Long a topic of intricate political and social debate, Canadian
identity has come to be understood as fragmented, amorphous, and
unstable, a multifaceted and contested space only tenuously linked to
traditional concepts of the nation. As Canadians, we are endlessly
defining ourselves, seeking to locate our sense of self in relation to
some Other. By examining how writers and performers have conceptualized
and negotiated issues of personal identity in their work, the essays
collected in Selves and Subjectivities investigate emerging
representations of self and other in contemporary Canadian arts and
culture. Included are essays on iconic poet and musician Leonard Cohen,
Governor General award-winning playwright Colleen Wagner, feminist poet
and novelist Daphne Marlatt, film director David Cronenberg, poet and
writer Hedi Bouraoui, author and media scholar Marusya Bociurkiw,
puppeteer Ronnie Burkett, and the Aboriginal rap group War Party.
As critic Diana Brydon has argued, contemporary Canadian writers are
"not transcending nation but resituating it." Drawing
together themes of gender and sexuality, trauma and displacement,
performativity, and linguistic diversity, Selves and
Subjectivities offers an exciting new contribution to the
multivocal dialogue surrounding the Canadian sense of identity.
Manijeh Mannani is associate professor of English and comparative literature in the Centre for Humanities at Athabasca University and adjunct professor in the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Alberta. Veronica Thompson is dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Athabasca University.
Introduction 1 / Manijeh Mannani and Veronica Thompson A Semiotic Reading of Hedi Bouraoui's The Woman Between the Lines 13 / Elizabeth Dahab Mourning Lost "Others" in Ronnie Burkett's Happy 39 / Janne Cleveland Putting an End to Recycled Violence in Colleen Wagner's The Monument 69 / Gilbert McInnis Representations of the Self and the Other in Canadian Intercultural Theatre 95 / Anne Nothof Pulling Her Self Together: Daphne Marlatt's Ana Historic 115 / Veronica Thompson "New, Angular Possibilities": Redefining Ethnicity Through Transcultural Exchanges in Marusya Bociurkiw's The Children of Mary 151 / Dana Patrascu-Kingsley The Elegiac Loss of the English- Canadian Self and the End of the Romantic Identification with the Aboriginal Other in Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers 175 / Jesse Rae Archibald-Barber Playing the Role of the Tribe: The Aesthetics of Appropriation in Canadian Aboriginal Hip Hop 207 / Thor Polukoshko Toward a Theory of the Dubject: Doubling and Spacing the Self in Canadian Media Culture 235 / Mark A. McCutcheon List of Contributors 265