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A Memoir of Childhood in Jamaica
Dead Woman Pickney chronicles life stories of growing up in Jamaica from 1943 to 1965 and contains both personal experience and history, told with stridency and humour. The author’s coming of age parallels the political stages of Jamaica’s moving from the richest Crown colony of Great Britain to an independent nation within the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Taking up the haunting memories of childhood, along with her astonishment at persistent racial marginalization, both locally and globally, the author sets out to construct a narrative that at once explains her own origins in the former slave society of Jamaica and traces the outsider status of Africa and its peoples. The author’s quest to understand the absence of her mother and her mother’s people from her life is at the heart of this narrative. The title, Dead Woman Pickney, is in Jamaican patois, and its meaning unfolds throughout the narrative. It begins with the author’s childhood question of what a mother is, followed by the realization of the vulnerability of a child without its mother’s protection. The term “pickney” was the name for slave children on sugar plantations, and post-emancipation the term was retained for the descendants of enslaved Africans and the children of black women fathered by slavers. The author struggles through her life to discover the identity of her mother in the face of silence from her father’s brutal family.
A wonderful resource for teachers of history, social studies, cultural studies, and literature, this work could be used as a starting point to discuss issues of diasporic identities, colonialism, racism, impact of slavery, and Western imperialism around the world. It is also an engaging read for those interested in memoir and life writing.
Letters from Rural Women of the North-West, 1900-1920
How did women in the early twentieth century, newly arrived in North-West Canada, cope with their strange new lives — so very different from the lives they used to lead? How did they see themselves and their role in frontier life?
In the early twentieth century, drawn west by the promise of free land, economic success or religious and political freedom, women moved from eastern Canada and overseas to farms and ranches in North-West Canada. They discovered that it was not the utopia touted by government propaganda or land agents. They also discovered that there was a select but diverse group of rural women who shared their common experiences of isolation, of hard work and duty, of poverty and neglect. But, more importantly, they shared knowledge of independence and self-reliance and of pride in what they had accomplished.
Through letters written to the women’s pages in agricultural newspapers, they forged a vital network that supported, encouraged and educated women in ways to improve their rural lives. Their letters show how these rural women made significant and vital contributions to the settlement and development of the Canadian North-West.
Depicting Canada’s Children is a critical analysis of the visual representation of Canadian children from the seventeenth century to the present. Recognizing the importance of methodological diversity, these essays discuss understandings of children and childhood derived from depictions across a wide range of media and contexts. But rather than simply examine images in formal settings, the authors take into account the components of the images and the role of image-making in everyday life. The contributors provide a close study of the evolution of the figure of the child and shed light on the defining role children have played in the history of Canada and our assumptions about them. Rather than offer comprehensive historical coverage, this collection is a catalyst for further study through case studies that endorse innovative scholarship. This book will be of interest to scholars in art history, Canadian history, visual culture, Canadian studies, and the history of children.
Whiteness, Gender, and the Helping Imperative
In Desire for Development: Whiteness, Gender, and the Helping Imperative, Barbara Heron draws on poststructuralist notions of subjectivity, critical race and space theory, feminism, colonial and postcolonial studies, and travel writing to trace colonial continuities in the post-development recollections of white Canadian women who have worked in Africa. Following the narrative arc of the development worker story from the decision to go overseas, through the experiences abroad, the return home, and final reflections, the book interweaves theory with the words of the participants to bring theory to life and to generate new understandings of whiteness and development work.
Heron reveals how the desire for development is about the making of self in terms that are highly raced, classed, and gendered, and she exposes the moral core of this self and its seemingly paradoxical necessity to the Other. The construction of white female subjectivity is thereby revealed as contingent on notions of goodness and Othering, played out against, and constituted by, the backdrop of the NorthSouth binary, in which Canada’s national narrative situates us as the “good guys” of the world.
Essays on Canadian Crime Fiction, Television, and Film
The first serious book-length study of crime writing in Canada, Detecting Canada contains thirteen essays on many of Canada’s most popular crime writers, including Peter Robinson, Giles Blunt, Gail Bowen, Thomas King, Michael Slade, Margaret Atwood, and Anthony Bidulka. Genres examined range from the well-loved police procedural and the amateur sleuth to those less well known, such as anti-detection and contemporary noir novels. The book looks critically at the esteemed sixties’ television show Wojeck, as well as the more recent series Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, and Intelligence, and the controversial Durham County, a critically acclaimed but violent television series that ran successfully in both Canada and the United States.
The essays in Detecting Canada look at texts from a variety of perspectives, including postcolonial studies, gender and queer studies, feminist studies, Indigenous studies, and critical race and class studies. Crime fiction, enjoyed by so many around the world, speaks to all of us about justice, citizenship, and important social issues in an uncertain world.
