annotated bibliography

This is a three part annotated bibliography I have written in the summer of 2020 as I prepare for my PhD qualifying exam. The bibliography includes 30 items covering the intersection of settler-colonial studies and Indigenous studies, expressive arts therapy and collective trauma healing, and Community-Based Participatory Research and Art-Based Research.

Part 1- Settler-colonial studies and Indigenous studies

Absolon, K. E. (2011). Kaandossiwin: How We Come To Know. Halifax, NS & Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood Publishing.

In this book, Absolon examines Indigenous research methodologies through her Anishinaabe worldview by exploring the graduate theses of 11 emerging Indigenous scholars from different nations to look at how they re-theorize methodologies centering on Indigenous worldviews and paradigms. Absolon uses a 6 parts Petal Flower framework to integrate her analysis and illustrate a holistic model of Indigenous ways in search of knowledge within mainstream academia. The 6 parts includes: roots (prioritizing Indigneous worldviews and knowledge at the center), flower centre (place the self in relations as the centre presence in the research), leaves (attune to the emergent, transformative and healing process of the search for knowledge), stem (develop strong critical consciousness of colonial history as backbone and acknowledge the support of ancestors, Elders and family), petals (accept diverse, wholistic and culturally relative Indigenous approaches as methods rooted in being and doing), and environmental context (negotiate the clash of academic and Indigenous theories and expectation to create change). Absolon repeatedly argues that Indigenous epistemologies centre the knowledge found from within, and that one does not interpret lived experiences through another’s worldview. Absolon emphasizes the non-neutral and relational nature of knowledges because how we come to know is linked to intricate personal and collective cultural-historical, spiritual, environmental context, that it is important to avoid objectification of culture and reductionist analysis and respect the community wherein the knowledges and the searchers are shaped and held accountable. This book explores the early academic work of influential Indigenous scholars, including Jo-ann Archibald, Leanne Simpson, Margaret Kovach. For my project, it is foundational to understand the development of Indigenous research paradigms in order to find the intersection for dialogue between their ways of knowing and expressive arts therapy theory.

Snelgrove, C., Dharmoon, R., & Corntassel, J. (2014). Unsettling Settler Colonialism: the Discourse and Politics of Settlers, and Solidarity with Indigenous Nations. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3(2), 1-32.

This paper is resulted from a year long collective dialogues between the authors, on topics concerning 1)the institutionalization of settler colonial studies, 2) the use of the term “settler”, and 3) solidarity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Each topic begins with a literature review as context for their dialogues. The authors contend that settler colonialism studies and practices of solidarity must centre on Indigenous resurgence and deploy a relational approach to settler colonial analysis. The analysis should also take into account the interconnectedness of the issue of “Others” in order the avoid reifying settler colonial domination. The authors acknowledge that settler colonials studies has contributed better ways to articulate and criticize settler colonial domination and operation by identifying the structural distinction between settler colonialism and other forms of colonialism; but they denounce the institutionalization of it as a field of studies itself for overshadowing Indigenous studies, as well as the theorizing work created by Indigenous scholars and activists. They also criticize the self-sustaining and anxiety-focused tendency of settler colonial studies, questioning the legitimate linkages and contribution to decolonization. The authors propose that the discussion on “settler” should be recentering on place-based relationship and solidarity action with local Indigenous nations rather than settlers anxiety. By reconsidering the context in which the term “settler” is used (how, where and when), instead of debating over the definitions on types of settlers, the authors seek to invoke conversation on responsibility to decolonial action. They also suggest that describing “settler” with Indigenous words (Cherokee, Hul’qumi’num and Dakota as examples) can be most effective in context where settlers are unaware of their privileges. The authors point out that the discussion about solidarity has undermined the time it takes to build trust and accountability through place-based relationship, and overlooked the individuals’ ancestral history that entangles with the global colonial, imperial or capitalist structures. With examples of community projects that the authors have involved, this paper calls forth long-term place-based relationships and practices between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, as solidarity building that direct towards disrupting settler colonialism and fostering Indigenous resurgences. The authors invoke the need for a new phrase to describe positive features of settler-Indigenous relationships.

Day, I., Pegues, J. H., Phung, M., Saranillio, D. I. & Medak-Saltzman, D. (2019). Settler Colonial Studies, Asian Diasporic Questions. Verge: Studies in Global Asias, 5(1),1-45.

This piece consists of 5 articles revised from a roundtable discussion at the Association for Asian American Studies annual conference in San Francisco in March 2018. The contributors address the limitation of the white-settler focused settler colonialism theoretical framework, asserting the intricate Asian diaspora and Indigenous histories in settler societies and the importance to engage with Native and Indigenous scholarship and activism. They argue that Asian settler colonial studies as a sub-field can engage in a politics of Asian–Indigenous relationalities that centre on respect, indebtedness and gratitude. Day explains that the narratives of imperialism in the US and “postcolonial” national identity in Canada have negated and disavowed colonialism and the dispossession of Indigenous peoples. Day proposes the term “alien” to describe non-white peoples who came to settler societies due to transatlantic slavery and racialized labour migration, and suggests a “Indigenous – alien – settlers” triangulated approach to critically consider their racial and political orientations to Indigenous land. Phung argues for territorial acknowledgement as a practice of “genealogical disclosure” to approach Asian migrants and refugees diasporic status as uninvited guests while acknowledging the power differential. Phung contends that the vulnerability and accountability of exchanging displaced and dispossession experience is necessary for building Indigenous-Asian relations, coupled with centering settler colonial conceptual frameworks on political solidarity actions with Indigenous peoples. Drawing from Haunani-Kay Trask’s relational analyses of settler colonialism in a Hawaiian context, Saranillio explains that the theorization “settler of colour” has pushed beyond the power binary, challenging Asian groups to examine the relationality of political and economic power within the settler state, and by which invited in diverse settlers group to place-based alliance and collaboration supporting Native movement in decolonial nation-building. Medak-Saltzman argues for the importance of engaging with Indigenous presence in fields outside of Native studies, using Indigenous Ainu homelands around Hokkaido, Japan as an example, to propose “specters of colonialism” framework for examining Indigenous experiences that is more appealing and compelling from a Native studies perspective. This article provides different nuances to look at the power dynamic and historical entanglement of Indigenous-settler relationships from the Asian diasporic studies perspective. For my project, it will be important to further explore the politics of Asian–Indigenous relationalities anchored on historical indebtedness and gratitude, and the pedagogical practice of “genealogical disclosure” proposed in this text.
Fast, E. & Kovach, M. (2019). Community Relationship Within Indigenous Methodologies. In S., Windchief, T., San Pedro (Eds.). Applying Indigenous Research Methods Storying with Peoples and Communities. New York, NY: Routledge.

