Chapter 4 Histories: Roots

Greying hair offers a point of departure for thinking about origins, histories, genealogies, and memories, and considers roots, rooting, and uprooting at material, mythical, and  metaphorical levels.

Prompts and Activities

  1. In A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging, Dionne Brand suggests “all origins are arbitrary” (2006, 64). What do you think Brand means by this? What does it mean to you?

Activity: Have a look through a family photo album, if possible, and consider the significance of place, memory, journeys, bodies, and desire. What stories do these photos tell? And what stories might you, yourself, imagine?

 

Images

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Bowring Park, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Lesley Butler
RootsManuelsRiver
Roots, Manuels River Linear Park. Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Sonja Boon.
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Silver Mine Head Path, East Coast Trail, Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Sonja Boon
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Silver Mine Head Path, East Coast Trail, Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Sonja Boon

Readings

Boon, Sonja. 2017. Minuet as method: Embodied performance in the research process. In Methodological challenges in nature-culture and environmental history research, eds. Jocelyn Thorpe, Stephanie Rutherford, and L. Anders Sandberg, 187-99. New York: Routledge.

Brand, Dionne. 2001. A map to the Door of No Return: Notes to belonging. Toronto: Vintage Canada.

Butler, Judith. 2005. Giving an account of oneself. New York: Fordham University Press.

Buttimer, Anne. 1984. Musing on Helicon: Root metaphors and geography. In Place: Experience and symbol, ed. Miles Richardson, 55-62. Baton Rouge: Geoscience Publications, Dept. of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University.

Castro, Juan Carlos Pita. 2014. Interrelations between narration, identity and place. In Embodied narratives: Connecting stories, bodies, cultures and ecologies, eds. Laura Formenti, Linden West, and Marianne Horsdal, 149-71. Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark; European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) Life History and Biography Network.

Cixous, Hélène, and Mireille Calle-Gruber. 1997. Hélène Cixous, Rootprints: Memory and life writing. Trans. Eric Prenowitz. New York: Routledge.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1987. A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Eades. Quinn. 2015. All the beginnings: A queer autobiography of the body. North Melbourne: Tantanoola.

Foucault, Michel. 1977. Language, counter-memory, practice: Selected essays and interviews, ed. Donald F. Bouchard. Trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Grosz, Elizabeth. 2000. Histories of a feminist future. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 25.4: 1017-21.

Minh-ha, Trinh T. 1989. Woman, native, other: Writing postcoloniality and feminism. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Morrison, Toni. 2008. What moves at the margin: Selected nonfiction, ed. Carolyn C. Denard. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Nash, Catherine. 2003. “They’re family!”: Cultural geographies of relatedness in popular genealogy. In Uprootings/regroundings: Questions of home and migration, eds. Sara Ahmed, Claudia Castañeda, Anne-Marie Fortier, and Mimi Sheller, 179-203. Oxford and New York: Berg.

Spry, Tami. 2016. Autoethnography and the other: Unsettling power through utopian performatives. New York and London: Routledge.

Stoler, Ann Laura. 2008. Imperial debris: Reflections on ruins and ruination. Cultural Anthropology 23.2: 191-219. doi: 10.1525/can.2008.23.2.191.

Tuan, Yi-Fu. 1984. In place, out of place. In Place: Experience and symbol, ed. Miles Richardson, 3-10. Baton Rouge: Geoscience Publications, Dept. of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University.

Wampole, Christy. 2016. Rootedness: The ramifications of a metaphor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

 

(c) Sonja Boon, Lesley Butler, and Daze Jefferies, 2018.