Arctic Rhetoric and Inuit Sovereignty

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Lemieux, Tad




By all accounts the world is in a time of monumental change wherein myriad crises and revolutions—social, financial, technological, geological—appear in the guise of the future. These stresses to global habitability, promised by data and early signs, appear now most clearly in the guise of the future. The Arctic has long been the great citadel of the future, whether of finance and nation state nomos, the transcendent border and passage of the North, or in the extraction of what waits there. Climate-related change and the Arctic are linked together by these threats to habitability, thus to the very being of being on Earth. What happens to the Arctic, we're told, happens to us all. If today "Arctic rhetoric" refers to geopolitical disputation situated in the nation-state, taking the Arctic as its object, a worldly rhetoric returns it back into an intensive and immanent rhythm of sharing in relation. What, then, is Arctic rhetoric today? This dissertation answers to this question by reconsidering their constitutive terms at the intersection of shared finite relation and the world. But rather than extract Arctic rhetoric from "inside," I trace the approach of these contemporary theories of rhetorical motion and ontology in the Inuit Nunangat. What we find waiting is a theory of granting—of sovereignty—that moves intensively and all throughout the discursive and non-discursive matters of worldly rhetoric. Taking these insights seriously means there must be an encounter with those living ones there now in the Arctic. Thus, I stage these material rhetorics alongside Inuit philosophy, in the context of these radical changes atmosphere and technology, and find an Arctic rhetoric that names itself.


Mass Communications
Cultural Anthropology




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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