In this article, Fast and Kovach explore the community-researcher relationship within an Indigenous methodological approach. The discussion starts with a literature review, followed by three performative scripts on relational complexities arising from an urban aboriginal youth research project based in Montreal. Fast and Kovach distinguish indigenous research from indigenous methodologies, suggesting that Indigenous research involves and serves indigenous peoples; while Indigenous methodologies is a methodological approach that has its foundation in Indigenous knowledge systems. They argue that researchers’ accountability to indigenous communities are significant in both Indigenous research and Indigenous methodologies. This accountability has to do with the researcher in relations to community in the local context, and a respectful relationship is a form of anti-colonial resistance. The authors propose three practices that researchers should follow as their ethics and responsibilities: 1) Appreciation of protocol – to acknowledge the knowledge of protocol of specific community and be responsible for the protocol of introducing oneself, which is a practice of situating the researching-self in relation to the indigenous community and place, and disclosing one’s personal indigeneity; 2) Share story of the self in relation to the collective – to think in relations by self-situating through sharing own story, which brings forth not only integrity, accountability, assumptions, but also vulnerability and deepen connection as “in Indigenous research the vulnerable is honorable”; 3) Ethics of reciprocity – to practice reciprocity by not seeing and expressing of researcher-self as an expert but from a relational understanding of group membership and social identity for “I am because you are”. This article clearly articulates that it is the researchers’ responsibility to prioritize relationships with Indigenous communities and to value the collective’s need rather than the researchers’ agenda. Although not directly addressing Indigenous-settler relationships, this article provides valuable insight in contemplating the Self-Other border and relationships building with Indigenous communities whether one holds an insider or outsider status. The ethics and responsibility stressed in this text provide important and practical considerations for the research design of my project.

Lawrence, B. and Dua, E. (2005). Decolonizing Antiracism. Social Justice, 32(4), 120–143.
This article engendered the continuing debate on settlers of colour in the last decade. Lawrence and Dua assert that by claiming to belong and own land and resources, and by demanding equal citizenship rights and benefits in settler societies, people of colour, though still face marginalization, are settlers too. Lawrence and Dua criticize anti-racist and postcolonial theories for participating in colonial agenda, arguing that their theoretical framework has excluded the presence and the ongoing colonization of Indigenous people in the Americas and failed to address Canada as a colonialist state. They stress that anti-racist and postcolonial theorists, particularly in Canadian context, assume that genocide of Indigenous peoples has been completed, therefore Indigenous existence and their nationhood are not taken into account in theorizing race and racism. Criticizing the theorizing work of scholars such as Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, James Cliford, Ruth Frankenberg and Mani Lata, they explain that the histories of colonization are ignored in the theorizing of Atlantic diasporic identities and are erased
in the historiography of of black slavery. Further, anti-racist politics are made equated with decolonization politics, rendering Indigenous people as diasporic and thus delegitimatizing Indigenous nationhood and access to lands. Lawrence and Dua criticize that this narrowed theoretical framework of race and racism has render people of colour innocent in the ongoing colonization of Indigenous people, arguing that settlers of colour have participated in the colonial projects in three ways: 1) Neglecting the fact that settlement of people of colour newcomers takes place on stolen Indigenous land, that their racist exclusion discourses are decontextualized from the suppression of Indigenous peoples; 2) Understanding themselves as colonists, especially those with citizenship rights, in constitutional reform that violates Indigenous sovereignty; and 3) Engaging in multiculturalism and immigration policies making that centres on their marginalization realities but render Indigenous communities invisible.
Lawrence and Dua call forth anti-racist theorists to reposition and redress themselves in Indigenous resistance and reclaiming to land, asserting the need for scholarship to address the intricate historical intersection between people of colours and Indigenous peoples.

Maracle, L. (2017). My Conversations with Canadians. Toronto, ON: BookThug Press.

This book is a compilation of thirteen short essays in which Maracle responds to a wide range of complex topics concerning Indigenous-settler relations in Canada. The topics include cultural appropriation, the legacy of residential schools and colonization, intersectionality, education and traditional knowledge, settlers’ empathy and identity crisis in the Canadian multiculturalism myth. Maracle argues that the myriad questions (white) non-Indigenous people ask such as “what can I do to help?” and “what do I call you?” are based on a culture that marginalizes their Indigenous others and do not understand Indigenous worldview. Maracle challenges the myth of Canadian multiculturalism, arguing that it is a British-dominated nation which diminishes all other cultures and promotes its own. Maracle also stresses the importance of reclaiming Indigenous knowledges and languages as Indigenous children’s birthright, that non-Indgienous people must follow protocol to be conscious and honor the ownership of Indigenous knowledges. In an untitled essay at the end, Maracle uses a few multimedia art performances to explain that the intermodal layers of song, dance, poem, story, ceremony are at the centre of Indigenous ways of understanding art as embedded in daily life, and that art cultivates belonging and witnessing in the collective across culture. She ends the book by suggesting the power of art and creativity in transformation of relations and inviting Canadian to learn from them. This book is relevant not only because Maracle is a key Indigenous voice in Canada; her remarks on the intermodality of artistic creation and its power in fostering convergence between cultures/peoples is significant to a dialogue between expressive arts therapy’s intermodal theory and Indigenous worldview.

Morris, K. B. (2017) Decolonizing solidarity: cultivating relationships of discomfort, Settler Colonial Studies, 7(4), 456-473, DOI: 10.1080/2201473X.2016.1241210

Building on Mohanty’s conception of “noncolonizing solidarity”, in this article Morris proposes “decolonizing solidarity” as both a strategy and a process for settler to work in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in the settler-colonial context. Morries draws on examples from Palestine and Turtle Island, arguing that a decolonizing approach to solidarity relationships can amplify decolonization action, reorient approaches to recognition, and help communities to cope with the legacies of colonial trauma and current realities of settler colonialism. The author asserts that settlers’ role is to recognize the importance of Indigenous narratives and to listen without re-centring settler narratives or attempting to shed settler identity, and then couple knowledge with decolonial action. Morris proposes that such solidarity relationships require a practice of cultivating uncertainty and discomfort over time based on self-reflexivity, and continuous uncomfortable engagement with difference and similarities in specific, contextualized, and contingent conversations with and listening to others. This relationship building framework, as Morris intends, is for settlers who feel a sense of responsibility to reconciliation with Indigenous people and Indigenous land/waters but lack sufficient information for acting on those responsibilities. Morris’s framework intends to re-center the recurring issue of settlers’ guilt and anxiety and settler identity crisis as the site for uncomfortable change within the settlers’ selves and in relations with others, and by doing so negotiates relationships across power imbalances based on unsettled relationality. Although not suggesting practical tools for nurturing discomfort and uncertainty on the physical and emotional level, Morris’s framework is relevant to my project in ways that identify the importance of emotions as the site of relational change in Indigenous-settler relationships.

