From the most recent Quebec referendum to 9/11 and current news coverage of the so-called “terrorist threat,” media theorist Marusya Bociurkiw argues that a significant intensifying of nationalist content on Canadian television became apparent after 1995. Close readings of TV shows and news items such as Canada: A People’s History, North of 60, and coverage of the funeral of Pierre Trudeau reveal how television works to resolve the imagined community of nation, as well as the idea of a national self and national others, via affect. Affect theory, with its notions of changeability, fluidity, and contagion, is, the author argues, well suited to the study of television and its audience.
Useful for scholars and students of media studies, communications theory, and national television and for anyone interested in Canadian popular culture, this highly readable book fills the need for critical scholarly analysis of Canadian television’s nationalist practices.
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Table of Contents
1 Affect Theory: Becoming Nation 21
2 The Televisual Archive and the Nation 35
3 Whose Child Am I? The Quebec Referendum and the Language of Affect and the Body 53
4 Haunted Absences: Reading Canada: A People's History 69
5 An Otherness Barely Touched Upon: A Cooking Show, a Foreigner, a Turnip, and a Fish's Eye 87
6 National Mania, Collective Melancholia: The Trudeau. Funeral 101
7 Homeland (In)Security: Roots and Displacement, from New York to Toronto to Salt Lake City 117
Conclusion: Empty Suitcases 137
Coda: Fascinating Fascism: The 2010 Olympics 147
Works Cited 163