Contemporary Kanata: Interdisciplinary Approaches To Canadian Studies <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We are an undergraduate journal affiliated with the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies aiming to publish quality bilingual research in the social sciences and humanities about Canada. Our larger project involves efforts to decolonize knowledge and scholarship within the field of Canadian Studies, and we hope to publish pieces and articles that center the voices of misrepresented, underrepresented, and unrepresented groups. Given the liberal arts tradition of our host institution, Glendon College at York University, we hope to publish research that reflects different disciplinary approaches and even cuts across them to offer new insights. In addition to more traditional academic articles, we also have an </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Alternative Epistemologies </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">section where we welcome submissions of creative nonfiction, poetry, cartoons, and visual essays that engage with the selected theme of our issues. We publish in both English and French. </span></p> en-US (The Editorial Board) (York University Digital Scholarship Infrastructure) Sun, 26 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400 OJS 60 we're all in this together <p><strong>Poem Statement</strong></p> <p>Job loss. Fear. Long line-ups. Supply chain disruptions. Empty store shelves. Transmission uncertainties. To mask or not to mask? Social isolation. Anxiety. Zoom-class teaching and learning. Parodying Cat Stevens, the first pandemic wave cut deepest.</p> <p>Constructed from found text in newspapers and City of Toronto press releases, this poem combines literary devices in ironic juxtaposition. The centred text content pulls out meanings and incongruities in relation to the text below. Even the text shading and font size communicates disparity: the centred darker, larger text imposes upon and partially obliterates the lighter, smaller text on which it rests.</p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic highlights all-too-familiar inequities and disparities in the social fabric. We all suffer during this global health crisis, but some among us needlessly suffer more than others. We are not all in this together. Rather, we sail the same sea in different boats.</p> María Helena Rykov Copyright (c) 2021 María Helena Rykov Sun, 26 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400 "How do you Criticize a Life Story?" <p>“‘How do you Criticize a Life Story?’: Form, Trauma, and Memoir in <em>Canada Reads </em>2020” investigates the practice of reading for empathy, as it pertains to memoir and trauma operating in the hypervisibility of the public sphere. The emotional connection between reader and author that memoir inspires is also encouraged on <em>Canada Reads</em>, the popular intersection of a literary contest and reality show. The panelists’ 2020 discussion of Jesse Thistle’s <em>From the Ashes</em> and Samra Habib’s <em>We Have Always Been Here</em> encouraged reading as a means of empathizing with the author’s experiences. As Danielle Fuller details, this is also how many viewers appraise the titles featured on <em>Canada Reads</em>, adopting a method of literary evaluation that is inherently personal. Memoir, given its connection to the real world and real people, becomes an excellent candidate for connecting with the reader. While Philippe Lejeune argues that memoir must be entirely non-fictional, G. Thomas Couser and Leigh Gilmore demonstrate that for a genre grappling with selective memory and trauma, this is impossible. As a result, memoir proves to be a genre that is both popular amongst readers and necessarily literary and inventive in its construction. The popularity of <em>Canada Reads</em> and memoir indicate that empathetic reading deserves a place in literary discourse, which in turn reimagines the Canadian literary canon and traditional methods of evaluation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Taylor Brown Copyright (c) 2021 Taylor Brown Sun, 26 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400 Mash-up, Smash-up: Mixing Genres and Mediums to Rewrite History in Do Not Say We Have Nothing <p style="margin: 0cm;">In Madeleine Thien’s novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing, a historical photograph of three protestors at Tiananmen Square is directly inserted into the fictional text. The goal of my research is to start a scholarly conversation on this work by exploring the relationship between the historical image and the fictional text to establish Thien’s novel as postmodern. Drawing on postmodernist theories, this paper applies the works of prominent thinkers in the field to ask how the collision of genres and mediums (history and fiction; image and text), in Do Not Say We Have Nothing renders the novel postmodern. The first aim of this paper is to demonstrate the reciprocal relationship between text and image. The relationship is reciprocal because while the photograph certifies and undermines the story, the story also certifies and undermines the photograph. After establishing the multiple functions of the relationship between text and image, this paper explores how the collision of genres elicits multiple interpretations of the novel and the historical events it details. To understand how multiple interpretations of history destabilize historical metanarratives, this paper will finally investigate how the novel gives a voice to those omitted from history. By acknowledging Thien’s novel as postmodern, this paper analyzes the important role of fiction in representing those whose experiences are effaced by historical metanarratives. My postmodernist interpretation of Do Not Say We Have Nothing will provide new ways of reading and interpreting the novel and situating it within the canon of Canadian Literature.