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Postcolonialism, Pedagogy, and Canadian Literature

Edited by Cynthia Sugars

Publication Year: 2004

Canadian literature, and specifically the teaching of Canadian literature, has emerged from a colonial duty to a nationalist enterprise and into the current territory of postcolonialism. From practical discussions related to specific texts, to more theoretical discussions about pedagogical practice regarding issues of nationalism and identity, Home-Work constitutes a major investigation and reassessment of the influence of postcolonial theory on Canadian literary pedagogy from some of the top scholars in the field.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Reappraisals: Canadian Writers

TItle Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v-viii

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pp. ix

I am grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for a grant that helped gather these scholars together. I am also indebted to the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ottawa for its financial support of this project, from its contribution to the 2002 conference, to...

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Introduction: Postcolonial Pedagogy and the Impossibility of Teaching: Outside in the (CanadianLiterature) Classroom

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pp. 12-33

IN HIS ACCOUNT of the early years of the academic study and teaching of Canadian literature, Desmond Pacey provides a telling and amusing anecdote about colonial attitudes and Canadian literature in 1952.1 Founded by A.S.P. Woodhouse at the University of Toronto, the...

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The Culture of Celebrity and National Pedagogy

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pp. 35-55

I'M ON PAT BAY HIGHWAY, Wednesday morning, the twentieth anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, driving home after dropping a friend at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal. Naturally, I'm listening to CBC. Mary Walsh is hosting the most recent "do" about...

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Cross-Talk, Postcolonial Pedagogy, and Transnational Literacy

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pp. 57-74

MY TITLE, "CROSS-TALK," EVOKES the ambivalence of the conflictual classroom where dialogue is engaged about issues that matter enough to get people angry. Postcolonial questions in Canadian contexts can function like lightning rods for channelling complex and...

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Literary Citizenship: Culture (Un)Bounded, Culture (Re)Distributed

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pp. 75-85

THIS PAPER OFFERS THEORETICAL considerations of the ways in which literary postcoloniality in the teaching of Canadian literatures constitutes both a continuation of and a departure from the institutionalized history of literature as a key mode of delivery in civic...

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Globalization, (Canadian) Culture, and Critical Pedagogy: A Primer

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pp. 87-100

LET'S START WITH a few selected definitions, drawn from The New Penguin English Dictionary: "Prime": from the Latin, primus (first): 1. noun: the most active, thriving, or successful state 2. adjective: first in importance...

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Culture and the Global State: Postcolonialism, Pedagogy, and the Canadian Literatures

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pp. 101-116

The last several decades have witnessed an extraordinary expansion of the scope of literary studies. Often associated with methodological and interpretive narratives such as deconstruction; the new historicism; cultural studies; ethnic, race, gender and sexuality criticism; and the rapid formation of the subfield...

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Canadian Literature in English "Among Worlds"

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pp. 117-133

IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH of the events of September 11, 2001, at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, assertions that "the world" had irrevocably changed dominated American media coverage of the attacks. Early counter-reactions from voices such as Susan...

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Everything I Know about Human Rights I Learned from Literature: Human Rights Literacy in the Canadian Literature Classroom

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pp. 135-150

"THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights...

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Compr(om)ising Post/colonialisms: Postcolonial Pedagogy and the Uncanny Space of Possibility

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pp. 151-165

THE TITLE OF THIS PAPER is drawn from a conference of the same name that I co-organized in 1999 at the University of Wollongong in Australia (see RatclifFe andTurcotte). Although the general aim of the conference was to interrogate the notions of the postcolonial, it originally began as a wider discussion about the...

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From Praxis to Practice: Prospects for Postcolonial Pedagogy in Canadian Public Education

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pp. 167-188

THIS PAPER IS DIVIDED into two parts. It begins by reviewing current postcolonial pedagogical theory, both focusing on its interests and identifying its omissions in relation to public education in Canada. It ends with an appendix of practical suggestions for implementing a postcolonial...

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"You Don't Even Want to Go There": Race, Text, and Identities in the Classroom

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pp. 189-212

TEACHERS OF ENGLISH, postcolonialists or others, have not paid much attention to pedagogical matters. Classroom teaching is the major part of what we do, and we undergo several levels of evaluation of our teaching practices. Yet, as Heather Murray suggests, we do it in the context of the...

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Is There a Subaltern in This Class(room)?

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pp. 213-228

FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has been my guru. I could explain what I mean by that word, but I think I'll just let it resonate. Take it as used by a White Canadian who does not specialize in South Asian studies, who came of age at a time when guru was a bit of wild exotica which...

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How Long Is Your Sentence?: Classes, Pedagogies, Canadian Literatures

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pp. 229-244

THIS CRANKY ACADEMIC discussion has two aims. One is to explore the uncanny presence of social class (more precisely, working classes) within the Canadian literatures—and how this ghostly revenant conjures in the classroom the related spectres of law, transgression, and power. To teach the reality of social class as...

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Codes of Canadian Racism: Anglocentric and Assimilationist Cultural Rhetoric

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pp. 245-256

THE CANADIAN DISCOURSES of power that flow around race and racism infiltrate texts as diverse as a provincial referendum, the Multiculturalism Act, and prominent newspaper ads, and these discourses, both official and popular, are sources for a much wider public perception and sensibility, ones that foster attitudes...

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Reading against Hybridity?: Postcolonial Pedagogy and the Global Present in Jeannette Armstrong's Whispering in Shadows

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pp. 257-284

BOTH OF THESE EPIGRAPHS serve as a rough itinerary of this essay's conceptual inquiries and multi-generic reading practices. Through their different political perspectives, the two quotations raise questions about, first, indigenous accounts of what Zygmunt Bauman calls the "human" and "social consequences of the...

