Graduate Theses & Dissertations

MSHKIKENH IKWE NIIN (I am Tutle Woman)
This dissertation offers the dibaajimowin (personal story) of my beading project, which I undertook to understand the enactment of Anishinaabe women’s knowledge in graduate research. Framed through the concept of a collective self, which is embedded within the Anishinaabe traditions of storytelling and beading, and drawing further from the aesthetics, processes, and teachings of these traditions so that I proceed in a good way, I am able to tell a story that is wholly Anishinaabe. Through the symbolic literacy present within the pieces of beadwork entitled:”Turtle Woman,” “Turtle Woman Meets Grandmother Moon,” “Turtle Woman Marries a Beaver,” and “Turtle Woman Slays the Big Fish,” which I present in the second half of this story, I explore the relationship among Anishinaabe women’s knowledges, self, identity, power relations, allyship, sovereignty and good governance in graduate research. I conclude that if graduate research is framed as an extension of an Anishinaabe space, an ethics of responsibility emerges, setting the stage for graduate research that is rooted in responsibility, contributing to efforts of Anishinaabe sovereignty and community wellness. Overall through my conclusion, as well as the process that I employ, I make contributions in the areas of Indigenous thought, Indigenous methodologies, Indigenous governance, feminism, critical theory, pedagogy, and ally theory. Author Keywords: Anishinaabe, beadwork, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous methodology, Indigenous women, sovereignty
Archaeology of Vagabondage
My research examines the figure of the 'vagabond' as a case study to illustrate how 'modern' perception of the 'vagabond' has depleted the diversities in its 'pre-modern' counterparts. It argues that the paranoia towards the 'vagabond' was inherited from the west out of the colonial contact leading to the birth of the nation-state and its liaison with 'instrumental rationality' during the high noon of advanced industrial capitalism, while (quasi-religious) itinerancy, on the contrary, had always been tolerated in 'pre-modern' India. The problems I am addressing are: What is the line of thread that separates the 'traveler' from the 'vagabond', the 'explorer' from the 'wanderer'? How do we then politically account for the historic 'ruptures' in the vagabond having been tolerated in the ancient 'Indic' thought [cf. Manusmriti, Arthshastra], encouraged in early Buddhist discourse [cf. Samannaphala Sutta], revered as the 'holy Other' in the Middle Ages [cf. Bhakti-Sufi literature], and eventually marginalized in the 'modern'? While considering issues of cultural differences, my thesis points to how the epistemic shifts from the classical to the medieval, from the medieval to the modern radically alter the value system immanent in the figure of the 'vagabond'. The research argues that the cultural baggage that the expression 'vagabond' is generally associated with, is a product of a specific western/utilitarian value system, which is a distinct 'cultural' category of the 'modern' west that had no resonance in 'pre- modern' India, and hence cannot be necessarily universalizable. The project works in a number of registers: historical, archival, cultural, philosophical and representational, involves analysis of literary, filmic texts, also legislative documents, and is genuinely interdisciplinary in nature. As of discourse analysis, the project studies the politics of cultural representations both of and by 'vagabonds'. Author Keywords: 1943 Bengal Famine, Homelessness, India, Vagabond, Vagrancy, Vagrancy Act

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