Fictions of a settler-state: indigenous and iraqi peoples in canadian newspapers, 1990-2010
Hay, Travis A.
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This thesis interrogates canadian newspaper coverage of Indigenous and Iraqi peoples from 1990 to 2010. I engage in discourse analysis of these primary source materials in order to extricate from them racial sentiments and colonial mentalities, rather than historical truths. First, I compare the coverage of the canadian ‘oka crisis’ in 1990 to the american imperial invasion of Iraq in 2003; next, I retell the stories newspapers told about northern First Nations reserves and a sanctioned Iraq. My goal is to show that newspapers sketched out the same Orientalist space and Other in each case, and that canadian settler-society understood the reality of its own colonial project in the exact same way as the american imperial project in Iraq. Towards this end, I structure my study around the theoretical concepts of taking place and making space. In reference to the former, I propose that the coverage of ‘oka crisis’ and the ‘Iraqi insurgency’ spoke of a literal and symbolic taking of place, wherein white western masculinity was subsuming the Other. As to the latter, I argue that newspaper coverage of the northern reserve and a sanctioned Iraq referred to a making of space, wherein the bodies and spaces of Indigenous and Iraqi peoples were literally and symbolically constructed. After showing that this wide array of newspaper coverage told the same essential story about Indigenous and Iraqi peoples, I conclude with a discussion on the ways in which colonial and imperial power and knowledge remain intimately and inextricably bound up within one another.