First Women and the Politics of Looking: Gender, Indigeneity and Representation -- January 1, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Wendy Gay Pearson, Film Studies, University of Western Ontario
contact email: 

First Women and the Politics of Looking: Gender, Indigeneity and Representation

Ed. Wendy Gay Pearson, Kimberly J. Verwaayen, Ernie Blackmore and Renée E. Bédard


This anthology will focus on the representation and especially the self-representation of Indigenous girls and women in the arts. The editors are particularly interested in articles that address questions of cultural imagination, resistance, recuperation and the complex politics of representation within the fraught spaces of cultural and geopolitical contexts that may be considered variously colonial, post-colonial and neo-colonial.

Some of the questions that contributors might address include: How are Indigenous girls and women both traditionally and non-traditionally signified in either Indigenous or non-Indigenous cultural production? How do such significations vary in mainstream cultural products compared with avant-garde or experimental work? How do artistic and theoretical contributions by Indigenous girls and women intervene – if they do – in cultural understanding of gendered indigenous lives? Are the "appropriation of voice" debates still meaningful in an era of heightened production by Aboriginal women artists, film-makers, writers and theorists? How does collaboration between non-Indigenous and Aboriginal individuals or communities work in relation to the representation of girls and women broadly, and what are its cultural and political implications? How do the histories and genealogies of Indigenous representation affect contemporary cultural work? What are the implications of generic choices, including autobiography, ficto-criticism, fiction and varieties of non-fiction? How do Aboriginal women speak differences of class, sexuality, age, location and other forms of identification in ways that can be heard and understood across a collective cultural imagination?

What we're looking for:

The editors of this anthology invite papers that respond to any of these issues through a critical concern with the (de)construction of historically raced, classed, and sexed subjectivities of Aboriginal women, especially in relation to issues of identity and the representation of Aboriginal girls and women in works of art, film, music, literature, or other forms of cultural production. We also invite articles that explore particular intersections of 'postcolonial' theory and feminism in relation to gendered indigeneity and its varieties of representation, or which assess how canonical and other understandings of cultural, theoretical, and aesthetic "value" are embedded in histories of colonization (and resistance) to limit (or encourage) self-representation by Aboriginal girls and women.


Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be received by the editors on or before January 1, 2010. Email submissions are preferred, in WordPerfect, MS Word or RTF format.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by February 26, 2010, and the finished articles will be due by June 30, 2010.

To submit abstracts or for more information, please contact one of the editors:

Dr. Wendy Gay Pearson, Film Studies, University of Western Ontario ( or Dr. Kimberly J. Verwaayen, Women's Studies and Feminist Research, University of Western Ontario ( or Dr. Ernie Blackmore, Woolyungah Indigenous Centre, University of Wollongong ( or Dr. Renée Bédard, Native Studies, University of Western Ontario (