Phung, M. (2011). Are People of Colour Settlers Too? In A. Mathur, M. DeGagné, & J. Dewar (Eds.) Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation Through the Lens of Cultural Diversity (289-296). Ottawa, ON: Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

In this article, Phung responds to Bonita Lawrence and Enakshi Dua’s criticism against anti-racist and anti-colonial theory for failing to address that people of colour are also settlers. While agreeing that marginalized people of colour have also participated in the ongoing colonization by claiming to own land and resources in settler societies, Phung raises the complexities concerning the power differentials and unequal colonial status among settlers. She argues that settlers of colour cannot simply be equated with the original settlers from Britain and France. Analyzing the historical background of the 1763 Royal Proclamation and Canadian literature in the 19th century, Phung compares white settlerhood with Chinese labourers to demonstrates the racial and class inter-settler tensions. Phung explains that white settler colonial labour narrative depicted Indigenous people as lazy and uncivilized who did not cultivate the land for profit, which was used to justify settlers’ attempt to self-indigenize their own right to the land. Although Chinese labourers engaged in this upward class mobility did participate in the same settler colonial narrative to vacate Indigenous people, Phung argues, they have also been depicted as the invasive alien threatening to the “Indigenized” white settlers. Phung urges for the need to recuperate the monolithic terms “settler” methodologically and epistemologically, suggesting that self-identifying as “settler” can be a political action to reshape the public discourse, and help mobilizing settlers to support Indigenous activism against settler domination. Phung is one of the key voices in the debate concerning settlers of colour. Her work will be important in my literature review, especially in (de)constructing my positionality on the subject matter in the Canadian Chinese historical context.
Phung, M. (2015). Asian-Indigenous Relationalities: Literary Gestures of Respect and Gratitude. Canadian Literature, 227, 56–72.

In this article, Phung analyzes the Chinese-Indigenous relations of kinship, friendship and hospitality in literature archive and historical fictions to argue that contemporary Asian Canadian settlers (citizen, migrants and refugees) inherit not only the legacies of settler colonialism but also the historical relations of indebtedness, gratitude and respect with Indigenous peoples. Phung contends that this literary tradition provides a decolonial framework with the capacity to generate mutuality and self-reflexivity amongst Asian Canadians to consider their roles and responsibilities within the structures of settler colonialism. Through examining the accrued historical debt to Indigenous communities portrayed in the early Chinese settlers characters in David H. T. Wong’s Escape to Gold Mountain, Paul Yee’s A Superior Man, SKY Lee’s Disappearing Moon Cafe, Phung argues that today’s Chinese Canadian should acknowledge a broader sense of socio-political indebtedness to build solidarity and deeper felt understanding among communities member who share many political and ideological similarities and difference as First Nations and Asian. Phung also elaborates expressions of migrant and refugee gratitude in Denise Chong’s The Concubine’s Children and Kim Thúy’s Ru, asserting that narratives as decolonial space for acknowledging the histories of Indigenous displacement and dispossession. Phung posits that the juxtaposing narratives of indebtedness and gratitude can inaugurate a future-oriented Asian-Indigenous decolonial relations building basis that requires continual renewal of trust and solidarity; a process that move away from settler guilt but seek absolution and focus on actionable decolonizing and relations improving project. Using Doretta Lau’s How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? as an example, Phung explains that by respecting their inherited historical debts, Chinese Canada youth are inspired to confront erasures of Indigeneity and the legacies of settler colonialism in a contemporary context. Further, Phung also responds to the scholarly debate about the settler colonial status/categorization of non-Indigenous racialized communities, such as “arrivant” by Jodi Byrd and “alien” by Iyko Day. She maintains that the settler of colour critique must be oriented beyond the academy for Asian Canadians to confront and acknowledge their colonial complicities and responsibilities for solidarity-building reasons even if they or their ancestors do not benefit from the privilege systems as many white settlers. This article provides the literature background to understand Phung’s decolonial framework of Indigenous-Asian relations and the “genealogy disclosure” pedagogy proposed at the Association for Asian American Studies conference in 2018.

Simpson, L. (2017). As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Simpson theorizes what she calls “radical resurgence”, a process of Indigenous nation-building grounded in Indigenous ancestral intelligence and refusing settler colonialism recognition. She distinguishes this form of resurgence from other settler-colonial versions that celebrate indigenous culture in depoliticized forms but continue the violence and dispossession of Indigenous people and land. Building on Dene scholar Glen Coulthard’s “grounded normativity” as ethical framework, i.e. intelligence generated from the ground up through land-based pedagogy, Simpson articulates the principles of radical resurgence: reciprocal recognition and generative refusal. Reciprocal recognition starts with Indigenous peoples embodying their indigenous intelligence in practice, and recognizing the light in each other and reflecting back to them their essence. Simpson maintains that this act of collective reciprocal self-recognition is a resistance tool against the internalized shame enforced by settler colonialism as strategy of dispossession. Rather than knowledge from academic sources, Simpson draws on knowledge generated from land-based practices, teachings from Nishnaabeg Elders and stories, her lived experiences with other Indigenous theorists as examples to support her framework. She ends with a call to resurgent organizing not only within her own indigenous nation, but to reflect on the co-resistance that can be built across Indigenous, black, and other racialized communities. For my project, I will draw on Simpson’s framework to understand Indigenous resurgences and to explore ways that non-Indigenous nations can participate in co-resistance and in support of Indigenous resurgences. I will also draw connection between the concept of “reciprocal recognition” and Phung’s “genealogy disclosure” pedagogical practice as I develop the expressive arts therapeutic inquiry method group processes.
Tuck, E. and Yang, K.W. (2012). Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, and Society, 1(1): 1–40.

Tuck and Yang define decolonization as the repatriation of indigenous land and life, arguing that grafting decolonization onto any existing colonial theoretic framework (e.g. social justice) is a form of colonial appropriation. They also clearly differentiate settler-colonization from other colonizations, by stressing on settlers intentions of making home on Indigenous territories and extracting people and non-human beings as resources and commodities bio- and geo-politically. Tuck and Yang outline six “settlers move to innocence” positioning wherein decolonization is absorbed into colonial narratives, arguing that these are attempts to relieve the settler feelings of guilt or responsibility without giving up land/power/privilege. The six “move to innocence” include: 1) Settler nativism- settlers claim to have a long-lost indigenous or chattel slave ancestor/ancestry; 2) settler adoption fantasies – white people adopting indigenous practices or being adopted into indigenous family/community; 3) Colonial equivocation – identify experience of anti-oppression or capitalist violence as decolonization; 4) Decolonizing your mind – reduce internal colonization to mental colonization; 5) A(s)t(e)risk peoples – reduce indigenous peoples by representing them as either “at risk” or as a * in large public data set; and 6) Re-occupation and urban homesteading – the colonial worldview reflected in contemporary eco-activism and naturalism in the Occupy Movement and urban homesteading movement. Tuck and Yang also boldly state their position that peoples of colour in settler societies are subordinate settlers. They conclude that decolonization should not be about rescuing settler nomalcy or settler future. Rather, it should be accountable to Indigenous sovereignty and futurity. While I agree with the authors that some “move to innocence” are attempting premature reconciliation, I question whether these “move” are necessary steps to healing and restoring meaningful relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples towards the described decolonization. The critique of “settle move to innocence” is significant in the discussion of Indigenous-settler relationships. It provides critical consideration and reflection for my project, and I have to respond to similar critique during my research design.

