Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Helen Scott


This project employs the concept of grounded normativity, as articulated by Dene political scientist Glen Coulthard in his influential work, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Using this concept, it examines the contributions of three speculative fiction authors of North American Indigenous heritage: Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel of the Mohegan Tribe, Cherie Dimaline of the Métis Nation, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson of the Nishnaabeg Nation. It delves into how their narratives and the structural composition of their speculative fiction novels not only challenge Eurocentric conventions inside and outside of the academy, but also embody a form of "radical resistance,” as defined by Leanne Simpson in As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Resistance Through Radical Resistance.Structured into five primary chapters, the thesis begins with an in-depth exploration of Coulthard’s critique of recognition politics in Red Skin, White Masks, coupled with an analysis of Simpson’s perspectives on Indigenous resistance as presented in As We Have Always Done. Using their contributions, it explores the implications of the speculative fiction genre as a means of resistance. Subsequent chapters are dedicated to an insightful examination of grounded normativity as it is manifested in three novels: Oracle: A Novel by Melissa Zobel, The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, and Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies by Leanne Simpson. Each novel is analyzed for its unique engagement with the concepts of grounded normativity, resistance and resurgence. Drawing upon insights from Chadwick Allen in Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies, the concluding chapter addresses how Indigenous authors and artists such as Leanne Simpson are pushing the boundaries of genre and form. Specifically, it seeks to respond to Allen's call for a more interdisciplinary approach within academic circles and probes into questions of "allyship," alongside Simpson's critique of the academy as a space of ongoing colonization.



Number of Pages

69 p.

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