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High: The History of Canadian Nationalism

Steven High (kanadischer Gastprofessor)


PS 32441 (Magister):

The History of Canadian Nationalism


(Mi 14-16) JFKI, Raum 203


This course will explore what it meant to be Canadian during the twentieth century. The course material is organized into three parts. The first part, “Inventing Canada”, looks at the concept of nation and introduces students to Canadians’ changing notion of themselves as a people during the nation’s first century of existence. The second part, the “new Nationalism”, examines the wave of nationalist feeling that swept across English-speaking Canada between 1960 and 1988. Finally, “Quebec Nationalism and Regionalism,” looks at other competing nationalisms and regional identities within Canada. Nationalism has the power to exclude as well as include.



The readings will be gathered into a course pack. Among the readings will be:

Berger, Carl, “the true north strong and free,” in Peter Russell, ed. Nationalism in Canada (Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1966), 3-26.

Wood, Patricia. “Defining ‘Canadian’: Anti-Americanism and Identity in Sir John A. Macdonald’s Nationalism,” Journal of Canadian Studies 36, 2 (Summer 2001), 49-69.

Sport and Nationalism

Bouchier, Nancy B. “Idealized Middle-Class Sport for a Young Nation: Lacrosse in Nineteenth Century Ontario Towns, 1871-1891,” Journal of Canadian Studies 29, 2 (Summer 1994), 89-110.

Cooper, David. “Canadians Declare ‘It Isn’t Cricket’: A Century of Rejection of the Imperial Game, 1860-1960,” Journal of Sport History 26,1 (Spring 1999), 51-81.

Robidoux, Michael A. “Imagining a Canadian Identity Through Sport: A Historical Interpretation of Lacrosse and Hockey,” Journal of American Folklore 115, 456 (2002), 209-25.

Art and Nationalism

Moray, Gerta. “Wilderness, Modernity and Aboriginality in the Paintings of Emily Carr,” Journal of Canadian Studies 33, 2 (1998), 43-65.

Zemans, Joyce, “The Canon Unbound,” Journal of Canadian Art History 25 (2004), 150-79.

Cultural Nationalism

Litt, Paul. “The Massey Commission, Americanization and Canadian Cultural Nationalism,” Queen’s Quarterly 98, 2 (1991), 375-87.

High, Steven. “The Narcissism of Small Differences: The Invention of Canadian English,” Forthcoming.

Rutherford, Paul. “Made in America: The Problem of Mass Culture in Canada,” in David H. Flaherty and Frank E. Manning, eds. The Beaver Bites Back? American Popular Culture in Canada (Montreal: McGill Queen’s UP, 1993), 260-80.

Edwardson, Ryan. “ ‘Of War Machines and Ghetto Scenes’: English-Canadian Nationalism and The Guess Who’s ‘American Woman’,” American Review of Canadian Studies 33, 3 (2003), 339-56.

Edwardson, Ryan. “The Many Lives of Captain Canuck: Nationalism, Culture, and the Creation of a Canadian Comic Book Superhero,” Journal of Popular Culture 37, 2 (2003), 184-201.

Economic and Political Nationalism

Aronsen, Lawrence “An Open Door to the North: The Liberal Government and the Expansion of American Foreign Investment, 1945-1953,” American Review of Canadian Studies (Summer 1992), 167-197.

Bullen, John. “The Ontario Waffle and the Struggle for an Independent Socialist Canada: Conflict within the NDP,” Canadian Historical Review 64, 2 (1983), 188-215.

High, Steven. “I’ll Wrap the F*#@ Canadian Flag Around Me’: A Nationalist Strategy of Resistance to Plant Shutdowns, 1969-1984,” Journal of the CHA (2001), 199-225.

Elliot-Meisel, Elizabeth. “Still Unresolved after Fifty Years: The Northwest Passage in Canadian-American Relations, 1946-1998,” American Review of Canadian Studies 29, 3 (1999), 407-30.

QuebecNationalism and Regionalism

Francis, R. Douglas. “Regionalism and the Regions,” in Mel Watkins, ed. Caanda (New York: Facts on File, 1993), 229-43.

McRoberts, Kenneth. “The Sources of Neo-Nationalism in Quebec,” in Michael D. Behiels, ed. Quebec Since 1945 ( ), 80-107.

Mann, Susan. The Dream of Nation. [chapter]

Behiels, Michael. “Native Feminism versus Aboriginal Nationalism: The Native Women’s Association of Canada’s Quest for Gender Equality, 1983-1994,” in Michael D. Behiels and Marcel Martel, eds. Nation, Ideas, Identities: Essays in Honour of Ramsay Cook (Toronto: Oxford UP, 2000), 212-31.