Veracini, L. (2011). Introducing, Settler Colonial Studies, 1 (1), 1-12. DOI:10.1080/2201473X.2011.10648799

This article is the introduction of the Settler Colonial Studies Journal first issue in which Veracini establishes a case for settler colonials studies as a new field of studies.Veracini differentiates settler colonialism from colonialism by explaining their dialectical relationship and proposes that different strategies and languages to describe decolonization should be considered. Veracini argues that for colonialism to maintain its exploitation of labours, a sustaining subordinated relationship between the colonizers and the colonized is required. Contrarily, for settler colonialism to effectively establish settlement permanently, the distinction between the exogenous settlers and the indigenous otherness has to be erased. Given this structural difference, Veracini further argues that decolonial resistance to colonialism could mean discontinuing the colonial relationship cycle (e.g. leaving the colony), but in settlers societies, this strategy reinforces settler colonialism instead. The decolonizing approaches to settler colonialism, Veracini suggests, should be maintaining an ongoing settler-indigenous relationships and indigenous ultimate permanence. He also asserts that reversing the settler-indigenous relationships, and indigenous resistance and survival are still operating from within the settler colonial logic of elimination, and that a genuine postcolonial/post-settler move should be an ongoing practice to extinguish the colonizers demand for labour and displacement in any form. The publishing of the Settler Colonial Studies Journal plays a major role in the institutionalization of settler colonial studies as an academic sub-field. The framework outlined by Veracini has also been the point of entry in the analysis and debate over the strength and limitation of settler colonial theory. For my project, this piece and his response to the critiques (Veracini, 2017) will be the key texts in building the Indigenous-settler relationships literature review.
Veracini, L. (2017). Decolonizing Settler Colonialism: Kill the Settler in Him and Save the Man. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 41(1), 1-18.

In this piece Veracini provides an overview of the rapidly developing critiques and debates on settler colonials studies as an interpretative framework, and responds to those criticism thematically. He then proposes using settler colonial studies to decolonize settler colonialism and its agenda, turning settlers into agents for undoing settler colonialism. Veracini responds to two major critiques: 1) fails to contextualize with empirical observation methodologically; and 2) settler colonial studies as a subfield operates “the notion of elimination”, eliminating indigenous resistance and other imperial studies and neglecting the endeavour of Indigenous studies and indigenous scholars. In response, Veracini argues that the transdisciplinary characters of settler colonial studies have proven its abstract analyses are dialectical outcomes of empirical achievement, that the logic of elimination and indigenous agency and resurgence are dialectically related and that settler colonial studies cannot replace indigenous studies but is predicated on it. Veracini emphasizes that settler colonial studies should not and cannot develop by itself a theory of settler decolonization, for decolonization has to be a collective, indigenous-led endeavour. He proposes four decolonizing agenda to undoing settler colonialism: 1) A refusal to compartmentalize: maintain a decolonial form of recognition where the indigenous-settler relationship remains meaningful and ongoing as it is decolonized rather than prematurely discontinued/disappeared, leading to the moment of future synthesis. 2) Defending place-based indigeneity: promote and sustain indigenous place-specific relationships at the conceptual level by using “indigenous” and related terms in noncapitalized form; 3) Analytical clarity: using the analytical tool offer by settler colonialism to turn the political descendants of settler into resources for decolonization; and 4) Entangling worlds and a type of indigenous-led settler indigenization: advocates an indigenous-led type of settler indigenization asking settlers to embrace an uncertain “becoming indigenize” relationships with indigenous peoples and cherish the political space that they open up, and to imagine an ongoing relationship and identity framed by indigenous traditions.

Wilson, S. (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Black Point, NS & Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood Publishing.

This book is based on the author’s doctoral research wherein Wilson presents the common aspects of ontology, epistemology, axiology, and methodology in the research conducted by Indigenous scholars in Australia and Canada, and develops the grounds of an indigenous research paradigm that invites Indigenous peoples to engage in and with their own research. Referencing Maori scholar Linda Tuhiwai-Smith’s Decolonizing Methodologies (1999) as pioneer in this endeavour, Wilson emphasizes the interwoven relations between Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing as a paradigm in contrast to the dominant Eurocentric worldview in academia, and by doing so explains the importance of Indigenous research paradigm for Indigenous knowledge seekers. Wilson refuses to criticize the Western approach to research, but rather presents his ideas through a circular logic in a multivocal voice addressing the academic readers, his 3 sons, and dialoguing with other Indigneous scholars and elders to demonstrate the foundational value of relationality in Indigenous value and belief. The concept of relationality is fundamental in Wilson’s research paradigm and process. Wilson illustrates the relational context (with people, land, cosmos and ideas) in Indigenous ontology and epistemology and therefore explains the need for a methodology and axiology that is accountable to the relationships in searching for knowledge. He uses the term “relational accountability” to describe researchers’ consideration of integrity and reciprocity in forming questions, methods, analysis and presentation. The non-linear/intuitive logics and relational nature of research highlighted in Wilson’s work speaks to a close connection with community based participatory research and expressive-arts based inquiry. His work will be a critical reference as I formulate methods in my project.

Wolfe, P. (2006). Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native. Journal of Genocide Research, 8(4), 387-409.

This article is often cited as the principal work creating the basic theory of the settler colonial studies. Wolfe distinguishes settler colonialism from genocide, contrasting settler colonialism from franchise colonialism. Through a comparative analysis of numerous examples in Australia, Israel-Palestine, and predominately the Indian Removal in the US of the 1830s, Wolfe coins the term “the logic of elimination” as the structural organizing principle of settler colonialism. Access to land is the primary motive for eliminating the native, as Wolfe states “settler-colonizers come to stay: invasion is a structure not an event.” He reframes that settler colonialism is to be recognized as an ongoing structural process rather than an historical event. Wolfe uses this argument to suggest the usefulness of recognizing the logic of elimination, proposing that settler colonialism is an indicator to guard against recurrence of “genocidal moments”, that “the logic of elimination” should be checked and analyzed in the present and in the future. Although Wolfe insists that he did not create the field of settler colonial studies, “the logic of elimination” is frequently cited and debated as a primary material in the discussion on Indigenous-settler relations. Same as Veracini’s work, this article will be a key reference in building the Indigenous-settler relationships literature review.

Wong, R. (2012). Cultivating Respectful Relations: A Response to Leroy Little Bear. Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 39(4), 528–536.

