Canada is situated geographically, historically, and culturally between old empires (Great Britain and France) and a more recent one (the United States), as well as on the terrain of First Nations communities. Poised between historical and metaphorical empires and operating within the conditions of incomplete modernity and economic and cultural dependency, Canada has generated a body of cultural criticism and theory, which offers unique insights into the dynamics of both center and periphery. The reader brings together for the first time in one volume recent writing in Canadian cultural studies and work by significant Canadian cultural analysts of the postwar era.
Including essays by anglophone, francophone, and First Nations writers, the reader is divided into three parts, the first of which features essays by scholars who helped set the agenda for cultural and social analysis in Canada and remain important to contemporary intellectual formations: Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, and Anthony Wilden in communications theory; Northrop Frye in literary studies; George Grant and Harold Innis in a left-nationalist tradition of critical political economy; Fernand Dumont and Paul-Émile Borduas in Quebecois national and political culture; and Harold Cardinal in native studies.
The volume’s second section showcases work in which contemporary authors address Canada’s problematic and incomplete nationalism; race, difference, and multiculturalism; and modernity and contemporary culture. The final section includes excerpts from federal policy documents that are especially important to Canadians’ conceptions of their social, political, and cultural circumstances. The reader opens with a foreword by Fredric Jameson and concludes with an afterword in which the Quebecois scholar Yves Laberge explores the differences between English-Canadian cultural studies and the prevailing forms of cultural analysis in francophone Canada.
Contributors. Ian Angus, Himani Bannerji, Jody Berland, Paul-Émile Borduas, Harold Cardinal, Maurice Charland, Stephen Crocker, Ioan Davies, Fernand Dumont, Kristina Fagan, Gail Faurschou, Len Findlay, Northrop Frye, George Grant, Rick Gruneau, Harold Innis, Fredric Jameson, Yves Laberge, Jocelyn Létourneau, Eva Mackey, Lee Maracle, Marshall McLuhan, Katharyne Mitchell, Sourayan Mookerjea, Kevin Pask, Rob Shields, Will Straw, Imre Szeman, Serra Tinic, David Whitson, Tony Wilden