Wednesday April 19th
Session A: Environment
Shared visions, shared prairies: contemporary attempts to conserve wilderness in the grasslands of Saskatchewan
Human modifications of prairie ecosystems over the past century-and-a-half have produced the ‘most humanly-modified’ natural region in Canada. The paper explores recent measures to restore wilderness through the combined efforts of environmentalists, NGOs, land-users, government specialists and land-use planners. Success depends crucially on adaptability, cooperation, compromise and vision.
Ken Atkinson (University of Leeds)
Foe, friend and fragility: evolving settler interactions with the inland wilderness of Newfoundland from early settlement to the present
To the first European settlers the Newfoundland interior seemed a foe; nature dominated fragile people: daunting, trackless, yet with care capable of supplying some necessities of life in that harsh location. To contemporary Newfoundlanders the interior seems a friend; nature, now dominated, allows adventure from hiking to hunting, the tracklessness overcome by snowmobiles, atvs and helicopters. Ironically this has turned the tables: the erstwhile terrifying wilderness is now the fragile party; we pose the question - can a lasting balance be developed, turning foes into friends, protecting the fragilities of people and nature?
David N. Collins (University of Leeds)
Session A2: Literature I
The Cultural Baggage:
A Reading of Stephen Gill’s Immigrant
All post colonial literatures attempt to efface history and work on the assumption that history is irrelevant. The history-specific term ‘diaspora’ which refers to the settlement of the Jews outside Bethlehem has been now used in these writings as a blanket term to refer to any displacement, thus dehistoricizing the Jews’ suffering and the Nazi intolerance. Today, there is nothing sacrosanct about ‘diaspora’, since it has come to allude to any movement from a village to a city, from one linguistic area to another, and from one country/continent to the nearby.
This historically connotative word is culture-specific as well. It implies the cultural travel, a journey through several varying cultures. The Indo-Caribbean writer in Canada, the poet Ramabai Espinet observes, “it is vital to remember that we are travelers moving with a lot of cultural baggage. We have not properly assessed this baggage”. Ramabai and Madeline Coopsamy talk of migration, multiple identities, the after-effect of racial mixing, cultural hybridism and the need for developing a new, synthesized identity. At present, they do not subsume under a homogeneous Indian/Caribbean, or South Asian identity. The poet Espinet explains, “We are people who emerged out of the South Asian diaspora and are forming a new diaspora here”. Construction of a multiple identity becomes an ongoing process and a strategy for survival among these immigrants.
Dislocation, settlement, culture and home are recurrent themes in the writings of these immigrant writers. Dr. Uma Parameswaran writes, “Home is where the feet are, and we better place our heart where the feet are”. On the other hand the Indo-Anglian writer Raja Rao once said, “I carry India with me wherever I go”. When James Joyce, forever living away from his native land, wrote only about his ‘dear, dirty Dublin’ Katherine Mansfield declared, ‘wherever I live I write with New Zealand in my bones’. The Poland born Conrad, having left his country at the time of its freedom struggle, wrote voluminously on anything other than his country’s slavery and independence; however he suffered a sense of guilt life-long. The Palestinian Edward Said, born in Jerusalem but self -exiled to the US, emphasizes the Schizophrenic inclination of the migrants due to cultural dislocation and cross-fertilization.
Stephen Gill went to Canada from India. He continues to write about the land of his birth, particularly about its fanatic atmosphere which he deliberates in his anthology, Shrine where he says, “The suffocation caused by the thick smoke of fear and distrust shaped my decision to leave India”. Gill describes a particular kind of fear in his novel, Immigrant. The novel addresses the hopes and the fears of a newcomer from India settling in Canada. The story gives an insight into the views the immigrants hold of the White people and vice versa.
The present paper purports to analyse the struggle of Gill’s central character Reghu Nath, an Indian immigrant in Canada.
D.Parameswari (Kamaraj University)
Postcolonial Migrations; or, the Cryptic Spaces of M. G. Vassanji’s Fiction
The interstices of postcolonialisms and cities occupy a gothic space — if we take “gothic” to mean the mapping out of, and the process of demystification, of relations and ruptures that a hegemony of the normative would rather keep unexamined. In the opening pages of M. G. Vassanji’s No New Land, the narrator opens up just such a space, in a rhetorical preformance that perceptively exposes the insidious collusion between postcolonial haunting and the Canadian city of Toronto. Addressing the reader, but really addressing the complex relations within an imagined “multicultural” landscape, the narrator views the city from the heights of an apartment building and states:
The Don Valley Parkway winds its way hurriedly to the city, which from this vantage point is represented by the needle-jab to the sky of the CN Tower. On the side facing the valley the drive itself is lined by apartment buildings identified only by their numbers — the famed “Sixty-five,” “Sixty-seven, and “Seventy-one” of Rosecliffe Park — whose renown, because of their inhabitants’ connections, reaches well beyond the suburban community, fuelling dreams of emigration in friends and relatives abroad. These buildings... now look faded and grey, turning away sullenly from the picturesque scenery behind them to the drab reality in front. Barely maintained, they exist in a state just this side of dissolution. (1-2)
As a witness to this gloomy scene, the narrator is speaking, of course, about the unhomely site of the settler — of emigrating to a new land that is in fact no new land at all. These apartment towers that are so famous among the distant friends and relatives, homes that become the raison d’être of emigration, are in reality dismal edifices in advanced stages of decomposition. Rather than teeming with energy and life, the imminent “dissolution” of these buildings conjures the images of disintegration, debauched living and dissipation that gestures toward the dissolving of its inhabitants into a state of abjection.
Reading a haunting passage like this is, I would argue, like listening to a multiplicity of voices. We do not only hear the voice of the narrator over a background of traffic on the Don Valley Parkway. But we are also listening to the talk that moves from one country to another, from the inhabitants of “Sixty-nine” Rosecliffe Park to those who live in distant lands. Accompanying these transnational voices, we also hear the echoes of the past — voices that encouraged the current settlers to come — calling out to be joined in the imaginary space of a new land. In this process, within this palimsest, we are faced with a voice that refuses to speak in a simple binary voice, the forked tongue adumbrated by so much contemporary Canadian writing about immigration. What we do have are voices “fuelling dreams of emigration” that modulate into the “faded and grey” version of a vibrant picture that once stood in its place. This haunting voice, then, includes a series of echoes and doubles, for it is a replacement for another voice, a voice that has been lost, that was perhaps written in a different language, a text in which materialized — not spectral — experiences from another place could somehow have been written down. But this existing voice, the ghostly voice which worries about further loss through dissolution, is a shadow of a past that will always return to make the new land old.
Justin D. Edwards (Visiting Research Fellow Churchill College)
The Canadian Mosaic- a multicultural paradise?
George F. Walker’s Heaven
Canadians take pride in the idea of their society as a multicultural mosaic, consisting of different social communities who co-exist peacefully, regardless of differences in ethnic origin or religious belief. In this context, migration seems to be a source of cultural enrichment. The concept of a mosaic encourages diversity and mutual tolerance while at the same time uniting the different groups under a common Canadian national identity. In his recent play Heaven, Torontonian playwright George F. Walker critically challenges this concept by depicting its failure in Torontonian society.
Several different cultural groups are represented in the play: the white Anglo-Saxon Christian majority, the liberal Jewish community, the black Torontonians and the newly arrived immigrants from the Commonwealth, all of them centred around the protagonist Jimmy who works as a human rights lawyer for the immigration authorities. At first sight, this diversity of cultures seems to represent Canadian multiculturalism in a nutshell. The interaction between the different groups, however, turns out to be a bitter disappointment as long-held grudges and prejudices eventually get the better of the characters. Liberalism and tolerance fail utterly: Jimmy’s job leaves him depressed and disillusioned, his exogamous marriage with a Jewish woman fails, and to his shock, he discovers that deep down he himself holds racist attitudes. Most importantly, the play makes the concept of multiculturalism appear as a purely intellectual attitude that often cannot be upheld when confronted with reality.
In Heaven, Walker deconstructs to a great extent the ideal of Torontonian society as a multicultural mosaic. Even though he offers a half-hearted reconciliation by uniting the different cultural groups in one single heaven, this afterlife is depicted in a bitter and ironic way as being meaningless and shallow, as a postmodernist game rather than eternal bliss. Still, Walker leaves room for a glimpse of hope or for what he calls “possibility.”
Sabine Schlüter (Christian Albrecht’s University)
Session A3: History I
Canada or Canaan: Emigration from Canada to Palestine before 1948
Canada is most often perceived as a country that attracts immigrants. However, throughout Canadian history there has been an outward flow of people from Canada. The net migration to Canada has not always been positive. During certain years more people left Canada than arrived. The out-migration has been a result of various factors. First and foremost were economic reasons. Economic depression in 1930’s Canada coupled with opportunities in the United States and other countries led to an exodus from Canada. The return of immigrants to Canada to their countries of origin also stands out as a major factor. Immigrants found difficulties in their assimilation/acculturation and/or were dissatisfied with life in Canada and consequently returned to their homelands. Another incentive for emigration has been retirement in warmer climates.
The emigration from Canada to Palestine prior to 1948 reflected to some extent the general trends detailed above but had the added components of religious and/or ideological motivation. Jews, Christians, and Bahá’ís from Canada chose to live out their lives in the Holy Land/Land of Israel. Canadian Jews motivated by Zionist ideology settled in Palestine and strived to build a homeland for Jews. Although limited in number – no more than 1,000 – the emigration of Canadians to Palestine is discussed within the larger framework of emigration from Canada while emphasizing its distinctiveness.
Joseph B. Glass (International Council for Canadian Studies)
Documenting the Bad: Appraisal and Acquisition of Immigration Case Files at Library and Archives Canada
Telling stories about the immigrant experience is critical to understanding the social, cultural and political development of any society, Canada’s in particular. But how that story is told, and whose story is told, is not always a straightforward matter.
This paper explores how the immigrant story is documented at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Charged with the massive responsibility of acquiring and preserving the documentary heritage of Canada, LAC only has the means to acquire a small percentage of all the immigration records created by the Government of Canada. So what gets chosen? And what gets left out?
When it comes immigration, the most comprehensive records in LAC’s collection tend to document the dark side of the migrant experience, such as criminal elements or official discrimination. For example, LAC has extensive case file records about individuals who were deported from the country or for ethnic groups, such as the Chinese, who were the victims of systemic discrimination. In contrast, records about common immigrants are few and far between. This results in a “documentation of the bad”.
This paper explores the reasons for, and the consequences of, this seemingly lopsided portrait. It seeks to understand the place of the ordinary person’s story in the larger context of Canada’s immigration history and highlights the roles that communities and individuals must play in the preservation and sharing of their own stories. Only in this way will the public’s collective conscience reflect a broad, comprehensive understanding of the immigrant experience.
Laura Madokoro (Library and Archives Canada)
Session A4: Community and Culture II
Foreign Affairs: English Canadians Encounter Inter-Country Adoption from WWII to the 1990s
With the notable exception of the First Nations, Canadians commonly recognize cultural and genetic connections to other places in the world. They have been both donors and recipients of migrant children. A sense of ties, real or imagined, with diverse geographies and cultures has shaped much Intercountry Adoption (ICA). As with much else in the transfer of youngsters, ICA has rarely been straightforward. Issues of class, religion, region, race, ethnicity, age, gender, and ability have regularly made youngsters more or less agreeable to prospective parents. The rescue theme that touches all adoption stories is especially pervasive in international encounters. Promises of salvation never, however, obscure the clear presence of more self-serving motives. This paper first considers the persistent temptation of Canadians to see themselves as heroes of the story, as the rescuers of youngsters not properly cared for by less responsible or less lucky adults and communities. Whatever they may have thought, Canadians pursued adoption strategies in the context of global exchanges that were inextricably tied to relations of power among empires, states, and peoples. The second part examines a half-a-century’s shifts in practices and attitudes from the 1940s to the 1990s, as the demand for girls and boys, especially healthy infants, outpaced the domestic supply. These years also introduced unprecedented provincial, national, and international efforts to regulate the traffic in young lives as Canadians widened their search for offspring to include countries such as Vietnam, Romania, Russia, and China that varied in much but shared the predicament of widespread child poverty and adult desperation. The story that unfolds testifies to the value placed on different groups of youngsters and the adult relations of power that precipitated exchanges.
Veronica Strong-Boag (University of British Columbia)
Female Citizenship Across Borders: Canadian Involvement in Transnational Feminist Networks, 1920-1939
For this upcoming Canadian Studies in Britain conference, I would like to propose a paper which will examine the creation and re-creation of transnational links between Canadian and other first wave feminists during the l920s and l930s.I am interested in exploring the migration of Canadian feminists and feminist ideas from country to city (and city to country ) and across national borders where a range of issues related to female citizenship and social transformation were debated and reworked. More specifically, this paper will examine the involvement of Canadian feminists in three prominent international organizations: the International Council of Women (ICW), the British Commonwealth League (BCL), and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). This paper represents part of a larger project to examine first wave feminism in Canada in light of new questions which have been raised about the history of feminism and gender, race, class and nationhood. Although first wave feminism received much scholarly attention as the field of women’s and gender history burgeoned in this country in the l970s and l980s, relatively little research has been done on this topic in the last fifteen years. Recent research by historical sociologist Mariana Valverde on temperance, and the literary theorist, Janice Fiamengo, on Nellie McClung have addressed important issues related to imperialism and racism within first wave feminism, yet the historiography in this country remains considerably under-developed. I am particularly interested in exploring the points of convergence and conflict as Canadian feminists negotiated the politics of commonwealth and empire through a forum such as the BCL, and considered seemingly broader “international” concerns through organizations such as the ICW and WILPF.
Nancy Forestell, St. Francis Xavier University
Session B1: Environment II
Beyond survival: wilderness and Canadian national identity into the 21st century
The paper draws out general ideas about the relationship between wilderness and national identity, past and present, and how integrated these two spatial constructions have been. New ways of thinking about wilderness and national identity are suggested by drawing upon a range of contemporary cultural products in literature, film and art.
Emily Gilbert (University of Toronto)
Aboriginal people, the land and environmentalism: issues of conflict, tradition and development
The relationship between Aboriginal people in Canada and the land is not encompassed by the concept of wilderness. This paper explores issues of conflict, tradition and development mainly with reference to Aboriginal people in British Columbia. It focuses on themes of ownership, traditional ecological knowledge and environmentalism to explore dimensions of conflict and development with reference to the land.
Roy Todd (University of Leeds)
Session B2: History II
Correspondence: How a Scottish Farming-Family in Lower Canada Made the Atlantic Ordinary c.1750-1850
The paper I propose to present at the 31st Annual Conference of the British Association for Canadian Studies, “Migrations,” draws from my dissertation, which reconstructs a Scottish family network, one branch of which emigrated to Montreal, Lower Canada in 1803. The Brodie family’s modest status places them in the category of immigrant Charlotte Erickson typed “invisible.” However, a microhistorical analysis of their transatlantic letters in conjunction with Canadian and Scottish primary sources reveals a density and persistence in the family’s transatlantic links counter to Erickson’s conjecture that such agricultural immigrants withdrew from family obligations in Britain.
The exchanged letters formed the basis of a transatlantic intellectual and kinship-based economic network. The correspondence reiterated common values, including the theories of social sympathy and correspondence recommended by Scottish moral philosophy. The letters, however, provide more clues to the tangible and material links sustained: of multiple Atlantic crossings by individuals and of return migration. These human agents then served as vectors for the network, transporting farming equipment, animals and plants, as well as news and information. The frequency of this contact meant that even ordinary people could make the Atlantic world familiar. The significance of this is two fold. First, it demonstrates that the persistence of a Scottish identity among the emigrants was just as much an expression of their continuing integration into Scottish society, as it was of ethnic solidarity in the colony. Second, that the influence of the Scottish enlightenment in Canada arrived not just through elite institutions, but in the practical efforts of ordinary Scots, whose experience-based knowledge then entered the public order. In effect, the Brodies created cultural bridges between Scotland and the Canadas usually associated with elite networks and so point to the importance of knowledge generated in the imperial margins by ordinary people.
Sarah Katherine Gibson (McGill University)
Nature and Natural Theology: Father Chrestien Le Clercq’s Metaphysical Migrations
During their early years in New France, Jesuit missionaries were confronted by a natural world that was both unknown and frightening. However, they assumed that, through careful scientific-empirical observation that they could both understand this “New World” and assert the superiority of the Christian god. This paper pays particular attention to the attempts by LeJeune and others to disprove empirically the powers, and knowledge, of Algonkian shamans. The Jesuit missionary also emphasised the domesticating powers of Christiantiy; he utilised agricultural metaphors to describe European, Christian ideals, while emphasising the place of wild, untamed, dark forests. Christianity, and, moreover, the Word of the gospel was presented as a seed bringing light and cultivation. Ultimately, while the Jesuits’ sense of certainty offered them confidence and propelled them forward in their missionary work, it also limited the acquisition of natural-historical knowledge from New France’s aboriginal population.
The descriptions of the Récollet Le Clercq were quite different. The basic assumptions about the differences between his subjects [i.e. the aboriginal population] and himself were not dissimilar to those of LeJeune, but the Récollet demonstrated a much greater acknowledgement of what was unknown and of what his subjects could teach him. For Le Clercq, New World nature was not especially frightening, but neither did he assume he could grasp its ways with any great certainty. It was a place of some mystery, and some familiarity. It was a place in which he assumed he knew some things, and not others; and it was a place where he assumed he could teach “Indians”, and where he could also learn from them. Le Clercq had opinions, and prejudices, but at no point did he offer his audience authoritative comments on this New World. His two books are, as are all the Relations, complex texts where he combines the need to amuse and entertain his patrons with the need to impress them with his successes, and yet these are combined, too, with a frank acknowledgement of limits. Le Clercq’s “nature” is not as hostile as that of the Jesuits. He is thus able to offer instruction for all: for his subject, for his patrons, and for himself. He was as much a pilgrim as a proselytizer. Small wonder, then, that one Jesuit commentator, Séraphin Marion, dismissed the Récollet’s two books as filled with nothing more than “mediocre details about the life and ordinary customs among the tribe”.
Daniel Samson (Brock University)
The Publication of Emigrant Letters in Early Nineteenth Century England
My paper is based upon the simple premise that seemingly private letters from emigrants to North America were, in reality, often intended for public consumption. Once they had appeared in print, they were open to both praise and criticism from both the supporters and opponents of large scale emigration as a solution to the ‘problem of the poor.’ It is a study of the reaction by influential individuals (including politicians) and the press to the published collections of letters from emigrants and the frequently heated debate that they engendered. Most importantly, it asks were the suspicions of the doubters well founded? I have previously shown that two well known collections of emigrant letters were not all that they purported to be but this paper is not a re-run of that work. Instead it is an attempt to examine the phenomenon of ‘letters home’ in their social and political context and to seek an explanation of how some of them came to be published as pamphlets or in newspapersniversi.