In this article, Wong responds to Indigenous scholar Leroy Litttle Bear’s plea for Indigeous knowledge and paradigms to be taken into consideration in policy, research and the understanding of “humanities” in academia. Taking on Leroy’s points that Indigenous knowledge is place-based and is participation in and with the natural world, Wong further argues that building respectful and peaceful relations with Indigenous peoples must cooperatively focus on the lands and the waters that sustain our lives, that the ecological crisis shall be at the centre of the world humanities discussion. Wong posits that the environmental devastation facing humanities today will not end unless humans learn to live by values that manifest and respect Indigenous relationships to lands and waters. Wong acknowledges that lands and waters are embodied in Indigenous language of understanding who they are; and as an uninvited guest of Chinese descent, Wong addresses the transition from one cultural paradigm to the other involving attention to language and the relationships between the living organisms and their ecologies. Although agreeing with scholars advocating for “Indigenous humanities” which centres on ecology as the animating force that teaches people of all cultures how to be human rather than on cultural differences, Wong cautions against political economy and ideology that deforms the rights of Indigenous peoples. Thus Wong argues that an ethical world humanities depends on the decolonization and indigenization of locally situated humanities, that building alliances with Indigenous peoples involves not only a paradigm shift but also pragmatic acts. The work of decolonization requires a deep understanding of interconnectedness and interdependence between ecological environment, humans and the non-human beings both seen and unseen. Wong elicits a world humanities that is earth-based, self-organizing from the ground up, enacting coexistence and solidarity with Indigenous paradigm within place-based communities. Wong’s work not only crosses between academia and decolonial activism, but also provide significant insight as an non-Indigenous scholar/activist/artist engaging in Indigenous communities working from Indigenous worldview. I intend to draw on more Wong’s recent work to develop my positionality in the research project.

Part 2- Expressive arts therapy and collective trauma healing

Atkins, S. & Snyder, M. (2018). Nature-based Expressive Arts Therapy: Integrating the Expressive Arts and Ecotherapy. London, UK & Philadelphia, USA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Bringing ecological science, ecopsychology and their firsthand learning experience from indigenous cultures to expressive arts therapy, Aktins and Snyder develop a theoretical framework of nature-based expressive arts therapy (NBEA) in this book. The authors expand the principles of expressive arts to emphasize the human relationship with and within the more-than-human world, developing four foundational concepts: 1) worldview of interrelationship; 2) ecological presence; 3) ecopoiesis; and 4) the art in the service of life. They explain the basic tenets of expressive art and of ecotherapy, human’s role within the living world in Gaia theory, deep ecology and other ecological philosophy, and the rhizomatic relationships among these fields and NBEA. The authors also compare traditional psychotherapy and NBEA, and propose therapeutic paradigm shifts for practicing expressive arts therapists. One chapter of this book is dedicated to explain how indigenous cultures and wisdom have shaped both non-indigenous author’s understanding of world, art and relationships, and thus their development of NBEA. They tell the stories of their long-term relationship and direct experience with the Quechua people in Bolivia and Peru, the Hopi people in Arizona, the Zuni people in New Mexico, the Navajo people in Tsaile and the Cherokke people in the Qualla Boundary. Throughout the text the authors also reference indigenous scholars’ work. This book is important not only because it is by far the only text in the expressive arts field that theorizes a nature-based approach in the profession, it also provides an opening for a possible symbiotic dialogue between expressive arts therapy and Indigenous worldviews and epistemologies.

Harvard Medical School. (2019, December 9). Healing Collective Trauma [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mExBoPftp8I

In this talk hosted by Harvard Medical School, Thomas Hübl is interviewed by Bala Subramaniam, MD in an interdisciplinary discussion on collective trauma and its impact within and outside the health care system. Drawing from eighteen years of inner processes work with individuals and groups, Hübl explains that the phenomenon of collective trauma is different from other traumatization that happens firsthand in one’s biography, stating that we are born into the societal structures of trauma agreement unconsciously created in the aftermath of transgenerational traumatic disasters. Hübl emphasizes that trauma cannot be healed by rationalization or intellectual understanding; rather it is often the defense mechanism that maintains the dissociation. Hübl argues that the prominent trauma symptom is the desynchronized effect in the nervous system happened during the attachment process in an earlier development stage, which leads to a dysfunctional regulation system impacting the individual’s ability to synchronize the mental, emotional and physical experience in the present moment. He asserts that because most traumatizations are caused by inappropriate relations in the nervous system, the resource for healing is in building the capacity to attune to each other’s nervous system and to create a function of co-regulation and emotional synchronization. He also explains that the collective disabilization of the cultural environment is entangled with personal trauma experience, backed by cases related to the traumatic history shared by Germans and Israelis. Hübl advocates for what he called group coherence and “global social witnessing” as collective co-regulation tools to handle societal trauma and to digest overwhelming disastrous news and experience locally and globally, suggesting that a relational environment for listening, attuning to and feeling each other in large group is the best environment for processing trauma materials. Hübl repeatedly addresses that appropriate relations in trauma-informed facilitated collective space is the fundamental remedy for healing.
Knill, P. J., Levine, E. G., Levine & Levine, S. K. (2005). Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy: Towards a Therapeutic Aesthetics (67-85). London, UK & Philadelphia, USA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

The authors in this volume develop a theoretical framework of expressive arts therapy, arguing for the intrinsic value of the therapeutic use of the arts which has been taken as instrumental and under-valued in traditional psychotherapy. Chapter 1 establishes the philosophical foundation of expressive arts therapy in phenomenology. Levine expands the traditional concept of “poiesis” in western philosophy to that of an innate creative capacity in humans to shape/create with what is given to us while being shaped by it, and explains the therapeutic process with the sociological framework of “liminality” and Winnicott’s “transitional experience” theory. Paolo clarifies the theory of practice in chapter 2, explaining inter-modalities of imagination and its relation to polyaesthetic and the intermodal approach in the therapeutic process, the role of aesthetic responsibility and aesthetic analysis, crystallization and the “architecture” of an art-oriented de-centering process in which the function of “alternative worlding experience” and the concept of “the third” emerged. The final chapter discusses clinical practice, training and supervision situations in which the concepts and methods described in chapter 1 and 2 have been applied. This book gives a clear account on the interdisciplinary nature of expressive arts therapy and its theoretical roots in and challenges to western philosophy, psychology, anthropology and art. This book is a major text in expressive arts therapy theory and practice in the professional field. The authors are the first generation of expressive arts therapists when it first emerged in the 70s. They remain the key writers and trainers in the recent development of expressive arts therapy.

