Extrapolation

From Dystopic to Decolonial

Reconciling the (In)Determinate Dystopia of Eden Robinson’s “Terminal Avenue”

Extrapolation (2020), 61, (3), 317–336.

Abstract

This paper looks to Haisla-Heiltsuk writer Eden Robinson’s short story “Terminal Avenue” (2004) as a literary example of what Canada’s future might look like if the collectively felt anxiety that underpins settler society remains unchecked. I analyze “Terminal Avenue” as a work of speculative fiction that represents what I term the genre’s “ideology of indeterminacy” as a politically productive condition under which Indigenous/settler relations in contemporary Canada can be reassessed. My analysis builds on the work of settler scholars David M. Higgins and Conrad Scott published in Extrapolation, vol 57, nos. 1-2, 2016.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Works Cited

Alfred, Taiaiake. Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom. U of Toronto P, 2005. Google Scholar

Coulthard, Glen Sean. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minnesota UP, 2014. Google Scholar

Dillon, Grace L. “Miindiwag and Indigenous Diaspora.” Extrapolation, vol. 48, no. 2, 2007, pp. 219-243. Google Scholar

Dillon, Grace L, editor. Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction. Arizona UP, 2012. Google Scholar

Dobson, Kit. “Indigeneity and Diversity in Eden Robinson’s Work.” Canadian Literature, no. 201, 2009, pp. 54-67. Google Scholar

Duncan, Andy. “Alternate Histories.” The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, edited by Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn, Cambridge UP, 2003, pp. 209-218. Google Scholar

Emberley, Julia. The Testimonial Uncanny: Indigenous Storytelling, Knowledge, and Reparative Practices. New York UP, 2014. Google Scholar

Friedlander, Saul. Memory, History, and the Extermination of the Jews of Europe. Indiana UP, 1993. Google Scholar

Garneau, David. “Imaginary Spaces of Conciliation and Reconciliation.” West Coast Line, vol. 46, no. 2, 2012, pp. 28-38. Google Scholar

Higgins, David M. “Survivance in Indigenous Science Fictions.” Extrapolation, vol. 57, nos. 1-2, 2016, pp. 51-72. Google Scholar

Hulme, Peter. “Including America.” Ariel, vol. 26, no. 1, 1995, pp. 117-123. Google Scholar

Huyssen, Andreas. Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory. Stanford UP, 2003. Google Scholar

Langer, Jessica. Postcolonialism and Science Fiction. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Google Scholar

Lutz, Jon. Myth and Memory: Stories of Indigenous-European Contact. UBC Press, 2007. Google Scholar

Mackey, Eva. The House of Difference: Cultural Politics and National Identity in Canada. U of Toronto P, 2002. Google Scholar

Martin, Keavy. “Truth, Reconciliation, and Amnesia: Porcupines and China Dolls and the Canadian Conscience.” English Studies in Canada, vol. 35, no. 1, 2010, pp. 47-65. Google Scholar

Merla-Watson, Cathryn. “Staging Darker Desires: BDSM and the Coloniality of Affect in Latina Feminisms and Lorna Dee Cervantes’s Ciento.” MELUS, vol. 41, no. 1, 2016, pp. 193-217. Google Scholar

Murphy, Patrick. “Reducing the Difference: Pseudo-Documentary Framing in Near Future Fiction.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 17, no. 1, 1990, pp. 25-40. Google Scholar

Neumann, Birgit. “The Literary Representations of Memory.” A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies, edited by Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning, de Gruyter, 2010, pp. 333-343. Google Scholar

Owens, Louis. “As if an Indian Were Really an Indian: Uramericans, Euramericans, and Postcolonial Theory.” Paradoxa, vol. 15, no. 1, 2001, pp. 170-183. Google Scholar

Regan, Paulette. Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada.UBC Press, 2010. Google Scholar

Rickard, Jolene. “Visualizing Sovereignty in the Time of Biometric Sensors.” South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 110, no. 2, 2011, pp. 465-486. Google Scholar

Rieder, John. “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 37, no. 2, 2010, pp. 191-209. Google Scholar

Robinson, Dylan. “Reconciliation Relations.” Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 161, 2015, pp. 60-63. Google Scholar

Robinson, Eden. “Terminal Avenue.” Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction, edited by Grace L. Dillon, Arizona UP, 2012, pp. 207-214. Google Scholar

Roppolo, Kimberley. “Vision, Voice, and Intertribal Metanarrative: The American Indian Visual-Rhetorical Tradition and Leslie Marmon Silko’s ‘Almanac of the Dead.’” American Indian Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 4, 2007, pp. 534-555. Google Scholar

Scott, Conrad. “Indigenous Place and Time as Formal Strategy: Healing Immanent Crisis in the Dystopias of Eden Robinson and Richard Van Camp.” Extrapolation, vol. 57, nos. 1-2, 2016, pp. 74-93. Google Scholar

Suvin, Darko. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre. Yale UP, 1979. Google Scholar

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. “Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.” National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, 31 May 2015. Google Scholar

Vizenor, Gerald. Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence. U of Nebraska P, 1998. Google Scholar

Weiss, Joseph J. Z. “Challenging Reconciliation: Indeterminacy, Disagreement, and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools’ Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” International Journal of Canadian Studies, vol. 51, 2015, pp. 27-56. Google Scholar

Weiss, Margot. Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality. Duke UP, 2012. Google Scholar

