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Gifts from the Thunder Beings

Indigenous Archery and European Firearms in the Northern Plains and Central Subarctic, 1670-1870

Roland Bohr

Gifts from the Thunder Beings examines North American Aboriginal peoples’ use of Indigenous and European distance weapons in big-game hunting and combat. Beyond the capabilities of European weapons, Aboriginal peoples’ ways of adapting and using this technology in combination with Indigenous weaponry contributed greatly to the impact these weapons had on Aboriginal cultures. This gradual transition took place from the beginning of the fur trade in the Hudson’s Bay Company trading territory to the treaty and reserve period that began in Canada in the 1870s.

Technological change and the effects of European contact were not uniform throughout North America, as Roland Bohr illustrates by comparing the northern Great Plains and the Central Subarctic—two adjacent but environmentally different regions of North America—and their respective Indigenous cultures. Beginning with a brief survey of the subarctic and Northern Plains environments and the most common subsistence strategies in these regions around the time of contact, Bohr provides the context for a detailed examination of social, spiritual, and cultural aspects of bows, arrows, quivers, and firearms. His detailed analysis of the shifting usage of bows and arrows and firearms in the northern Great Plains and the Central Subarctic makes Gifts from the Thunder Beings an important addition to the canon of North American ethnology.

 

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The God of Gods: A Canadian Play

A Critical Edition

Carroll Aikins

Carroll Aikins’s play The God of Gods (1919) has been out of print since its first and only edition in 1927. This critical edition not only revives the work for readers and scholars alike, it also provides historical context for Aikins’s often overlooked contributions to theatre in the 1920s and presents research on the different staging techniques in the play’s productions.

Much of the play’s historical significance lies in Aikins’s vital role in Canadian theatre, as director of the Home Theatre in British Columbia (1920–22) and artistic director of Toronto’s Hart House Theatre (1927–29). Wright reveals The God of Gods as a modernist Canadian work with overt influences from European and American modernisms. Aikins’s work has been compared to European modernists Gordon Craig, Adolphe Appia, and Jacques Copeau. Importantly, he was also intimately connected with modernist Canadian artists and the Group of Seven (who painted the scenery for Hart House Theatre).

The God of Gods contributes to current studies of theatrical modernism by exposing the primitivist aesthetics and theosophical beliefs promoted by some of Canada’s art circles at the turn of the twentieth century. Whereas Aikins is clearly progressive in his political critique of materialism and organized religion, he presents a conservative dramatization of the noble savage as hero. The critical introduction examines how The God of Gods engages with Nietzschean and theosophical philosophies in order to dramatize an Aboriginal lover-artist figure that critiques religious idols, materialism, and violence. Ultimately, The God of Gods offers a look into how English and Canadian theatre audiences responded to primitivism, theatrical modernism, and theosophical tenets during the 1920s.

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The Great War

From Memory to History

The Great War: From Memory to History offers a new look at the multiple ways the Great War has been remembered and commemorated through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Drawing on contributions from history, cultural studies, film, and literary studies this collection offers fresh perspectives on the Great War and its legacy at the local, national, and international levels. More importantly, it showcases exciting new research on the experiences and memories of “forgotten” participants who have often been ignored in dominant narratives or national histories.

Contributors to this international study highlight the transnational character of memory-making in the Great War’s aftermath. No single memory of the war has prevailed, but many symbols, rituals, and expressions of memory connect seemingly disparate communities and wartime experiences. With groundbreaking new research on the role of Aboriginal peoples, ethnic minorities, women, artists, historians, and writers in shaping these expressions of memory, this book will be of great interest to readers from a variety of national and academic backgrounds.

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Hélier, fils des bois

Jamais réédité depuis sa parution dans les années 1930, ce grand roman de Marie Le Franc – par ailleurs récipiendaire du prix Femina en 1927 – apparaît au lecteur d’aujourd’hui comme la première incursion littéraire féminine dans la forêt nordique. Cette oeuvre déploie un fascinant imaginaire de la forêt, ici celui du lac Tremblant dans les Laurentides, qui se nourrit des paysages découverts lors des nombreux séjours de la romancière et des sensations vécues au contact d’une nature qui, sans être totalement hostile à l’être humain, n’en demeure pas moins extrêmement difficile à habiter. La radicale altérité de la forêt, qui se joue de rapports intimes et intérieurs, renforce l’intérêt contemporain pour cette oeuvre.

