University of Manitoba - Faculty of Arts - Native Studies - Dr. Renate Eigenbrod
Dr. Renate Eigenbrod

Department Head and Associate Professor

Office:   204 Isbister Bldg
Phone:  (204) 474-7026
Fax:      (204) 474-7657

Maybe I shouldn't have smiled ... But I was on holidays in a small town close to Algonquin Park.


While I and my family were enjoying the beautiful environment of this region, I was also looking for stories and histories of the Aboriginal people of the area - after all, the park is named after one of their nations, the Algonqins.

However, I did not find anything - except a stereotypical display of pre-contact life in the Visitor's Centre (which is very spacious and tells a lot of other stories) and this life-size figure (together with another one of "an Indian" in a canoe) in front of a craft store for tourists.

So in the midst of total ABSENCE of the real people and their real stories about how they still have to fight for land they had never signed away (like the Algonqin Park) I found the PRESENCE of images that relegates Aboriginal people to the past, to the imaginary and the exotic, that commercializes their culture and dehumanizes the people.

Algonqin means "allies," and the Algonqins were allies of the British in 1812, but instead of being rewarded for their efforts they had and still have to fight for their rights.

It is hi/stories like these that need to be told in Canadian educational institutions. This is why I teach in Native Studies.

Academic Background

Ph.D. in English (University of Greifswald, Germany) 2000
M.A. in Comparative Literature (University of Alberta) 1981
Staatsexamen in German Literature and History (University of Goettingen, Germany) 1970

Teaching Interests and Courses

NATV 1200 - The Native Poples of Canada
NATV 2410 - Canadian Native Literature
NATV 2430 - Indigenous Women's Stories
NATV 3110 - Indigenous Environmental Discourse
NATV 3130 - International Indigenous Literatures
NATV 3150 - Residential School Literatures
NATV 4330 - Indigenous Aesthetics
NATV 7320 - Trauma Theories in Indigenous Literatures in Australia and Canada

Research Interests

Renate Eigenbrod's research interests revolve around theories of decolonization in relation to Aboriginal literatures in Canada and Indigenous literatures globally. After investigating the ethics of positionality, she is presently working on the role of Aboriginal literatures within the larger societal discourses of genocide on the one hand and of reconciliation and redress on the other. She is also interested in lesser known, community-based literary activities and in the literature created by a new generation of Aboriginal writers.


DePasquale, Paul, Renate Eigenbrod and Emma LaRocque, eds. Across Cultures/Across Borders: Canadian Aboriginal and Native American Literatures. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2010.

Hulan, Renée and Renate Eigenbrod, eds.  Aboriginal Oral Traditions:  Theory, Practice, Ethics.  Halifax and Winnipeg:  Fernwood Publishing with the Gorsebrook Research Institute, Spring 2008.

R. Eigenbrod.  Travelling Knowledges:  Positioning the Im/Migrant Reader of Aboriginal Literatures in Canada.  Winnipeg:  University of Manitoba Press, 2005.

Sinclair, Niigon and R. Eigenbrod, eds. Special Literature Issue of The Canadian Journal  of Native Studies 29.1&1, October 2009.

R. Eigenbrod.  "Diasporic Longings:  (Re) Figurations of Home and Homelessness In Richard Wagamese's Work".  Invited contribution to Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora and Indigeneity in Canada, ed. MelinaBaum Singer, Christine Kim, and Sophie McCall Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012. pp.135-152.

R. Eigenbrod. “’Harvesting A Common Future’: Richard Wagamese’s  Indigenized Stories of Intercultural Relations.” Heidelberg, Germany: University Press Winter (part of the series “Anglistische Forschungen” – English Literature Studies), 2010.

R. Eigenbrod. “The Legacy of the Wrong Story: Aboriginal Writers Challenge the Canadian “sorry” Discourse.” Global Realignments and the Canadian Nation in the Third Millenium, Ed.Karin Ikas. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2009. 107-28.

R. Eigenbrod. “A Necessary Inclusion: Native Literature in Native Studies. SAIL (Studies in American Indian Literature) 22.1 (Spring 2010):1-19.

R. Eigenbrod.  "Transplanting Indigenous Literature: A Trajectory of Understanding." Zeitschrift fuer Kanada-Studien 30.1 (2010): 86-100.

R. Eigenbrod. Entry on “Aboriginal Literatures 2001-2007” in The Concise Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. 2nd. ed., 2010. 11-14.

R. Eigenbrod. Essay entry on “Aboriginal Writers” The Encyclopedia of Manitoba. Winnipeg, Great Plains Publication, 2007. 3-4.

R. Eigenbrod.  “Who Wants These Stories? Reflections on Ethical Implications of the Re-publication of a Missionary Work.” Journal of Academic Ethics 4 (2006): 221-243.

R. Eigenbrod. “Evangeline, Hiawatha and a Jewish Cemetery: Hi/stories of Interconnected and Multiple Displacements.” World Literature Written in English 40:1 (2003): 101-114.

R. Eigenbrod. “‘The look of recognition’: Transcultural Circulation of Trauma in Indigenous Texts.”  Canadian Literature.

R. Eigenbrod. “Between ‘colonizer-perpetrator’and‘colonizer-ally’: towards a pedagogy of redress.” The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literatures, ed. Daniel Heath Justice and James H. Cox.

R. Eigenbrod. Rev. of “That’s RavenTalk”: Holophrastic readings of Contemporary Indigenous Literatures, by Mareike Neuhaus. Zeitschrift Fuer Kanada-Studien (Journal for Canada Studies).

R. Eigenbrod. Rev. of First Person Plural: Aboriginal Storytelling and the Ethics of Collaborative Authorship by Sophie McCall. Canadian Literature.

Academic and Community Service

Since Fall 2009 R. Eigenbrod has been a member of the English Studies in Canada (ESC) Editorial Advisory Board.

R. Eigenbrod has organized several sessions on Aboriginal literatures for national conferences and was the co-organizer for two conferences:

  • Together with Renee Hulan from St. Mary's University and Robert Leavitt, Director of the Mi'kmaq-Maliseet Institute at University of New Brunswick, she organized a conference on "Aboriginal Oral Traditions: Theory, Practice and Ethics," Halifax, April 21-23, 2005.
  • Together with Dr. Emma LaRocque she organized an international conference on Aboriginal Literatures:  "For the Love of Words:  Aboriginal Writers of Canada," Winnipeg, September 30-October 2, 2004.

R. Eigenbrod gave workhops for the Winnipeg School Division on the integration of Aboriginal literatures into the high school curriculum.

July 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009:  Acting Head of the Department of Natve Studies.

January 1, 2009 - July 1, 2009:  Acting Director of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture.

Since July 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008:  Graduate Program Chair in the Department of Native Studies.

Academic and Other Professional Achievements

University of Manitoba Outreach Award in 2007

Chair of Canadian Studies Committee for the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, 2006

Research Associate for the Institute for the Humanities, University of Manitoba, January - July 2005

Arts Celebrating Arts Awards for Outstanding Achievement (2004, 2009)

Invited speaker at two conferences in India:

  • Kolkata, Jadavpur University, "Orality Today," December 8-10, 2004
  • Delhi, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, "Harmony:  Conlict Resolution and Reconciliation," Decamber 17-19, 2004

Special Award from the Curriculum Foundation to develop "A Teacher's Resource Guide to Canadian Aboriginal Literatures" (in collaboration with Georgina Kakegamic and Josias Fiddler from Sandy Lake, Ontario). Website for curriculum foundation: