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Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada

Christine Kim

Publication Year: 2012

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Series: TransCanada


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

CULTURAL GRAMMARS was, from its very beginnings, conceived at the edge of acceptable grammar. As we struggled for the words that would articulate the present moment in Canadian literary studies, with its conflicted critical conversations about nation, diaspora, and indigeneity, we often found ourselves...

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pp. 1-18

The impetus for this volume comes from a sense that over the past couple of decades, both the tenor of Canadian cultural and literary studies and its terms of critical debate—such as race, nation, difference, and culture—have shifted in significant ways. The chapters in this collection focus on literary and cultural treatments of a wide range of topics pertaining to Canadian...


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Diaspora and Nation in Métis Writing

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pp. 21-41

For the past several years, a growing split has become increasingly evident in critical studies of diasporic and Aboriginal literatures in North America: while most critics of diasporic literatures engage with questions of migrancy in an era of transnational corporatization, the majority of critics of...

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Canadian Indian Literary Nationalism? Critical Approaches in Canadian Indigenous Contexts—A Collaborative Interlogue

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pp. 43-63

American Indian literary nationalism—what we will refer to in this chapter as Indigenous Literary Nationalism—is an intellectual movement that marks a range of committed critical responses to the calls throughout the 1980s and early 1990s for Indigenous-centred literary scholarship.1 Because...

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Breaking the Framework of Representational Violence: Testimonial Publics, Memorial Arts, and a Critique of Postcolonial Violence (the Pickton Trial)

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pp. 65-82

In December 2007, canadian newspapers were full of the Pickton trial. Robert William Pickton, arrested in February 2002, was found guilty of six counts of second-degree murder. He is a white man often referred to derisively in the media as the “greasy-haired pig farmer” because his victims, all...

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“Grammars of Exchange”: The “Oriental Woman” in the Global Market

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pp. 83-96

A large number of postcolonial and feminist critics of diverse cultural backgrounds, including Edward Said,1 Gayatri C. Spivak, Arif Dirlik, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Aijaz Ahmad, Arjun Appadurai, Chandra T. Mohanty, Graham Huggan, or Neil Lazarus, have argued that it is most crucial to restore...


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Unhomely Moves: A.M. Klein, Jewish Diasporic Difference, Racialization, and Coercive Whiteness

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pp. 99-118

This chapter brings questions of Jewish difference into the contemporary critical grammar of diaspora. These questions might seem unproblematic. Historically diaspora, from the Greek word meaning dispersion, was attributed to the multitude of communities formed as a result of the Babylonian expulsion...

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Asian Canadian Critical Practice as Commemoration

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pp. 119-133

This chapter was written as a response to the 100th anniversary of the 1907 Anti-Asian riots in Vancouver. On 7 September 1907, the Asiatic Exclusion League held a rally outside city hall that attracted around 10 percent of the White population living in the city at the time.1 The League was...

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Diasporic Longings: (Re)Figurations of Home and Homelessness in Richard Wagamese’s Work

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pp. 135-151

In the first volume of the Diaspora journal, William Safran refines Walker Connor’s definition of diaspora as “that segment of a people living outside the homeland” and suggests that the term be a descriptor for different groups of peoples (qtd. in Safran 83). He lists six characteristics: the dispersal from an...

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Afro-Caribbean Writing in Canada and the Politics of Migrant Labour Mobility

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pp. 153-168

In the “Metropolitan country” Berger speaks of in his 1975 documentary study specifically refers to those European countries—such as Germany and Switzerland—that depended on labour migration schemes in the postwar period. Although Canada’s role as an importer of migrant labour is often rendered...


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Racialized Diasporas, Entangled Postmemories, and Kyo Maclear’s The Letter Opener

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pp. 171-189

Kyo Maclear’s The Letter Opener (2007) begins with the disappearance of Andrei, a recent Jewish refugee to Canada from Romania, and the sense of loss felt by his friend and colleague Naiko, the Canadian narrator of Japanese and Scottish ancestry. Andrei and Naiko met as co-workers in...

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Underwater Signposts: Richard Fung’s Islands and Enabling Nostalgia

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pp. 191-205

Partway through Richard Fung’s 2002 video, Islands, there is an extravagant death scene. The figure on the screen collapses, clasping his hand to his chest, flailing. There are explosions going off around him. Dirt flies everywhere. It is a death repeated again and again. The inter-title explains:...

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“Phoenicia ≠ Lebanon”: Transsexual Poetics as Poetics of the Body within and across the Nation

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pp. 207-228

Over the past two decades, the signifier “trans” has gained increasing currency in social and academic discourse. Its most pervasive use has addressed concerns about the movements of people across the world, and especially the challenges to state boundaries of transnational migrants who, to different...

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Word Warriors: Indigenous Political Consciousness in Prison

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pp. 229-244

Few people might look upon the prison as a site of profound political change where developments of consequence to Indigenous peoples1 outside the prison’s walls are taking root. Fewer still might recognize the prison as a transnational space where prisoners enter into a shared consciousness with...

Works Cited

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pp. 245-264


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pp. 265-268


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pp. 269-274

E-ISBN-13: 9781554584178
E-ISBN-10: 1554584175
Print-ISBN-13: 9781554583362
Print-ISBN-10: 1554583365

Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: TransCanada