Canadian Postmodernism & Postcolonialism Introduction Overview Canadian Postmodernism and Postcoloniali sm Margaret Atwood General Questions What do you know about The Canadian The Postmodern The Postcolonial Globalization Margaret Atwood and The Chinese-Canadian Writers?
Overview The Canadian 2nd largest nation with high tech development; settler-invader (post)colonialism leading to split identity and unity in disunity. The Postmodern cultural dominant (parody, pastiche, constructivism, challenge of metanarrative) in the conditions of hightech telecommunication and international capitalism. The Postcolonial issues of identity in relation to marginality, power, alterity,
resistance, and historical revisionism Overview (2) Globalization growing intensification of global interactions and restructuring on the economic, political and cultural levels. Margaret Atwood a major Canadian writer concerned with womens positions both on the personal and political/national levels Overview (3) SKY
Lee metafictional constructions of five generations of Chinese-Canadians Larissa Lai Reconstruction of Chinese myths (fox, Nu Wa) in order to re-write (Chinese-) Canadians post-national identities in contemporary society or near future Please see course description for common issues Canadian Postmodern & Postcolonial Identities
General Views Postmodernism 1. Definitions 2. Definitions and Issues Postcolonialism 1. Settlement Colonies 2. Postcolonialism s Three Fronts 3. From Two Solitudes to Many: National Myths & Realities Which of the following are Canadians? Saturday Night Life: Dan Aykroyd Jim Carrey
MICHAEL J. FOX Keanu Reeve Captain Kirk Megan Follow as Anne of Green Gables Paul Anka, Neil Young, Peter Jennings k.d. Lang ALANIS MORISSETTE Celine Dion Pamela Anderson Lee
Internet Jokes on Cultural Differences Aussies: Uncertain Identity Dislike being mistaken for Pommies (Brits) when abroad. Canadians: Are rather indignant about being mistaken for Americans when abroad. Americans: Encourage being mistaken for Canadians when abroad. Brits: Can't possibly be mistaken for anyone else when abroad. Internet Jokes on Cultural
Differences Americans: Spell words differently, but still call it "English". Brits: Pronounce their words differently, but still call it "English". In-Between Identity Canadians: Spell like the Brits, pronounce like Americans. Aussies: Add "G'day", "mate" and a heavy accent to everything they say. Internet Jokes on Cultural Differences Aussies: Uncertain Identity
Are extremely patriotic to their beer. Americans: Are flagwaving,anthem-singing, and obsessively patriotic to the point of blindness. Canadians: Can't agree on the words to their anthem, when they can be bothered to sing them. Brits: Do not sing at all but prefer a large brass band to perform the Canadian Identity: SelfAssertion Who Are We? Molson I am Canadian; (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzn0UiiOYLs ) (William Shatner:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1CwZgb_iAI&feature=related ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt596dfzYq8&feature=related ) Hey, Stereotypes I'm not a lumber jack e.g. Do Or a fur trader you know And I dont live in an igloo Jimmy? Or eat blubber Or own a dog sled And I don't know Jimmy, Jally or Suzie from Canada Although I'm sure they're really really nice The More Positive Distinction from the American
I have a Prime Minister not a President I speak English and French not American And I pronounce it about not "a-boot" I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack I believe in peace-keeping not policing Diversity not assimilation And that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal A toque is a hat a chesterfield is a couch And it is pronounced "zed" not "zee" "zed"! Canada is the 2nd largest landmass! Politics, national The 1st nation in hockey! symbols, And the best part of North America! language and My name is Joe and I am Canadian! identity Postmodernism (0): Definitions -- (Postmodernism) cultures
which challenge language and the other types of Truth, foundation and tradition. (Poststructuralism as one example.) -- (Poststructuralism) theories which challenge the stable structure of language (binaries) and traditional value systems; sees their meanings as slippery, multiple and contingent ( ). -- (Postmodernity) The socioeconomic and intellectual conditions which make postmodernism possible. Postmodernism (1): Definitions & Issues 1. Definition: postmodernism --
Period or style: 2. 3. 4. Postmodernism and postmodernity (postmodern conditions : ) the former reinforcing or critiquing the latter. Interpretation: against interpretation, difficult wholenss or hybridity Postmodern Identity: Depthlessness vs. 1. History, Memory, Capitalist culture and Identity 2. The role of the author authority, originality and authenticity 3. The boundaries of humanity What is Postmodernism? (2)
metafiction & metafilm Urban space Society as spectacle; overall commofication Plural space; Multiple historical signs De-zoning or democratization of urban space; re-creation of historical spaces Literature & Film:
Surfiction, metafiction 2. Canadian Postmodernism The postmodern condition e.g. Marshall McLuhan) The medium is the massage (the influence of print technology and media) A strong self-conscious (or metafictional) impulse which does not give up on realism (e.g. plot or realistic description) In Film -- Atom Egoyans treatment of electric/electronic devices of reproduction and David Cronenbergs treatments of technologies and dual identity
Postmodernism (3): as Boundary-Crossing Boundaries between fact and fiction disciplines the private and the public high art and popular culture nations human and non-human
Why? Next week. Postmodernism(3): Cultures (postmodernism) (depthless) (pastiche) (metafictional) (ambiguous) (de-doxification) (eclecticism) (boundary-crossing) (pluralistic), etc. Postcolonial Issues (1): Settlement Colonies
Colonization 1: Colonization invasion, exploitation Settlement & cultural imposition India: U.K. (Prospero) the Caribbean: Holland, Spain, France, U.K. Metaphor: Caliban Colonization 4: neo-colonialism U.S. 2: Canada: U. K. Metaphor: Miranda
Colonization 3: Internal colonialism = racism against the immigrants; Quebec Canadas Miranda Identity Diana Brydon: Re-writing The Tempest Miranda -- the dutiful daughter of the empire (77). Prosperos values are internalized by Miranda but redefined through her interaction with Caliban (86). They show how Canadians have
internalized the process of their colonization: they are themselves Prospero and what he colonized is a vital part of themselves. Dennis Lee Namelessness Placelessness. Canadian History 1534 --New France 1670 -- Charles II of England established HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY 1867 -- Canada become a confederation of former colonies (The British North America Act) 1947-- the creation of the status of Canadian citizen
1967-- expo '67 in Montreal 1982-- The Constitution Act ended British control over amendments to Canada's Constitution. 1988-- Canadian Multiculturalism Act Summary: Canadian Identity Compared with the States, it merged quite late, slowly and peacefully in the 20th century. Defined in contrast with the Americans -- White North (but not the West), Irony (but not Innocence), victim mentality (but not heroism), Mounties but not cowboy, etc. Charateristics (?): Gentleness + violent hockey, Two solitudes.