Levine, E. G. & Levine, S. K. (Eds.) (2011). Art in Action: Expressive Arts Therapy and Social Change. London, UK & Philadelphia, USA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

This collection of articles explore the application of expressive arts therapy approaches in social trauma intervention and conflict transformation, and illustrate how these ideas work in global field cases facilitated by leading practitioners. The first section provides theoretical framework of expressive arts work and social change, explaining the concept of “poiesis”, “logic of the imagination”, “de-centering” and “community-oriented playfulness” and how these concepts yield effective results that are missing in the field of conflict resolution pathological approaches. The second section explores the role of art and communal art in bringing changes for specific social issues, exemplified in art-based projects at a clinic for Iraqis survivors in Jordan, a Bosnian refugee camp in Slovenia and with Bedouin women in Israel. The last section chronicles how intermodal expressive arts have been used to facilitate community revitalization and resilience building in post-war zones, prisons and areas stricken by humanitarian crisis and political unrest. The authors clearly demonstrate the limitation of language, analysis and categorizing social problems in approach conflicts and social trauma, and outline an alternative to understand and to engage with conflicts through art-play and imagination in communal settings grounded in theory. This book is relevant to my project because it establishes the basic theory groundwork for expressive arts and social transformation. The detailed examples of application in various groups facing conflicts help me to see how relationships and imagination are resources for social healing, and the practitioners’ reflection are great resources for developing methods in my project.

Levine, P. A. (2015) Trauma and Memory: Brain and Body in A Search for the Living Past. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

In this book Levine explains how current mood and somatic experience influence the reconstructive process of memories, distinguishing traumatic memories from other types of memories as fixed and ingrained in the body somatically. Levine illustrates the relationships between explicit and implicit memory systems, their subcategories, and the structure of trauma, arguing that maladaptive procedural and emotional memories form the core mechanism of all traumatic memories, and problematic social and relationship issues. He emphasizes the manner in which emotional memories present as somatic patterns and physical sensations, and thereby undeniably interact with procedural memories. Levine argues against therapies that guide clients to relive their traumatic memories narratively, as these approaches do not deal with the physical sensations accompany recollection, i.e. chronic state of muscle / body contraction, holding one’s breath and may lead to reinforcing the traumatic memory and strengthen the distress. This book is written for mental health care practitioners and individuals dealing with traumas. Levine proposes a series of stages that require significant body-focused work, emotional and cognitive processing, and relational connection in the healing process, which include 1) grounding and co-regulating with the full person before working directly with traumatic memories; 2) taking in information from non-verbal cues; 3) “guided somatic awareness” – therapist guiding client to their own body sensations in a paced manner with the goal to bring down the activation level; 4) somatical uncoupling of body sensations and traumatic memories to allow for restoration and completion; and 5) working through wide range of feelings while focusing on reconnecting with others. This book also covers the neuroscience of memory, intergenerational trauma, and the pharmacology of memory erasure. Renowned for developing Somatic Experiencing, Levine’s work is one of the leading voices in the trauma healing professional field. This book is a foundational reading for trauma-informed expressive arts therapy, particularly in relation to forming therapeutic relationship with clients and the embodied and narrative modalities in the arts-based process.

McNiff, S. (1999). Artistic Inquiry: Research in Expressive Arts Therapy. In S. K., Levine & E. G., Levin (Eds.). Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy: Theoretical and Clinical Perspectives. London, UK and Philadelphia, USA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

In this article, McNiff discusses the emergence of new approaches to research in the field of expressive arts therapies in the early 1980s. McNiff explains how expressive arts therapists challenge both quantitative and qualitative behavioral science research methods in the mental health field by placing the phenomena of creation and the use of the arts as primary modes of inquiry in research projects. McNiff argues that the images and processes of artistic creation are at least one step ahead of the reflecting mind, stating that personal and first-hand artistic inquiry is significant in conducting research in expressive arts therapies because analytic and explanatory reflections do not advance the expressive qualities and healing properties presented by the artworks. This process of inquiry, as McNiff argues, can further the effectiveness of professional practice. McNiff also posit that the attempt to justify the effectiveness of expressive arts therapies to people outside the profession by providing the outcomes of scientific evidence will risk losing the unique properties of the profession, because the tension between what can and cannot be known and expressed is the most basic creative spirit that expressive arts therapists work primarily with. McNiff is a key founder of the field of expressive arts therapy. This article encapsulates the purpose, approach and early dialogue on conducting research within the field of expressive arts therapy, in relation to advancing the profession in the mental health field and developing therapeutic method and studio approach to research within the discipline. Although more writings on research in expressive arts therapy have emerged in the last decade, I consider this article one of the classics.

Science and Nonduality. (2019, August 15). Working with Collective Trauma: Gabor Maté & Thomas Hübl [Video file] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhlVIhjZj4k

In this interview, addiction trauma specialist Gabor Maté MD and Thomas Hübl discuss the collective context of trauma and Hübl’s interdisciplinary approach to work with collective trauma in group processes. Combining mystical traditions and trauma knowledge in neuroscience, Hübl facilitates holocaust integration group work in Germany and Israel and cofound the Pocket Pojrect in 2016, a global initiative focuses on supporting the integration of collective and intergenerational trauma in societies and communities. Hübl maintains that trauma is not an individual but a collective issue, stating that all individuals are born into the aftermath of traumatic collective fragmentation wherein relational agreements, societal structure and consciousness were created, and that the collective trauma suppression, denial and release can be expressed through individuals’ physical and emotional experiences. Hübl argues that trauma causes disembodiment and shuts down the downward regulation of the nervous system, and thus limits the individual’s capacity to see and feel the other as they are and to respond to the current experience, in particular collective disaster and societal crisis such as climate change. He states that when trauma materials come up in group processes, the individuals in the group practise staying fully present to it and experience it in their internal physical, emotional, mental state, avoiding the tendency to dissociate. The co-regulating relational presence allows the emotional bodies to digest until it is transformed and released. Hübl maintains that such group coherence is important to hold, to witness and to digest collective trauma materials in the individual nervous system; if individuals in the group take it as personal symptoms it risks collapsing back into self contraction and the group loses its higher capacity.

van der Kolk, B. (2014) The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. London, UK: Penguin Books.
This book is considered influential in trauma focused work for both mental health clinicians and clients and is written for a board audience including teachers, philanthropists, theatre directors, prison guards, police officers or meditation coaches. van der Kolk uses case examples from his over thirty years career as psychiatrist, researcher and therapist to provide an in-depth explanation of the body’s relationship to the brain and trauma’s impact on it, illustrating different treatment approaches to help resolve trauma over time. van der Kolk critically reflects on the reductionist view of mental illness as a brain disease, in contrast positing that we can regulate our own physiology without drugs through breathing, moving, touching and that by changing social conditions people can be able to feel safe and thrive. The book is organized into five parts. The first two sections give an overview of neuroscience and how knowledge of trauma is developed since the late 1800s and in, and examine how trauma overwhelms and blocks the brain’s adaptive response from action. van der Kolk thus argues that the key to trauma treatment is to reactivate a sense of self through the physical body, that trauma survivors cannot recover until they befriend the sensations in their bodies. In part 4, van der Kolk reviews the neuroplasticity of a normal vs. traumatic brain and summarizes his research on traumatic memories to challenge the cognitives behavioral approaches to trauma healing. He argues that traumatic memories are stored as disorganized and fragmented images, physical sensations and intense emotions rather than logical narratives, thus remembering the trauma with associated affects does not resolve it and language cannot substitute for action. In support of Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing and Pat Ogden’s Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to trauma healing, he suggests that therapists’ job is to draw out blocked sensory information and help clients to become familiar with and release unprocess emotional residues kept in the body. In part 5 he proposes steps for an effective trauma therapy with references to research, which support the effectiveness of various approaches including body as the bridge to language, putting words to nonverbal experiences, Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems, yoga, mindfulness, community theater, and dance. Although van der Kolk did not specifically address the efficacy of creative therapists in trauma healing, many of the approaches mentioned in this book validate what expressive arts therapists do in practice.