Terry McDonald (University of Southampton)
The Migration of Scottish Patriarchy to Upper Canada in the 1820s
It has been suggested that in the early nineteenth century the labouring population of the west of Scotland was particularly keen to embrace the patriarchal ideal of domesticity - a view that saw women restricted to the private home with the task of child rearing while the husband earned the family income in the public world (Clark, 1997). The proposed paper will seek to demonstrate that the migration of Lowland artisans to the Ottawa Valley in the 1820s allowed the Scottish version of this domestic ideal to be put into practice. It will illustrate how the immigrants’ patriarchal attitudes were not only evident in the discussions surrounding the position of women in the settler community, but also in the responses to the presence of native peoples in the region. In particular, the paper will argue that the perceived lack of “domesticity” of the indigenous peoples was a key trope for legitimating settler occupation of former First Nation territory while at the same time the desire to attain the domestic ideal in the settler family was used to reinforce patriarchal authority in the pioneering community. In doing so, this paper will seek to link the work on gender relations in early Upper Canadian society (Morgan, 1996; Marks, 1999) with the processes of settler migration.
Michael Vance (St Mary’s University)
Session B3: Literature II
Eye and I: Family, Photography, and Ondaatje’s Running in the Family
Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family is a book about family, geography, and dislocation from both. While the book has already been the subject of much academic study, this paper focuses on the photographs that play an integral but often overlooked part in the production and affirmation of family ties and the production of a sense of place that feels (sort of) like home. Marianne Hirsch’s work on the underlying social structures of photography posits family pictures as a location of ideological enforcement and representation which can be deconstructed as a site of resistance. In doing so she distinguished between the gaze as imposing and objectifying and the look as mutually involved. In Ondaatje’s ‘family memoir’, verbal and visual images of family, history, family history, and location constitute a kind of visual connective tissue that binds together not only the fragmentary prose of the book, but the family members and the reader / viewer by producing what Hirsch calls an affiliative viewing position. This draws the reader into the viewing position of a surrogate family member, enabling him or her to approach the photographs as part of the family with which the book is concerned. This paper therefore concentrates on a visual reading of the book. The viewing position it creates is nuanced and complex, and like the written text, demands a self-critical awareness of the means through which that rhetorical action is effected, and how it effects (and affects) the viewer. It finishes by arguing for a new reading of the books closing image that binds the reader to a much closer family position than can be achieved through an analysis of the written elements alone: the last image, I argue, can be read as looking through the eyes of the principal character, Ondaatje’s father Mervyn.
Jeffrey Orr (University of Leeds)
The Culture of Celebrity, Diaspora, and Pedagogy
The Case of Roy Kiyooka
One of the positive side effects of Canadian multiculturalism cited often concerns what I have called in a recent essay “the culture of celebrity,” namely, the commercial and critical success of a large number of Canadian diasporic authors. It may indeed be a sign of multiculturalism’s professed achievement, but the culture of celebrity has the uncanny ability to placate our long-held anxieties about the machinations of national pedagogy. As Ashok Mathur wrote recently, diasporic artists have to “walk” a “slippery ground . . . between commodification and cultural pertinence.”
Situated in (and critiquing) the context of these developments, my paper will address the logic of cultural capital in Canada in relation to diasporic subjectivity and pedagogy by focusing on two of Roy Kiyooka’s posthumous publications, Mothertalk and Pacific Rim Letters. The critical reception of Kiyooka’s work, together with his own response to the commodification of ethnic and racial differences, exemplifies how the culture of celebrity operates. Driven by, among other things, the Canadian nation-state’s strategies of containment and by global capitalism, the culture of celebrity exudes, to use a Benjaminian trope, an aura that has the same colour as that surrounding the master narrative of the Canadian state’s bildung. The impact of this auratic effect at a time that I believe is resolutely post-auratic is precisely what these texts by Kiyooka, read through each other, invite us to examine. The former (the story of his mother as a sansei and an “enemy alien” in Canada in the 1940s) enjoyed immediate critical and pedagogical success, but it has been read mostly autoethnographically by critics who ignore his other work (be it that of his paintings and photographs or that of his poetry and letters). While my paper will attempt to analyze what informs the research imagination of Canadian critics addressing ethnicity and race, it will also examine what we may call the quiet radicalism characterizing Kiyooka’s writing and life as shown in his letters. In his own words, “a humble heir of” the “endless processional of words” that make up the cultural, social, and political history of our “covert ideological times,” Pacific Rim Letters offers a commentary on pedagogy, capitalism, and “art biz” through which he practices a new model of diasporic citizenship as a private individual, cultural practitioner, and teacher.
Smaro Kamboureli (University of Guelph)
Nomadic Movements Through Narrative Space in Dionne Brand’s At the Full and Change of the Moon
For many writers of the Caribbean–Canadian diaspora – as for other transcultural artists – migration is a lived experience which also translates into and transforms aesthetic modes. This paper argues that Dionne Brand’s At the Full and Change of the Moon (1999) is a novel shaped by geographical as well as historical forces; by movements between spaces as much as by temporal dynamics. As such, my work responds to Susan Stanford Freidman’s recent call for ‘a revisioning of space in narrative poetics’, in which she contends that by continuing to centre around time, narrative theory ignores important concepts of space that postmodern geographers and postcolonial theorists have brought into the foreground of contemporary critical thinking.
In Brand’s novel, generations of a family scattered across the diaspora are drawn together by a narrative logic which at once traces and moves against the centrifugal forces of their many migrations. Some of Bola’s myriad descendents encounter one another far from home – in Toronto, Florida, Amsterdam; others’ stories connect via a mere glimpse through a doorway or a long-lost map. But the borders between spaces and between stories are crossed and re-crossed in ways which are perhaps more fluid and multidirectional than migration implies; Brand’s writing gestures rather towards what I will call, after Rosi Braidotti, a ‘nomadic’ narrative poetics. Rather than a journey towards narrative unity, then, Full and Change plots the logic of the diaspora itself: bodies (and stories) at once scattered by a tormented history and fractured geography, and intimately connected by the memories, bloodlines and places where they meet.
Informed by postcolonialism’s extensive vocabulary of space, location and belonging, as well as its many movements and border-crossings in-between (of migrants, nomads, journey(wo)men), my (paper thus finds in a ‘spatial poetics’ both a fruitful means of mapping the (nomadic) dynamics of Brand’s writing, and an important potential point of departure for what might be called a ‘postcolonial narratology’.
Emma Elizabeth Smith (University of Leeds)
Migrations - A Search for Home in the Works of Canadian Immigrant Writers
Many Canadian writers express in their literary texts, their poems, stories, novels and essays, their own immigrant experience or their experience as children of immigrants in a country which Neil Bissoondath called “A Land Worth Loving”. Canada’s economic and cultural richness is based upon its history as an immigrant country, as a point of arrival in the migration process of people “wistfully seeking a better life” (Madeline Coopsammy), and it is politically acknowledged as having one of the most open asylum laws.
Migration is a voluntary or unvoluntary venture undertaken as refugees and asylum seekers, in search of better work or education, to be united with the family, sometimes in order to become a guest worker for a few years, or with more permanence. The migration process also has a point of departure, and many migrants are emotionally torn between the past (sometimes romanticized as childhood memory) and present, the family at home and the future in a new country. In their works, the authors depict the themes of social tension and racism, of displacement and alienation, the fragmented sense of identity between the longing for a place in the new society and the wish to retain the traditional cultures and languages. Lakshmi Gill’s advice to prospective immigrants: “Canada the cold? Not a myth, I assure you. Don’t come naked.”
Gundula Wilke (Christian-Albrechts-University, Germany)
Session B4: Political Science I
‘Tough jobs’ and ‘good jobs’: employment contradictions
among immigrant hotel workers in Toronto
This paper discusses research on the hotel industry in Toronto, a global city that acts as the gateway into Canada for many immigrants. The research is based upon a case study of a major downtown hotel with a multiethnic, largely unionized workforce. Research on the hotel industry in Britain and the United States suggests that the industry is replete with low-wage, low-skilled jobs characterized by high turnover and insecurity. Moreover new immigrants predominantly undertake such jobs. Using qualitative interview data with hotel staff and managers in Toronto, the paper highlights a series of contradictions in the employment circumstances of those migrants who originated from a variety of less developed countries, notably the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Many migrants worked in the lowest paid and physically demanding jobs such as room and laundry attendants, i.e. ‘tough jobs’ that white Canadians are characteristically loath to do. Since most immigrants came from educated professional backgrounds ‘back home’, they regarded these manual jobs as in many ways socially demeaning. Nevertheless, despite the demands and limited rewards characteristic of such ‘tough jobs’, the migrants also considered them as being paradoxically ‘good jobs’. Working in the unionized hotel industry was seen as preferable to the options available to them in the Toronto labour market, for example working in restaurants and factories. The migrants found their way barred to better-paid professional employment because they were said to lack ‘Canadian experience’. The paper concludes by emphasizing the significance of the institutional context in relation to migrant experiences within Canadian labour markets.
Paul Watt (Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College)
For much of the postwar period the retail development system - and retail outcomes - in Ontario bore a passing resemblance to those in Britain. Town planning was often influenced by professionals who had immigrated from Britain (Hallsworth 1987) . The hegemonic retailer - EATONS - had, in E.L. Hankinson, a planning director who favoured developments in central locations.
After a time lag post-NAFTA, however, there began a US-led retail invasion spearheaded by WalMart and its close rivals. Within a decade the retail landscape of the Greater Toronto area now far more closely resembled the USA - and EATONS was in bankruptcy.. There had been a general migration of retail outlets to remoter, freestanding locations - and established Centres (not excluding Yonge St) were suffering.
This paper reports on a collaborative research project, co-funded by the Foundation for Canadian Studies, that seeks to explain an apparent divergence between Ontario and Southern England. The latter has faced similar growth pressures yet the retail migration is less evident. Why might this be so? A wide range of sources is consulted to seek explanations for an apparently-escalating divergence in spatial outcomes.
A. Hallsworth, A. Alexander (University of Surrey), T. Hernandez (Ryerson University)
‘We Won’t Take No for an Answer’: 1960s-era Canadian Radicalism and Transnational Ideologies
This study attempts to make linkages between the 1960s ‘youth culture’ and the rise of wildcat strikes which led to a re-evaluation of labour-management issues during one of the most turbulent periods in postwar Canadian history. Reforms in Canadian immigration policies provided for a marked increase in the numbers of new Canadians, and this in turn, had a significant influence on indigenous protest movements. In addition, the influx of American draft resisters fleeing military conscription in the Vietnam War made connections to radical youth organizations in Canada. Out of this volatile mix emerged groups who challenged the existing social order in Canada. The study will analyze the notable wave of unauthorized ‘wildcat’ strikes informally led by a cadre of young, protesters – who due to their critical stance towards employers, government, and union officials, were disparagingly referred to as ‘hotheads.’
Journalists, legislators, and labour bureaucrats voiced their mutual concern that the Canadian postwar settlement, crafted in the immediate years following World War Two as a foundation for workplace stability, was now in a state of near collapse. Critics implied Canada’s workforce ‘productivity’ was at risk as was the nation’s overall economic security. As much of the strife, centred in urban areas, allegations were offered that ‘youth culture’ and radical social movements influenced labour’s hotheads. Other theories for the unrest focused on implied generational differences of a new labour force born into excessive postwar affluence and sharing little knowledge or commitment to the struggles of their union predecessors. Immigration, once viewed as a panacea for Canada’s postwar development, now came under attack as one of the root causes of social unrest.
Peter S. McInnis (St. Francis Xavier University)
Movement Migration and the New Left in Canada
During the late 1950s a peace movement developed in Canada focused on the the issue of nuclear disarmament. It was especially strong among students, spread out over university campuses across the country. Named the Combined Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CUCND) this movement of concerned students was stronger than the adult group, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), working on the issue of nuclear disarmament for some six years. Then in 1964 the movement began to redefine itself mostly by broadening its approach. Grassroots community organizing became the focus, and the CUCND transformed itself into the Student Union for Peace Action (SUPA). The question that presents itself is: Why this change from a single issue “ban-the-bomb” movement to a multiple issue grassroots community organizing movement?
Following the major theme of this conference, the migration of people and ideas moves us some way in explaining the shift from CUCND to SUPA. The CUCND was modeled loosely on the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. There was exchange of people and ideas. However during the mid-1960s Canadian students began to have more contact with, and be influenced by organizations such as the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). These latter groups focused on community organizing and these ideas migrated to Canada. This paper explores the interplay between the Canadian movement and the British and America movements, demonstrating what was similar and what was innovative.
Jeffrey J. Cormier ( King’s University College, University of Western Ontario)
PLENARY I: Professor Itesh Sachdev (School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London)
To be or not to be an ‘Indian’: some identity and language data from Canada and Bolivia
There is little doubt that European contact and colonization of the Americas has had an immense impact on the cultural and linguistic identities of indigenous peoples. Data presented here explore how identity and language are related amongst indigenous groups in Canada (where such groups are in a minority) and in Bolivia (where such groups constitute the majority of the population). In Canada, data were gathered amongst the Fisher River Cree in Manitoba and the Haida in British Columbia. In Bolivia, the study was conducted amongst the Aymara from Tiwanaku. Data were collected from adults and adolescents using a survey methodology. Measures obtained included self-categorizations as well as self-reported proficiencies, use and attitudes concerning own-group languages and the dominant language (English or Spanish). Analyses revealed support for clear associations between self-categorization and language that have important implications for the future of First Nations languages and cultures.
Session C1: Environment III: Northern development and the Migration of Ideas
The Rewards of Decolonization: Assimilation and Transformation of “Southern Ideas” in Northern Canada
In a pattern strikingly different from that in most of the rest of the world, rural Indigenous people from northern Canada are not flooding into industrial metropoles in search of a better life. Instead, Indigenous peoples mainly remain in their northern territories, receiving a steady wave of southerners who migrate to northern Canada, increasingly, for life. Although the history of northern Canada is one of administrative colonialism and dispossession, this process began to be reversed nearly two generations ago, with the successful political mobilization of Indigenous peoples. There has followed a long process of peaceful decolonization, now reaching completion with the negotiation and implementation of modern treaties. These treaties and the attendant political negotiation among northerners have produced a distinctive northern culture, comprised of the heterogeneous traditions of northern Indigenous societies, the cultures brought by migrants (an increasing number these being recent immigrants to Canada), and by the political legacy of the decolonization struggle itself.
In this paper, I will reflect upon what this has meant for northern political ideas and institutions - visible in a number of interesting institutions and in a distinctive tradition of political practice - and upon what the recent history in northern Canada means for our analysis of the end of the imperial period.
Frances Abele( Carleton University)
Models, Mobility, and Governance: Institutions of Public Engagement with Science in the Canadian Arctic
The importance of access to knowledge through the public sphere for informing debate in democratic states has been widely acknowledged since the pioneering work of Jurgen Habermas. In the last twenty-five years, scientific practice in the Canadian North has acquired a series of public obligations to prove itself useful (locally), transparent, and accountable. These obligations are embedded in public policies that are widely shared by advocates of participatory development around the world.
From where did our models of public participation in science emerge, and how did they spread across northern Canada when the Cold War dominated the political geography of the Arctic? In this paper I examine how public participation in the work of the field station at Igloolik (N.W.T., now Nunavut) was negotiated by state planners and nascent Inuit organisations. Seen in a wider context, I discuss the mobility of models of scientific research by focusing on the history of publicly-funded Arctic field stations across North America more generally. I argue that contemporary ideas about development were imported from newly decolonised countries in the Commonwealth into the Canadian North. Field stations were perceived to be capable of implementing models of research intended both to establish a federal presence while also compensating for the damaging effects of global energy markets on Arctic peoples and landscapes.
Dr. Michael T. Bravo (University of Cambridge)
Exporting Canadian Co-Management to Northern Russia
A recent chapter in Canada’s northern international politics has been a series of development projects designed to transfer Canadian northern knowledge and institutions to regional governments and indigenous peoples in the Russian Arctic. In many ways, the motivations behind such endeavors are unsurprising. The promotion of Canadian ways of knowing and managing the Arctic and its peoples reinforces Canadian leadership in the Arctic, responds to concerns about difficult living conditions in many northern Russian communities, and builds political and economic contacts in the resource-rich Russian North. In this presentation, I argue that the process of communicating Canadian experience to an outside audience was also a way of achieving one further objective: reframing Canada’s colonial past and positing an idealized present. I draw upon my participation in one such development project, which was designed to transfer a Canadian model of natural resource management. In this endeavor, the concept of co-management of natural resources was presented as a straightforward technical model and stripped of its historical foundations in political and legal struggle, often acrimonious, between indigenous peoples and the Canadian state. Canadian bureaucrats and indigenous leaders presented co-management as a process rooted in mutual trust and a shared sense of responsibility for the land. In absence of other explanations, these admirable qualities seemed to be simply ‘natural’ for Canadians – an assertion that most Russians came to doubt and countered with their own narratives about the social suffering that they had witnessed while traveling in the Canadian North. To conclude, I reflect upon the importance of history and narrative to achieving meaningful and intelligible cross-cultural communication.
Elana Wilson (Scott Polar Research Institute/King’s College, Cambridge)
Session C2: Literature III
Travelling Ladies: Complexities of Movement in some Canadian Women’s Writers
The historical fact of Canada as an immigration country also shapes its literature, not least as written by women. Some examples:
Getting away from the old country, trying to make a home in Canada, leaving it, and coming back are important elements in Janice Kulyk Keefer’s The Green Library as elsewhere in her work, not least the short stories collected as Travelling Ladies. Her pastiche on Eliot’s Waste Land reveals the migration of ideas, symbols, and motifs.
Movements within, into, and from Canada are also frequent in Marian Engel’s novels and in Gloria Sawai’s stories, we are confronted with a community of widely varying backgrounds, the small Saskatchewan town of Stone Creek – the concrete result of migrations.
Aritha van Herk feels that, through her parents’ migration from Holland to Canada, she was born without a place of origin and it was only by reading about the place where she lived that she began feeling truly at home. Other aspects of the concept are illuminated by travelling as the very structure of several of her novels, particularly so in Places Far from Ellesmere.
