Meghan Tibbits-Lamirande, Ph.D. Candidate in English, has recently published an article in Studies in Canadian Literature titled “‘Not Enough Raven’: Reading Lee Maracle’s Ravensong as Counter-Hegemonic Ethnography.” Building upon previous scholarship which delineates the politics of border crossing in Maracle’s oeuvre, this article interprets Ravensong as a form of decolonial anthropology. However, Tibbits-Lamirande expands her interpretation of Ravensong beyond common boundaries of literary study: she positions the text as a pedagogical model in its own right.

As a primary system of colonial power and classification, traditional ethnography inscribes and naturalizes a genocidal relationship between settler-invaders and First Nations. Throughout Ravensong, Maracle reproduces and inverts generic conventions of ethnography, focusing on transformation rather than classification. Examining this process, Tibbits-Lamirande engages Ravensong as a theoretical tool that not only challenges the hierarchical power of Western epistemological systems, but also articulates possibilities of social and political change through its demonstration of a non-hierarchical alternative.

Photo credit: John Morgan, Raven