Métissage and Transculturality

Principal Investigators: Ursula Lehmkuhl, Lisa Schaub, Christoph Laugs

Projektförderung: IRTG Diversity (DFG)
Laufzeit: seit 2013

As a contribution to the International Research Training Group "Diversity: Mediating Difference in Transcultural Spaces", which analyzes politics, practices and narratives of diversity with a special focus on transcultural socio- and geo-spaces, Ursula Lehmkuhl in cooperation with two doctoral researchers from the IRTG Diversity - Christoph Laugs and Lisa Schaub - has investigated the negotiation and mediation of difference in the Red River region of present day Manitoba, the historic homeland of the Red River Métis. We analyzed the interaction processes between the Indigenous population, Métis and Euro-Canadian settlers in the Red River region on a micro-historical level. We focused on the quotidian practices of diversity, thus taking power relations and violence as constitutive elements of processes of placemaking into account. We argue that these practices are intricately interwoven with narratives of diversity. We therefore tried to identify and deconstruct the multiple, often conflicting historiographical narratives of the appropriation of space, of processes of placemaking and of memories of belonging. Our research provides offer new research perspectives that help to reconceptualize how “Empire, Nation and Region” practiced colonialism in the 19th and 20th century.

Our empirical research contributions focused on three core periods of Canadian Métis history: first their nation-building efforts during the early 19th century, from the 1820s to 1870s; second we look at how the interwoven processes of territorialization and racialization in the last third of the 19th century led to their exclusion from both the Euro-Canadian and the indigenous social and cultural context; and thirdly we analyze the period of the renaissance of the Métis from the 1970s onward with a special emphasis on changing narratives of placemaking and belonging in the Red River region and their impact on the recognition of the Red River region as a historic Métis homeland.

Forschungskontext: Diversität, Siedlerkolonialismus, Resilienz, Canadian Studies, Métis Studies


Klooss, Wolfgang (2016): "From Seven Oaks to Batoche: Métis Resistance in History and Narrative", in: TransCanadiana: Polish Journal of Canadian Studies 8, Special Issue: Canadian Sites of Resistance: Solidarity – Struggle – Change, 25-51.

Laugs, Christoph (2016): “An Ongoing Ethnogenesis? Examining the Evolution of the Métis”, in: Left History 19:2, 93‐104.

Laugs, Christoph (2020): Materielle Kultur und Erinnerung. Sash, Mokassins und Beadwork als Mittel der
Konstruktion und Artikulation von Metisness, Trier (Dissertationsmanuskript)

Lehmkuhl, Ursula (2016): "Paradoxes of Resistance and Resilience: The Pitfalls of Métis Renaissance since the 1970s", in: Transcanadiana: Polish Journal of Canadian Studies 8, Special Issue: Canadian Sites of Resistance: Solidarity – Struggle – Change, 52-72.

Lehmkuhl, Ursula (2021): "Processes of De- and Re-Territorialization and Practices of Placemaking and Belonging: The Red River Métis", in: Levke Harders, Falko Schnicke (eds.), Practising Borders: Belonging to Empires, Nations, and Regions in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Schaub, Lisa (2020): Métis Communities in the Red River Settlement: Territory, Identity, and Racialization, 1821-1926, Trier (Dissertationsmanuskript)

In Preparation:

Special Issue "Settler Colonial Studies": Métis and Settler Colonialism in Canada: Past and Present Histories, Experiences and Identities, ed. by Ursula Lehmkuhl and Lisa Schaub