Exploring the conference theme in these four writers, a wide variety of dimensions and perspectives on the migration process are revealed.
Britta Olinder (Göteborg University)
‘Home’ and ‘Imagined Community’ in Canadian Immigrant Writing
Historically, Joseph Conrod at the turn of the century, James Joyce a little later, and V.S. Naipaul and Joseph Brodsky in our own times have been in the forefront of immigrant writing. In Canada, Michael Ondaatje from Sri Landa, Rohinton Mistry from India and Cyril Dabydeen from the Carribean have been well-known names.
By and large the sense of home (generally) rests deeply in a sense of imagined community which has less to do with notion and more to do with a sense of loss which becomes the constant horizon of one’s practice of habitation. It becomes free from a simple special concept of location and comes to be rather a way of seeing and away of inhabiting. Joyce’s Irishness had a lot to do with this kind of a sense of place. The same applies to Micheal Ondaatje in whose novel, The English Patient, the protagonist Almosy says to Kirpal Singh on Indian sapper, “We are international bastards”. What such a complex awareness does to one’s use of language and one’s wielding of theory as a post colonial weapon, is interesting.
This paper will look at the work of a number of post colonial expatriates writers, (the exile may be force or voluntary) ranging from Sri Lankan in Canada to Fiji Indians (now) in Australia to arrive at how “home” colours the imagination and affects one’s use of language.
Dr. S.S. Sharma
“Departures, Arrivals”: Canadian/American Migrations in the Fiction of Carol Shields
This paper examines Canadian/American migration experiences as depicted in the fiction of Carol Shields. It begins by referring to Shields’s comments about her own status as a writer with “a foot on either side of the border,” and explores how Shields’s recognition of her dual position as an American-born Canadian is evidenced in her fiction. Establishing the general centrality of “journeys” in her work, the paper examines the most significant “migrations” undertaken by her characters, paying particular attention to The Stone Diaries (1993) and Larry’s Party (1997), in which moves within, into, and out of Canada are frequently presented. The paper proposes that, far from being narrowly associated with domesticity, Shields should in fact be recognised as a writer of travel, one who explored the notion of “home” in wider, global contexts than has been generally recognised, and whose work is particularly preoccupied by the effects that “the twentieth century condition of migrancy” might have upon the self.
The paper also seeks to challenge the critical appraisal of Shields’s fiction offered by Stephen Henighan in When Words Deny the World: The Reshaping of Canadian Writing (2002). In Henighan’s assessment, the “best” Canadian fiction was produced in the 1960s and 1970s, when Canada depended less on Britain and had stepped back from America’s involvement in Vietnam. But, Henighan argues, “no sooner had the Free Trade Agreement gone through than Canadian novelists lost the thread of contemporary Canadian experience.” Describing The Stone Diaries as “the flagship novel of Free Trade Fiction,” Henighan charges Shields with “preaching an untroubled, ahistorical North Americanism in which Canadians placidly assimilate into continental (ie., US) norms.” Henighan sees this novel as part of a wider 1990s movement in which Canadian writers began to purge their work of elements which might be deemed “too Canadian,” and deferred instead to American cultural values. The paper contests this account by demonstrating that Henighan’s analysis involves suppressing Shields’s own background (as a US-born writer), disregarding the hybridised identities of her migrant characters (which are always presented in a state of flux and revision), and ignoring both the ironic critique of nationalist thought, and the challenge to American perceptions of Canada, which is central to her fiction. The paper concludes by asserting that Shields’s work reveals both the problems and the potentials of Canadian/American migrations, and, by so doing, rejects the narrow definitions of “Canadianness” advocated by Henighan.
Alex Ramon (University of Reading)
Latin American Connections in Cyril Dabydeen’s Imaginary Origins
The title of Cyril Dabydeen’s latest collection of poetry Imaginary Origins (2004) inevitably evokes that of Salman Rushdie’s seminal essay on migration, Imaginary Homelands. Whether Dabydeen thought of Rushdie or not, the collection definitely explores immigrant and diasporic experiences. Including poems from ten different collections ranging from 1977 until 1997 as well as a final section of “New Poems,” the collection proves him as a mature and established voice in the panorama of Caribbean-Canadian literature, although he has not received the critical attention he deserves.
In his book Global Diasporas: an Introduction, Robin Cohen tentatively describes diasporas as communities of people living together in one country who “acknowledge that the ´old country´ —a notion often buried deep in language, religion, custom or folklore—always has some claim on their loyalty and emotions”. A member’s adherence to a diasporic community is demonstrated by an acceptance of an inescapable link with their past and a sense of co-ethnicity with others of a similar background. Cyril Dabydeen’s mixed East Indian, Caribbean and Canadian “origins” clearly define him as a writer of the diaspora who is permanently crossing borders and questioning notions of identity. He is unique among Caribbean writers, as he himself states in some lines of “Amazonia”, in “[his] interest / in all of South America,” an interest revealed in poems like “Lenin Park, Havana” and “For Columbus.” This paper will explore the presence of Latin America in Dabydeen’s collection Imaginary Origins in the light of recent developments in postcolonial and diaspora theories.
Pilar Somacarrera (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Session C3: Prairie Migrations and Memories
The Settling and Unsettling of Southwestern Saskatchewan in the Early Twenties)
Worried that western Canada was running out of homestead land in the early twenieth century, the federal government opened the ranching country of southwestern Saskatchewan to settlement in 1908. Thousands of people, mostly from the United States, poured into the region–in the Maple Creek region alone, the local population jumped from 2,800 to just over 18,000 between 1906 and 1911. The “magician’s wand never produced a more striking effect,” boasted a Department of the Interior pamphlet.
But then a prolonged drought took hold of the region in the years leading up to the Great War, prompting Ottawa to appoint a special Ranching and Grazing Commission to investigate whether certain districts should be closed forever to homestead entry and set aside for grazing. Indeed, the need to rethink land policy in the area was driven home during the summer of 1914 when crops failed in some places for the third consecutive year. These bleak returns precipitated a mass exodus from the region. The Maple Creek district lost a quarter of its original homesteaders between 1911 and 1921 and even more during the early 1920s. It has been estimated that as many as two-thirds of the Americans who emigrated to southern Saskatchewan before the war had returned to the United States by the mid-1920s.
The paper will examine the circumstances behind the opening of the range country to settlement, the mass migration to and from the region, and the attitude of provincial officials, who chose to blame settlers for poor farming practices rather than question the suitability of the region for crop production. The story also demonstrates that rural exodus was not peculiar to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Bill Waiser (University of Saskatchewan)
Memories of a Plural Society in Winnipeg 1945-1975
The prairie metropolis during the first half of the twentieth century, Winnipeg was the site of the development of three institutions that have proved important to Canada’s experience of immigration. This paper will consider the local history of the International Centre, the citizenship ceremony, and the annual summer cultural festival, Folklorama. It will argue that the creation of the three institutions contributed to an atmosphere of acceptance among both newcomers and long-settled and that the existence of these institutions has shaped peoples’ memories of their immigration-shaped society. It will suggest that other factors also shaped the multicultural context of Canadian society but that the three institutional focal points have come to symbolize a community’s consciousness of immigration.
Gerald Friesen (University of Manitoba)
Session C4: Community and Culture
Ivan Reitman and International Movements of Cultural Workers
This proposed paper uses the example of the career of Ivan Reitman to examine a series of questions related to the international movements of cultural workers. Slovakian-born, Canadian-raised and educated, Reitman has become one of the most successful producer/directors of comedy films in the contemporary period in Hollywood. Best known, perhaps, as the director of Ghostbusters, Reitman has also written, produced, directed, executive-produced and even shot and composed music for, dozens of feature films, many of which have been wildly successful. Because of his success in many different positions in film production, Reitman’s is a career with few parallels in the history of Hollywood, inviting comparisons to figures such as Howard Hawks.
The history of Hollywood is one that is frequently considered from the standpoint of its émigré workforce. So many important people in Hollywood have come from elsewhere – frequently from Europe, but also from Canada too – that Hollywood “style” is often considered to be an amalgam of various international influences. The case of the film noir cycle of the 1940s is often pointed to as a clear example of foreign (that is, not American) cultural elements contributing directly to the evolution of film style. The numerous German film-makers and technicians who fled the Nazis for Hollywood are usually seen to be a clear explanation for the expressionist turn taken by noir films.
Many other examples of non-American influence on Hollywood thematics and style could easily be pointed to – particularly the preponderance of Canadian comedians in Holywood, from Mack Sennett to Mike Meyers — and this proposed paper seeks to use the example of one career to chart aspects of the ongoing internationalisation of the Hollywood workforce. Ivan Reitman’s career in the film industry began very early. Even while still a student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he was president of the McMaster Film Board (the student film club), Reitman sold his comic student production Orientation to famed American producer-distributor Roger Corman in 1968. Following his graduation from McMaster, Reitman quickly established a successful career in film-making in Canada, acting as either writer, producer or director for a string of purely Canadian feature films, some successful, some not, including: Foxy Lady, Cannibal Girls, Shivers, Rabid, Heavy Metal and Meatballs.
The paper is concerned with charting a career which began by benefitting from various forms of state support in Canada, launching one of international success and prestige, ultimately asking what these kinds of movements mean for both minor national film cultures which generate such cultural workers and for the evolution of Hollywood film practices.
Peter Urquhart (University of Nottingham)
The Spectacle of Ethnicity and the Consolidation of Whiteness in John Murray Gibbon’s Canadian Mosaic
When J.M. Gibbon’s Canadian Mosaic was published in 1938, Canada’s ethnic diversity—thanks to the massive immigrations in the decades before—was well established; however the British-descended Canadian public was still debating what this diversity meant for an emerging national identity. Gibbon’s book won the Governor General’s award, but he was perhaps best known as the publicity director for the Canadian Pacific railway, through which he developed a series of ethnic folk festivals held across the country. Though the festivals enabled Gibbon to earn money for the railroad company, he also hoped that they would promote national unity in Canada by allowing various groups to share cultural history.
In this paper, I argue that in fact Gibbon’s book and the representation of the festivals in it were orchestrated to help allay public fears of foreignness and promote the assimilation of Eastern European immigrants into British-Canadian culture. I theorize that Gibbon’s projects are examples of “spectacles of ethnicity” that displayed signs of difference in service to the hegemonic culture, and that such spectacles accompanied a simultaneous pull toward the consolidation of those ethnic groups (English, Scottish, French, Irish), that were already coded as white into a normative Canadian subject against which visible markers of difference could be more clearly seen. I will examine the illustrations of each ethnic “type” that permeate Canadian Mosaic, to demonstrate how Gibbon uses gender and other signs to mark each type as white, assimilated, or suspicious, I will speak to Gibbon’s festival programme that establishes a seamless narrative of white, British Canadian settlement, and I will discuss his comments about the festivals and the impact he believed they had on the British-Canadian public: I argue that he encouraged the audience to see the immigrant groups through the same familiar colonial gaze with which they viewed aboriginal peoples—as frozen in a non-threatening past, and ready for a future of absorption into a hegemonic Canadian identity.
Antonia Smith (University of Alberta)
Session D1: Environment IV
“Changing Winter into Wine:Vines, Conversion and Migratory Identity in Seventeenth-Century New France”
This year’s BACS conference explores, among other subjects, how “in migrations to Canada…the ‘new’ place does or does not become ‘home’”. This is especially pertinent to early French Canada. Early travelers, in the creation of what they deemed a “New France”, found a world that was anything but that. This paper treats one of the most fascinating ways in which travelers attempted to erase this difference, through wine and vines.
The récits of early New France are known for discussions of a bitterly hostile Canadian environment. Among the numerous examples are Cartier’s disastrous winter of 1535-36 during which he lost one quarter of his men, and Champlain’s 1604 tribulations in Sainte-Croix which seem to have shaken even this most stoic of French explorers. It is striking that in a climate depicted as frigid, early visions of Northeastern America would contain numerous references to the presence of grapevines, a particularly warm-weather plant. Nonetheless, remarks such as Champlain’s memory of “de fort beaux raisins qui estoient à maturité”, or Lescarbot’s declaration that “J’ay voulu toucher le fruit de la vigne, en consideration de ce que la Nouvelle-France en est heureusement pourveue”, are a major element of these descriptions of Canada.
In order to understand the function of these substances, we must remember that wine is primarily a product of conversion. From its most elementary level, that of the extraction of juice from a grape, to the spiritual realm of Christ’s blood, wine’s association with conversion is multifaceted. These connections render wine an effective rhetorical tool for the transformation of the New World, and the migration of French identity. The metamorphosis from grape to refined liquid product reflects seventeenth-century French efforts to convert the New World and its inhabitants. This process first looks to transform the frigid environment into one of warmth, its perceived savage population into civilized beings, and ultimately to fashion a New France out of the New World.
Brian Brazeau (The American University of Paris)
French Ideals of Climate Carried to Canada in the Seventeenth Century
Among the many things that crossed the Atlantic with the French into Canada in the colonial period, were ideas and beliefs about the natural world. One of these was the idea of climate, an important concept when French interests in North America moved beyond sixteenth-century expeditions for codfishing or fur trading to seventeenth-century attempts to establish a permanent, year-round colony.
What happened when French travellers to Canada in the seventeenth century tried to apply their beliefs and ideals about climate to a place where the seasons and the weather did not comply? My paper will use a case study of French views of winter to show what can happen when ideas about the natural world are taken from the environment of one country and are transported to another country and a different natural setting.
I will first explain the theories of climat which the French brought with them to New France, confident that they could use them to predict the weather there as well as the temperament of the indigenous peoples. I will then show how the rude shock of the harsh winters of seventeenth-century Canada made the French reluctantly realize that their assumptions about climate could not migrate to a new environment and remain unquestioned and unaltered. By the end of the seventeenth century, for example, French visitors had accepted that the appearance and conduct of Amerindians did not conform to Classical standards for residents of temperate latitudes. I will also show how some of the more profitable aspects of climate theory persisted. Many French colonial promoters and missionaries continued to insist that expanding colonies in Canada and clearing the forests would not only ‘civilize’ the indigenous peoples there but also have a civilizing effect on the hostile winter climate.
Lynn Berry (University of Toronto)
People or Nature: Export Options in a Resource Economy
New Brunswick has a history of emigration which was reduced by the development strategies of the provincial government in the second half of the 20th century. The paper examines these strategies, the priority given to the public electrical energy sector, and the dependence on resource-based exports to the United States. Beginning with an overview of the history of policy formation during this period, the paper moves on to focus on three decisions which changed the role of the public utility from a provider of infrastructure to a commodity producer. The Mactaquac dam, the Coleson Cove thermal plant, and the Lepreau nuclear reactor added 2200 megawatts, more than quadrupling the electrical generating capacity. All three projects were designed to serve both the provincial and export market and in the process they created significant environmental damage and posed new ecological risks. The paper documents, based on internal corporate correspondence, the extent to which environmental deterioration was perceived as necessary to maintain the competitiveness of exports in electricity and energy-intensive products. The paper concludes with proposals for a research agenda focusing on the relations between resource-based export economies and ecological deterioration.
Andrew Secord (St. Thomas University)
The Migrations of Non-indigenous Species into Canada
Regarded as the second most critical environmental problem in Canada, non-indigenous species are a significant ecological threat to many of the natural resource industries upon which Canada depends. It is not known how many non-indigenous species there are in Canada but some 170 are found in the Great Lakes and over 800 types of invasive plants have been identified elsewhere. The total damage caused by these invaders has yet to be assessed but estimates go as high as $30 billion for just the 16 leading species. In addition, the agricultural and forestry industries suffer millions of dollars worth of damage every year and spend millions more on preventative measures.
In 1951, Canada signed the International Plant Protection Convention to prevent plant species from being inadvertently imported. Twenty-one years later Canada supported the UN resolutions at the Earth Summit on Biodiversity and this resulted in the development the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy (1995) to deal with the threats from non-indigenous species. By 2002, the federal government had not responded effectively to this critical issue, according to the Auditor General, and he called for the development of a national action plan. Since that time, Environment Canada has played the lead role in a coordinating the national response to this major environmental dilemma. In October 2005, the federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for environmental issues, approved the implementation of Action Plans to deal with aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, plus an Invasive Alien Species Strategy to raise national awareness of this problem.
Malcolm Fairweather ( State University of New York)
Session D2: Literature IV
Home, Place, and Migration in Eli Mandel’s Out of Place and Robert Kroetsch’s Seed Catalogue
Canadian prairie poets Robert Kroetsch and Eli Mandel each explore various elements of place and home in their corpus of work. In this paper, I explore the relationship that the migration of ancestors has on the way that the poets configure place and home. In his book-length long poem Out of Place Mandel recounts a return trip to the place of his youth, southern Saskatchewan, and the various associations that are raised by visiting places that have been abandoned by the Eastern European Jewish settlers of the early-and-mid-twentieth-century that formed the community his family belonged to. Saskatchewan, and specifically the areas around the village of Estevan and the city of Regina, becomes in Out of Place a momentary site where a complex community establishes itself only to ultimately leave behind mere traces of its existence. For Mandel, place and home are associated with loss and grief, and the return journey to the physical sites of the past serve to frame and contextualize his mourning; writing the text that comprises Out of Place is his mode of engagement. In Seed Catalogue, Kroetsch attempts to specifically locate the home place, which he finds can only be done in the multiple. Place and home are ultimately only named in relation to the historical context of his family’s migration from Germany to central Alberta. Writing, similar to Mandel, becomes for Kroetsch a way to shape and contextualize the relationship to family, ancestry and place.
Christian Riegel (Campion College at the University of Regina)
Transatlantic Migrations, Transcultural Perspectives: Modris Ekstein and JaniceKulyk Keefer
At the very end of the 20th century two Canadian writers of East European origin – Modris Eksteins(Latvian Canadian) and Janice Kulyk Keefer(Ukrainian Canadian) published two books that presented disturbingly truthful tales of migrations across the borderlands of former Russian empire to the very centre of Europe and on – to the same final destination: Toronto, Canada. Between them, the two authors have managed to present a considerable part of common European historical experience. Eksteins in his “Walking Since Daybreak: a Story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the Heart of Our Century”(1999) and Kulyk Keefer in her “Honey and Ashes: a Story of Family” (1998) unfold the private and public dramas of peasant peoples in times of hitherto unprecedented violent changes that sweep them from land to city, from luck to disaster, across ethnic and class divisions at last to deposit the more fortunate survivors in Canadian suburbia. From the postmodern borderlands of the North American academe the authors travel back to the Old Places in actuality as well as imagination to obtain a new, transcultural perspective on the two worlds of their personal heritage as well as a broader view on the common nomadic condition of countless people today.
