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Research Article

Decolonizing the Anthropocene: ‘Slow Violence’ and Indigenous Resistance in Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves

Chiara Xausa    Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Italia    



Through a reading of Cherie Dimaline’s 2017 young adult novel The Marrow Thieves, a survival story set in a futuristic Canada destroyed by global warming, this article explores the conceptualization and reimagination of the Anthropocene in contemporary postcolonial and Indigenous theory and fiction. Firstly, I will argue that literary representations of climate change can be complicit in producing hegemonic strands of Anthropocene discourse that consider human destructiveness and vulnerability at undifferentiated species level. Secondly, I will suggest that the novel’s apocalypse reveals the processes of colonial violence and dispossession that have culminated in the eruptive event of environmental catastrophe, rather than portraying a story of universal and disembodied human threat that conceals oppression against Indigenous people.

Keywords: Cherie Dimaline. Climate fiction. Indigenous knowledge. Slow violence. Apocalypse.

Language: en

Submitted: July 15, 2020
Accepted: Aug. 24, 2020
Published: Dec. 22, 2020

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/Tol/2499-5975/2020/01/022

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License