Deconstructing the Discursive Construction of Environmental Colonialism in Native America: A Study of Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony and Almanac of the Dead

  •  Quratulain Mughal    
  •  Wajid Hussain    


This paper deconstructs the Europeans’ environmental colonialism in Native America and, in that, elucidates that the rhetorical tactics and fundamental motivations, which are employed to ‘other’ people, are essentially the same as those used to ‘other’ environment and nature with all of its ecological subjects. A qualitative content analysis, the study investigates this notion in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony and Almanac of the Dead in the light of the joint critique of biocolonization and critical discourse analysis. Linguistically, it applies Fairclough’s approach of critical discourse analysis focusing on three scenarios of discourse: an acceptance of difference, an accentuation of difference, and an attempt to resolve difference. Through this critique of power, hegemony and identity, the research highlights the Natives’ objectification and representation by the white colonizer and the subsequent resistance by the Natives. The analysis reveals how the process of environmental colonialism, specifically biopiracy and biocolonization, is naturalized by the colonizer through discourse structure. Additionally, it deconstructs this discourse structure to attempt to resolve the difference exploited by the colonizer to exercise their colonial practice over the natives and their environment. Hence, the study discursively adds to the existing solutions to combat the environmental colonialism.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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