Edgars Osins (University of Latvia)
From the Ohrida Lake Restaurant to the Geranium Bakery: Reterritorialising the Balkan Immigrants ‘on this side of language’ in Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion
In the Skin of a Lion has been hailed as Ondaatje’s long awaited novel of political engagement with social realities. Whilst not significantly deviating from this view, I will further explore what constitutes the silence of the Balkan immigrants in the novel and what alternative discourses accompany this silence. To this end, I will use Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of deterritorialisation and the minoritarianisaiton of major discursive practices. Ondaatje’s earlier protagonists, e.g., Billy the Kid and Buddy Bolden, can be seen as the prototypical (and somewhat romantic) deterritorialised figures: suspended between different ontological and epistemological contexts, they do not abide by the rules of pure, uncontaminated ideological structures or discursive constructs. The Balkan immigrants in In the Skin of a Lion, however, seem to be suspended between their socio-economic reterritorialisation in the context of the New World and their creative deterritorialisation of the ruling discursive practices of the host country. Thus, instead of being passive ‘screens’ bombarded by products of ‘the culture industry’ (little scintillating Billies, Buddies, and their likes), the immigrants interrupt (and disrupt) staged performances or deterritorialise set English phrases into different ontological contexts. The vulnerable nature of the major discursive practices is further highlighted by their ‘contamination’ through synaesthetic experiences involving the proximal sense of touch, smell, and taste.
At the same time, however, the liberating potential of deterritorialisation, of languages or of senses, appears to be contained within certain locales: the inevitable reterritorialisation of the migrant takes over. Ethnic restaurants, market streets, or even the semi-built waterworks do provide a stage for the ‘silent others’ to step forward and voice their stance; yet, these alternative micro-political practices, largely driven by the affective, can be easily appropriated (and overcome) by the discourse of majoritarian politics. The clearly demarcated spaces are rendered by Ondaatje as loci of irreducible difference through the inclusion of untranslated Macedonian phrases and cultural references, or the pervasively dark interiors of the Toronto-based replicas of Balkan communal areas. Consequently, the affective is appropriated by majoritarian ideological practices to intensify the appeal of the success stories that fascinated the Balkan immigrants, to elicit from them the correct response in English through the talkies, to indoctrinate them into an organised political movement through Alice’s agitprop plays. Synaesthetic interaction can enable an alternative, politically responsible response to assimilative discursive practices. But affects can very easily be appropriated by majoritarian politics and thus become complicitous with projects of exotisation and obfuscation of actual social relationships.
A community of immigrants that fled a region, nicknamed ‘the powder keg of Europe’ due to the highly disputable demarcation of ethnic communities, nations, and states there, has been translated in the Canadian context of rising capitalism and industrialisation in In the Skin of a Lion. But this translation is never final: the untranslated and the mistranslated may be suggestive of attempts at cultural hegemony and misrepresentation but they also leave room for the opacity of beings and self-representation.
Milena Dobrich Marinkova (University of Leeds )
To Leave and to Return: Frustrated Departures in Alice Munro’s Runaway
“She’s leaving home, bye-bye”
In “Runaway”, the title story of Munro’s 2004 collection of short stories, a number of departures and returns take place. This paper examines Munro’s text in terms of fantasies of escape and the opposing compulsion to return. I point to the theme of leaving home as an indicator of sexual maturation, common in the fairy tale plot, and as the precipitant of the mythic quest narrative. In Munro’s story, however, the three runaways (Sylvia, Carla and Flora) all return, and I consider the implications of these frustrated departures.
There are significant thematic continuities in Munro’s stories; images and motifs keep recurring, not least, the idea of escaping the small town. Connecting ideas of “home” and “away”, and the idea of the return – of themes and of people – I examine “Runaway” within the framework of a feminist analysis of the quest motif, and question whether, in this story of returns, departure proves to be the only means by which the female protagonist can resolve her identity crisis in Munro’s work.
Dr Fiona Tolan
Session D3: History
“….oppose all impruvements” : the musical baggage of Scottish immigrants to Canada
In 1827, William Lyon Mackenzie, immigrant from Dundee, and future leader of the 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada, expressed the hope that the Presbyterian Church of York would now and then “substitute Dundee….the Old Hundred, or any other plaintive or solemn air in place of the jig and strathspey measures with which they regale the fancy…”. His conservative approach to music could be paralleled in many other areas of British North America. Indeed, this was arguably one of the most divisive issues which could affect a congregation; in MacNab Street Church in Hamilton, for example, the decision to vote in favour of the union of the four distinct Presbyterian Churches in the Dominion in the 1870s was simplicity itself compared to the controversy sparked by the project of a hymnal for the united body and there were cases of individuals becoming members of congregations “under protest” against hymns and paraphrases being used in addition to the psalms. Whether congregations were relatively homogeneous, as they were in some rural areas of Nova Scotia, or made up of “very incongruous materials”, as the Presbyterian minister the Reverend William Proudfoot observed in 1832 of the churches in York, matters to do with the conduct of worship were profoundly significant to participants.
This paper will consider the musical baggage of Scottish immigrants to Canada in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Using both Scottish and North American sources, it will demonstrate the power of collective memory in shaping religious practices in the new environment.
Barbara C. Murison (University of Western Ontario)
The “World Turned Upside Down”: Loyalist Women in Exile at the Conclusion of the
“Maps,” Brian Harley has argued,” are preeminently a language of power, not of protest.” Yet, the map of Maritime Canada that unfolded in 1784 had much to do with protest. As over 30,000 Loyalist refugees migrated into the area in the aftermath of the American Revolution, they challenged “the supposed, hegemonic, stable authority of the map” by carving new pathways through the forest, creating instant towns, linking hitherto isolated communities, and creating new boundaries. Of these, the creation of the province of New Brunswick in 1784 marked the most dramatic reconfiguration of borders, asserting by its very creation the resistance of the Loyalist refugees to the erosion of their political, social, and cultural way of life. “It is I think the roughest land I ever saw,” noted Sarah Frost of Stamford, Connecticut, in 1783 as she landed on the shores of what was to be the city of Saint John; “but this is to be the City they say!” Yet, giving birth just days later in a tent, Sarah Frost represented both the end and the beginning of the journey that saw a complex movement of Loyalist values, politics, and culture change the map of eastern British North America.
Sarah Frost was typical of the way in which Loyalist women found themselves participating in one of the most dramatic physical migrations of the eighteenth century. Coming from the long-settled economic and social stability of America, the Loyalist refugee women who emigrated to the Maritimes transported few goods but considerable social and cultural baggage. Yet, their surviving letters and diaries reveal how they informed the direction of that migration —teaching school, opening businesses, raising children, encouraging cultural continuity with the past, and sustaining their men so often debilitated by defeat and exile. By drawing upon archival, colonial, and manuscript records, this paper proposes to look at the role of Loyalist women in the Maritime Provinces in helping us better understand the human cost of the exiles’ migration in the years following 1783. “Many have been the chances and changes of my pilgrimage,” noted Deborah How Cottnam in 1794,” various the vicissitudes, poignant the afflictions.” Yet, in opening schools for young women in Halifax and Saint John, in filing a Loyalist claim for lost property, in writing poetry to be read in public, and in invoking her right to a War Office pension, she demonstrated the way in which many Loyalist refugee women rose to the challenge when, in the words of a popular song of the day, their “world “was“ turned upside down” by migration and exile.
Gwendolyn Davies ( University of New Brunswick)
United Empire Loyalist Women: Canada’s Refugee Heritage
One of the most dramatic migrations into Canada was done by the United Empire Loyalists during and after the American Revolutionary War. Classic scholarship on Loyalist history narrates a straightforward political and economic tale. While the large group of people that came to settle in the maritime colonies as well as Upper Canada consisted of individuals from various cultural groups and socio-economic levels, the more influential and wealthy of the group quickly rose to positions of leadership within their new land; making sure that their political beliefs were hegemonic, that Canada remained loyal to Britain and that their new country defined itself as inherently non-American.
What is often missing from the account of the Loyalist migration are the stories of the women, many of whom underwent great hardship in the rebelling American colonies as well as in their struggles during their travels north. Their difficulties often continued when they reached Canadian soil, as many had to live in what can best be described as refugee camps and sometimes, due to loss of life, having to start a new life without ever being reunited with their husbands.
After studying the primary sources left by the Loyalist women and comparing them to contemporary theory concerning the pattern of behaviour in modern refugee women, I have come to the conclusion that the typical conservative Canadian heritage that the classical scholarship attributes to political leanings of Loyalist men should be more appropriately attributed to the experiences of the Loyalist women and the influence they had on future generations. This paper explores that link and challenges the way in which Canada sees its past, as well as pointing out the importance of the experience of migrant women who join their husbands in the new land.
Theresa Edington (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Session D4: First Nations
Drawing the Line: Aboriginal resistance to migration to Red River, 1815-1870
The Ojibwa and Cree at Red River faced several waves of migration in the middle years of the nineteenth century. The newcomers came from within North America and from Britain and included Metis or “ mixed-blood” families as well as Europeans.
This paper examines the agreements and treaties aboriginal people made in southern Manitoba between 1815 and 1870 and reflects upon the economic and political strategies they used to maintain some control over land and resources .Particular attention is paid to Treaty 1 and to the Selkirk Treaty and to the negotiation of a place for aboriginal people in the new Red River.
“When we walked on the land:” Migrations and Inuit landscape literacies
The most northerly extension of the Copper Inuit – the Kangiryuarmiut of Prince Albert Sound and the Kangiryuatjagmiut of Minto Inlet – migrated seasonally around western Victoria Island, Banks Island and the mainland near present day Kugluktuk, Nunavut. Prior to contact with Euro-Canadians and the introduction of the schooner, the people migrated primarily on foot creating an embodied memoryscape (Nuttall, 1992) where people knew all the places enroute, the names, accompanying stories, collective significance and relational location. Such knowledge has been integral to their social identity, part of Inuinnaqtun literacies (Balanoff & Chambers, 2005). The land is a repository for stories, knowledge or wisdom (Basso, 1996), a fluid text that Inuit people “read” (that is recognize, interpret and transfer the knowledge), and “write” (that is edit by forgetting and renaming some places, as well as inscribing new names and stories for others.) In the 1960s, as part of the colonial project of establishing sovereignty in the Canadian arctic and providing social services to the Inuit, groups such as the Kangiryuarmiut and Kangiryuatjagmiut were moved into stationary communities like Holman, Northwest Territories (Condon, 1996). This move, along with changes in hunting technology and transportation, shifted the route and manner of migrations in this landscape. Over the past fifty years, the movements of people have continued to shape Holman: influx of Western Inuit from Alaska, then from the Mackenzie River delta; and constant migrations, in and out, of qablunat (southern, Euro-Canadians). While for contemporary Inuit residents, this “new place,” Holman, is “home,” what is the relationship of Inuit to the migrational routes that were once home? To the newcomers who migrate in and out? To each other: Central and Western Inuit? In what ways are these migrations, and the knowledges, literacies and social tensions associated with them, still significant for contemporary Inuit social identity?
Cynthia Chambers (University of Lethbridge)
From Ideas ‘Reserved for Indians’ to Cultural Re-Affirmation: the Movements of an Indigenous Aesthetic
To the Aboriginal or Indigenous Peoples of North America, and more specifically Canada, the theme of migrations is relevant in a variety of ways. For one, colonization based on the (im)migrations of Europeans either stopped the migratory patterns of the so-called nomadic nations or gave rise to migrations caused by the encroachment of the newcomers. Also, environmental destruction of Aboriginal territories led to further displacements. Concomitantly, colonialism hindered “them,” the inferior “others” who were coerced into becoming “civilized” by becoming settled, from adapting to changes at their own pace, from developing culturally, politically and socio-economically on their own terms; in addition, the colonizers imposed labels and categorizations on their cultures, their religions, their art. Hence, the process of decolonization in which the emergence of a noticeable body of Native literature written in English in the late sixties played a major role, resists ghettoization, boundaries, “reservations of ideas” and any form of museum-like approaches. Having been confined to reservations and residential schools and defined by an “image-making machine,” Aboriginal writers and theorists like Marilyn Dumont, Anna Marie Sewell and Richard Wagamese destabilize colonial notions of “being Indian” and show in their adaptation of the English language and of Western literary genres a fluidity that defies any simplistic and reductive labeling and crosses boundaries of, for example, fiction and non-fiction, aesthetics and ethics. Also, the new generation of Aboriginal authors increasingly articulates migrations to urban centres; in their writing they move between old and new narratives and negotiate differing interpretations of Aboriginal culture in relation to their urban environment. I will approach the above discussion from the position(ality) of my own situation as a so-called new immigrant in Canada.
Renate Eigenbrod (University of Manitoba)
Moving artefacts: Fur trade memorabilia and family histories
The Canadian fur trade was all about the exchange and movement of objects; processes which were at the heart of the social relationships upon which the trade was based. Many artefacts made by Aboriginal people were collected by Scots fur traders during their service in Canada and can today be found in Scotland. Some of these artefacts – such as beaded moccasins, snowshoes, and painted coats – were sent directly to museums or brought across the ocean when their owner retired; others were sent to relatives as gifts, often with the hope that they would become family heirlooms. Though some of these artefacts have since been transferred to museum collections, others remain in family homes where they are used as a focus for telling stories about an ancestor’s participation in the fur trade and their relationships with Aboriginal peoples.
This paper explores a case study involving the movement of objects and people from Canada to Scotland. In 1920, following the death of their father, the two young sons of the Hudson’s Bay Company Post Manager at Churchill, Manitoba, were sent to Scotland to be raised by their paternal grandparents. Their Cree mother sent with them some beadwork she had made so that they would never forget their Aboriginal ancestry. Drawing on archival documents and oral history, I will discuss how these artefacts from the past can be used to evoke memories of diaspora experiences, and specifically, the inter-connected histories of Scots fur traders and Aboriginal peoples.
Alison Brown (Aberdeen University)
Session D5: Social Studies I
Deaf Heritage: From the UK to Canada
This paper examines the loss of Maritime Sign Language (MSL), the language of Deaf people in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Across Anglophone Canada, Deaf people use American Sign Language (ASL). Carbin (1996) suggests that a different signed language or regional dialect exists on Canada’s East Coast. Brought from the UK by Deaf immigrants, MSL stems from British Sign Language, ASL from Old French Sign Language. “ASL and BSL are considered mutually unintelligible” (Deucher 1984:160). Maritime Sign Language has never formally been researched, and is becoming extinct. An examination of its demise reveals its rich contribution to heritage and diversity.
William Gray and George Tait founded the first school for the Deaf in the Maritimes, based on the Deaf education they received in Edinburgh, Scotland. For a century, educational methods, educators and resources were imported directly from Great Britain. MSL thrived - until the 1960s, when ASL began to encroach upon MSL. This paper assesses the factors behind this process. Contact with Deaf communities in Canada and the US increased, while ties to Britain weakened. Accompanying changes in patterns of socialization were significant modifications to educational policy. When the Atlantic Provinces closed residential schools, MSL users became physically, socially and linguistically isolated. Failure to pass MSL on to the next generation meant, it could not be revived, or survive.
A resurgence of interest in Deaf history prompted by a general awareness of Deaf culture (e.g., legitimization of sign languages) and publications, (e.g., Lane 1984, Lane and Philip 1984, van Cleve 1993) have led to a new-found sense of discovery and pride. “Maritimers are becoming conscious of Maritime Deaf Heritage” (Warner et al. 1998:170). Archival data and personal communication with MSL users provide the data for this account of Maritime Sign Language and its important contribution to the history of Canada’s Deaf community.
Judith Yoel (University of Manitoba)
Point de Mire sur le Canada Atlantique:
L’immigration internationale en Nouvelle-Écosse
Cette communication vise entre autres à dresser un portrait d’ensemble de la situation qui prévaut dans le Canada atlantique par rapport à l’immigration internationale. Ce contexte global nous amènera par la suite à se tourner plus spécifiquement du côté de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Ce choix se justifie par le fait que depuis 2003, nous menons des recherches dans cette province. En effet, nous avons notamment étudié le processus d’établissement et les structures d’accueil disponibles à Halifax. Comment se caractérise la politique officielle du Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Écosse en matière d’immigration? Comment attirer et retenir des nouveaux arrivants qui proviennent surtout de l’extérieur du Canada? Quels services d’accueil offre-t-on aux nouveaux arrivants? Comment se présente la situation en regard de l’immigration francophone dans une province non officiellement bilingue et avec une population francophone et acadienne d’environ 3%? Pour élucider ces questions de recherche, nous aurons recours à des documents officiels, à des études spécialisées ainsi qu’à des fragments d’entrevues. Celles-ci ont été principalement réalisées auprès “the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association” (MISA)/l’Association Métropolitaine pour l’Établissement des Immigrants (AMÉI), une association qui offre des services aux nouveaux arrivants à Halifax dès leur premier jour au Canada. Enfin, nous proposerons quelques hypothèses de travail afin d’élargir notre réflexion en cours en ce qui a trait à la problématique de l’immigration au Canada atlantique.
Louise Fontaine (Université Sainte-Ann)e
Contentious Politics and Transnationalism From Below:
The Case of Ethnic and Racialized Minorities in Québec
[Contestation transnationale et diversité ethnoculturelle dans l’espace québécois]
La communication portera sur les revendications et le répertoire d’action de représentants d’ONG voués à la défense des immigrants et des minorités ethniques et racisées oeuvrant sur le territoire québécois et sur la scène internationale. Ces acteurs politiques aspirent à plus de justice sociale, au respect de leurs identités et à l’élimination du racisme et de la discrimination. Nous tenterons d’examiner: 1) dans quelle mesure et pourquoi les acteurs en question recourent aux organisations internationales et à des réseaux transnationaux pour faire avancer leurs intérêts au plan local et national; 2) en quoi ce recours affecte le contenu des revendications; 3) en quoi, ils espèrent modifier les institutions et les politiques publiques québécoise et/ou canadiennes. Nous insisterons sur le groupe arabo-musulman en particulier.
Sur la foi des mouvements migratoires internationaux et des stratégies de résistance qui s’inscrivent d’emblée en dehors des frontières nationales, plusieurs auteurs concluent au caractère transnational de la dynamique sociopolitique au sein des territoires nationaux modernes, annonçant dès lors, la fin ou l’affaiblissement de l’État nation et des mutations radicales dans la signification de la citoyenneté et du vivre ensemble au sein des États nations. Nous discuterons également du bien-fondé de cette assertion et de la complexité des lieux d’ancrage de la citoyenneté.
