Caroline Hodes


This paper outlines an approach to critical discourse analysis (CDA) that can be used to examine multiple forms of textual data as part of decolonial practice in any national context that is struggling to acknowledge both its colonial past and its ongoing colonial present. The author provides an explanation of what CDA is followed by a discussion of the methods used in a larger multi-level analysis focused on the impact of the defense witness testimony in a Canadian Pacific salmon fisheries case. The larger project has recently been published in the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice. This paper will show how elements of this approach have been used to identify and analyze the strategies of argumentation and justification that are foundational to gendered colonial discourses on race discrimination and property in R. v. Kapp. Contrary to the artificial dichotomy between theory and practice, CDA is not distinct from social and political action. It can instead play a role in identifying the obstacles to, and creating the conditions for, meaningful dialogue and sustainable collaboration.

Author Biography

Since joining the University of Lethbridge in 2015, Caroline Hodes has published work on intersectionality and colonial discourse in the Canadian courts and presented papers at a number of national and international conferences. Her work can be read in the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, Canadian Women Studies, Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice and in Feminist (Im)Mobilities in Fortressing North America: Rights Citizenships and Identities in Transnational Perspective. Her current projects are entitled “Rights, Bodies, Locke and the Law: Challenges to Reconciliation in Canada”, funded through the University of Lethbridge Research Fund (ULRF) and “Gender, Race and Reconciliation in the Canadian Courts,” funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Explore program.