Canadian Literature and Cultural Memory

Hardcover | June 18, 2014

byCynthia Sugars, Eleanor Ty

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Critics argue that contemporary western societies are immersed in a "culture of memory," devoting resources to national histories and heritage, commemoration, public re-enactments, etc. We use these recollections of our national past to maintain a collective identity in the present, amongother uses. These essays, edited by Cynthia Sugars and Eleanor Ty, explore how Canadian literature draws on aspects of cultural memory, past and future. Exploring memory as a "vector of signification" involves a wide range such concepts of as heritage, antiquity, nostalgia, elegy, ancestry, haunting, trauma, affect, aging, authenticity, commemoration, public history. Contributors to this collection consider literary treatments of both mainstream andalternative uses of cultural memory, past and contemporary, urban and rural. From well-known writers like Alice Munro, Al Purdy and Dionne Brand to recreations of Aboriginal pasts and less common topics like food and Mennonites, there is wide representation of Canada's literary diversity. Andequally representative is the collection's historical spread, ranging across early explorer narratives to contemporary works. The collection digs into some of the darker moments in our past (immigrant experiences, recollections of interned Japanese-Canadians in World War 2, and memories of Nativechildren in residential schools). The sheer ambition of this collection suggests the multifaceted ways that Canada's past is part of our collective cultural memory now. A four-page colour insert - including Seth cartoons as well as unique, little known photography - provides a compelling visualcontext for the collection's treatment of the complex, multifaceted character of cultural memory in Canada.The collection is divided into five parts (amnesia, postmemory, recovery work, trauma, and globalization), all areas of research in the emerging field of cultural memory. These thought-provoking essays reflect the many ways the past infuses the present, and the present adapts the past. Students andscholars will find this rich collection useful in upper-level courses in Canadian literature as well as in cultural studies.

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From the Publisher

Critics argue that contemporary western societies are immersed in a "culture of memory," devoting resources to national histories and heritage, commemoration, public re-enactments, etc. We use these recollections of our national past to maintain a collective identity in the present, amongother uses. These essays, edited by Cynthia Suga...

Cynthia Sugars is Professor in the Department of Literature, University of Ottawa. Her research and teaching focus on the links between national identities and cultural narratives, in the broad range of ways that Canadians, past and present, make sense of themselves as members of a national community that is shaped by a multiplicity of...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:512 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.28 inPublished:June 18, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199007594

ISBN - 13:9780199007592

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

IntroductionCynthia Sugars and Eleanor Ty: Thinking Beyond Nostalgia: Canadian Literature and Cultural MemoryPART I: Sites of Memory: Cultural Amnesia and the Demands of Place1. Tony Tremblay: Globalization and Cultural Memory: Perspectives from the Periphery on the Post-National Disassembly of Place2. Kimberly Mair: Putting Things in Their Place: The Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture and the Idiom of Majority History3. Renee Hulan: Lieux d'oubli: The Forgotten North of Canadian Literature4. Candida Rifkind: Design and Disappearance: Visual Nostalgias and the Canadian Company Town5. Brooke Pratt: Preserving "the echoing rooms of yesterday": Al Purdy's A-frame and the Place of Writers' Houses in CanadaPART II: Memory Transference: Postmemory, Re-Memory, and Forgetting6. Robert Zacharias: Learning Sauerkraut: Ethnic Food, Cultural Memory, and Traces of Mennonite Identity in Alayna Munce's When I Was Young and In My Prime7. Marlene Goldman: "Their Dark Cells": Transference, Memory, and Postmemory in John Mighton's Half Life8. Linda Warley: Remembering Poverty: Bannock, Beans, and Black Tea, a Tale of Two Lives9. J.A. Weingarten: Postmemory and Canadian Poetry of the 1970s10. Tanis Macdonald: "Exhibit me buckskinned": Indigenous Legacy and Rememory in Joan Crate's Pale as Real Ladies: Poems for Pauline Johnson11. Cynthia Sugars: Scrapbooking: Memory and Memorabilia in Gail Anderson-Dargatz's The Cure for Death by Lightning and Turtle ValleyPart III: Re-Membering History: Memory Work as Recovery12. Marc Fortin: Ethnography, Law, and Aboriginal Memory: Collecting and Recollecting Gitxsan Histories in Canada13. Peter Hodgins: Between Elegy and Taxidermy: Archibald Lampman's Golden Lady's Slippers14. Jess Archibald-Barber: Under Other Skies: Personal and Cultural Memory in E. Pauline Johnson's Nature Lyrics and Memorial Odes15. Sophie McCall: Indigenous Diasporas and the Shape of Cultural Memory: Reframing Anahareo's Devil in Deerskins16. Shelley Hulan: Yours to Recover: Mound Burial in Alice Munro's "What Do You Want to Know For?"17. Dennis Duffy: Romancing Canada in Best-Sellerdom: The Case of Quebec's Disappearance18. Marissa McHugh: Collective Memory, Cultural Transmission, and the Occupation(s) of Quebec: Jean Provencher and Gilles Lachance's Quebec, Printemps 1918PART IV: The Compulsion to Remember: Trauma and Witnessing19. Robyn Morris: Under Surveillance: Memory, Trauma and Genocide in Madeleine Thien's Dogs at the Perimeter20. Farah Moosa: "I didn't want to tell a story like this": Cultural Inheritance and the Second Generation in David Chariandy's Soucouyant21. Doris Wolf: Confronting the Legacy of Canada's Indian Residential School System: Cree Cultural Memory and the Warrior Spirit in David Alexander Robertson and Scott B. Henderson's 7 Generations Series22. Robyn Green: Recovering Pedagogical Space: Trauma, Education, and The Lesser BlessedPART V: Cultural Memory in a Globalized Age23. Alexis Motuz: "I have nothing soothing to tell you": Dionne Brand's Inventory as Global Elegy24. Joel Baetz: Now and Then: Dionne Brand's What We All Long For, the Desire to Forget, and the Urban Archive25. Eva Darias-Beautell: Haunted/Wanted in Jen Sookfong Lee's The End of East: Canada's Cultural Memory Beyond Nostalgia26. Jennifer Andrews: Rethinking Postcolonialism and Canadian Literature through Diasporic Memory: Reading Helen Humphrey's Afterimage27. Pilar Cuder-Dominguez: Transnational Memory and Haunted Black Geographies: Esi Edugyan's The Second Life of Samuel Tyne

Editorial Reviews

"A vital and convincing defence of memory as a central concept and a persistent preoccupation in Canadian literature and culture." --Andrea Cabajsky, Universite de Moncton