PUSH BACK: a reading group
PUSH BACK is a semi-regular critical reading group that seeks to complicate, investigate and compare contemporary works of writing and art. The first iteration of PUSH BACK is a reading and response to the book Clearing the Plains: Disease, the Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life.
Sunday, May 15, 2016, to Saturday, October 15, 2016
PUSH BACK is a monthly critical reading group that seeks to complicate, investigate and compare contemporary works of writing and art. The first iteration of PUSH BACK is a reading and response to the book Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life by health and kinesthesiology historian James Daschuk.
The intent of an open reading group—beyond working against institutionalized and hierarchical strategies of knowledge keeping—is to create and implement tools of critical analysis in and with our communities about works that influence the micro and macrocosms of racialized social relations in Canada. A critical reading group allows us to analyze aloud, to examine the specificity of our perspectives and to discuss the intent and use-value of a work. In this first iteration, we will deeply read a book that has been taken up in the mainstream and in Canadian secondary and post-secondary educational institutions as contributing to historical fact and an academic amendment to Canadian history because it provides condemning archival evidence of colonial strategies of genocide at the very inception of Canadian nationhood. But how do this book and the research contained within it really function?
To read this book utilizing the lenses of our diverse understandings, and thereby learning to look and to read through the myriad possibilities of comprehension together, we can form analyses and extricate the crucial elements of this book while we also unpack and destabilize the western colonial historical narrative that is unconsciously threaded throughout Clearing the Plains.