Session E1: Literature V
Reading for the Nation: The CBC’s “Canada Reads” and the Politics of Reading CanLit
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio show “Canada Reads” (2002-2006) is an annual series broadcast on CBC Radio 1 that aims to select a work of Canadian Literature “that all of Canada should read together.” Predicated on the CBC’s official mandate to “[develop] radio programming that enlightens, reflects and connects Canadians,” the show attempts to create a huge, cross-country reading group (CBC Press Release 2003). Adapting a “Survivor” type format, five celebrity panellists each defend a text and then vote off one book on each subsequent program. Debates and the voting results are broadcast on radio and TV daily for five days, while summaries, additional features and the radio broadcasts are published on the show’s website. On-line discussion boards and a “People’s Choice” ballot offer listeners the chance to participate. In 2005 half a million listeners tuned in to the radio show alone. Viewed by some cultural commentators as further evidence of the “middle-browing” of the CBC (Niedzviecki 2002: 16), the show has also been criticized for presenting “depoliticized discussions” of books that explicitly interrogate official histories of nation-building and immigration such as Ondaatje’s In the Skin of A Lion (Moss 2004: 6).
This paper will challenge and complicate this latter accusation through an analysis of selected examples of book discussions that have taken place on-air among panellists and on-line among readers. I will argue that, while the show’s on-air format often promotes a problematic and racially exclusive notion of a “Canada” that “reads,” there have, nevertheless, been important instances of contestation that unsettle homogenizing notions of “multi-culturalism” and “nation” - and that consequently re-politicize the reading of CanLit.
Danielle Fuller (University of Birmingham)
Making Strange: CanLit, Canada Reads and the Alterity Fetish
The dislocations arising from the ruptures of migration can be seen as enabling a particularly compelling kind of critique: a critical distantiation brought about by the oblique positioning of those caught between cultures and categories. Reading migration as a geopolitical, cultural, and epistemological extension of the Russian Formalist concept of ostranenie, I use a selection of twentieth-century Canadian novels to explore the potential positive values of the idea of migration, and the otherness it repeatedly figures: not only movements across nations and cultures, but boundary-crossings and transgressions of other sorts.
Literary criticism has tended to identify such alterity as positive: Shklovsky championed the defamiliarising of ordinary life as a means of revitalising perception. But what happens when such texts are taken beyond the realm of the textual into that of the political? In this paper, I explore the fetishising of alterity in the novels chosen as selections for the CBC’s Canada Reads program, and examine the way this otherness is used in attempts to endorse and promote some texts and some versions of ‘Canada’ over others. If the ‘making strange’ capacity of transgressive movements can be read as a liberating and enlightening force, what is at stake when this is co-opted as, paradoxically, a norm and an ideal?
Anouk Lang holds (University of Birmingham)
Beauty in the Backwoods: Defining Canadian Beauty Ideals in Early Canadian Women’s Writing
This paper seeks to explore the relationship between representations of female beauty and nature in writing by early women emigrants, settlers, and travelers in Canada, positing this connection as an overlooked nexus that can further elucidate the social, environmental, and economic factors and attitudes that inform women’s ideas of self and community in the context of migration. Focusing on writing of a variety genres, including diaries, settler manuals, and fiction, this paper looks to authors such as Anne Langton (1838), Catharine Parr Traill (1855), and Frances Beavan (1845) as writers who complicate the female/nature bond by configuring the production of beauty in Canada as a site through which women represent a gendered experience of environment, work, and colonization. Following Helen Buss’s observation that pioneer women writers “react to the strangeness of the Canadian landscape by merging their own identity, in some imaginative way, with the new land” (Buss 126), and calling upon recent environmental and ecocritical theory, this paper will suggest the presence of an underlying ecological ethos that marks women’s beauty culture in nineteenth century Canada. Such an ethos is evidenced, for instance, by the ways in which choices in fashion and home decoration, such as Trail’s “living fence” or Beavan’s “birchbark headdress,” are figured by these authors as moments of praiseworthy ingenuity and supreme beauty precisely because they signal an awareness of living in communion with the natural world. In exploring how ideals of femininity shift, as Misao Dean argues, to fit the “active and physical demands” of the Canadian environment (12), this paper will assess whether the environmental and natural Canadian beauty ideal offers a positive alternative to traditional configurations of Victorian femininity abandoned upon emigration, or whether this new ideal undermines the re-envisioning process offered through migration by simply creating a new set of criteria by which women writers continue to categorize and judge women on the basis of physical appearance and material beauty culture.
Erin Whitmore (University of New Brunswick)
‘Migration, Mennonites and Manitoba’. Miriam Toews and A Complicated Kindness
My paper explores the nature and complexities of transporting religion to Canada. It focuses on the Russian Mennonites who migrated to Manitoba in two waves, in the 1870s and after the Russian Revolution. I begin with an historical introduction which explores the Mennonites’ reasons for migrating to Manitoba and their expectations of their new land. This forms a backdrop to my discussion of the effects of the Mennonite religion on a small community in Manitoba as this is depicted in Miriam Toews’ immensely popular, award-winning novel A Complicated Kindness (2004). Toews’ novel is set in East Village, a typical Mennonite community at the end of the twentieth century, a community which has failed to come to terms with its past and which lives in a present characterised by repression and denial. The migration of the narrator’s mother and sister to new, non-Mennonite communities and their excommunication make it possible for the remainder of the family to remain in East Village. Ironically, however, it is this same migration that causes the narrator to understand that she too must leave East Village. Migration becomes a necessity but is also a cause for regret. The final lines of the novel read:
‘Truthfully, this story ends with me sitting on the floor of my room wondering who I’ll become if I leave this town and remembering when I was a little kid and how I loved to fall asleep in my bed breathing in the smell of freshly cut grass and listening to the voices of my sister and my mother talking and laughing in the kitchen and the sounds of my dad poking around in the yard, making things beautiful right outside my bedroom window’ (p.246).
Migration is all about leaving something behind, holding on to memories, a change of identity and the creation of a new life. Migration presupposes a complex process which results in the creation of a place, an organised world of meaning, a home in a new world. Migration is loss as well as gain, abandonment as well as renewal. A Complicated Kindness is a fictional exploration of a migrant community based on the author’s own upbringing in a Mennonite town in Manitoba. The narrator’s story is shared by many thousands in Canada today despite efforts towards integration and accommodation.
Session E2: Quebec I
“Across the country or to another continent? Lorena Gale’s Je me souviens: Memories of an expatriate Anglophone Montréalaise Québécoise exiled in Canada”
Lorena Gale’s 2001 Je me souviens: Memories of an expatriate Anglophone Montréalaise Québécoise exiled in Canada, is an all too rare — given the size of Canada — artistic representation of migration within the country, one of the foci of the BACS 2006 conference. In this unique performance text, Gale explores the complex experiences of growing up as a black Anglo in Montreal, then moving to Anglo Vancouver and living as an ex-Montrealer. This is relatively uncharted territory in Canadian literature, and Gale chooses an effective experimental form for her explorations. Je me souviens, an English-language text at ease with passages in French, draws on the spoken word, the political essay, the love poem, the jazz ballad, and the oral tradition of the blues to ask what makes a Canadian, what makes a Québécois(e), what an independent Québec would mean for her ethnic family, and what, finally, is home for her? Gale’s text illustrates clearly the roles of gender, race, and language in experiences of migration, even - perhaps especially - when migration is within national borders but across provincial and cultural boundaries. “Can one be a displaced person in one’s own country?” Gale asks. “Wherever I go in Canada there is a constant demand to explain, justify, and defence my presence ... It is a legacy of the African diaspora to become rooted to a land where one is always seen as ‘other’ ... Yet you cannot be born in a land and live there for thirty or a hundred years without it becoming a part of you and you a part of it,” she declares. In the “journey of mind, heart and spirit” that is Je me souviens, Lorena Gale presents a view from within of migration within Canada.
Christl Verduyn (Wilfrid Laurier University)
A place for the spirit: Canada as dream and reality in the autobiographical
writings of the women of New France
This paper will analyse the paradoxical space which Canada represents for the seventeenth-century French women who foresook family and country to participate in the missionary project of conversion of the native peoples, through an analysis of the autobiographical writings of Marguerite Bourgeoys, Marie Morin and Marie de l’Incarnation. For these women, all of whom would establish religious orders that broke with the restrictions imposed on their mother communities in France, Canada is a place for the spirit, an opportunity for sacrifice and loss of self for “the greater glory of God”. And yet, paradoxically, this country made possible for them a self-realization perhaps unparalleled in any other period of Quebec women’s autobiography. The strength and single-mindedness provided by their unwavering faith in God (and in the Virgin Mary, conceived of as a powerful female protectress) insulated them in a certain sense from the shocks of physical hardship, poverty, gender discrimination and cultural deprivation which they experienced both in France and in the New World. Their writings nonetheless record in very concrete detail the experience of migration: the radical changes brought about by their encounter with Canadian nature and the native peoples, and a gradual distancing from the perspective of the French homeland. The paper, which grows out of my research for a book on Quebec women’s autobiographical writings, will focus on the way these stories are told: the absence of attention to the individual self, the refusal to indulge in emotion (in spite of the fear, horror or despair that many of these experiences must have inspired), and the overall restraint of the narrative voice, which makes the accounts all the more gripping.
D’une Amérique à l’autre : migration discursive dans la poésie québécoise de la Révolution tranquille
Depuis la fin des années 1950 et tout au long de la Révolution tranquille, l’imaginaire de l’appartenance américaine travaille avec insistance la poésie québécoise. Dans le discours de plusieurs poètes -– groupés autour des éditions l’Hexagone et des revues Parti pris et Liberté – les signes de l’américanité oscillent entre l’utopie de la « genèse » d’un pays neuf, le fantasme d’assomption continentale de l’identité québécoise et une régression mythique (aux accents tiers-mondistes) vers l’identification à l’ « autre Amérique » – celle de la négritude, des Amérindiens, des métis, – qui permet de vivre, dans la conscience de l’interculturalité et/ou de l’imposture rhétorique (les « nègres blancs d’Amérique »), la douleur du défaut d’être québécois.
Cette communication se propose à la fois de dégager cette ambiguïté qui s’offre comme un terrain de migration des discours et de signaler certains parallélismes d’inspiration (images et motifs) et de facture (rythme et prosodie) entre les poètes québécois « de l’Amérique » (Paul Chamberland, Michèle Lalonde, Michel Van Schendel, Gaston Miron, Gatien Lapointe et Paul-Marie Lapointe) et ceux de la négritude et de l’antillanité (Aimé Césaire, Jacques Roumain, Léon-Gontram Damas et Édouard Glissant).
De l’immigration à l’universel : l’immigré italien chez Nino Ricci et Bianca Zagolin
Dans cette communication, je me propose d’examiner quelques œuvres romanesques produites par des écrivains canadiens et québécois d’origine italienne. Je m’attarderai sur la thématique de l’exil et de l’immigration telles que présentées dans les romans Le Figuier enchanté de Marco Micone, Une femme à la fenêtre et Les Nomades de Bianca Zagolin.
Sans négliger la trilogie de Maria Ardizzi (Made in Italy, Saporo della mia terra, La Buona america) ainsi que le premier roman de l’Ontarien Nino Famà, La Stanza segreta, je me pencherai sur la représentation des faits socio-historiques derrière l’exil des Italiens, sur la représentation des rapports au pays d’origine et au pays d’accueil, sur leurs difficultés d’adaptation, et sur le choix de la langue (l’anglais, le français, l’italien) comme moyen d’expression.
Anne Marie Miraglia
Session E3: History IV
Avoiding the melting pot: the early migration of Scots to New Brunswick, 1784-1855
Following Britain’s defeat in the American War of Independence in 1783, New Brunswick experienced a large influx of Loyalists from the United States. They included Scottish Loyalists, who having been mainly attracted to the Miramichi region, became some of its earliest farmer/lumberers, establishing farms and timber-felling operations along river and coastal frontages. With the growth of New Brunswick’s timber trade from 1815, which revolutionized the scale and costs of transatlantic shipping, fresh waves of settlers arrived from Scotland. Being some of the earliest arrivals, Scots soon played a prominent role in New Brunswick’s timber industry and in the province’s early economic development. Generally seeking locations close to already-established Scottish communities, those who followed became well known for their so-called clannishness and desire to set themselves apart from other ethnic groups. Their customs, traditions, religious affiliations and, in the case of most Highlanders, their Gaelic language travelled with them to their new communities thus helping to re-enforce their sense of identity as Scots.
The paper will explore the factors which determined the settlement locations of early Scots and the importance they placed on maintaining a distinctive Scottish identity. It will conclude that there was a close relationship between Scottish settlement patterns and the progress of the timber trade in New Brunswick. Relying mainly on the correspondence of the Presbyterian missionaries, who were sent to the province by the Church of Scotland to establish congregations, the paper will demonstrate the role played by religion in influencing settlement choices and in helping to preserve Scottish cultural values.
Lucille H. Campey
“In the taverns of Edmonton, fishermen shout”: The Mythology of Migration in Canada
Explorers, voyageurs, settlers: Canadian nationalism has long celebrated migratory figures as its quintessential heroes. Patterns of migration appear to serve as a kind of transcontinental cord binding a vast country together: fur trade routes predating provincial boundaries, Newfoundland fishermen “on their way to the hills of Alberta,” as Stan Rogers sang, or families driving the TransCanada Highway; generations of movement between east and west. But upon closer examination, the motif of migration in Canadian culture actually varies according to the country’s internal boundaries, fracturing that national experience into regional ones.
A sea-to-sea arc of movement requires different types of space: places one leaves, and places to which one travels. Historically, Atlantic Canada and the prairie west have filled these roles. There has been extensive discussion of the socio-economic repercussions of their out-migration and immigration, respectively. But we have yet to appreciate the degree to which disparate narratives of migration contribute to a sense of regional difference. This paper will examine how migration is remembered, in the arts (fiction, song, film, plays) and at provincial historic sites, in order to assert distinct regional identities.
While the east remembers migration with tragic laments of failure, particularly in music, the west sees it as a declaration of ambition and progress; the east mourns its loss of tradition and community dissolution, while the west celebrates itself as a place of redemption and potential, the “land of the second chance.” Yet western transience means collective roots are tenuous and even shallow, while there is a resilient undertone to Maritime culture that values memory and the promise of a “coming home.” As an environmental historian, I am particularly interested in how the stories of migration in east and west feature different landscapes: the hardships of the coast life, or the freedom of uncontained space on the prairie. Far from being a bridge, the commemoration of migration merely emphasizes the gulf between east and west.
This is part of a larger project examining ways in which history is used to construct regional identities in the popular and political imagination.
Claire Campbell, Dalhousie University
The Homecoming Migrant: Round Trip to Canada, 1867-1967
By no means all migrants put down permanent roots in Canada. Yet despite the impact of reverse movement on the participants, the locations where they sojourned, and the communities to which they returned, their experiences have received only sporadic scholarly or popular attention in more than twenty years of exhaustive scrutiny of virtually every other aspect of the British diaspora.
Homecoming was an integral part of the migratory process long before the steamship, and a century later the jet engine, eliminated much of the terror and tedium from the journey. Even in the Pilgrims’ era the Atlantic had been a two-directional highway, and throughout the eighteenth century migrants continued to return home for reasons of business, pleasure or family obligation. The internationalisation of the labour market by the end of the nineteenth century transformed a largely elite activity into the common practice of many tradesmen and industrial workers, while technological developments in communications throughout the twentieth century continued to erode the finality of leave-taking, stimulating not only seasonal, temporary and serial migration but also a burgeoning industry in ‘roots tourism’.
For participants and observers alike, migration and return were two sides of the same coin. This paper highlights the motives and experiences of men, women and children whose return to Britain from Canada was both volitional and enforced. Official policies which impinged on rates of return provide an administrative and legislative backdrop to a complex kaleidoscope of individual accounts, while the less tangible but equally significant itinerant mentality displayed by many migrants made homecoming and serial migration intellectually acceptable. The concept of the British Empire as an extended family gave a further rationale to the unfettered and multi-directional movement of its citizens within its bounds, and the imperialists’ belief that migrants retained an umbilical link to the mother country helped to explain the persistent appeal of return.
Marjory Harper, University of Aberdeen
Returns from Riding Moutain; an analysis of a century of decline and occasional resurrections
This paper examines the changes which have taken place in the patterns of rural out-migration from the margins of S.W.Manitoba (and more recently S.W.Alberta). It focusses on the small towns and villages near Riding Mountain and the Kananaskis country, originally grain and coal producing areas and considers the reasons for population changes, the impacts of these movements, and the extent to which attempts to ameliorate conditions have been successful. The relationships between migration and changes in infrastructure, economy, transport and consumer behaviour and landscape perception are emphasised and the general assumption of the inevitability of slow decline of rural communities is questioned.
Whilst accepting that boosterism of the “last, best, west” led to unsustainable rural densities, the paper investigates how external and local changes in the perception of rural life and the vagaries of rural incomes have influenced people-land interactions, contrasting the experience in Alberta with Manitoba by offering a set of nine case studies in each province.
The paper concludes by discussing the extent that solutions to the problem of outmigration promulgated a decade ago have fared and argues that the future may involve increasing levels of overseas property investment.
Michael F. Hopkinson (York St John)
Session E4: Social Studies II
Migrations and Mobility
Provincial, federal and international Human Rights legislation recognize the right to mobility. Despite this right to mobility, disabled people are frequently forced into institutions and ghettoized communities rather than allowed freedom of mobility. This presentation is a visual interpretation of my work, “Women in Motion,” which was submitted in May of 2005 as a research paper to qualify for my Masters in Canadian History. “Women in Motion: Exploring the Terrain for Women with Physical Disabilities in Canada,” provided a gender analysis, using feminist and critical disability theory, of the lived experiences of women with physical disabilities in Canada today. Canadians with disabilities understand that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the key to our citizenship agenda. However, there is a chasm between the constitutional ideal and the lived reality. Disabled women continue to resist enforced migration into isolation and invisibility. Historical and popular notions of disability are belied as women claim their right to mobility around issues of sexuality, mothering, poverty, unemployment and exclusion from society and culture through a social model of disability and their own agency.
References are made to art, popular culture and sport as well as government policy concerning disabled people, to clearly demonstrate the dissonance between our pride and triumph through the Charter and our isolation and frustration trying to negotiate spaces in society. My presentation compares the disability rights movement, disability studies in the academy, and social policy, between American and Canadian contexts. It is essential to focus on women’s issues during a time when our collective identities, nurtured by access to information and networking, gives us a voice to challenge notions around dependency and economy and influence governments and agencies to translate theory into policy and practice.
