A Becoming-Revolution: Understanding Indigenism through Contemporary Sociological Theory

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:25
Location: Seminar 33 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Lydia Nicole FANELLI, Concordia University, Canada
This paper aims to advance Indigenous conceptions of the world as a potential strategy that connects humans to their non-human environment. Drawing on the congruencies that exist between North American Indigenous thought and contemporary sociological theories is an attempt to highlight a renegotiation of human potentialities.

The primary purpose of this research is to expose the central tenets of Indigenous ways of knowing as not only valid but possible. At the crux of this argument is an emphasis on Indigenous understandings of the perpetual inter-relationships between species, space, place and time. These metaphysical beliefs not only help illuminate the ways in which the inherent state of the pre-colonial being has been compromised by imposed systems, but strongly suggests that a return to collectivity in both thought and praxis will allow for a necessary reimagining of our world.

In an attempt to bridge the epistemological-ontological divide between Western and Indigenous thought, I draw heavily from concepts found within contemporary sociological theory. Texts from Deleuze and Guattari on control societies, rhizomatic thought and the process of becoming, and from Hardt and Negri on the concept of love, help to reaffirm Indigenous ontology as revolutionary. The discussion of how human potential is quelled by systems of control offers an understanding of the potentially transformative interrelationships between humans and the universe. Thus, Indigenism sets the stage for a reinterpretation of a future, at the centre of which is a collectivity that is driven by passion and sustained by love. Thus, the use of this theoretical work in relation to Indigenous theories and practices emphasizes an anti-colonial contemporary society that protests inequalities and embraces interconnectivities. Ultimately hopeful, the remapping of human ways of seeing, feeling, thinking and living as inter-beings within the world intends to advance the Indigenous commitment towards breaking free of existing hierarchies.