Challenging Addiction in Canadian Literature and Classrooms

Challenging Addiction in Canadian Literature and Classrooms

by Cara Fabre


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In the richly interdisciplinary study, Challenging Addiction in Canadian Literature and Classrooms, Cara Fabre argues that popular culture in its many forms contributes to common assumptions about the causes, and personal and social implications, of addiction. Recent fictional depictions of addiction significantly refute the idea that addiction is caused by poor individual choices or solely by disease through the connections the authors draw between substance use and poverty, colonialism, and gender-based violence.

With particular interest in the pervasive myth of the “Drunken Indian", Fabre asserts that these novels reimagine addiction as social suffering rather than individual pathology or moral failure. Fabre builds on the growing body of humanities research that brings literature into active engagement with other fields of study including biomedical and cognitive behavioural models of addiction, medical and health policies of harm reduction, and the practices of Alcoholics Anonymous. The book further engages with critical pedagogical strategies to teach critical awareness of stereotypes of addiction and to encourage the potential of literary analysis as a form of social activism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442631960
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 11/17/2016
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Cara Fabre is an assistant professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Windsor.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reading and Teaching Addiction as Social Suffering

Chapter 1: Ideological Tropes of Contemporary Addiction Narratives

Chapter 2: Poverty, Individualism, and the Meaningful Uses of Alcohol and Drugs in Christy Ann Conlin’s Heave and Heather O’Neill’s lullabies for little criminals

Chapter 3: Anorexia and the Production of Economically Oriented Subjects in Ibi Kaslik’s Skinny and Kevin Patterson’s Consumption

Chapter 4: Dismantling the Myth of the Drunken Indian through Beatrice Culleton Mosionier’s In Search of April Raintree and Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach

Conclusion: From Innocence to Accountability



What People are Saying About This

Cheryl Suzack

"The vision, intensity, and rigour that Cara Fabre brings to her study on this difficult but important topic is admirable. She has produced a very readable, accessible, and forward-looking book."

Ajay Heble

"Provocatively argued, the book is, at once, wide-ranging in its exploration of several key literary, social, and pedagogical issues, and surefooted in its careful attention to textual detail. Challenging Addiction will be especially valuable for scholars and students of Canadian literature, theorists of critical pedagogy, and social justice educators."

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