From: Bryan Hogeveen <hogeveen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 12:00:16 -0600
To fellow list members:
Having been a member of the list for a little more than a couple of months,
I wanted to submit a brief introduction of myself (Bryan Hogeveen - e-mail:
hogeveen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx), and offer a topic of discussion which has been
relatively absent. As well as, to seek out individuals who may be interested
in opening up dialogue surrounding the 'governmentality' literature (this is
not a post: "to have someone write my thesis for me").
I am a graduate student of sociology at the University of Manitoba in
Canada. In my thesis, which I discuss briefly below, I am striving toward an
excavation of the shift in mentalities of government which occurred with the
'event' of the transference (ownership) of land from the Hudson's Bay
Company (a privately owned company with ties to England, who, since 1821
were granted the sole 'right' to govern the area of Rupert's Land which now
comprises the Western portion of Canada) to the Canadian 'state', using the
governmentality literature(s) as a conceptual framework.
In Canada, the traditional manner of thinking and theorizing about the
regulation of Aboriginal peoples divides the political arena into agent and
subjected peoples, where the object of power is repressed from above for the
rationalities of progress, expansion and assimilation. The 'effect' of the
transformative project is conceptualized as a teleological process of
repressing, destroying, coercing, and denying the liberty of the individual
who is subjected and consensual to the power of the omnipotent 'state'.
However, Foucault's (and others who have followed and extended this concept)
notion of governmentality provides a coherence to my project through its
alternative ways of thinking about the programmes and mentalities of
government, as well as, the resistance of the subjected people to the
projects which seek to shape their behaviour. I see the notion of
governmentality as a multi-dimensional heuristic device in the analysis of
the programmes, technologies, techniques and strategies of government.
As I alluded to above, in 1870 the Hudson's Bay Company transferred the land
which they governed to the newly formed Canadian 'state'. What I am
interested in is not how the 'state' sought to enwrap the aboriginal people
of this area into their overarching arms, nor the why(?) of the
relationship, nor the who(?), but how power, exercised in the local context,
strived to constitute these people in the light of, and consistent with, the
mentalities of rule. Some questions I am seeking to answer are: What are the
programmes of government which sought to shape the soul of the Aboriginal
people? What technologies were implemented with reference to this mentality?
What was the reaction to Aboriginal resistance?
I would be very interested in opening up dialogue, sending references, etc.
with anyone who has an interest in this substantive area, as well as the
conceptual aspect of my work. I look forward to any suggestions or comments
anyone may have! Anyone who may want to discuss the finer points of
governmentality can send comments directly to my e-mail address.
Winnipeg, Manitoba (the coldest place on earth)
University of Manitoba