Writing We Didn't Read: Manifestos, Declarations and Other Collective Texts

  • Margery Fee, English; Brenda and David McLean Chair in Canadian Studies at UBC
    Coach House, Green College, UBC

    Thursday, March 9
    , 7-8 pm

    2017 McLean Lecture Series in Canadian Studies: Decolonizing Conversations - Indigenous Texts in the Pacific Northwest before 1992
  • Produced during what has been called “the manifesto fever” that “swept across Europe in the years preceding World War I,” collective Indigenous petitions are modern documents, emerging out of Enlightenment conceptions of individual human rights: the Nishga petition of 1913 states: “we lay claim to the rights of men.” Paradoxically, the Nishga were using a modern genre to argue for the continuation of cultures classified by their colonizers as primitive. They were constituting themselves as modern subjects with a right to be heard in the public sphere, as a collective “we” asking for natural justice. They were not, in Fee’s view, asking for the right as individuals to join the modern liberal progressive nation-state, which would be tantamount to begging to vanish as Indigenous people. For them, to demand the rights of men was to demand the right to belong to a collective that included the land, their kin, and other-than-human people such as plants, animals and spiritual beings. This difference is reflected in their contemporaneous engagement in what Susan Neylen has called “performative protests” or what might be called “multimedia manifestos” adapted from traditional ways of performing identity, making claims, and resolving conflict.

  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.


March 9th, 2017 from  7:00 PM to  8:00 PM
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Custom Lecture Fields
Is this event a spotlight? No
Speaker Series 2017 McLean Lectures in Canadian Studies: Decolonizing Conversations—Indigenous Texts in the Pacific Northwest before 1992
Short Title Writing We Didn't Read
Speaker (new) Margery Fee, English; Brenda and David McLean Chair in Canadian Studies at UBC
Short Speaker Margery Fee
Speaker First Name
Speaker Last Name
Speaker Affiliation
Speaker Credentials
Speaker Image
Youtube URL
Podcast URL
Bio Field