Settler Colonial Studies – “Feral Children: Settler Colonialism, Progress and the Figure of the Child”

“Feral Children: Settler Colonialism, Progress and the Figure of the Child” in Settler Colonial Studies Abstract Settler colonialism is structured in part according to the principle of civilizational progress yet the roots of this doctrine are not well understood. Disparate ideas of progress and practices related to colonial dispossession and domination can be traced back […]

So you want to work in solidarity with black and Indigenous peoples.

So you want to work in solidarity with black and Indigenous peoples. Well, here are a few things you should know but probably haven’t considered. First, black and Indigenous peoples aren’t homogeneous. They do not hold monolithic perspectives on any issue. There is deep disagreement within these communities. You cannot and should not adjudicate between […]

On the Failure of Superhero Movies: Can the Genre be Saved?

Thor is Not Funny and He’s Not Your Friend Why did Green Lantern and every iteration of Fantastic Four suck so bad? Why are other franchises bordering on the same kind of suckage? I think it’s because film-makers think we want to be friends with the superheroes. We don’t. The following three and a half […]

Globe & Mail review of ‘The Winter We Danced’.

The Globe and Mail had a nice review of The Winter We Danced.

Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence – “Mandates of the State: Canadian Sovereignty, Democracy, and Indigenous Claims”

2014. “Mandates of the State: Canadian Sovereignty, Democracy and Indigenous Claims” Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 27, 1: 225-238.

Ethos of the Ally: Deference, Dialogue, and Distance

Revised: March 2, 2015 I have been asked many times to write about what it means to be an ‘ally’ or work in solidarity with marginalized groups. I am not fond of the term ‘ally’, nor do I think a ‘rule-book’ for aligning oneself with marginalized groups is a good idea. And so I have […]

Moving Beyond the Indian Act – The Agenda (TVO)

I participated in TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paiken, ostensibly on the topic of alternatives to the Indian Act. Unfortunately, Skype is a terrible medium for remote participation. Worse, the conversation devolved into hearsay regarding Chief Spence.    

The Unnecessary Distinction between Reason and the Passions

The philosopher David Hume famously proclaimed that reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions. Hume was working through the classic dichotomy and philosophical opposition between reason and passion, ideas and emotions. He concluded that belief by itself was insufficient to motivate action; some affective attachment was required in addition to the […]

Literature and culture, a humanizing force?

My dissertation on democracy, language, and colonialism will likely be prefaced by the following quote: We know now that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to his day’s work at Auschwitz in the morning. To say that he has read them without […]

Practices and intellectualist fallacies in social science

Charles Taylor’s well-known essay “To Follow a Rule” offers social scientists and theorists an indispensable but still neglected perspective on human agency and norm governed life. The arguments have much in common with those made by James Tully in “Wittgenstein and Political Philosophy”. Like Tully, Taylor’s main resource is the later work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, […]