Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities

Introduction to Colonized Memories: Reimagining History, Education and Land


This introduction was prepared by the authors of articles in the journal Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities, volume 4 (2015) published under the subheading Colonized Memories: Reimagining History, Education and Land. For more information, please visit the Tapestries journal home page.

Artist Erica Lee created the featured image.


"Know Your Roots"
Erica Lee 2014

We unearth the ways normative ideas of history, education, and land have colonized memories. We hope to unravel in our projects alternative conceptions and imaginings of these memories:

In “Haunted History: the Epistemology of Undergraduate American History,” Charlie Birge examines the way that American history is taught at the undergraduate level, particularly in the context of how colleges and universities resist and collude with systems of oppression. He argues that the American history survey course is aligned with the academy’s collusion with power, and theorizes alternative methods of representing and teaching that disrupts this.

In “‘Ours to Displace, Ours to Protect’: The borderlands of American Indian histories, Whiteness, and the wilderness ideal,” Tori Lewis examines the ways in which histories of border creation around “wilderness spaces” (and the subsequent erasure of these histories) were and continue to be steeped in the ethnocide of indigenous peoples and the creation of a dominant American identity based in Whiteness and a settler-colonial state.

In “Behind the Mask of Human Rights: ‘Comfort Women,’ Heteronormativity, & Empires,” Elisa Lee analyzes the public discourses surrounding “comfort women,” particularly official statements put forth by governing bodies like the United Nations and the United States. Elisa argues that current understandings of “comfort women” as sex slaves through a human rights framework erases the function of heteronormativity in the expansion and maintenance of empires.

In “Reimagining Learning: Resisting Assimilation and Racist Education,” Erica Lee uses the text Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America, to explore the ways Asian/Asian American immigrants resist assimilation and find ways to learn and teach that are not mediated by the racist, white supremacist state through formal education.

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