Charles Explorer logo

Introduction to Canadian Studies

Class at Faculty of Arts |


OBJECTIVES The aim of the course is to identify certain distinctive features of Canadian national culture in relation to the country?s specific geographic and natural characteristics, as well as its historical and socio-cultural development. The basic attributes of Canada, as one of the largest countries in the (not only English-speaking) world, will be discussed together with the key moments of its history. Among the most important aspects of Canada that will be studied will be the relation between the anglophone and francophone Canada, the history of immigration, the mainstream society?s interaction with the Aboriginal peoples, and the politics of multiculturalism. The second part of the course will be dedicated to examples of representations of the above mentioned social issues in works of Canadian literature and art. SYLLABUS

1. Introduction: Basic characteristics of Canada. Geography of Canada. Readings and materials: Map and basic facts: Douglas Coupland: ?Distance,? (pdf) ?One Billion Years? (pdf) ?49th Parallel? (pdf) in: D. Coupland: Souvenir of Canada)

2. History of Canada I. Readings and materials: Canadian history online: video: Canada: A People?s History W.L. Morton: ?The Relevance of Canadian History? in: Eli Mandel and David Taras, eds.: A Passion for Identity (pdf)

3. History of Canada II. Readings and materials: George Grant: ?In Defence of North America? in: A Passion for Identity (pdf)

4. Characteristics, history and culture of Canadian Aboriginal People Readings and materials: Michael Asch: ?Contemporary Native Life: Images and Realities? in: Passion for Identity (pdf)

5. Visions of the Canadian North Readings and materials: Sherrill Grace ?Constructing a Northern Nation? in: Canada and the Idea of North (pdf) Video: Nanook of the North

6. English and French Canada Readings and materials: Mordecai Richler: from: Oh Canada! Oh Québec! Requiem for a Divided Country (pdf)

7. Immigration and multiculturalism Readings and materials: ?Celebrating Diversity: Multiculturalism as Ideology? in: Augie Fleras and Jean Leonard Elliott: The Challenge for Diversity: Multiculturalism in Canada (pdf) Video: Canada: A People?s History

8. Space and region in the Canadian context Readings and materials: William Westfall: ?On the Concept of Region in Canadian History and Literature? in: A Passion for Identity (pdf)

9. Canadian culture I: music and visual arts Readings and materials: George Woodcock: ?The Cultural Upsurge? in: George Woodcock: A Social History of Canada (pdf)

10. Canadian culture II: theatre and drama Readings and materials: Alan Filewood: ?National Theatre/ National Obsession? in: Ajay Heble, Donna Palmateer Pennee and J.R. (Tim) Struthers, eds.: New Contexts of Canadian Criticism (pdf)

11. Canadian literature I. Readings and materials: E. K. Brown: ?The Problem of a Canadian Literature? in: A Passion for Identity (pdf) ?Can.Lit.? ? examples of Canadian poetry (pdf)

12. Canadian literature II. Readings and materials: Margaret Atwood: from: Survival. A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (pdf)

13. conclusion, discussion, reading of selected texts ASSESSMENT CREDIT based on the student´s attendance and active participation in the seminar sessions; among others, the participants are expected to submit a short paper dealing with or complementing one of the relevant topics included in the seminar programme.