Postcolonialism: Three Fronts in Canada Brydon: Critics in Canada have contributed to postcolonial theory on these three fronts: 1.understanding Canada as a settlerinvader society; 2.healing the colonial wounds inflicted on Indigeneity through the development of decolonizing Indigenous research and activist strategies; and 3.understanding postcolonialism as a global phenomenon. (59 in Moss) From Two Solitudes to MANY: National Myths & Racial Realities e.g. Who Are We? "As Canadian as possible, . . ., under the circumstances."
The Canadian North: Its Myths and Realities The Group of Seven National Myth 1: Victim Mentality Garrison Mentality Victim Mentality vs. American individualism e.g. Atwood Survival But who are
the victims?. e.g. Can Lit. by Earl Birney Myth 2: Two Solitudes Duality -- caused by settler-colonization and neo-colonialism French and English; British, American & Canadian e.g. Tricks with Mirrors The victims are not necessarily powerless. Interactions between the victimizer and the victimized.
Myth 3: Mosaic and Multiculturalism Immigrants to Canada Early V e r t i c a l Mosaic Ghettoized? 20th century: Italians and Jews discriminated against the postwar new-comers: at first mainly British, and then
Dutch and German in the 1960s -- Mediterranean peoples, notably Italians, Greeks and Portuguese, in the 1970s -- a steadily growing number of Asians--from India and China via Hong Kong especially and of people of ultimately African origin via the Caribbean. Is Canada Postcolonial? Depends focus on Canada as a member of the British Commonwealth; focus on the vastly different histories of the countries in that Commonwealth; view Canada as both an invader and
settler colony; view Canada as holding two solitudes and/or other solitudes; see Canada as a nation of immigrants; Is Canada Postcolonial? see Canada continuing the colonization of First Nations people; isolate Canada as a member of the G8 and a powerful player in globalization; isolate Canada as a country with pockets of poverty; define Canadian primarily as not American; think of a Molson I am Canadian identity; consider multiculturalism in Canada to be more than a series of folklore festivals; and/or consider Canada to be a nation of writers from widely diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds (Moss 7-8)
The Circle Game (1966, poetry) Survival (1972, nonfiction) Margaret Atwood The Edible Woman (1969, novel) Surfacing (1973, novel) Lady Oracle (1977, novel) Dancing Girls (1977, short) Life Before Man (1979, novel) Dancing Girls
and Other Stories (1982, short stories) Bodily Harm (1982, novel) The Handmaid's Tale (1985, novel) Bluebeard's Egg (1987, short stories) Selected Concerned with Canadas cultural identity and histories; Womens Positions; Survival (1972)
Duality Tricks with Mirror; Two-Headed Poems (1978) Victim mentality Selected Poems II: 1976-1986 (1987, poetry... US) Cat's Eye (1989, novel) Wilderness Tips (1991, short stories) The Robber Bride (1993, novel) Good Bones and Simple
Murders (1994, short stories) Alias Grace (1996, novel) A Quiet Game(1997, The Blind Assassins (2000) Margaret Atwood (2) 42 books; 13 novels Postmodern, selfreflexive mode
mixing poetry and fiction, mixing a lot of genres (Gothic, detective story, fairy tales, family romance, comedy, allegory, etc.) Poems Duality and Womens SelfPreservation: This is a Photograph of Me Tricks with Mirror The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970): the experience of a midnineteenth-century English settler in Canada, derived from two books by Moodie, Roughing It in the Bush (1852) and Life in the Clearings (1853). Tricks with Mirrors from
You Are Happy Mirror: Identity narcissism, selfabsorption, entrapment, stasis. Note: Atwood compares writers to trickster. The trickster figure embodies contradictions, often using humor, parody, and satire to expose hypocrisy and pretension. The Handmaids Tale: Plot The simple, constrained life of a handmaid and her memories. Her life: shopping, eating, bathing, waiting, ceremonies intercourse, birthing, Salvaging.
Night sections memories, meeting Nick, etc. In-between study, the commander and his wife: Commander meetings in the Jazebel, Wife Nick Reference Laura Moss, ed. Is Canada Postcolonial? Unsettling Canadian Literature. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2003.
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