Graduate Programme in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, York University
Research keywords: Motherhood; pandemic; Indigenous-immigrant relationalities
My doctoral project is a result of my life experiences as a rainbow mother, a mother, a qualitative researcher and a first-generation immigrant on this land. I explore mothering in a pandemic through Indigenous-immigrant relationalities. I adopt the theoretical concept of grounded normativity and place-based solidarity, advocated by Indigenous academicians like Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Glen Coulthard, recognizing how human and other life forms can have reciprocal and non-exploitative relationships. My research adds a new dimension with motherhood and pandemic, alongside ongoing conversations amongst various settler scholars in highlighting entangled oppressions faced by various immigrant and/refugee and other marginalized communities with linkages to centuries of genocides faced by Indigenous native populations across the land. I aim to understand privileges, complicities and precarious subjectivities that contextualize mothering around COVID-19 for two “Indian” mothers in the colonial fabric of Canada by situating: (1) upper caste, first generation immigrant East Indian mothers like me who are model minorities; in the context of incommensurability with (2) Indigenous mothers of this land whose “Indian” identity is contentious. My research explores a new dimension of accountability for mothers who are privileged Indian immigrant settlers like me. This accountability is in recognizing issues of social justice, human rights, equality, equity and inclusion that other Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities have routinely struggled for generations. This research is a commitment to the call for solidarity made by Indigenous scholars to centre Indigenous knowledges, representations and culture in discussing the experiences of racialized immigrant settlers.