Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


First Advisor

Julia Frengs

Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Modern Languages and Literatures, Under the Supervision of Professor Julia Frengs. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Hailey N. Dorner


The rise of the electric vehicle industry will be accompanied with increased mining of two former French colonies, New Caledonia and Québec, both of which have historically been a great source of nickel despite Indigenous objection to nickel extraction. This thesis juxtaposes the novels of An Antane Kapesh, of Québec, and Claudine Jacques, of New Caledonia, to understand the Indigenous perspective of historical and future events of natural resource extraction and to see how these communities are impacted. Together they reveal that mining is a gendered act of violence that much like sexual assault, continues to have negative consequences long after the initial event. Not only do toxic chemicals from mining impact the vitality of Indigenous people, but additional substances are simultaneously introduced to further weaken them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This ultimately leads to cultural genocide, which serves to sever the bond between Indigenous people and their ancestral land, hence allowing increased access to these spaces for colonial goals. This thesis demonstrates that the narratives of Jacques and Kapesh demand a revaluation of the intentions of self-proclaiming “green” and “Indigenous friendly” corporations, such as Tesla, as the great nickel rush of the twenty-first century commences.

Advisor: Julia Frengs