Examining various cultural products-music, cartoons, travel guides, ideographic treaties, film, and especially the literary arts-the contributors of these thirteen essays invite readers to conceptualize citizenship as a narrative construct, both in Canada and beyond. Focusing on indigenous and diasporic works, along with mass media depictions of Indigenous and diasporic peoples, this collection problematizes the juridical, political, and cultural ideal of universal citizenship. Readers are asked to envision the nation-state as a product of constant tension between coercive practices of exclusion and assimilation. Narratives of Citizenship is a vital contribution to the growing scholarship on narrative, nationalism, and globalization. Contributors: David Chariandy, Lily Cho, Daniel Coleman, Jennifer Bowering Delisle, Aloys N.M. Fleischmann, Sydney Iaukea, Marco Katz, Lindy Ledohowski, Cody McCarroll, Carmen Robertson, Laura Schechter, Paul Ugor, Nancy Van Styvendale, Dorothy Woodman, and Robert Zacharias.
"What unites the essays is a recognition that citizenship involves both legal definitions and emotional responses.... This collection reminds us how complex citizenship is, but citizenship at an individual level always is or was... [Narratives of Citizenship] has encouraged at least this reader (a historian) to seek out novels, look at photographs or listen to music that he was ignorant of, and has reminded him that broad generalisations obscure many individual differences. If only for that reason, with luck not merely an individual response, it deserves to be read and reflected upon. Artists and events may sometimes unsettle the nation-state but examined closely they almost always unsettle theories." Peter D. Fraser, Transnational Literature, May 2012 [Full article at http://bit.ly/1ipb3Mq]
"...this volume comprises 13 essays in which established and rising scholars articulate the precarious social, political, and legal problems of citizenship faced by indigenous and relocated communities, mostly in Canada.... The contributors' collective keen perspicacity and epistemological acumen will surely make this a model text for postnational theory. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." R. Welburn, Choice Magazine
Scholars of English literature generally and of Canadian literature in particular explore attitudes about citizenship by people who are close to the border of it, on one side or the other. They cover the iconography of the anti-citizen, the melancholic Canadian, envisioning indigenous citizenship, and race and the diasporic re/turn. Among the topics are enfolding citizenship and Mussolini's demographic politics, the home country as dead lover in Myrna Kostash's The Doomed Bridegroom, narration through photography in Hawai'i, and Black Canadians and the questions of diasporic citizenship. Reference and Research Book News
"The critical introduction by Fleischmann and Van Styvendale resonates with the newly released data from Statistics Canada 2008 on the Aboriginal population in Canada. Their study also draws on the Ethnic Diversity Survey released following the 2001 census. They wish to explore the themes of public and private, indigenous and diasporic resistance to assimilation. This is an excellent resource in Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and Citizenship." Anne Burke, The Prairie Journal
Narratives of Citizenship…presents several national perspectives on varying legal, cultural, and political constructions of citizenship… Outstanding contributions come from Daniel Coleman in ‘Imposing subCitzenship: Canadian White Civility and the Two Row Wampum of the Six Nations’ and David Chariandy in ‘Black Canadas and the Question of Diasporic Citizenship.’” [doi: 10.1093/ywes/mau008]