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The recent cancellation of famous theatre director Robert Lepage's Kanata raises important questions about the representation of Indigeneity on stage in Québec. While the controversy took some by surprise, this talk argues that Lepage's impulse to ventriloquize Indigenous people on stage -that is to speak for and through them but without them- is in fact a continuation of a tradition that began with French colonization. Drawing parallels between Lepage's play and other Quebecois plays, among which a 1606 colonial performance, this talk examines the ventriloquizing and erasure of Indigeneity as a recurrent trope in the dramaturgy of what is now Québec. 


Julie Burelle is assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on Indigenous theatre and performance in Canada. She is the author of Encounters on Contested Lands: Indigenous Performances of Sovereignty and Nationhood in Quebec, forthcoming at Northwestern University Press. She is also a dramaturg.


Sponsored by the UCR Center for Ideas & Society

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