Reading Experience as Communitist Practice: Indigenous Literatures and Community Service-Learning
Our paper analyzes a community service-learning class on Indigenous literatures from the perspectives of graduate student and instructor. Enacting Jace Weaver’s theory of communitism (a portmanteau of “community” and “activism”), the class asks students to read Indigenous texts through the lens of their experiences at communitybased organizations in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and to consider how these readings shape their interactions with and responsibilities to Indigenous communities. First, the instructor discusses the complexities of community service-learning as an engaged approach to literary study in a settler colonial context. Informed by Tomson Highway’s novel Kiss of the Fur Queen, the second author then analyzes their1 contributions to the social justice club at Oskāyak High School, highlighting Oskāyak’s unique academic culture, where music and Indigenous language learning are incorporated into the fabric of everyday life. Ultimately, we argue that a communitist approach to Indigenous literary scholarship creates or furthers relationships with/in and responsibility to Indigenous communities, while encouraging an integrative approach to literary study through critical embodiment.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter separate, additional contractual agreements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted to post their work online (e.g., in an institutional repository or on their website) after the publication of their work in the Engaged Scholar Journal.
- Please note that while every opportunity will be taken to ensure author participation in the editing process, due to time constraints final copyediting changes may be made before publication to ensure APA adherence throughout all submissions.