Part 3- Community-Based Participatory Research and Art-Based Research

Hall, B. (1992). From Margins to Center? The Development and Purpose of Participatory Research. The American Sociologist, 23(4), 15-28.

In this article Hall traces the early formulation and dissemination of “participatory research” since the early 1970s based on the documents and his experiences as one of key scholars in the International Participatory Research Network – North America group. The article highlights the feminist advance in the development of participatory research, the questions of voice and power, and the role of universities in knowledge creation. Hall explains that participatory research is a research paradigm that brings the lived experiences of people from the margins to the center of knowledge creation, and is based on the epistem that knowledge is constructed socially or collectively. Participatory research argues that an individual’s position in structures of subordination is critical to the ability to see the whole. Therefore, it shifts the power of knowledge creation by popularizing research techniques and information, and concerns the voices from the margins to speak, to analyze and to take action throughout the research. This article is one of the key early writings in the formation of community-based participatory research. Hall emphasizes that university accredited researchers are not required to animate a participatory research process, for the center of the knowledge generation process is situated in and with the communities for social change that they want to create. Hall also states that academics do not cease to become members of the community by going to work in a university. The community-oriented epistemology and engagement process directly aligns with the expressive art-based inquiry tenet that I try to develop as my research method. Its approach also serves to honour the Indigenous presence and knowledge in the research design.

Hall, B. and Tandon, R. (2017). Decolonization of knowledge, epistemicide, participatory research and higher education. Research for All, 1(1), 6–19. DOI 10.18546/RFA.01.1.02.

In this article the co-holders of UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education Hall and Tandon problematize “knowledge”, explaining that community-based participatory research is about knowledge as an action strategy for change.
They posit that western knowledge has been engaged in “epistemicide”, a term coined by Boaventura de Sousa Santos referring to dispossession of other knowledge systems. Hall and Tandon illustrate how the creation of university knowledge systems created by European male scientists exclude other epistemologies and ways of representing knowledge that have long existed “outside the walls”. Providing examples of global knowledge stories, they argue that the application of knowledge from the Western canon is insufficient for justice, cultural, spiritual, environmental and health reasons. The authors address the need for higher education institutions to engage in knowledge democracy by acknowledging multiple forms of knowledge system (e.g. land-based, social movement, subaltern etc) and representation (e.g. story, music, drama, poetry, ceremony, meditation etc), and ro ensure open access for the sharing of knowledge for everyone. They conclude by challenging academic educators to move intellectual work beyond reflection and criticism to creation of new courses and form of research in support of knowledge democracy. Hall and Tandon’s idea of “knowledge democracy” through community-based participatory research is important reference to develop the connection between expressive arts therapy and art-based research as a methodology grounded in community-based participatory research, as well as further articulate why and how my project intend to decolonize and democratize knowledge creation by honouring Indigenous ways of knowing and art as primary mode of inquiry in community-engaged project.

Irwin, R. L & de Cosson, A. (Eds.) (2004). a/r/tography: Rendering Self Through Arts-based Living Inquiry. Vancouver, BC: Pacific Educational Press.

This collection of articles explores how “a/r/tography” can be used in educational research. Co-editor Irwin explains “metissage” as a metaphor for the dialectical relationship between the “a/r/t”, i.e. the artist-researcher-teacher, and argues that the borderland of these roles and identities allow for the “third space” wherein the artist-researcher-teacher live their practice of inquiry as they integrate the Aristotelian theoria(knowing)/praxis (doing)/poiesis (art making) through aesthetic experience and writing. The authors, as inhabitants of these borderlands themselves, demonstrate the use of “a/r/tography” as theory and as “metissage” to re-create, re-search and re-learn their personal and professional roles as integrated identities in visual art and text. The themes of inquiry are organized in three sections: fragment and meaning of self, self processing, and personal/collective history and self. The book consists of eleven chapters; each chapter is a living inquiry of an artist/teacher/researcher showing how the intersection and power dynamics between these roles inform their research topic, bring insight to their pedagogy and restore the sense of who they are. This book is important because “a/r/tography” is the major category of arts-based research practices within education research emerged in the early 2000s, and it has been referenced in arts-based research in qualitative methods. Beside, this book is relevant to my project, because it explains the irreducible relation between art-making and writing in the inquiry process for an “a/r/t”, and it provides a reflexive framework for me to look at my role as art therapist/researcher/facilitator.

Knowles, J. . G. & Cole, A. L. (Eds.) (2007). Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples, and Issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

This publication is the first comprehensive collection dedicated to articulate and argue for the arts as a mode of inquiry in social science research. Knowles and Cole divide the 54 chapters into six sections. The opening articles in “Knowing” explore the relationship between art and knowledge by analyzing how cultural worldviews shape paradigmatic perspectives and how Western worldview historically and epistemologically dominate the production of knowledge and scholarship while subjugating alternative perspectives. The chapter authors in “Methodologies” define their own theoretical framework, intellectual tradition, procedural focus and defining features in their research methodologies in employing the arts as a means to knowledge advancement. “Genres” and “Inquiry Processes” consist of many chapters illustrating how specific arts genres advance knowledge in ways that are different from conventional social science research methodologies and reflecting on how the creative/artistic process and the inquiry/research process come together in scholarships. The contributors in “Issues and Challenges” address the tensions and institutional challenges associated with working across academic and nonacademic cultures and communities, which includes the issue of ethics, scholarship legitimacy, access to research funding, publishing possibilities and challenges with respect to the dissemination of their work. The last section “Arts in Research across Disciplines” provides examples and potential role of the arts in research in anthropology, psychology, social work, business studies and sport education. The co-editors begin the book by inviting Indigenous ways of knowing into the dialogue. Although not the majority, some chapter authors are Indigenous researchers such as Thomas King and Jo-ann Archibald. This book is a classic for researchers developing their own arts-based methodologies and to understand the early development of arts in qualitative research.
Leavy, P. (2009). Method Meets Art: Art-based Research Practice. New York, USA; London, UK: The Guilford Press.

