Posted on by Angela Wanhalla
On Wednesday 18 April, visiting scholar Prof. Pamela Klassen (University of Toronto) will give a public lecture co-hosted by the Religion Programme and the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture in Archway 2 starting at 5.15. Title and abstract are below:
Frequencies for Listening: Telling Stories of Missionary Colonialism in the Wake of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools
The 2015 report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) gave settlers an opportunity to listen to Indigenous people tell their stories of surviving the abuses of the Canadian residential school system. An alliance of church and state which forcibly took Indigenous children from their families in order to assimilate them to Christianity, the English language, and acceptance of the sovereignty of the Dominion of Canada, residential schools were, to use the language of the TRC, a form of cultural genocide with ongoing intergenerational effects.
This lecture approaches the complicated spiritual politics of storytelling in the wake of the TRC by reflecting on the life of an early-twentieth-century missionary in the Pacific Northwest who participated in Christian colonial settlement on Indigenous land, while also condemning residential schools. Along the way, Anglican Archbishop Frederick Du Vernet came to think that telepathy—what he called radio mind—was the solution to everything from class warfare to religious divisions. Attuned to various frequencies for listening through which he tried to heed the spirit and the people around him, Du Vernet came to an unorthodox metaphysics shaped by the land on which he lived.
In this talk Prof. Klassen will draw upon her recently published book The Story of Radio Mind: A Missionary’s Journey on Indigenous Land (University of Chicago Press, 2018).
All are welcome!