S. Elizabeth Winkelaar (Carleton University)
Gender Differences in Coping with Social Change: Migration and Suicide in
During the last 25 years, the high suicide rates in Québec distinguish this province from the other western countries. Since the 1970s, many profound social changes occurred in Québec: the family institution has been shaken by the increase of divorce rates along with the decrease of nuptiality and natality; as well, the relation between genders has been redefined. The economic and geographical structures of Quebec have also been transformed. With this reality, the high suicide rates are hardly seen as a surprise as suicide is closely associated with anomie and individualism. While those rates vary between genders and regions, we are surprised to find that suicide is in fact happening in higher rates in rural regions rather than in urban ones. On the gender level, the situation is the same as it is historically known: men are more suicidal than women. But in Québec, the gap between women and men’s suicide rates can no longer be explained by the traditional role of women in the family, which historically explained their lower suicide rate. In the rural regions of Québec, women are more prone than men to migrate to urban centers, to seek higher education and to look for better job opportunities. This trend of migration is associated with the redefinition of gender relation. Our findings are based on a study of regional suicide rates and migration as well as a survey of youth expectations from life.
André Tremblay (university of Ottawa)
The effects of transnational motherhood on the health of women migrants from Ecuador in Canada and the Basque Country
Ecuadorian women who work and reside in host countries such as Canada or the Basque Country while their children remain behind in Ecuador constitute part of an ever-increasing number of ‘transnational mothers’. Transnational motherhood, by necessity, brings with it the pain of separation, alternative child-rearing arrangements, and difficulties in reunification, involving great emotional cost for both mother and child. This paper addresses two major issues. First, it looks at the way Ecuadorian women migrants are transforming the meaning of motherhood to accommodate geographical separation from their children over long periods of time. Secondly, it examines the effect of transnational motherhood on the health of these women, and attempts to forge an important link with research currently being carried out on the Chronic and Multiple Stress Syndrome in Migrants, now termed “The Ulysses Syndrome”. The last part of the paper looks at the multiple repercussions this situation has on the way in which integration into the country of reception takes place. It considers the effects of ill-health on the work habits of these migrant women and on the health systems of the receiving countries. It particularly addresses the specific problem of lack of self/world synthesis in these women, and their reluctance to commit themselves to home-making in the reception country until the problem of family reunification is solved. The main purpose of this paper is to bring the needs of these women to recognition, and it endeavors to put forward some specific recommendations to policy-makers, to people working in the health services, and to the women themselves in the hope of helping them with the difficulties of separation and reunification.
I am working on the effects of transnational motherhood on the health of Ecuadorian migrants in the Basque Country and Canada.More specifically I am working on the links between transnational motherhood and the Ulysses Syndrome (Chronic Multiple Stress in migrants). The research also looks at the way the ill-health of many transnational mothers affects the way they are able to settle and make homes in the host country, and leads to problems of reunification with the families.
Claire H.Firth (Brown University)
Session E5: Environment
The Migration of Ideas, Machines and Production Systems
During the Industrial Revolution in Woodswork
Until after WWII woodswork in the small-tree forests of the industrialized world was characterized by wage labour but the techniques of production relied on manual tools, extraordinarily hard physical labour, and the use of horses for locomotion. The industrialization of woodswork only began after the War, and only as the evaporation of abundant cheap labour made the old ways unworkable. The process was uneven across and between nations and its progress was hindered by many factors. One important factor was the lack of a consensus about how trees should and could be mechanically harvested. Debates raged in northern Europe and in North America over whether to process trees at the stump (cut-to-length or ‘shortwood’ systems) or move the processing of trees to roadside. A second universal factor was the lack of suitable technologies to build successful all weather, all terrain forest vehicles, or to power vehicle-mounted devices needed to fell, delimb and buck the tree trunk into logs. The construction of effective carriers and devices to fell trees and process wood took several decades, and innovators followed two quite different paths of development. These innovative efforts centered on efforts undertaken in Canada, Sweden and Finland, and the United States.
While there was much ‘backyard’ innovation occurring in isolation in all countries and much ‘re-invention of the wheel’, there was also an active and productive international exchange of ideas and machines between different centres of development. Machines and systems developed in one country often were exported and their approach copied, and often advanced, in others. In some cases particular machine development started in one country and was transferred to another branch of the company in a second country, and it was common for genres of machines to begin in one country and be brought to fruition in another. The development of industrial production systems and the machines to support them was truly an international effort, one in which Canada played a role out of all proportion to its status as a third tier, branch-plant economy.
This paper documents the way ideas, machines, and production systems migrated across international boundaries during the industrialization of tree harvesting, while noting the crucial ways local conditions determined how the products of this international effort were received, adapted and responded to in different countries.
Michael Clow (
Old World to New: Forestry Science in Canada in the Formative Age
Forestry is one of a series of twentieth century knowledge domains that combines scientific disciplines, professional training and management interventions to transform natural materials into commodities. While scientific ideas possess certain universalizing attributes, the intellectual and institutional frameworks by which they are formalized are more diverse. Moreover, these ideas have been carried, by forces of colonialism, settlement, and commercial expropriation, into a variety of social and ecological settings quite different from their founding roots.
This paper examines the patterns of forestry science ‘migration’ from Europe to Canada, in the formative decades of the twentieth century. The encounter between continental and British practices and new world environments yielded a number of alternative forest practices, which defined management practices for generations to come.
Drawing upon the theoretical framework of epistemic communities, the paper will explore the constitution of Canadian forestry science, in academic, professional and business circles.
Peter Clancy (St. Francis Xavier University)
Hot-dogs, saw-dust and smoke: the essence of lumberjack festival and the
production of the boreal forest boundaries
Normally the boreal forest is geographically represented as an unproblematic entity, as a simple circumpolar biome mainly represented by an immutable body of coniferous trees covering the northern hemisphere of the Earth. However, closer investigation reveals that the boreal forest consists of entangled sets of socially constructed boundaries which are all struggling for recognition and political legitimacy. Using the context of forest management, this paper shows how the concepts of space, place, and identity interact to produce very different kinds of boundaries to define the boreal forest in the region of Abitibi in Northwest Québec. Drawing on Le Festival Forestier de Senneterre—a festival that celebrates the pride of Abitibi forest-dependent communities and forester identity—I will demonstrate how space, place and identity are mutually constituted in practice. This microcosm will enable me to show how forestry science constructs boundaries that both shape and claim space, place and identity while cultivating certain beliefs in a singular biophysical “reality”. In the process, I show how Le Festival Forestier de Senneterre excludes and includes certain boreal forest boundaries and therefore reinforces the power of some boreal forest constructions over others. The significance of space, place and identity in the political debates regarding the management of the boreal forest is paramount since the politicisation of boundaries that delimit the boreal forest have been used to settle disputes between users. The paper will conclude by outlining the alternative management strategies that this theoretical framework can provide to policy makers.
Sébastien Nobert (University of Edinburgh)
Session F1: Literature VI
Birth by Fire. Violent Reshaping in Mark Anthony Jarman’s Short Story, Burn Man on a Texas Porch
The paper deals with the issue of a violent restructuring of body and identity, resulting from an accident involving propane tank leakage, in Burn Man on a Texas Porch, a story by a young, promising Canadian writer, Mark Anthony Jarman. The Edmonton-born Jarman, currently teaching creative writing at the University of New Brunswick, is the author of (among others) the acclaimed novel Salvage King, Ya!: A Herky Jerky Picaresque, a volume of poetry Killing the Swan, and three collections of short stories: New Orleans Is Sinking, Dancing Nightly in the Tavern and, most recently, 19 Knives.
The paper analyzes Jarman’s work through the concept of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics, drawing on parallels with the writing of Thomas Pynchon: in a decentralized, unbearably random world, the disfigured character chooses to interpret his plight as a plot devised by powers beyond his control, personified and godlike, which are nonetheless rooted in the scientific. Meditating on mutability and irreversibility, Burn Man envisions the violence inflicted on him as a conscious act of a sentient and inimical force, not unlike a trickster figure of mythological origins. Moreover, the paper focuses on his heightened awareness of the now-disfigured body, its physical as well as psychological boundaries.
Considering the relative scarcity of available resources, the author of the article has chiefly made recourse to interviews with Mark Anthony Jarman. The article strives to place the author’s emerging voice in the context of North American postmodernism, focusing on its use of language shaped by the media culture and acknowledging the influence of such writers as Donald Barthelme or Raymond Carver.
Krzysztof Majer (University of Lodz)
Human Body and Language versus Cyborg Body and Science: Oryx and Crake (2003).
‘He scans the horizon…nothing. The sea is hot metal, the sky a bleached blue… Everything is so empty. Water, sand, sky, trees, fragments of past time. Nobody to hear him. “Crake!” he yells. “Asshole!…You did this!” ’. 1 This is the voice of a tortured, highly intelligent man called Jimmy alias Snowman. He is the only human survivor of a worldwide biological catastrophe that leaves him coexisting with out-of-control genetic experiments on animals, such as the pigoon (a combination of pig and baboon) or the wolvog (combination of wolf and dog). There is also a race of bioengineered humans, ‘The Paradise Project’, created by his best friend and leading scientist Glenn, alias Crake. The Crakers have pre-selected human features such as beauty and docility, but they are also illiterate, drop dead at the age of thirty and know nothing of the world as it was before the global disaster that wipes the human race off the face of the earth.
Atwood’s speculative fiction about a not-so-distant future where greed-driven science has run amok is unraveled through Jimmy’s various flashbacks from the past. He remembers his friend Crake and the beautiful Internet porn star Oryx, who Jimmy meets in the flesh when Crake hires her to teach the Crakers how they can slowly be introduced into society. Oryx falls for Jimmy but she also sleeps with Crake whenever he requires it.
What I will discuss in this chapter is that, despite this superficial erotic triangle, the real relationship is between Jimmy and Crake. I will explore this relationship through the maternal, body and language. Jimmy represents the human body and the artistic uses of language whilst Crake represents the cyborg body and the necessity of science. I will also examine Oryx and the Crakers’ body in relation to Donna Haraway’s cyborg theory about the body. I will compare Atwood’s cyborgs to the cyborgs called ‘replicants’ in Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner (1982), in order to illustrate further my argument about language and the maternal.
Imagined Migrations to the Other Side: Waiting as a Potentially Creative Act in Robert Kroetsch’s The Puppeteer and The Hornbooks of Rita K
This paper examines the concepts of playing dead in Kroetsch’s novel The Puppeteer and accounting for another’s disappearance in his book of poetry The Hornbooks of Rita K. In both of these texts Kroetsch engages with notions of waiting - in The Puppeteer characters are figured as waiting for something exciting to happen, or waiting for the right moment to enter their lives anew; in The Hornbooks of Rita K, Raymond the archivist of Rita K’s poetry and her one time lover, waits in her home for her to return from her long absence which is described as a disappearance. I argue that this state of waiting becomes a way for Kroetsch to consider death and imagined death as a way to enter a new world - migrate to a new space in which the characters can become someone new. In The Puppeteer Julie and Manny play dead, leaving everyone else to wait for an explanation for their ‘deaths’ only to reveal that they themselves have been waiting for the right opportunity to enter the world again. Playing dead allows them to wait and observe unnoticed. In The Hornbooks of Rita K Raymond refigures his meetings with Rita and readings of her poetry in an attempt to account for her disappearance - implying she is journeying or has journeyed to a new world and so is on her way home. This paper, therefore, argues the waiting in both texts, becomes a creative act which causes the characters to stop being so fixed in their present space, but instead imagine themselves in other spaces, and the ultimate ‘other’ space - death.
Catherine Bates (University of Leeds)
“a product always of migrations or emigrative qualities”: Erin Mouré’s O Cidadán
Erin Mouré’s 2002 collection of poems, O Cidadán, invites readers to reflect upon various kinds of movement: the migrations of the speaker’s ancestors from Spain, the Ukraine, Poland, France and England; the migrations of the speaker from the Canadian West to Montreal; the speaker’s travels to Galicia or to Yorkshire where she stays for short periods and writes; and the failed migrations of two Guinean boys (to whom the collection is dedicated) who die in the cargo-hold of a plane bound for Brussels. Indeed, O Cidadán leaves us wondering about those who do not have the means to “move,” a wrinkle I try to keep in mind as I consider the text’s many migrations.
Movement, in Mouré’s poems, is not only historical; it is also conceptual, even “compositional.” Movement is explored through border crossing, heterogeneous belonging, and multicultural or “multinational” nations which destabilize conventional understandings of citizenship. Each page of the text diagrams movement in its layout, typography, multilingualism, shifting poetic forms and disparate discursive frames. Vectors and other directional indicators gesture toward new possibilities for citizenship and political community. In this sense, the text makes legible the multidimensionality and dynamism of processes of migration which are at stake in the conference’s call for papers.
In migrating from the prairies to Quebec, the citizen/speaker “makes herself strange”; that is, she chooses a place where she can be both “foreign” and “a part of the body politic” (82). The citizen, in Mouré’s text, is “spoken from a ‘minor’ tongue” (the English of Montreal as well as the Galego of Galicia), by “a woman who bears—as a lesbian in a civic frame—a policed sexuality” (n.p.). O Cidadán opens a space, a conceptual, critical, political and erotic space, for a citizen whose sense of belonging and of political responsibility is not circumscribed by the “nation-state and its 19thc. model of sovereignty” (42).
Mouré’s “cidadán” is “a product always of migrations or emigrative qualities” (9). She is, of necessity, “localized” as a body (47) yet she is not localized by territory; nor is she bound by “soil’s sovereignty” (63). In the terms of the poems, it is through her body, and not the nation-state, that she negotiates a “relation-to-others-in-a-lieu” (47). The text constructs the citizen as an internally heterogeneous border or seam, and citizenship, as the enactment of an ethical relationship (“civilian love”) to those historical subjects who fall outside (as well as within) the borders of the nation. O Cidadán is not, however, a call for a borderless world. The challenge of Mouré’s text is to reimagine the citizen—and her migrations—without subscribing to a view of transnationality that privileges those subjects who have access to metropolitan centres and global mobility at the expense of those who do not.
Session F2: Quebec II
Intégration économique des nouveaux immigrants à Montréal dans les années 1990 : statut professionnel avant l’immigration et emploi envisagé
Parmi les obstacles à l’intégration économique des nouveaux immigrants, le manque d’information sur le marché du travail avant d’immigrer, le manque d’expérience sur le marché du travail local, ainsi que la non reconnaissance des titres de compétences acquis à l’étranger sont souvent cités. Par conséquent, les nouveaux immigrants se fixent peut-être des objectifs irréalistes quant à leur carrière en terre d’accueil. Le but de la présente analyse est d’étudier le lien entre le travail qu’occupaient les immigrants avant leur immigration, le travail qu’ils envisageaient de faire à leur arrivée, et les emplois qu’ils ont occupés en début d’établissement. Les données de l’enquête sur l’établissement des nouveaux immigrants (ÉNI) seront utilisées. L’ÉNI est une enquête longitudinale qui retrace le parcours d’intégration d’une cohorte de 1000 immigrants arrivés dans la grande région métropolitaine de Montréal et ce, sur 10 ans. Par une analyse des transitions (« event history analysis »), nous évaluerons la durée prise pour retrouver le même statut professionnel qu’avant l’immigration, ainsi que la durée prise pour trouver un emploi semblable à l’emploi désiré à l’arrivée. L’effet de stratégies mis de l’avant par les immigrants pour améliorer leurs chances sur le marché du travail, comme de la formation dans une institution locale ou la poursuite de cours de langue, sera étudié, ainsi que l’effet de l’expérience de travail. Nous distinguerons les différents processus d’intégration, c’est-à-dire les caractéristiques qui accélèrent ou ralentissent l’accès à un emploi de même statut professionnel qu’avant l’immigration comme le niveau de scolarité, le pays d’origine et la catégorie d’immigrants.
Magali Girard (Université McGill) Michael Smith (Université McGill and Jean Renaud (Université de Montréal)
Immigration, intégration sociale et temps
Le Canada valorise l’immigration comme une des sources les plus importantes d’accroissement de sa population. Dans la perspective des immigrants eux-mêmes, bien que voulue et choisie, l’immigration est un déracinement vécu comme un recommencement. Les statistiques canadiennes attestent que dans les meilleurs des cas, au minimum dix ans sont nécessaires avant que l’intégration, préalable à la réussite de l’immigration, dans la société canadienne ne soit satisfaisante. Entre les multiples facettes de la notion d’intégration soulève, nous voulons réfléchir sur la question du rapport au temps dans le processus de reconstruction de soi et de son nouvel environnement de vie. Comment la valorisation ou la sous-valorisation du temps se vit-elle comme une valorisation de soi. Existe-t-il une nouvelle éthique du temps différente de celle du contexte social d’origine?
Paulin Mulatris (University of Alberta)
Idées migrantes et assimilation régressive:
L’influence étrangère dans la construction de l’identité québécoise
Au Québec des années 1950, l’idée migrante apparaît comme un déclencheur de changement, élément essentiel qui participe à la Révolution tranquille. L’étude de Pierre Nepveu, L’écologie du réel, montre bien que l’influence des théories coloniales (Memmi, Fanon, etc.) contribue fortement au développement de l’identité du Québécois comme être exilé en son propre pays. Ce changement fondamental entraîne aussi une redéfinition du canon littéraire, permettant à un poète comme Crémazie, auparavant méprisé, d’être récupéré comme le précurseur d’une longue série d’écrivains « de l’exil ». L’identité du Québécois naît ainsi d’un double mouvement : l’appropriation d’une idée migrante et l’assimilation régressive d’un corpus qui est favorable à cette idée. Le même double mouvement est perçu ailleurs : « Refus global » (1948), texte influencé par le surréalisme français, est récupéré par les révolutionnaires des années 1960 pour donner lieu à d’autres mythes (comme celui du Québécois « dépossédé ») qui perdurent, depuis, dans l’imaginaire québécois. L’assimilation régressive d’œuvres littéraires s’y fait aussi ; nul texte n’en est plus exemplaire que le célèbre « Torrent » d’Anne Hébert (1945).
