A History of Canadian Culture

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9780195419092: A History of Canadian Culture

From Dorset sculpture to traveling circuses to the Barenaked Ladies, award-winning historian Jonathan Vance reveals a storyteller's ear for narrative.

In a country of unparalleled diversity, "culture" has many different shades of importance and meaning. A stranded Innu woman found by eighteenth-century explorers in the wind-swept Arctic took the time to decorate her clothing with rich designs. The explorers were taken aback; but Vance informs us that the Inuit word meaning "to make poetry" is the same as the word for "breathe"; and both derive from the word for "the soul." Unsurprisingly, Aboriginal culture began to change with the arrival of more Europeans (who brought their own ideas about culture) in one of the many complicated and intertwined tales that Vance weaves together to explore Canada's cultural history.

Vance considers other key issues. Where, for example, is the divide between "culture" and mass entertainment? He describes plays created by sailors trapped in an ice-bound ship through the Arctic winter; "occasionally lewd" tavern music; an early version of Macbeth with a Monty Pythonesque twist--in Canada, so-called high and low culture have coexisted uneasily, and intermingled creatively.

Vance reveals that the hot-button cultural issues we all know and love--government funding for the arts, the cultural brain drain, the drive to preserve distinctly Canadian forms of expression, concerns over copyright protection, the economic impact of cultural industries--can be traced back to previous centuries. Taking into account both the past and modern developments, such as the thriving culture of Quebec and the evolution of the CBC, Vance addresses one of the quintessential anxieties of Canadians--where, and what, is our culture?

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About the Author:


Jonathan Vance holds the Canada Research Chair in Conflict and Culture in the Department of History at The University of Western Ontario. His books and articles include Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War (1997), High Flight: Aviation and the Canadian Imagination (2002), and Building Canada: People and Projects that Shaped the Nation (2006). He is currently exploring a new project on regional enlistment rates in Canada during the Great War.

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Jonathan Franklin William Vance
Published by Oxford University Press, Canada, Canada (2009)
ISBN 10: 019541909X ISBN 13: 9780195419092
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Book Description Oxford University Press, Canada, Canada, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book presents the first in-depth study of Canadian cultural history. The author looked broadly at all forms of cultural expression, from music and dance to literature and painting, as well as the institutional framework within which culture operates. He examines publishing, TV and radio, and other media of cultural expression, as well as investigating how culture has been supported by both private and public patronage. The book begins at the beginning, with two chapters on Aboriginal cultural practice, first before contact and then during contact. From there, it moves to look at culture in frontier settlements and early urban Canada, the Confederation era, and into the twentieth century. The book touches on difficult questions of cultural nationalism, via its examination of the export of Canadian culture (actors and comedians to Hollywood; Anne of Green Gables to Japan and elsewhere; and children s literature/TV, such as the success of KidsCan Press and Nelvana in the last decade) as well as the import of both UK and US culture. The book ends with an examination of the question is our culture in crisis?. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780195419092

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Jonathan Franklin William Vance
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Book Description Oxford University Press, Canada, Canada, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book presents the first in-depth study of Canadian cultural history. The author looked broadly at all forms of cultural expression, from music and dance to literature and painting, as well as the institutional framework within which culture operates. He examines publishing, TV and radio, and other media of cultural expression, as well as investigating how culture has been supported by both private and public patronage. The book begins at the beginning, with two chapters on Aboriginal cultural practice, first before contact and then during contact. From there, it moves to look at culture in frontier settlements and early urban Canada, the Confederation era, and into the twentieth century. The book touches on difficult questions of cultural nationalism, via its examination of the export of Canadian culture (actors and comedians to Hollywood; Anne of Green Gables to Japan and elsewhere; and children s literature/TV, such as the success of KidsCan Press and Nelvana in the last decade) as well as the import of both UK and US culture. The book ends with an examination of the question is our culture in crisis?. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780195419092

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