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Using an Ojibwe lens to examine Margaret Atwood’s novel MaddAddam

Headshot of Bryn Skibo

Bryn Skibo advocates the value of Indigenous ways of knowing in academic discourse

Bryn Skibo examines Margaret Atwood’s speculative novel MaddAddam through an Ojibwe lens during her spring 2024 VIU Arts and Humanities Colloquium lecture. Her presentation follows the path blazed by First Nations and Native American scholars who have argued for the value of using Indigenous epistemologies as critical theories in a largely non-Indigenous academic context. Bryn is using the Anishinaabe practice of Mino-Bimaadiziwin, “the way of the good life,” to examine Atwood’s novel. 

Skibo says reading the novel in these terms illuminates the critical value of these ways of seeing the world and highlights how non-Indigenous philosophies like post-structuralism and post-humanism are indebted to marginalized fields of theory which preceded them, often by centuries.

Skibo completed her doctoral studies and a one-year post-doctoral research project at the University of Geneva, specializing in Narratology, Animal Studies, Indigenous Studies and Vegan Studies. She is the Senior Book Reviews Editor for Transmotion, a peer-reviewed and open-access journal publishing critical essays, reviews and creative writing on contemporary Indigenous literatures. 

Watch Skibo’s presentation:

Since 2009, Arts and Humanities Colloquium presentations have inspired conversations about ideas among members of the Arts and Humanities faculty and their communities both at VIU and in the mid-Island region. Presenters show how important the arts and humanities are to understanding today’s world.


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