À l’instar des études comme celle de Nepveu, je propose d’examiner le même phénomène pendant la Révolution tranquille. Si l’effort d’une constitution identitaire tira profit des idées migrantes avant la Révolution, il en sera de même au courant de celle-ci, car l’ouverture du Québec au monde s’y fait, en littérature, du point de vue formel. En effet, plusieurs auteurs dont Roch Carrier, Claude Mathieu, Michel Tremblay, Yves Thériault et Jacques Ferron s’inspirent du réalisme magique de l’Amérique latine et de la littérature fantastique de Lovecraft ou de Jean Ray. Bien que la plupart de ces œuvres semblent, à première vue, non-engagées –voire même complètement détachées de la réalité québécoise, elles sont a posteriori assimilées aux préoccupations nationalistes des années 1960 par une relecture, une réinterprétation parfois forcée. C’est ainsi que l’influence migrante est de nouveau mise à la disposition de la construction de l’identité québécoise. À partir d’un nombre d’exemples de la période, nous démontrerons la pertinence du phénomène général d’assimilation régressive des corps étrangers dans la construction de l’identité québécoise voulue à la fois spécifique et authentiquement nationale.
Dans ce cas, l’inspiration est surtout formelle idée migrante est surtout formelle. L’influence exemple ’intérêt grandissant pour les œuvres innovatrices qui se passent volontiers du « rationnel ». Ces œuvres commencent à apparaître pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale, alors que la source principale de littérature, la France, ne publie plus et pendant les années 1950 où le Québec est en période de « rattrapage ». Leur aspect non-rationnel semble naître surtout de l’influence de des textes latino-américains et surréalistes. D’aucuns constatent dans cette période la présence de plus en plus importante d’un vague de contestation prévoyant la Révolution tranquille. Le cas de Borduas (1905-1960) est critique, puisqu’il est aussi contestateur (« Refus global ») et surréaliste.
Mon hypothèse de travail est que pendant cette période où un véritable besoin de progrès se faisait sentir au Québec, la littérature québécoise s’est une fois de plus basée, paradoxalement, sur l’influence extérieure pour définir l’identité québécoise. Inspirés par le surréalisme français (implanté tôt, mais qui prit du temps à germer) et la littérature de l’Amérique latine (par les œuvres de …), le texte non-rationnel est développer au Québec avant la Révolution tranquille et contribue a une véritable création de l’identité.
Mon étude permettra ainsi de mesurer l’ampleur qu’ont eue les idées migrantes, durant les décennies déterminantes qui précèdent la Révolution tranquille, sur la formation de la culture, de la littérature, mais surtout de l’identité québécoises.
Benoît Trudel ( University of Western Ontario,)
Session F3: Political Science
Minority, Majority or Margianality? The Liberals Navigate the Federal Election of 2006
Contrary to the great expectations that attended Paul Martin’s ascent to the leadership of the Liberal Party, there was no corresponding substantial increase in popular support for the party among Canadian voters. In fact, following the revelations of the Auditor General on the sponsorship scandal, the party entered the federal election of 2004 severely weakened. Despite this, the Liberals managed to eke out a bare plurality of seats and were able to form a weak minority government.
A combination of skill in navigating confidence votes in the House, success in public relations, and the ineptitude of the opposition parties has so far sustained the Liberal Party in office. Soon after assuming the leadership, Mr. Martin set in place steps designed to address public concerns over the sponsorship scandal. Among these was the creation of the Gomery Commission on the Sponsorship Program and associated advertising activities. Under duress, Mr. Martin has publicly pledged to hold a federal election within a month of the release of the final Report of the Gomery Commission. Thus, it is highly probable that there will be a spring election in Canada.
Paul Nesbitt-Larking (University of Western Ontario)
Over the past months Canada’s minority Parliament has been marked by prolonged argument, bitter partisanship, and accusations of scandal. Throughout this period the Conservatives have attempted to persuade Canadians that the Liberals no longer have legitimacy as Canada’s governing party. Conservative efforts to unseat the government have proven fruitless for a variety of reasons. Among the Conservative weaknesses are an unpopular leader in Stephen Harper, difficulty in breaking into the central Canadian heartland, and public fears that they represent an American-inspired turn to the right. The easiest path for many in the party has been to rely upon accusations of scandal and excessive spending. While there has been some truth to the accusations the Conservatives have not made deep inroads into Liberal support and may actually be falling slightly further behind in the most recent period.
Looking ahead to the upcoming election the Conservatives face an interesting set of challenges which warrant discussion. One is leadership. The Conservatives have gone through leadership changes in the past decade and if Harper fails to deliver once again, expectations are rife that he will be unseated. A second challenge is the crafting of a message that would appeal to central Canadian voters without irritating core support in western Canada. Third is the question of whether the Conservative parliamentary caucus understands the need to move beyond the politics of scandal and accusation.
The proposed presentation will consider each of these challenges facing the opposition Conservatives over the course of 2006. It will be argued that the Conservatives seem unlikely to break out of their current situation.
Hugh Mellon (University of Western Ontario)
Day-Care and Gomery: Is Canadian electoral politics out of touch with the life experiences of Canadian women
In the 2000 Canadian election campaign, NDP Leader Alexa McDonough accused both the Jean Chretien and Stockwell Day of being out of touch with the lives of Canadian women, “Instead of riding off into the sunset on a jet ski, maybe Stockwell Day could try rushing to buy groceries for dinner, pick up the dry clearning, pick up your toddler on the way home from work before the child-care center closes. Instead of the excitement of white-water rafting, just maybe Jean Chretien could check out the thrill of waiting for six consecutive hours in a crowded emergency room with a feverish child…” (Jeff Sallott, ‘Chretien, Day Out of Touch With Women’s Lives, NDP Leader Says,’ the Globe and Mail, 4 November 2000, A7).
This paper proposes to examine whether similar accusations can be made of the 2006 Canadian election, and what role gender plays in the campaigns of the three major parties. This is particularly interesting given the recent Liberal efforts to extend the funding for and to establish national initiatives on early learning and child care, raising the possibility of a national daycare program.
Jacquetta Newman (University of Western Ontario)
The Role of Advertising in the 2006 Canadian Election
The paper offers reasons why the Liberal advertising strategy failed in the 2006 Canadian election. Unlike the 2004 election, the Liberals failed in their attempt to portray the Conservatives as holding values antithetical to Canadians. The Conservatives policy driven advertising was successful because it was compatible to their policy driven campaign. This election offers a good example of how advertising is an adjunct to electoral strategy for all three national parties. The paper concludes by examining some alternative modes of election advertising in other countries.
Jonathan Rose (Queen’s University)
Session F4: Community and Culture
Canadians in US Publishing: The Example of Thomas B. Costain
In his recent book When Canadian Literature Went to New York (2005), Nick Mount describes the migration of Canadian writers, journalists and editors to New York toward the end of the nineteenth century and their remarkable impact on the US publishing world. Mount’s scrupulous historical inquiry makes for an excellent introduction to a neglected topic in comparative Canadian and US literature throughout the twentieth century. Drawing on the archives of Doubleday publishers and other sources, this paper will look at the work of bestselling author Thomas B. Costain, who (Brantford, Ontario-born like Sara Jeannette Duncan and Pauline Johnson) began his career as a journalist and editor with Maclean’s, before moving south to edit the Saturday Evening Post and become advisory editor at Doubleday Publishers. At both the Saturday Evening Post and at Doubleday, he discovered and championed several important Canadian authors . From the early 1940s onwards, Costain published historical works that sold in the millions and were often made into successful Hollywood movies. Of particular interest in the context of this conference are the ways in which he advised authors of historical novels on ways to depict shared US and Canadian history that were both ethical and commercially effective, and the manner in which he tackled this subject in his own writing.
Eva-Marie Kroller (University of British Columbia)
Professional Strategies: Women Artists and Writers and the Canadian Cultural ‘Brain Drain’ in Late Nineteenth Century Canada
Much has been written lately on the “brain drain” from Canada to the United States in recent years. However, late nineteenth-century Canada experienced its own cultural “brain drain.” My paper proposes to examine the movement of women artists and writers from Canada to the United States and Great Britain in the years around 1900. The reasons for this movement of artists out of Canada were generally related to the relative lack of a mature cultural community of support and opportunity in Canada, at that time.
My exploration of the dynamics of this movement of cultural professionals will be informed by discussion of the careers of the writer Sara Jeanette Duncan (Mrs. Cotes), and the artists Elizabeth Stanhope Forbes, Mary Bell Eastlake, Emily Carr, Florence Carlyle, Elizabeth McGillivray Knowles, and others. These Canadian women each made the decision, at some point in her professional career in the arts to work and live outside Canada. My paper will explore the various reasons for this happening at the time it did, and what it was about the Canadian cultural world that influenced trained and talented Canadian individuals to take flight for other nations. While for the most part they transported their talent, production, and potential for involvement away from Canada with their migration to a new place, links were retained with Canada. This relationship between the artist/writer and Canada took different forms. My paper will discuss the continuum of responses that occurred when each of these Canadian women decided to further their professional careers outside of Canada. In one case the artist returned to Canada to contribute toward the growth of cultural life, in her case she became a founding editor of an early Canadian arts magazine. In another example, the artist Florence Carlyle worked in New York City for part of the year and crossed the border to Canada to participate and foster Canadian cultural life by teaching art, exhibiting her work in major Canadian venues, and with her support of arts societies in this country. While each of these artists had a different relationship to Canada, their place of origin, their responses and ultimately their contributions to the growth of Canadian culture were complex and surprising.
Susan Butlin (Carleton University)
Forced Resettlement: David Blackwood’s Island Prints
David Blackwood, who was born in 1941 in Wesleyville, Newfoundland, is widely regarded as one of Canada’s most accomplished printmakers. His prints of the life and traditional culture of the people of Newfoundland, and the landscape they inhabit, hold a special place in the Canadian imagination. Amongst the many locations depicted by Blackwood is Bragg’s Island, a tiny outcrop of rock that was the home of his maternal grandparents. In fact, Bragg’s Island is one of the most significant leitmotifs in his work.
This paper will firstly seek to address the elements of personal biography and mythic narrative that are to be found in Blackwood’s Bragg’s Island prints. It will then discuss those prints devoted to the resettlement on the mainland of the small island community in the mid 1950s under the Smallwood government’s controversial initiatives. The resettlement – which divided the community – was inevitably something of a traumatic experience and looms large in Blackwood’s imagination. In particular, his prints of houses being floated to the mainland on rafts made of logs and oil drums have become compelling symbols of the drama that was played out.
Although such resettlement involved small distances, it nevertheless shares with greater migrations the feelings of loss, deprivation and unsettlement as well as the feelings of hope, ambition and aspiration. The paper will seek to bring out how Blackwood succeeds in giving visual expression to a specific event that has universal significance.
Christopher Rolfe (University of Leicester)
Session F5: First Nations II
Strangers in a Strange Land: The Effects of Transient Migration the Nisga’a and their Land and Governance Claims
Groups of isolated west coast Aboriginals such as the Nisga’a experienced a distinctly different pattern of contact with incoming settlers than Aboriginals in many other parts of the country. While not at all immune from the disastrous effects of European encroachment, the Nisga’a, were not faced with the mass and wholesale repopulation of their territory by non-Aboriginal settlers. Instead, one sees a pattern of temporary non-Aboriginal migration for the purpose of resource extraction. In this paper I will discuss how this pattern of contact affected the Nisga’a struggle to regain control over their territory and their affairs as a self-determining political entity within the Canadian state.
Tracie Scott (Birkbeck College)
Indigenous Relocation and Community Health in Twentieth-Century Canada
In post-World War Two Canada, Canada’s department of Indian affairs promoted the wholesale community relocation of First Nations. This policy was ostensibly aimed at improving the standard of living for First Nations who lived in “remote” places by bringing them closer to the amenities of “civilization.” In fact, community’s standard often declined rather than improved. This paper examines the impact of a number of these relocations and draws, in particular, on fieldwork done with the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation.
The pro-relocation policy naturalized the “remoteness” of certain locales and tended to cast community relocation as inevitable. This perspective obfuscated the way in which economic and policy decisions were, in fact, partly responsible for creating conditions of “isolation” that necessitated relocation. Indian affairs officials made decisions to deny infrastructure and support to reserve communities that they judged beyond the reach of rationalist, modern development. In so doing, they simultaneously created the conditions that they claimed to cure. Some relocations were explicitly forced. Other relocations occurred after First Nations learned that if they wanted access to their own band funds (held in trust by Indian affairs) they would have to acquiesce to relocation.
This was the experience of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht on western Vancouver Island. In the 1960s, Indian affairs encouraged families to move from their ancestral village of Yuquot to a newly-built subdivision, downstream from a white town and adjacent to an industrial pulp and paper mill. Indian affairs promised relocatees modern comforts, but life on the new reserve was plagued by serious environmental and health hazards. Eventually, in 1996, the government granted a new reserve in a safe location. Despite these multiple relocations, community members’ notion of “home” has changed little over the last half century, and many people, even those who have never lived there, still identify Yuquot as “home.”
Paige Raibmon (University of British Columbia)
Powerful women, dependent women? An enquiry into the social strategies of Inuit career women.
The ‘modern’, southern Canadian way of life has increasingly influenced Nunavut during the last decades. This ‘migration’ of a new way of life has seriously disrupted the receiving culture. The loss of traditional ways of life and conduct has led to alcohol and drug abuse, violence and criminality.
The migration of culture has also led to an increased female participation in the labour market. This has in fact been “one of the most significant trends in Nunavut’s labour force in recent years […]. Between 1994 and 1999, employment of Inuit females increased to a greater degree than did employment of Inuit males […]”(Nunavut Community Labour Force Survey, 1999).
While my research mainly focuses on the effects of women’s entry into the labour market on intra-household relations, its wider concern is to establish to what extent traditional forms of social relationships survive or are reproduced in the ever-changing world of Inuit women in Nunavut.
I will focus on how households and their members adapt to the new situation at hand, possible changes in the division of labour within the household and encouragement or discouragement from members of family, kin and society. The perspectives offered by Inuit career women on their way of life, their problems and their solutions give insight in the consequences of the migration of cultures.
Us and Them revisited: Impacts of migration on perceptions of solidarity and alterity
in Northern communities
Prior to the European and neoEuropean arrival in the Canadian Arctic and Subarctic North, perceptions of community (solidarity vs alterity) were characteristically constructed on a macro-level around the Amerindian/Inuit dichotomy, and within that, around location and territoriality, and affiliations of language, kinship, and the other cultural parameters of ‘tribal’ ethnicities.
Perceived solidarity and alterity had serious implications in terms of competition for resources access, realized both in violent conflict and in peaceful coexistence, and reflected in the physical mobility patterns of the various cultures, including major migration events such as the departure of the Athapaskan populations that became the Apache and Navaho.
The initial European impact was relatively limited in the Arctic, where the visits of the various explorers were of short duration and had no immediate consequences beyond some input of European DNA into the regional gene pool, but the creation of the Hudson Bay Company’s infrastructure of trading posts and trading patterns in the Subarctic started a process of far-reaching and still on-going social and economic change in which definitions of Them and Us have been repeatedly reconfigured. The demography of the North has been drastically reshaped through the migrations triggered by the minerals extraction industry, from the great Gold Rush to diamond mining.
The paper explores, from an avowedly distant perspective, the reconfigurations of perceived groupings of Them and Us, first during the ‘high colonial’ period (with the systematic devalorization of indigenous cultures and the introduction of the Catholic/Protestant dichotomy), and more recently under the impact of the Great Values Shift (ultra-concisely: the institutionalization of a culture of egalitarian respect, including recent settlements of aboriginal land and resources claims in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory), on-going patterns of in- and out-migration, and the extensive involvement of aboriginal persons and communities within the political process.
Keith Battarbee (University of Turku, Finland)
Session G1: Quebec III (Roundtable)
Allophones in Quebec – Demographic Perspectives on Language Practices
Drawing on census data, this paper aims to consider some trends at work behind language usage among immigrants in Quebec. In particular, we will consider issues surrounding their adoption of either of Canada’s official languages, such that they increasingly constitute a significant group in Quebec’s linguistic landscape. With a view to capturing the specificity of their linguistic situation in Quebec, the paper will also compare findings with other Canadian provinces, with a view to considering how Quebec’s language laws may impact on immigrants in that province.
Martin Howard (University College Cork)
Models and Strategies of Integration in Contemporary Quebec
Ines Molinaro (St. Clare’s, Oxford)
Language Attitudes Amongst Immigrants to Quebec
Ruth Kircher (Queen Mary, University of London)
Quebec French or ‘International’ French? Finding Standard for Quebecers of all Ethnic Origins
Leigh Oakes (Queen Mary, University of London)
Session G2: Quebec IV
Writing the Heartland II: Monique Larue and la Côte Nord
Migrations, movement and multiculturalism in the novels of Francine Noël
Quebec is irrefutably a country of immigration and movement and its literature reflects this multicultralism. In particular, the novels of Francine Noël deal with the encounter between Quebec and new cultures and the resultant identity problems. My paper will look at what it means to be Quebecois today and the assimilation of ‘the other’ into a host culture. The paper will be centred on
the literature of Francine Noël and will consider immigration from a Quebecois perspective. The novels covered will include the Maryse Trilogy and Nous avons tous découvert l’Amérique.
Julie Rodgers (Trinity College Dublin)
Session G3: Literature VII
Migration of the Fairies: ‘Scope for Imagination’ and the Place of Fantasy in Canadian literature for Children
Marilla was as fond of morals as the Duchess in Wonderland, and was firmly convinced that one should be tacked on to every remark made to a child who was being brought up . . . But Anne waved the moral inconsequently aside and seized only on the delightful possibilities before it. (L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables )
Much Canadian fiction for children over the past 120 or so years seems to demonstrate that Canadian writers have Marilla’s penchant for morals. Perhaps their readers, like Anne, wave the moral aside, but adult readers may well ask why, at least until comparatively recently, we have had so many examples of adventure, historical fiction, and adolescent coming-of-age novels, and so little fantasy? Why do we have an Anne of Green Gables and not an Alice in Wonderland? Where, as a lecturer in Canadian studies once asked, is the Lady Galadriel?
Canadian folklore, as Edith Fowke established, has no lack of fairies, smuggled into the country in the folkloric baggage of the Scots settlers of Cape Breton Island, but these migrants have not found their way so easily into published writing for children. Seen in the context of British writing for children during the early years of Canada’s literary history (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1857, only ten years before Confederation), the tendency towards realism in Canadian children’s fiction contrasts strikingly with the broad stream of fantasy in British children’s fiction. Nevertheless, there have been, with greater frequency over the past fifty years, Canadian writers who have found the ‘scope for imagination’ in Canada necessary to provide fantasy literature for children.
