Book chapter

Human Exceptionalism: Vizenor's Autogrammatological Critique of Ecologocentrism

Published inEcology and Life Writing, Editors Hornung, A. & Baisheng, Z., p. 123-142
PublisherHeidelberg : Universitätsverlag Winter
Publication date2013

Gerald Vizenor's life-writing engages the consequences of “monotheism”: a western ethnocentric network of ontological distinctions that promote the ideology of “human exceptionalism,” based on categorical difference between humans and non-human “Nature” and a regime of human rights over nature. In Vizenor's work “we” is a pronoun that is not restricted to humans but performs the work of ontological transformation. In the pronoun “me,” Vizenor writes, “the narrator becomes the animal” (Fugitive Poses 142). In “the metaphors of bears, cranes, wolves,” he continues, are to be found the traces of the pronouns “me” and “you.” The interconnectivity of all life forms is central to Vizenor's work; here, however, I focus upon human-animal relationships to explore Vizenor's critique of human-centered narratives of nature, the tension he develops between settler-colonial and tribal epistemologies, and his deconstructive “autogrammatological” writing of the self: his writing against both the ideology of human exceptionalism and also the epistemology of what Timothy Morton calls “ecologocentrism.”

  • Life-writing
  • Ecology
  • Indigeneity
  • Poststructuralism
Citation (ISO format)
MADSEN, Deborah Lea. Human Exceptionalism: Vizenor’s Autogrammatological Critique of Ecologocentrism. In: Ecology and Life Writing. Heidelberg : Universitätsverlag Winter, 2013. p. 123–142.
Main files (1)
Book chapter (Accepted version)
  • PID : unige:75381

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