Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Restor(y)ing environmentalism: Decolonizing White settlers in the United States: (Re)placing post-traumatic settler disorder
by Jackson-Paton, Robert, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2012, 332; 3509453
Abstract (Summary)

This ethnoautobiographical dissertation narrates how being a descendent of White settlers in the United States affects relationships with place and how place affects White settlers. Integrating environmental, cultural, and historical literature—especially that of Harvey (2007), Morrison (1992), Nelson, (2008), and Waziyatawin (2005)—this theoretical dissertation is based on a review of the pertinent literature and self-reflexive autobiographical writings that address whether environmentalism acknowledges the ghosts of White settlement. The proposed theory suggests that eurocentered environmentalism—exemplified by national parks, wilderness, and deep ecology—is embedded in White settlement. I identify how eurocentered society suffers from the effects of denying settler identity, which I name as intergenerational posttraumatic settler disorder. Ethnoautobiography as critical methodology—as defined by Kremer (2003a)—is grounded in the author’s ecological, cultural, genealogical, and gender identity, thereby decolonizing inquiry and inquirer. Seven bardic research protocols are applied to the research question: initiation, transformation, storytelling, genealogy, remembrance, (re)placing, and renewal. Analysis of the literature is interwoven with personal narratives—called ethnoautobiographical riffs (Frankenberg & Mani, 1996)—creating an ethnoautobiographical critique of White culture and eurocentered environmentalism. Narratives of critical, Indigenous inquiry and survivance—such as P. Deloria’s (1998) “playing Indian,” Tinker’s (1993) “missionary conquest,” and Turner’s (1999) “settlement as forgetting”—are grounds for decolonization of White settlers and settlement privilege. This inquiry attends to how White identity and environmental relationships need to be (re)placed and restor(y)ed to foster healing reconciliation and justice between all peoples, and the land.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kremer, Jurgen W.
Commitee: Masai, Ann, McAllister, JoAnn
School: Saybrook University
Department: Human Science
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Environmental Studies, Native American studies
Keywords: Decolonization, Environmentalism, Ethnoautobiography, Post-traumatic settler disorder, White settlement privilege, Wilderness
Publication Number: 3509453
ISBN: 978-1-267-35945-2
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