Leavy defines art-based research practice as “a set of methodologies tools used by qualitative researchers across the disciplines during all phases of social research including data collection, analysis, interpretation and representation”. In chapter 1, the author reviews the historical context in which art-based methods have emerged, its impact on qualitative research and the intrinsic parallel between the two, and how art-based practices renegotiate the traditional standard of validity, authenticity and reliability in evaluation. The following six chapters give an in-depth introduction to each of the genres: narrative inquiry, poetry, music/sound, performance, dance/embodied inquiry and visual art. Each chapter has a literature review on the use of each genre in social research, supported by empirical research articles and suggested reading or resources. Leavy argues that the methodological innovation of art-based practices in social research is not simply adding new methods but reflecting a qualitative paradigm shift to knowledge-building, because the interdisciplinary research standards are not adequate to evaluate the transdisciplinary knowledge constructed with arts-based practices. Leavy also argues that research conducted via art-based methods reaches a broader audience beyond academia, accesses silenced perspectives, evokes emotions in reflection and retains a transformational capacity in both a personal awareness and a social consciousness level. The six genres reviewed in this book cover the intermodalities of imagination in expressive arts therapy. Although not interchangeable, the methodological strength and the evaluation criteria standard of each genre described in specific research cases provide valuable reference as I develop an expressive-art based therapeutic inquiry method in my project.

Leavy, P. (2017). Handbook of Arts-Based Research. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

This book edited by Leavy is a collection of 38 comprehensive chapters that describe and analyze how arts-based research is originated, evolved and practiced across a variety of disciplines, including creative arts therapies, sociology, education, health science and more. Capturing the new developments in the field since the Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples, and Issues (Knowles & Cole, 2007) was published, Leavy brings together the perspectives of leading arts-based researchers within the contemporary literary, performative, visual, audiovisual and mixed media genres in 9 sections. The contributors portray multifaceted epistemologies and ontologies in arts-based research which distinguish it from qualitative research, explore arts-based research in relations to emerging philosophical theories, and explain how arts-based research is carried out in reflexivity, theory-building, analysis and other research stages. The multiple methodologies described in this collection cover a wide range of arts-based data including ethnotheatre, autoethnographic excerpts, comic books, collages and musical compositions. While this book provides a cohesive and informative account of arts-based research as an innovative research paradigm asserting the intrinsic value of art in knowledge production, the perspectives and emerging work covered are from researchers primarily based in the global North. It is significant in my project to engage this research paradigm with Indigenous research paradigms and voices from the global South. Beside, although only one chapter focuses on creative arts therapy and arts-based research, some contributors are art therapists by background including one of the founders of expressive arts therapy. This book is important for expressive arts therapy researchers who are interested in therapeutic inquiry and in developing theory and practice in expressive arts-based research.

aesthetic response: unsettling – found poetry

[This is my aesthetic response to class’ reading materials. I chose 10 sentences from each article that I felt drawn to, and wrote down on a flip chart paper. I then circled the words that speak to one another. I created this poem by reorganizing the words. Materials include: Madeline Thien “Port Hardy, Vancouver Island, BC”, from My Canada New York Times  ; Leanne Simpson “My Radical Resurgent Present” from As We Have Always Done, Stuart Ross, “The Plastic Container” from Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew, Alicia Elliott “The Same Space” from A Mind Spread Out on the Ground]

 

we’re here, in diaspora on our own land
century old legacy of resistance
persistance and profound love
the place where we live
and work together

what the “we” are we talking about?
this is not a history
I learned in school

hunting and fishing
ricing and sugaring
our presence is our weapon
this is our strategic brilliance

choose your own adventure
I should camp, alone,
3 days in the woods
I learned how to fake intimacy

place your hand over this neighborhood’s heart
the landscape we know as hom
would be almost unrecognizable by our ancestors
concrete building cover our teaching rocks
your home will change without you
you will change without your home
don’t forget like this city forgot

unbuckle your uncomfortable past
pack it tight in a box
shove it in the back of your closet
in an ice-cream container
a catfish didn’t have to make as many decision

eagles descend over corridors of evergreens
time passes and spaces change
whether you’re here to witness, or not
don’t make the same mistake
this city keeps making

 

By Gracelynn Lau (Sept 19, 2019)

 

Original artwork and poem by Gracelynn Lau, Sep 29, 2019. Kingston, ON

 

aesthetic response: raw beginnings

Raw beginnings. Wild eyeball of the Earth
spirit in a multi-layer portal to something good
that may come. Find my roots in the shitty
storm even when my hands are shaking.
I’ve lived my anger that I don’t deserve,
even when I don’t have a big vocabulary
and people are hating me.
Regardless of deep fear
of abandonment I answer every call;
I throw myself straight at life
and jump into dance with it.
I’m scared that I’m 15 now,
and I’ll be the elder
when my parents’ are gone.
So meeting life in silent ways
at times in all kinds of different places.
Thank you is the first thing
that hits my morning, then I wonder
how to say goodbye.
“The incredible world that I’ve
in my head and how to release it
without being torn to pieces.
But a 1000 times rather be torn
to pieces than bury it, or retain it in me,”
said F. Kafka. I got up at 6 in the morning,
beauty and surrender. I am grateful
for the quietness,
I am landing.

[This is my aesthetic response to a way of council circle on Feb 14, 2019 in Shawnigan Lake. I painted and jotted down lines or words shared by people while I participated in the circle. I then created this poem by arranging all the words I had jotted down. There were about 11 of us in the circle. The youngest was15, the older was in mid-60.]

by Gracelynn Lau (Feb 14, 2019)

Original work by Gracelynn Lau, Feb 14, 2019

Let us travel back in time and fast forward

I wake up. It’s already tomorrow
in Hong Kong. I open the bathroom door- my mother
was in labor, giving birth to me in the hospital
that had been listed as national heritage 5 years ago.
I run to the street to catch a streetcar, west-bound
to High Park. It is 8:30am. Toronto downtown.
The door closed- my father was giving me a lecture
on punctuality. I returned to him postmodernist
theory, to which I was introduced in the first
year of university. We wrestled until midnight.
By the time I get off the streetcar, I am still able to
arrive to the office 9 minutes early. I pour myself a cup of coffee.
I open the fridge to look for cream- an old boyfriend handed me
a cappuccino, by the fireplace in a pub, a band
was singing in Viking tones. I casted off the last row
of my first toque. As he admired the small holes in the wool,
I put on the toque, I then arrived in the midsummer
in front of the archway, a small Buddhist temple
on a green mountain, smoking a mini cigarillo
with an ex lover, who had not decided to become
a monk yet, no, not until next year. We sat on the staircase,
staring at the rain. Countless cars drove past us
It’s already midnight, in the Australian Central Time.
My coffee is cold, and all my colleagues had gone home.
I wait for the streetcar. East- bound to Yonge. It takes forever
to arrive, always. It takes me forever to fall asleep
again, and when I open my eyes again, I will be
giving birth to my own child.

By Gracelynn Lau (2017)