Canada: Culture and Society (HIST*6230) | College of Arts

Canada: Culture and Society (HIST*6230)

Code and section: HIST*6230*01

Term: Winter 2017

Instructor: Matthew Hayday


Course Synopsis:

“Nationalisms and Identities, Commemorations and Celebrations”

As Canada marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, this course will focus on the evolution of nationalisms and identities in Canadian history, with an emphasis on how competing nationalisms and identities have shaped the country’s politics, society and culture.  One of the great conundrums of Canadian history has been the struggle to define its identity.  Indeed, it is probably more accurate to speak in the plural about identities, since region, language, culture, ethnicity, gender and many other factors have all contributed to the fashioning of both national and subnational identities in Canada.  The course will start with an examination of some of the major scholarly literature on nationalism and identity politics.  We will then turn to an examination of how different nationalisms have arisen and competed in Canada since Confederation.  We will also be considering how issues such as gender, class, ethnicity and sexual orientation have interacted with and shaped these nationalisms.  Particular attention will be paid to the cultural and political manifestations of these identities and how they have evolved over time. Through this, we will explore the various ways in which Canada’s national, regional and other identities have evolved, interacted and competed through its history, and consider the impacts that nationalisms and identity politics have had on the country’s development.

Methods of Evaluation and Weights:

Essay Proposal: 10%

Book Review: 10%

Participation: 40%.

Essay: 40%.

Texts and/or Resources Required:

Hayday, Matthew and Raymond B. Blake, Celebrating Canada, Volume 1: Holidays, National Days and the Crafting of Identities. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.


*Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description only.  The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.