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Histoires d'immigrations au Québec

Afin d’inscrire les nouveaux arrivants dans notre mémoire collective, 14 histoires s’enchaînent selon les grandes vagues d’immigration qui ont transformé le tissu humain du Québec, du milieu du xixe siècle à nos jours. Partez à la rencontre de 14 communautés culturelles – écossaise, irlandaise, italienne, juive yiddishophone, polonaise, juive sépharade, grecque, portugaise, haïtienne, latino-américaine, asiatique du Sud-Est, libanaise, subsaharienne et maghrébine – qui ont construit le Québec, et Montréal en particulier. Chaque récit historique est accompagné d’extraits du témoignage d’un membre de la communauté concernée, dont l’ancien premier ministre Pierre Marc Johnson et les artistes Kim Thúy, Bernard Adamus et Lynda Thalie. Pour rendre le portrait encore plus vivant, une riche iconographie des quartiers et des édifices où se sont rassemblées les communautés, ainsi que des individus qui ont eu une action déterminante sur leur groupe, est proposée. Toutes ces trames migratoires inscrites dans la trame québécoise, liant l’histoire nationale à l’histoire internationale, viennent attester, d’une certaine façon, que l’universel s’atteint par le particulier.

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A History of Kitchener, Ontario

W.V. (Ben) Uttley

William V. Uttley's outline of Kitchener's growth from the 1840's into 20th century [is] shot through with a reassuring consistency and integration of purpose .... The complex of life as we still know it—social freedom and social restraint, economy and ecology—has its genesis here in the account compiled by William Uttley. His work comes as close to a personal anecdotal history of the city as we can hope to retrieve, a spotted chronicle of a community that can never exist again, and one in which almost every reader will find a point where past confronts present as nostalgia tugs against progress.

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Home Ground and Foreign Territory

Essays on Early Canadian Literature

Janice Fiamengo

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Home-Work

Postcolonialism, Pedagogy, and Canadian Literature

Edited by Cynthia Sugars

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.

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The Homing Place

Indigenous and Settler Literary Legacies of the Atlantic

Rachel Bryant

Can literary criticism help transform entrenched Settler Canadian understandings of history and place? How are nationalist historiographies, insular regionalisms, established knowledge systems, state borders, and narrow definitions continuing to hinder the transfer of information across epistemological divides in the twenty-first century? What might nation-to-nation literary relations look like? Through readings of a wide range of northeastern texts – including Puritan captivity narratives, Wabanaki wampum belts, and contemporary Innu poetry – Rachel Bryant explores how colonized and Indigenous environments occupy the same given geographical coordinates even while existing in distinct epistemological worlds. Her analyses call for a vital and unprecedented process of listening to the stories that Indigenous peoples have been telling about this continent for centuries. At the same time, she performs this process herself, creating a model for listening and for incorporating those stories throughout.

This commitment to listening is analogous to homing – the sophisticated skill that turtles, insects, lobsters, birds, and countless other beings use to return to sites of familiarity. Bryant adopts the homing process as a reading strategy that continuously seeks to transcend the distortions and distractions that were intentionally built into Settler Canadian culture across centuries.

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“I Want to Join Your Club”

Letters from Rural Children, 1900-1920

“I am a girl, 13 years old, and a proper broncho buster. I can cook and do housework, but I just love to ride.”

In letters written to the children’s pages of newspapers, we hear the clear and authentic voices of real children who lived in rural Canada and Newfoundland between 1900 and 1920. Children tell us about their families, their schools, jobs and communities and the suffering caused by the terrible costs of World War I.

We read of shared common experiences of isolation, hard work, few amenities, limited educational opportunities, restricted social life and heavy responsibilities, but also of satisfaction over skills mastered and work performed. Though often hard, children’s lives reflected a hopeful and expanding future, and their letters recount their skills and determination as well as family lore and community histories.

Children both make and participate in history, but until recently their role has been largely ignored. In “I Want to Join Your Club,” Lewis provides direct evidence that children’s lives, like adults’, have both continuity and change and form part of the warp and woof of the social fabric.

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