Wolfe, Patrick. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 8, no. 4, 2006, pp. 387-409. Google Scholar

Young, James E. “The Holocaust as Vicarious Past: Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’ and the Afterimages of History.” Critical Inquiry, vol. 24, no. 3, 1998, pp. 666-699. Google Scholar

Young, James E. The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning. Yale UP, 1993. Google Scholar

Alfred, Taiaiake. Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom. U of Toronto P, 2005. Google Scholar

Coulthard, Glen Sean. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minnesota UP, 2014. Google Scholar

Dillon, Grace L. “Miindiwag and Indigenous Diaspora.” Extrapolation, vol. 48, no. 2, 2007, pp. 219-243. Google Scholar

Dillon, Grace L, editor. Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction. Arizona UP, 2012. Google Scholar

Dobson, Kit. “Indigeneity and Diversity in Eden Robinson’s Work.” Canadian Literature, no. 201, 2009, pp. 54-67. Google Scholar

Duncan, Andy. “Alternate Histories.” The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, edited by Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn, Cambridge UP, 2003, pp. 209-218. Google Scholar

Emberley, Julia. The Testimonial Uncanny: Indigenous Storytelling, Knowledge, and Reparative Practices. New York UP, 2014. Google Scholar

Friedlander, Saul. Memory, History, and the Extermination of the Jews of Europe. Indiana UP, 1993. Google Scholar

Garneau, David. “Imaginary Spaces of Conciliation and Reconciliation.” West Coast Line, vol. 46, no. 2, 2012, pp. 28-38. Google Scholar

Higgins, David M. “Survivance in Indigenous Science Fictions.” Extrapolation, vol. 57, nos. 1-2, 2016, pp. 51-72. Google Scholar

Hulme, Peter. “Including America.” Ariel, vol. 26, no. 1, 1995, pp. 117-123. Google Scholar

Huyssen, Andreas. Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory. Stanford UP, 2003. Google Scholar

Langer, Jessica. Postcolonialism and Science Fiction. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Google Scholar

Lutz, Jon. Myth and Memory: Stories of Indigenous-European Contact. UBC Press, 2007. Google Scholar

Mackey, Eva. The House of Difference: Cultural Politics and National Identity in Canada. U of Toronto P, 2002. Google Scholar

Martin, Keavy. “Truth, Reconciliation, and Amnesia: Porcupines and China Dolls and the Canadian Conscience.” English Studies in Canada, vol. 35, no. 1, 2010, pp. 47-65. Google Scholar

Merla-Watson, Cathryn. “Staging Darker Desires: BDSM and the Coloniality of Affect in Latina Feminisms and Lorna Dee Cervantes’s Ciento.” MELUS, vol. 41, no. 1, 2016, pp. 193-217. Google Scholar

Murphy, Patrick. “Reducing the Difference: Pseudo-Documentary Framing in Near Future Fiction.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 17, no. 1, 1990, pp. 25-40. Google Scholar

Neumann, Birgit. “The Literary Representations of Memory.” A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies, edited by Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning, de Gruyter, 2010, pp. 333-343. Google Scholar

Owens, Louis. “As if an Indian Were Really an Indian: Uramericans, Euramericans, and Postcolonial Theory.” Paradoxa, vol. 15, no. 1, 2001, pp. 170-183. Google Scholar

Regan, Paulette. Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada.UBC Press, 2010. Google Scholar

Rickard, Jolene. “Visualizing Sovereignty in the Time of Biometric Sensors.” South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 110, no. 2, 2011, pp. 465-486. Google Scholar

Rieder, John. “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 37, no. 2, 2010, pp. 191-209. Google Scholar

Robinson, Dylan. “Reconciliation Relations.” Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 161, 2015, pp. 60-63. Google Scholar

Robinson, Eden. “Terminal Avenue.” Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction, edited by Grace L. Dillon, Arizona UP, 2012, pp. 207-214. Google Scholar

Roppolo, Kimberley. “Vision, Voice, and Intertribal Metanarrative: The American Indian Visual-Rhetorical Tradition and Leslie Marmon Silko’s ‘Almanac of the Dead.’” American Indian Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 4, 2007, pp. 534-555. Google Scholar

Scott, Conrad. “Indigenous Place and Time as Formal Strategy: Healing Immanent Crisis in the Dystopias of Eden Robinson and Richard Van Camp.” Extrapolation, vol. 57, nos. 1-2, 2016, pp. 74-93. Google Scholar

Suvin, Darko. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre. Yale UP, 1979. Google Scholar

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. “Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.” National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, 31 May 2015. Google Scholar

Vizenor, Gerald. Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence. U of Nebraska P, 1998. Google Scholar

Weiss, Joseph J. Z. “Challenging Reconciliation: Indeterminacy, Disagreement, and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools’ Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” International Journal of Canadian Studies, vol. 51, 2015, pp. 27-56. Google Scholar

Weiss, Margot. Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality. Duke UP, 2012. Google Scholar

Wolfe, Patrick. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 8, no. 4, 2006, pp. 387-409. Google Scholar

Young, James E. “The Holocaust as Vicarious Past: Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’ and the Afterimages of History.” Critical Inquiry, vol. 24, no. 3, 1998, pp. 666-699. Google Scholar

Young, James E. The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning. Yale UP, 1993. Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Skrynsky, Hannah

Skrynsky, Hannah