Interviews | June 8, 2021
Read more about `Money and Colonialism in Canada: An Interview with Brian Gettler`
Money is far from a commonplace and benign object. It carries political significance and power even beyond the symbols emblazoned upon notes and coins. Yet money and currencies seldom emerge as a focal point in histories of colonialism and empire; normally they are an accessory to express value, a tool of exchange, or a medium of early encounters. In Colonialism’s Currency: Money, State, and First Nations in Canada, 1820–1950, Brian Gettler sets out to correct this narrative. He shows how money, in its materiality and from the practices surrounding it, can be conceived of as a political force that reshapes space, mediates the colonial project, extends sovereignty, and modulates behaviours. It is for him, more precisely, a technology that allows us to trace the emergence of the colonial state in what becomes Canada, as well as its complex and changing relationships with Indigenous peoples.