DescriptionThis dissertation draws out a point of resonance between Frantz Fanon’s and Luce Irigaray’ philosophies: Fanon and Irigaray demonstrate how the philosophy of difference– be it racial and/or sexual difference – and the philosophy of power relations – be it the analysis of patriarchy and/or colonialism – not only bring attention to racialized and gendered others, they also bring attention to land and the earth. In both authors’ works, abstract, homogenous empty space comes to the foreground, filled with the matter that
constitutes it: earth, air, and land. The dissertation draws on Fanon’s and Irigaray’s treatment of space to reconsider central concepts that circulate in poststructuralist feminist thought: power, discourse, interiority, subjectivity, and sexuality. I read these
concepts within the context of Canadian settler colonialism to foreground the politics of space. Most centrally, I argue that alongside the forms of power Michel Foucault analyzed at length exists another form of power, geopower, the force relations that transform the earth. I describe geopower through an analysis of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Ultimately, “Earthly Encounters” contributes to feminist, antiracist thought by bringing attention not simply to sexual or racial difference but also to the material differences that make up our world: animal, plant, and mineral.