The British Association for Canadian Studies Aboriginal Studies Circle is pleased to announce a one-day colloquium on biopower and biopolitics in relation to aboriginal peoples in Canada and elsewhere.
“The health status of Aboriginal Peoples, measured by life expectancy and many other indicators, is much worse than the health status of Canadians as a whole.” (Canadian Institute for Health Information). Life Expectancy among Canada’s aboriginal population remains significantly below the national average. Aboriginal Canadians continue to experience higher rates of infant mortality, suicides, and deaths resulting from unintentional injury. If taken on their own, then First Nations living conditions/quality of life would be ranked 63rd on the United Nations Human Development Index (i.e. amongst Third World conditions). Overcrowded housing, mould, and unsafe drinking water helps spread communicable diseases at a rate 10 to 12 times higher than the Canadian national average and there have recently been significant increases in tuberculosis, diabetes, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and AIDS amongst Canada’s aboriginal communities.
Many diverse indigenous populations around the globe have been the victims of marginalization and biopolitics as they confront the vast array of issues resulting from both historical injustices and contemporary global challenges. By encouraging interdisciplinary approaches to the topic of biopower and biopolitics this colloquium seeks to bring together academics and other professionals with an interest in indigenous studies in Canada.
Proposals for 25-minute papers, to be presented in either English or French, are invited from any single disciplinary or multidisciplinary perspective including those which offer an informed view of Canada in comparative contexts. Broader possible approaches might include papers on:
* the Health and Well-Being of Aboriginal Peoples.
* Self-determination and indigenous biopolitics.
* Environmental pressures on indigenous populations.
* Subjugations of bodies & the control of populations.
* Indigenous law/ law and Indigenous peoples.
* the Indian Residential School System.
* Healthcare provision.
* Canadian Eugenics and Compulsory Sterilisation.
* The Body and Self-Ownership.
* Natal politics and Aboriginal Demographics.
* Self-determination, Repetition and Recognition.
* Drug and Drink related issues in aboriginal communities.
* Past and present customary regulations of habits, health, reproductive practices, family, ‘blood’, and ‘well-being.’
* Applications of theoretical concepts (Foucault, Agamben, Negri etc.) to Aboriginal Canadian contexts.
This should not, however, be taken as an exhaustive list, and we welcome proposals for papers dealing with all varied interpretations of the theme.
E-mail abstract(s) of 200-300 words; and brief CV(s) (should include title(s), institutional affiliation(s) by 10 March 2010. Submissions will be acknowledged by e-mail.
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