Deriving its title from the poetical whimsy by John Hunter Duvar, ‘The Emigration of the Fairies’ (1888), this paper examines how Canadian writers for children have coped with the ‘young’ country’s notorious lack of fairies, goblins, and ghosts, with particular attention to the way that the Canadian wilderness came to take the place of the ‘Perilous Realm’ of Faery in their work.
Linda Knowles( Independent Researcher, Southampton)
Cultural and Gender Identity Migrations in Jane Urquhart’s Historical Fiction
Jane Urquhart’s historical fiction returns to Canada’s past in order to explore the complex nature of the movements of people and cultures between Old World and New World in the nineteenth century. Her work reveals the interplay of political, social, environmental, cultural and personal factors at work within such migrations, and this will be the subject of this paper.
Through focussing on migration movements into and within nineteenth-century Canada, Urquhart describes the difficult journey of a minority identity group of people from persecution at home in Europe to settlement abroad in the New World. This paper will illustrate how the political and social aspects of this movement are depicted in Urquhart’s fiction so as to highlight the complicated processes inherent in the construction of a multi-cultural Canadian identity.
Another aspect of this migration movement which will come under examination is that of the settlers’ encounter with the alien environment of the New World: through her focus on the Canadian wilderness, Urquhart reveals nineteenth-century European prejudices regarding landscape aesthetics. This in turn affects the contact between Old World and New World cultures and is expressed in Urquhart’s fiction by the symbolic contrast between the Victorian literary canon and the minority status of nineteenth-century Canadian writings.
Finally, it will be shown how Urquhart moves away from the realm of official and national historical narratives by locating her fiction in the private sphere of family history, and how she replaces the male-authored historical discourse by the female narrative of women’s (unrecorded) past.
Elodie Rousselot (University of Kent)
Nostalgia and Images of Outmigration in Recent Nova Scotia Fiction
Maritime literature has been attacked by critics who characterise it as antimodern and nostalgic. The nostalgic impulse in this canon primarily takes two forms: characters who make their home in the Maritimes lament a premodern lifestyle that industrialisation has made obsolete; and characters who have been forced to leave “home” because of the dire economic prospects offered by the region struggle to overcome the dislocation they experience in the urban locales to which they migrate. The paper I am proposing will argue that Nova Scotian writers like Leo McKay (Like This; 26); Christy Ann Conlin (Heave) and Alistair MacLeod (The Lost Salt Gift of Blood; As Birds Bring Forth the Sun; No Great Mischief) use the material circumstances of life in the Maritime provinces to link these themes; as a result, this literature is attentive to the painful economic and cultural realities of the Maritime provinces. These writers situate the experience of nostalgia and dislocation in social realities like outmigration, deindustrialisation and unemployment. New critical understandings of the term “nostalgia” will illuminate these authors’ treatment of the common image of outmigration in contemporary Nova Scotia fiction.
Peter Thompson (Carleton University)
Albert Plym: Swedish-Canadian Novelist and Navvy
Albert Plym was one of many young Swedish men that came to Canada in the early 1900s. The Canadian government’s immigration propaganda, which was spread through the government-supported Swedish-Canadian press, assured prospective immigrants of a bright future in the new land; however Plym and his compatriots would soon realize that there was often only one way for them to get by—through hard labour in the remote Canadian wilderness, often earning much less than before emigrating.
In Rallarliv i Canada (Navvy life in Canada,1950) and Rallare och guldgrävare (Navvies and Gold Diggers, 1952) Published by the Swedish Communist Party, Plym’s novels were clearly meant to raise awareness about working conditions in Canada. He exposes the exploitative methods by which scores of railway workers were forced to work for next to nothing. Like many of his fellow workers had done before him, Plym rapidly realizes that his initial plan of spending only a few years in Canada and returning to Sweden a rich man would not materialize; instead he would have to struggle just to get by without little hope of ever getting ahead, let alone return to Sweden.
Plym’s novels are not only valuable documents from a socio-historical point of view; they are also well-written literary texts in their own right. The reason why his novels have disappeared into oblivion may have more to do with the often negative picture they paint of the Swedish-Canadian immigrant experience that contradicts the preferred romanticized vision of the destitute man of the masses who overcomes great hardships and prosper. Writing by migrant workers, particularly in languages other than English or French, need to be part of future scholarship on migrant writing in Canada if we are to get an accurate picture of the Canadian immigrant experience.
Joanna Daxell (Université de Sherbrooke)
Session G4: Political Science
The Emergence of the New Canada as a Political Phenomenon
In 2003, the Globe and Mail ran a series of articles about the emergence of the New Canada. Young, entrepreneurial, highly mobile, media savvy and foreign-born, this group has changed the human ecology of Canada’s cities. They are at the cutting edge of what Richard Florida calls the Creative Class, numbered at 34 million in the US and 5 million in Canada, in 2004. This Class, Florida insisted, “pioneer new technologies, birth new industries, and power economic growth”. As such, their primary responsiblities include “innovating, designing and problem-solving” (“Managing for Creativity”, Harvard Business Review, 7/8, 2005).
Politics in Canada is being turned inside out by this phenomenon. In the first instance, the urban/rural divide has widened. In response to this, policy makers have to think of innovative, new policies to change immigration patterns so that New canadians will be attracted to clusters of “smart sectors” which radiate out from the present Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver set of hubs. In the second instance, the institutions of governance will be transformed. The independence movement in Quebec, for example, has made a direct appeal to Quebec-based New Canadians. One way or another, the federal structure in Canada will be transformed as a result.
This paper shows how this socio-economic dynamic is changing Canada’s political landscape.
Immigration and Integration Policies in Canada:
The Back and Forth Foxtrot Between Openess and Security
This paper discusses the contradictions and possible incoherence between immigration and citizenship policies and security concerns. Aiming to strengthen its security, the Canadian government adopted a new immigration policy in 2002 and has also signed a number of agreements with the United States pertaining to controlling borders (Smart Border Agreements, Safe Third Country Agreement). It has concerned itself with increasing its control on irregular immigration. Although these tightening measures appear acquaint with a closed border, at the same time, the Canadian government has announced that it aims to substantially increase the level of immigration over the next decade.
In the post 9/11 context, it is important to assess the extent to which security concerns have infiltrated policy discourse and choices. Has the Canadian government modified goals of integration and diversity developed in the policies dating prior to 9/11 or have these policies been adjusted to reflect concerns with security without altering fundamentally goals previously advocated? In this paper, we will provide a brief historical overview of the policies of immigration and citizenship. We will trace changes in the policies over the last decade and explore how the new security context has infiltrated or not the discourse on policy choices and has been used or not as a justification for changes in policies and programmes. It will be based on an analysis of government documents and interviews with civil servants.
Migration of Ideas: Towards an Americanization of Canadian Foreign Policy?
The place Canada occupies on world stage has been questioned by many analysts and observers over the last few years. In the spring of 2005, the Martin government has released its International Policy Statement in which North American questions have gained a prominence that has not been seen since the late 1980s. Was this predictable? In fact, Roussel (2202) has brought to the fore that Canadian foreign policy is not as predetermined as some might think. Hence a first set of questions emerge: In reshaping its foreign policy, has Canada bought ideas emerging from its powerful Southern neighbour or has it structured its international stance according to long held Canadian values?
These questions are interesting ones, but they in fact lead to a more in-depth phenomenon. Indeed, Canada’s attitude towards world issues is grounded in the longer term and this is the dimension this paper will explore: in answering international crisis, is Canada influenced by international values (such as international security, economy, multilateralism or regionalism) or is it guided by national values (such as reference to history, to national symbols, patriotism or humanitarian solidarity)?
Based on the analysis of crisis related foreign policy statements, this paper will allow us to determine if Canada is permeable to the migration of ideas or if it builds its international stance in an autonomous fashion.
Nelson Michaud (ENAP)
Session GV: Community and Culture
Language and risk-management in migration: a French Canadian case
This paper proposes an anthropological and sociolinguistic approach to the question of risk-management in the migration process. The study is based on the mobility and adaptation trajectories of a group of forty-five immigrants from France in the Canadian metropolis of Toronto. Instead of merely studying linguistic questions in terms of family use, transmission and attrition, the original aim of this research was to show that migration processes and language practices are in close interaction with regard to the production of identity for social actors who have resettled in a distant country. This paper will illustrate the effect of their ethnocultural origins on the way they interact with other members of the host society. While their “Frenchness” brings them some form of legitimacy based on this essentialist belonging, it also puts them in a complex position of power within their French-speaking host minority, especially on the Toronto job market. In an officially bilingual country where language is often regarded as a commodity, many French immigrants participate in this “commodification” of their native language – this is mainly because it provides employment, power and security in a mobility context which creates instability. Many of these migrants endeavour to make the most out their linguistic capital, thus minimizing the risks of a failed migration path and maximizing the returns it may bring. However, capitalizing on one’s language skills can actually prove more difficult and produce more tensions than they anticipated upon arrival, be it in Ontario or in Quebec, often creating the possibility for conflict with other members of the French-speaking minority such as the Franco-Ontarians and the Québécois.
Gilles Forlot (Université catholique de Louvain)
Resettlement, the Outports, and the Politics of Grievance in Newfoundland
Between the end of World War 2 and the mid-1970s in the Canadian province of Newfoundland over 300 communities were abandoned, and more than 28,000 people relocated , mostly under the state-sponsored centralization and resettlement programs which operated from 1953 until the mid-1970s. From the mid-1960s on a movement of opposition to resettlement developed in which artists and intellectuals played a key role. In the 1970s the anti-resettlement movement 1970s had a considerable political impact and the ‘destruction’ of the outports became a key grievance for Newfoundland nationalists. One of the outcomes of the anti-resettlement movement was that “resettlement” became a dirty word. It is now over 30 years since the schemes to move people out of isolated outports ended. However, what has become known as “resettlement” is not a dead issue in the province. Resettlement continues to inspire artists and writers, witness Scott Walden’s recent book Places Lost (2003), and there is a fascination with Newfoundland and Labrador’s many abandoned communities. Resettlement continues to be a fundamental reference point in politics. Interest in resettlement was rekindled particularly by the collapse of the cod and other fish stocks in the 1990s, and the wave of out-migration from rural Newfoundland which followed the Cod Moratorium in 1992. It was this together with the pursuit of policies which further marginalized already devastated rural areas in the province which led to accusations that governments were responsible for “the new resettlement.” This paper explores the political afterlife of resettlement, focusing especially on the continued influence of the anti-resettlement movement which started in the 1960s.
PLENARY IV: Professor Marie Mc Andrew (Faculty of education, Université de Montréal, Chair in ethnic relations, Université de Montréal)
Quebec’s immigration and integration policy: a critical assessment
In this presentation, I will propose a critical look at the Quebec immigration and integration policy developed and implemented over the past thirty years, in the wake of the nationalist movement and the negotiation of various agreements with the federal government. I will first evoke the socio-political context that led to Quebec’s increased involvement in the selection and integration of immigrants and in the promotion of harmonious intercultural relations between Quebecois of all origins. I will then analyze the directions taken in each of these areas as well as the extent to which the objectives originally sought were attained, among other things, as regards the contribution of immigration to the Francophone character and the pluralist transformation of Quebec society. In conclusion, I will describe some emerging challenges, notably in terms of socioeconomic integration and the management of religious diversity, which are not specific to Quebec but are shared with other immigration societies.
Session H1: Community and Culture
“Cod’s Head, Kebobbed Currie, Cocky Leeky : a 19th century take on fusion cookery”
In 1844 an English literary reviewer praised The Practice of Cookery by Mrs. Dalgairns as “one of the best cookery books we know for persons in the upper class of life” although he faulted the author for an “addiction” to Scottish dishes, an error shared by all “Picts.” The writer was surely unaware that author and compiler Catherine Emily Callbeck Dalgairns, born and raised in Prince Edward Island, was a very recent ‘Pict.’ It was common practice in the nineteenth century for old and recently-published cookbooks to be the subject of lengthy omnibus review articles, and Mrs. Dalgairns’ The Practice of Cookery (Edinburgh & London, 1829-1860) was regularly admired for its completeness and originality in comparison with many predecessors. But this 1844 reviewer could not have known that his subject had a complicated background. Her parents were born in Ireland and Massachusetts; she spent her first two decades in an outpost of British North America; she lived as a bride in London and at the time her cookbook was first published had been a resident of Scotland for fewer than seven years.
Migration, and indeed reverse migration, not only punctuated each decade of Mrs. Dalgairns’ life, but—as a theme—permeates each chapter of her book, her recipes having been shared across three continents among family members and friends and eventually coming together in her distinctive collection.
In this paper I will pick up the threads of Mrs. Dalgairns’ personal peregrinations, and also present a case study in early 19th century culinary history, focussing on the compilation from sources in North America, Europe and Asia of a cookbook by an upper middle class enthusiast who, unusually for the time, was neither a professional cook nor cookery teacher.
Mary F. Williamson (York University)
What They Left Behind: ‘The Loudest Noise Made to the Glory of God’
Recreational activities are part of the cultural baggage of a society and might, therefore, be expected to be unpacked and to take root in the new homeland of migrants. The Art of English Church bell ringing did not take root in nineteenth-century Canada, although the period from the late eighteenth to the end of the nineteenth century was a period of major developments in England. In the twentieth century, several rings of bells were installed in churches and Canadians rediscovered part of their cultural heritage. The reasons for the slow and difficult emergence of an element of the soundscape of England sheds some light on the society of nineteenth and twentieth century Canada. A similar set of circumstances may be posited for the non-emergence of the Veronese style of Church bell ringing in the Italian communities of Canada.
David R. Ingram (Birmingham)
‘Not chaps’: migrant masculinities and tales of adventure in the wilds of Canada
The 19th and early 20th centuries witnessed the publication of a plethora of books narrating the fictional escapades of adolescences in the wilds of Canada. From young fur-traders to slightly wayward boarding school pupils, a host of bright-eyed British boys, fired by dreams of adventure and aspirations to heroism, left the security of civilised comfort to immerse themselves “in those wild, uncivilised regions of the northern continent of American”. (Ballantyne Hudson’s Bay 1848: 2) There they encountered a host of characters and situations which were the staples of stories of wilderness adventure: “Indians” (both wise and savage), “half-breed” trappers, blizzards, foaming rapids, trackless forests and all manner of big angry furry animals (including the last of the mastodons). In this paper I will argue that such Canadian Robinsonades (Phillips 1997), were, amongst other things, stories about the formation of a migrant masculinity, a burgeoning manhood that was articulated upon a geography of adventure beyond the margins of European civilisation. The relationship between the northern wilderness and narrations of masculinity are complex. On the one hand the “man” was formed by the wilderness, losing the “womanly” “softness” that was associated with civilisation. However, the man could not be of the wilderness, he was not to be an “Indian” or “half-breed” trapper, and so even as he was “hardened” by the wilderness, he asserted his separateness and disavowed any possibility of hybridisation.
John A. Harries (University of Edinburgh)
Session H2: Quebec V: Remembering Bill Findlay
This session is dedicated to Bill Findlay whose sudden and premature death last year was a cause of great sadness to his many friends and colleagues. It commemorates and celebrates his outstanding contribution to the popularisation of Michel Tremblay’s theatre in the UK and also thereby to the overall raising here of Quebec’s cultural profile. Bill’s Scots translations of Tremblay, carried out in collaboration with his Montreal opposite number, Martin Bowman, transformed Tremblay, in the memorable words of one theatre critic, into ‘the greatest Scottish playwright Scotland never had’. In recognition of an exceptional achievement, the Quebec Delegation and the British Council in Montreal have generously made it possible for Martin to attend the BACS conference as the lead speaker in this session to discuss the longstanding and successful translation partnership between Bill and himself.
Developing the theme of Tremblay and translation, Jane Dunnett’s consideration of Tremblay’s own translation of Dario Fó’s Mistero Buffo and Rachel Killick’s comparison of a French, a North American, and Bill and Martin’s Scots translation of Tremblay’s Albertine, en cinq temps complete the session.
The Scots Translation of Quebec Plays by Bill Findlay and Martin Bowman
Bill Findlay and Martin Bowman translated eleven plays by Quebec playwrights into Scots. The eight translations of plays by Michael Tremblay received professional productions in Scotlans and were recognized to be an important achievement by critics. Bill Findlay died a year ago. In this paper, Martin Bowman, his Canadian collaborator, will talk about the project that he and Bill shared in giving Scots voice to Quebec plays.
Expatriations. Beyond Quebec: translation and performance of
Albertine, en cinq temps
While fiction, poetry, and essay typically address single readers, theatre in its performance is a public art that reveals and engages a collectivity. Translation of dramatic texts from Quebec and their performance beyond the Province involves therefore, in particularly acute forms, both Quebec society and the receiving society in issues of prestige, power, self-affirmation and identity. It is in this ‘migratory’ context that the paper will compare and contrast three ‘expatriations’ of Michel Tremblay’s Albertine, en cinq temps - to anglophone Canada, to Paris, and to Scotland - and the resonances of these ‘traductions’ in the continuing genesis of the play and its performance.
Rachel Killick (University of Leeds)
‘A Nation of Translators’: Quebecois Identity and the Trans-Migration of French-Canadians
Politically, translation has always been a sensitive issue amongst French-Canadians. In 1970, Gaston Miron famously described the latter as ‘a nation of translators’, ‘a nation of sheep’, with no identity of their own. Closely allied to this perception of themselves as a ‘translated people’ was an increasingly ambivalent, at times even aggressive, attitude towards the land from which they had originally migrated.
Following the Révolution tranquille a new literature emerged, one that no longer looked to France for inspiration. At the heart of the struggle for self-determination lay a long-standing linguistic debate that rejected the use of ‘le français de France’ in favour of a local idiom – joual – which was spoken by working-class Québécois. The promotion of this ‘Québécois language’ was a means of asserting the distinctiveness of the ‘Québécois people’, a prerequisite in their bid for nationhood; by employing it, writers and translators associated themselves unequivocally with the nationalist cause.
Thus, when Michel Tremblay chose to translate Dario Fo’s Mistero buffo (1969) into joual in 1973, he automatically created a new context for its political and religious satire. Where Fo had sought to promote popular culture through the central character of a mediaeval strolling minstrel who speaks an invented dialect, Tremblay circumscribed the role of this figure by re-locating the play to present-day Quebec, and addressing the target audience in its own vernacular. Drawing on the social discourse of the period, this paper explores the way in which translation/migration is thematised in Tremblay’s version of Mistero buffo, and considers the rhetorical force of such concepts in challenging the perceived cultural and linguistic imperialism of France.
Jane Dunnett (University of Swansea)