermore, ignoring the contributions of indigenous trading women enforces male-centered, settler colonial narratives of the region that demotes the women to the accessories of their EuroAmerican partners. While previous scholarship on gender and the Great Lakes has focused on indigenous women’s role in fur trade marriages, this project examines indigenous women in the Great Lakes borderlands as independent economic and political agents and illustrates how settler colonialism operated as a gendered process. As EuroAmerican settlement increased, customs like coverture were enforced and Native kinship networks and forms of inheritance were eroded, creating fewer opportunities for indigenous women to acquire property. However, elite Native women drew on multiple subversive and gendered forms of resistance, including kinship networks, language skills, and knowledge of trade networks, to attempt to navigate a settler colonial system designed to deny indigenous land claims. This project covers the mid-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century and is grounded in the lives of Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe women who operated as adroit transnational actors in the borderlands Great Lakes, including Sally Ainse (Oneida), Molly Brant (Mohawk), Ozhaguscodaywayquay (Ojibwe), and Magdalene Laframboise (Odawa). While Haudenosaunee women traders in the lower Great Lakes struggled to retain their political influence and control of property amidst intensifying settler colonialism after the turn of the nineteenth century, Anishinaabe women traders maintained their political and economic influence in the upper Great Lakes into the mid-nineteenth century. Indigenous women traders throughout the region were transitional figures of Native survivance who worked to preserve themselves and their families among intensifying settler colonial development in the late eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries. Tracking the lives of indigenous trading women in the Great Lakes borderlands requires a broad territorial focus, including the Susquehanna and Mohawk River Valleys to the south shore of Lake Superior. By demonstrating how Ohio Valley, western Pennsylvania and New York, and the Ontario Peninsula operated as a distinctive lower Great Lakes region, this project demands a reorientation of Great Lakes geography. Trading women’s political and economic networks demonstrate connections between the political and economic systems in the lower and upper Great Lakes, while simultaneously illustrating how each region was gendered differently due to indigenous roles, EuroAmerican marriages customs, and colonialism.


Abstract: This thesis is an examination of contemporary exilic Palestinian life writing in English. Attentive to the ongoing nature of Palestinian dispossession since 1948, it focuses on how exile is narrated and the ways in which it informs models of selfhood within a context of conflict and loss. This involves adopting a framework of settler colonialism in order to understand the conflict. Broadly speaking, the thesis conceives of Palestinian life writing as a form of testimony posing an urgent and necessary counternarrative to the hegemony of the Israeli discourse on Palestine/Israel. The thesis examines life writing by different generations of Palestinians, from those who experienced the Nakba of 1948, to those born as second-generation Palestinians in their parents’ adopted homelands. It does not limit itself to examining the work of those at a geographical distance from Palestine but also looks at narratives by those who live, or have lived, under Israeli occupation. This has required paying particular attention to the difference between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ exile. Recognising that Palestinians who live in Palestine/Israel still sometimes articulate their experience as a form of exiling is an integral aspect of this research. The thesis argues that while the ongoing conflict impacts the identity formation and experiences of all the writers under consideration, nonetheless each author is inevitably guided by distinct geographies, temporalities, imaginings and frames of reference, which ultimately determine their relationship to Palestine and what it means to consider themselves exiled. I am, therefore, particularly mindful of the plurality of exilic experience, even while ideas of communality are still hugely important. The thesis consists of three author-led chapters – on Edward Said, Ghada Karmi and Rema Hammami – followed by a final chapter on anthologised life writing, which looks at the work of seven authors. Raising questions of form and how one deals with both the commonality and complexity of exile, this final chapter aims to show recent developments in English-language Palestinian life writing. By demonstrating the distinct ways in which exiled Palestinians relate to Palestine/Israel, this thesis seeks to contribute in particular towards two areas of study that have, for the most part, failed to engage substantially enough with Palestine (or, indeed, with each other): postcolonial and auto/biography studies. These subfields of cultural criticism and their wealth of scholarship therefore provide the necessary tools for this research, but they are also held to account for the relative lack of attention paid to Palestine and the extant nature of the conflict. Ultimately, I hope to demonstrate that exilic Palestinian life writing sheds its own light on matters of great import to postcolonial and auto/biography studies – matters such as statelessness, belonging, testimony, selfhood and self- representation – and that there are intersecting aesthetic and ethical reasons for ensuring the visibility of Palestine within these areas of study.


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Abstract: In 1919, the Bolshevik Party of Russia formed the Communist International (Comintern) to lead the international communist movement. As part of its efforts, it maintained a strong commitment to supporting colonial liberation, self-determination of nations, and racial equality. Many scholars of the Comintern and the Soviet Union assume that Moscow demanded firm discipline of all member parties and these parties largely followed its lead. But the Comintern was not as monolithic as is often presumed. Colonial affairs frequently were overlooked and European Communist Parties often skirted their commitment to supporting their colonial counterparts. Individual communists took it upon themselves to promote anti-imperialism or racial equality, but their efforts were frequently hampered by the tactical shifts of the Comintern and eventually, the erosion of Moscow’s interest. Frequently, the prioritization of certain issues in the Comintern proved to be the most important factor in determining Comintern interference in member parties. This dissertation includes the first comparative analysis of the Communist Parties of South Africa, Canada and Australia on issues of anti-imperialism, nationality, and race. In comparing these parties, this study explores the limits of Moscow’s control of other Communist Parties, while detailing the similarities and differences in the efforts of these three parties to combat imperialism, support colonial liberation, and fight for national rights and racial equality. This dissertation is the first to detail the Canadian and Australian communism’s efforts, sometimes on their own initiative, on anti-imperialism, nationality and racial equality during the interwar period, to provide new conclusions about Comintern intervention in South Africa, and to highlight the prioritization of the Comintern as each party sees Moscow’s intervention on these issues to very different degrees.





Abstract: Victims of colonial, Indigenous child-removal policies have attracted public expressions of compassion from Indigenous and settler-state political leaders in Canada since the 1990s. This public compassion has fueled legal and political mechanisms, leveraging resources for standardized interventions said to “heal” these victims: cash payments, a truth-telling forum, therapy. These claims to healing provide an entry-point for analyzing how and why the figure of the Indigenous child-victim, past and present, is morally and politically useful for settler-states and their public cultures. I use the formulation of “settler-humanitarianism” to express how liberal interventions of care and protection, intended to ameliorate Indigenous suffering, align with settler-colonialism’s enduring goal of Indigenous elimination (Wolfe 2006). Removal of Indigenous children was integral to the late nineteenth-century formation of the Canadian and Australian settler-states. Missionaries and colonial administrators represented these practices as humanitarian rescue from depraved familial conditions. Settler-humanitarians have long employed universalizing moral registers, such as “idleness” and “neglect,” to compel state interventions into Indigenous families. More recently, “trauma” has emerged as a humanitarian signifier compelling urgent action. These settler-humanitarian registers do political work. Decontextualized representations of Indigenous children as victims negate children as social actors, obscure the particularities of how collective Indigenous suffering flows from settler-colonial dispossession, and oppose children’s interests with those of their kin, community, and nation. I analyze how and why Aboriginal healing as settler-humanitarianism has been taken up by many Indigenous leaders alongside settler-state agents, and examine the ongoing social and political effects of the material and discursive interventions it has spawned.