Feeling Canadian: Television, Nationalism, and Affect

Feeling Canadian: Television, Nationalism, and Affect

by Marusya Bociurkiw


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“My name is Joe, and I AM Canadian!” How did a beer ad featuring an unassuming guy in a plaid shirt become a national anthem? This book about Canadian TV examines how affect and consumption work together, producing national practices framed by the television screen. Drawing on the new field of affect theory, Feeling Canadian: Television, Nationalism, and Affect tracks the ways that ideas about the Canadian nation flow from screen to audience and then from body to body.

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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554582686
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Publication date: 04/12/2011
Series: Film and Media Studies
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Marusya Bociurkiw received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia. She has published articles, essays, and reviews in academic, arts, and activist journals and books in Canada and the United States for the past twenty years. She is the author of four literary books, and her films and videos have screened at film festivals, art house cinemas, and universities around the world. She is currently an assistant professor of media theory and head of the Media Studies stream in the School of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction 1

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

Notes 155

Works Cited 163

Filmography 177

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