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Youth, Equity, and Information Technology
Digital Diversity: Youth, Equity, and Information Technology is about youth, schools, and the use of technology. Youth are instrumental in finding novel ways to access and use technology. They are directly affected by changes such as the proliferation of computers in schools and elsewhere, and the increasingly heavy use of the Internet for both information sharing and for communication.
The contributors to this volume investigate how the resources provided by information and communication technology (ICT) are made available to different groups of young people (as defined by gender, race, rural location, Aboriginal status, street youth status) and how they do (or do not) develop facility and competence with this technology. How does access vary for these different groups of youth? Which young people develop facility with ICT? What impact has this technology had on their learning and their lives? These are among the issues examined. Youth from a wide variety of settings are included in the study, including Inuit youth in the high arctic.
Rather than mandate how youth should/could better use technology (as much of the existing literature does) the contributors focus on how youth and educators are actually using technology. By paying attention to the routine use and understandings of ICTs by youth and those teaching youth, the book highlights the current gaps in policy and practice. It challenges assumptions around the often taken-for-granted links between technology, pedagogy, and educational outcomes for youth in order to highlight a range of important equity issues.
Cases and Concepts
How can bitter enemies who have inflicted unspeakable acts of cruelty on each other live together in peace?
At a time in history when most organized violence consists of civil wars and when nations resort to genocidal policies, when horrendous numbers of civilians have been murdered, raped, or expelled from their homes, this book explores the possibility of forgiveness.
The contributors to this book draw upon the insights of history, political science, philosophy, and psychology to examine the trauma left in the wake of such actions, using, as examples, numerous case studies from the Holocaust, Russia, Cambodia, Guatemala, South Africa, and even Canada. They consider the fundamental psychological and philosophical issues that have to be confronted, offer insights about measures that can be taken to facilitate healing, and summarize what has been learned from previous struggles.
Dilemmas of Reconciliation is a pioneering effort that explores the extraordinary challenges that must be faced in the aftermath of genocide or barbarous civil wars. How these challenges of reconciliation are faced and resolved will affect not only the victims’ ability to go on with their lives but will impact regional stability and, ultimately, world peace.
Canada and Israel, 1958-1968
The University of Winnipeg Politics Department presents a talk by WLUPress author Zachariah Kay entitled Canada and the Middle East: Mileposts on the Diplomatic Highways and Biways of Impartiality on Thursday, March 10, 2011, 2:30 to 4:00 pm, 202 St. John’s College, University of Winnipeg. Everyone is welcome. The lecture will be based on Kay’s book The Diplomacy of Impartiality: Canada and Israel 1958צ1968.
The Diplomacy of Impartiality is an analysis of a major decade in CanadianIsraeli relations, dealing with significant events that led to the Six-Day War of 1967 and its aftermath. Using primary documentation from the National Archives of Canada and the Israeli State Archives, Zachariah Kay shows that although Canada was committed to Israels existence, its foreign policy was governed by the scrupulous impartiality that had become a principle guideline when dealing with Israel and the Middle East.
The first section of the book deals with the Progressive Conservative government headed by John Diefenbaker in the first part of the decade and his Israeli counterpart, David Ben Gurion. The second section considers the latter part of the decade, with reference to Lester Pearsons Liberal government and the Israeli prime minister Levi Eshkol. The book shows that in spite of political differences between the leaders and their parties, the Canadian bureaucracy maintained a policy of impartiality, following the lines of non-commitment and prudence practiced prior to the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty in Palestine with the State of Israel. Issues such as the ArabIsraeli conflict, nuclear power, governments and parliaments, and the pre- and post-Six-Day War are dealt with in detail. The assessed evidence proves that impartiality as a quasi-bureaucratic ordinance kept Canada on the path it maintained in subsequent decades into the twenty-first century.
The Diplomacy of Impartiality provides an essential understanding of events surrounding todays Canadian relationship with Israel and the ArabIsraeli conflict.
Jewish, Catholic, and Islamic Schooling in Canada
The education provided by Canada’s faith-based schools is a subject of public, political, and scholarly controversy. As the population becomes more religiously diverse, the continued establishment and support of faith-based schools has reignited debates about whether they should be funded publicly and to what extent they threaten social cohesion.
These discussions tend to occur without considering a fundamental question: How do faith-based schools envision and enact their educational missions? Discipline, Devotion, and Dissent offers responses to that question by examining a selection of Canada’s Jewish, Catholic, and Islamic schools. The daily reality of these schools is illuminated through essays that address the aims and practices that characterize these schools, how they prepare their students to become citizens of a multicultural Canada, and how they respond to dissent in the classroom.
The essays in this book reveal that Canada’s faith-based schools sometimes succeed and sometimes struggle in bridging the demands of the faith and the need to create participating citizens of a multicultural society. Discussion surrounding faith-based schools in Canada would be enriched by a better understanding of the aims and practices of these schools, and this book provides a gateway to the subject.