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“Anishinaabe Mino-Bimaadiziwin in Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam"

Published in Markides, J. & Forsythe, L. Research Journeys in/to Multiple Ways of Knowing. New York: DIO Press. 2019, 8p.
Abstract This paper argues that reading Margaret Atwood's post-apocalyptic novel, MaddAddam, through the theoretical lens of the Anishinaabe philosophy of Mino-Bimaadiziwin, or “the way of the good life,” highlights the complex means by which the novel is entirely composed upon the idea and necessity of interconnectivity, using it as a structuring device, a central thematic, and a means of plot resolution (Rheault 140). Critics have approached the novel (and the trilogy) from a variety of Euro-American philosophies, but with little input from Indigenous philosophies; in contrast, this paper argues that Mino-Bimaadiziwin clarifies MaddAddam's inventive use of discontinuous narrative, time, and multi-voiced discourse, as well as the novel's reliance on inter-species interconnectivity to resolve the plot. Subsequently, MaddAddam offers a sustained critique of, and alternative to, ingrained Euro-American ontologies of rigid binaries, linear time, and human exceptionalism. At the same time, the theoretical framework of Mino-Bimaadiziwin provides a concrete, comprehensive, and underrepresented approach to engage the issue of interconnectivity in the novel. As a result, this paper aims to participate in the necessary and valuable act of decolonizing academic ontologies by emphasizing the importance and need for Indigenous philosophies and ontologies in critical theory.
Keywords AtwoodCanadian LiteratureAnishinaabeOjibweIndigenousIndigenous StudiesSpeculative fictionPosthumanismPosthumanApocalypseApocalypticDystopia
ISBN: 9781645040101
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SKIBO-BIRNEY, Bryn. “Anishinaabe Mino-Bimaadiziwin in Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam". In: Markides, J. & Forsythe, L. (Ed.). Research Journeys in/to Multiple Ways of Knowing. New York : DIO Press, 2019. p. 8p. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:115453

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Deposited on : 2019-03-28

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