Download the full-sized PDF of Visions of Sovereignty: Indigenous Narratives of Resistance in a Neoliberal AgeDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Visions of Sovereignty: Indigenous Narratives of Resistance in a Neoliberal Age Open Access


Other title
Silko, Leslie Marmon
Armstrong, Jeannette
Hogan, Linda
Alexie, Sherman
Indigenous literature
literature and linguistics
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Smyth, Brendan M.
Supervisor and department
Braz, Albert (English and Film Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Allen, Chadwick (English, Ohio State University)
Read, Daphne (English and Film Studies)
Philips, Lisa (Anthropology)
Andersen, Chris (Native Studies)
Appleford, Rob (English and Film Studies)
Department of English and Film Studies
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This dissertation examines four Indigenous novels published in Canada and the United States between 1990 and 2000. Building upon Indigenous and non-Indigenous theories of literary nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and globalization, this project focuses on narrative articulations of Indigenous cultural and political sovereignty that foreground and are cognizant of global political, economic, cultural, and environmental entanglements. One of the key intentions of this study is to underscore the importance of examining how modes of Indigenous being-in-common are articulated in fiction written within a context of neoliberalism. Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead is foundational in terms of its critique of the practices and ideologies of neoliberal globalization, its representation of Indigenous modes of being-in-relation and resistance, its association of Indigenous sovereignty with transnational, inter-tribal, and alliance-based movements. Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms offers an Indigenous critique of neoliberalism from an environmental standpoint, foregrounding the importance of Indigenous ecologies, knowledges, and relations in the face of neoliberal globalization. Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer articulates urban Indigenous community practices in resistance to urban neoliberal governmentality, ongoing colonial policies of erasure, and material and intellectual dispossession. Jeannette Armstrong’s Whispering in Shadows explores the context of Indigenous liberation struggles in the Americas, as well as global Indigenous activism at the international level. I argue that these novels represent a broad spectrum of Indigenous responses in 1990s North America to the economic, environmental, cultural, and political consequences of neoliberal globalization for Indigenous practices of community, nationalism, and sovereignty. Ultimately, they imagine and problematize possibilities for resistance, for conceptualizing justice, and for understanding our complex interrelationships with others.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 1190287
Last modified: 2015:10:12 15:39:55-06:00
Filename: Smyth_Brendan_Fall 2013.pdf
Original checksum: 91a330011febe0d869421b91b3653d3d
Well formed: true
Valid: true
Status message: Too many fonts to report; some fonts omitted. Total fonts = 1456
File author: Wabigoon2
Page count: 320
File language: en-CA
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date