From Dorset sculpture to the Barenaked Ladies, award-winning historian Jonathan F. Vance reveals a storyteller's ear for narrative.
In a country this diverse, 'culture' has different meanings. Vance tells a story from the wind-swept Arctic where a stranded Innu woman, fighting to survive, took the time to decorate her clothing with rich designs. A British explorer was amazed at her efforts, but Vance reminds us of the inseparable connection between life and art in Inuit culture (the Innu word for 'breathe' also means 'to make poetry,' and both derive from the word for 'the soul'). No surprise that Aboriginal culture began to change irrevocably with the arrival of more Europeans (who brought their own ideas about culture). But that is another tale in Vance's fascinating History.
Vance considers a range of key topics. Where, for example, is the divide between 'culture' and mass entertainment? He also considers how the hot-button issues of Canadian culture-government funding for the arts, the cultural brain drain, the drive to preserve distinctly Canadian forms of expression, concerns over copyright protection, the economic impact of cultural industries-can be traced back to previous centuries. And he shines new light on other key areas, such as the unique culture of Quebec and the CBC.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Jonathan F. Vance holds the Canada Research Chair in Conflict and Culture in the Department of History at The University of Western Ontario. His books include Unlikely Soldiers: How Two Canadians Fought the Secret War Against Nazi Occupation (2008), Building Canada: People and Projects that Shaped the Nation (2006), and High Flight: Aviation and the Canadian Imagination (2002). His 1997 monograph Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War won the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, the C. P. Stacey Award, and the Dafoe Book Prize.
Table of Contents
1. The First Artists
2. The Meeting and Mingling of Cultures
3. Colonial Societies
4. Common Showmen and Mountebanks
5. Culture on the Frontier
6. The Dream of Useful Knowledge
7. 'Streaks on the Horizon'
8. Importing Culture
9. Exporting Culture
10. The First World War
11. The New Parliament of Art
12. Patron Saints of Culture
13. The Second World War
14. Government Patronage
15. The Cultural Flowering
16. The Regulatory State
17. Towards the Future
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A History of The Arts I was a little confused when I first started reading this book as I was expecting more of a cultural studies analysis of Canadian Culture. Instead, the book is a historical narrative of the arts in Canada, from pre-contact Aboriginal art to the present day.I appreciated Vance's attempt at comprehensiveness, to create a long continuous narrative of the arts in Canada. However, in doing so, there are parts of the book that appear glossed over and over-simplified -- a consequence of trying to cover everything. For example, the sections on cultural nationalism resulting from state patronage, art as propaganda, are not fully explored in my opinion.Since most of the major cultural theories and movements are only superficially discussed, I don't think this book will interest anyone studying cultural studies. Therefore, the book functions more as a survey and overview text of the arts in Canada.