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Abstract

In her article "On Reading Grace's Potiki" Eva Rask Knudsen takes as her point of departure the critical impasse of postcolonial analyses of Indigenous literatures and the claim made by some (Indigenous) commentators that non-Indigenous scholars and critics often re-colonize the texts they deem to be "postcolonial" because — in their theoretical concern with issues of marginalization and resistance — they overlook (and so overwrite) the specific indigenous knowledges and ontologies that the literatures draw on. Through an analysis of the 1986 novel Potiki by Māori writer Patricia Grace, Rsak Knudsen looks in other directions than those catalogued by postcolonial convention. With attention to Māori storytelling procedures and Māori notions of textuality, Rask Knudsen postulates that the non-Indigenous scholar/critic may venture legitimately and purposefully into indigenous territory if the cultural signposts of that territory are acknowledged. As Potiki is structured as a narrative told within the context of a Māori meeting house (whare nui), a ceremonial site that encourages dialogue and public debate, the novel offers, by extension, a venue also for the scholar's/critic's encounter with indigenous "difference."

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