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Teaching the Talk That Walks on Paper: Oral Traditions and Textualized Orature in the Canadian Literature Classroom

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pp. 285-300

THE CALL TO INCLUDE Aboriginal oral traditions in post-secondary English department curricula was among the urgings of the Canadian Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies' roundtable on Aboriginal Literatures in 2000, and this paper considers ways of beginning to answer that call...

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"Outsiders" and "Insiders": Teaching Native/Canadian Literature as Meeting Place

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pp. 301-320

Is NATIVE LITERATURE ALSO Canadian literature? Or is that a "simple" question, posed at the "Postcolonialism and Pedagogy" symposium, May 2002?1 In 1999, I, the resident Canadianist at my small undergraduate institution, was asked to put together a new course in Native Literature in English, to be cross-listed with our developing...

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Getting In and Out of the Dark Room: In Search of April Raintree as Neutral Ground for Conflict Resolution

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pp. 321-334

CLASSICAL BLACK-AND-WHITE photography and Polaroid photography share one major prerequisite with regard to their finished product, namely a negative exposed to light. In other words, for both systems, the positive print cannot come into being without the...

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Thinking about Things in the Postcolonial Classroom

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pp. 335-350

MY FATHER DIED TWO years ago, after a year-long illness with colon cancer. The doctors performed some palliative surgery at the time of his diagnosis, but as the cancer grew he could digest less and less of what he ate. So the year was spent, essentially, waiting for him to...

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Postcolonial Collisions of Language: Teaching and Using Tensions in the Text

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pp. 351-367

WHILE TEACHING AS A CUSO co-operant in Nigeria in the early 1980s, I was asked by my Form Two students to speak "Canadian." I replied, rather erroneously I realized, that I was speaking Canadian, but they continued to press me to speak the language of my...

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Re-Placing Ethnicity: New Approaches to Ukrainian Canadian Literature

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pp. 369-383

OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS, Canadian writers of Ukrainian descent have produced a substantial body of literature written in English that makes a rich contribution to Canadian literature. Sadly, however, Ukrainian Canadian writing is under-represented in Canadian...

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To Canada from "My ManySelves": Addressing the Theoretical Implications of South Asian Diasporic Literature in English as a Pedagogical Paradigm

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pp. 385-403

AS THE ABOVE EXCERPTS indicate, writers of the South Asian diaspora self-consciously foreground their multiply positioned identities. In evoking their "many selves," South Asian diasporic writers call upon a diverse range of literary fields, at least as they are...

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Literary History as Microhistory

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pp. 305-422

NOW THAT THE "linguistic turn" has been replaced by an "historical turn," it may seem unnecessary to argue for literary history as a mode of work. In recent years, English-Canadian literary criticism has been both deepened and enhanced by the wealth of writing...

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Postcolonialism Meets Book History: Pauline Johnson and Imperial London

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pp. 423-439

PAULINE JOHNSON OFFERS a rich opportunity to engage students with various intersecting features of turn-of-the-century society and culture in the larger British Empire. As a mixed-race woman, she personally embodied the sexual interaction between English conquerors and Aboriginal subjects that has recently...

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Margaret Atwood's Historical Lives in Context: Notes on a Postcolonial Pedagogy for Historical Fiction

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pp. 441-460

IN NOVEMBER 1996, Margaret Atwood delivered the Bronfman lecture at the University of Ottawa, a lecture that was later published as In Search of Alias Grace by the University of Ottawa Press and then reprinted in the American Historical Review in December 1998 as part...

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At Normal School: Seton, Montgomery, and the New Education

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pp. 461-485

AN THE FIRST DECADE of the twentieth century, two texts that were to become classics of Canadian children's literature were published just five years apart: Ernest Thompson Seton's Two Little Savages: Being the Adventures of Two Boys and What They Learned, in 1903, and L.M. Montgomery's...

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Cornering the Triangle: Understanding the "Dominionitive" Role of the Realistic Animal Tale in Early Twentieth-Century Canadian Children's Literature

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pp. 487-501

POSTCOLONiAL CONCERNS ARE important to understanding the place of children's literature in pedagogical and extracurricular pursuits. Peter Hulme has described "the classic colonial triangle . . . [as] the relationship between European, native and land" (qtd. in Bradford 196). In his view, territories, culture, and wo rid-views are appropriated...

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The Teacher Reader: Canadian Historical Fiction, Adolescent Learning, and Teacher Education

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pp. 503-516

KARLEEN BRADFORD'S There Will Be Wolves, written in 1992, won the Canadian Library Association Best Young Adult Book Award and was nominated for several others. As one of my students in the Bachelor of Education program at the University of Ottawa pointed out, "students will enjoy this historical novel because it is similar to the popular...

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pp. 517-523

I FOUND MYSELF UNSTEADY on a number of this volumes conceptual superordinates —postcolonialism, pedagogy, Canadian literature, and "the classroom"—and so, in a desperate bid to remind myself of the scholarly debate around at least one of our organizing...


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pp. 525-530

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pp. 531-533

Reappraisals: Canadian Writers was begun in 1973 in response to a need for single volumes of essays on Canadian authors who had not received the critical attention they deserved or who warranted extensive and intensive reconsideration. It is the longest running series dedicated to the study of Canadian literary subjects. The annual symposium hosted by the...

E-ISBN-13: 9780776616094
E-ISBN-10: 0776616099
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776605777
Print-ISBN-10: 0776605771

Page Count: 545
Publication Year: 2004

Series Title: Reappraisals: Canadian Writers

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Postcolonialism in literature.
  • Canadian literature -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc.
  • Canadian literature -- Study and teaching -- Canada.
  • Postcolonialism -- Canada.
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