</p> Carli Gardner Copyright (c) 2021 Carli Gardner Sun, 26 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400 Canada - A Long Way To Go: The Designated Country of Origin Policy and Refugee Protection <p>The Designated Country of Origin (DCO) policy was a political response to unwanted migration in Canada. Adapted from Europe, Harper took a liking to the EU’s SCO policy after Canada received a large influx of Middle Eastern and Balkan refugees seeking asylum. He adapted it in Canada, renaming it Designated Country of Origin (DCO). Under the DCO, the government of Canada would decide if a refugee's country of origin was dangerous enough to be considered for asylum. If the asylum seekers country is determined as safe, that person would be disregarded and sent back to their country of origin. Many refugees who had already settled in Canada had their files reopened and were told to return to their country of origin. The DCO policy became an integral part of the refugee status determination process in Canada to which some regarded as faulty, inefficient, and unjust. In 2019, the SCO was deemed unconstitutional and violated The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, wanted to create an asylum system that was considered fair and efficient. While it is important for an asylum seeker to prove they are truthful about the facts of their case, the DCO policy represents a climate of hostility towards migrants in Canada. In this piece, it will be argued that the DCO policy is a discriminatory migration tool used to “weed out” what the government deems as fake migrants. This policy could deny international protection to those who are genuinely in need. The DCO proves that the nation has a misleading reputation of being welcoming to all who come. The DCO threatened the human rights of asylum seekers who sought refuge in Canada. </p> Rejean Ghanem Copyright (c) 2021 Rejean Ghanem Sun, 26 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400 Graphic Reminders: Confronting Colonialism in Canada through Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story <p>David Alexander Robertson’s 2015 graphic novel <em>Betty</em>: <em>The Helen Betty Osborne Story </em>connects non-Indigenous Canadians to the racial realities of Canada’s intentionally forgotten past. Robertson translates Helen Betty Osborne’s biography into the accessible format of the graphic novel which allows for a wide range of readers to connect present day racial injustices to the past, generating new understandings surrounding violence against Indigenous peoples in Canada. Helen Betty Osborne, a young female Cree student was abducted and murdered in 1971, targeted for her race and gender. The horrors Betty experienced reveal the connection between her story and the contemporary narrative of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada. <em>Betty</em>: <em>The Helen Betty Osborne Story </em>deconstructs Betty’s life from the violence she is subjected to, personifying a historical figure. The graphic novel allows for a visual collision of past and present to express the cycle of colonial violence in Canada ignored by non-Indigenous Canadians despite its continued socio-economic and political impact on Indigenous peoples. As an Indigenous author, Robertson preserves the integrity of Indigenous voice and revives an integral gendered and racialized historical perspective that is necessary to teach. This close reading of <em>Betty</em>: <em>The Helen Betty Osborne Story </em>explores how Robertson uses the graphic novel to revive history and in doing so, demonstrates connections between past and present patterns of racial injustice against Indigenous women in Canada today. </p> Raven Lovering Copyright (c) 2021 Raven Lovering Sun, 26 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400 Examining the Subjugation of Indigenous Women through Community Partnerships with Extractive Industries <p>Integration into the capitalist market creates an opportunity for Indigenous communities to relinquish interdependent relationships with the Canadian state by commodifying natural resources to subsidize funding. Corporate partnerships offer Indigenous communities an opportunity for economic development to help alleviate conditions of poverty; however, the potential benefits are not reaching all members of the communities equally. Rather, extractive developments on Indigenous territories are creating new and complex challenges for Indigenous women. This paper examines the current and historical legacies of colonization within Canada that have excluded and oppressed Indigenous women, and have made Indigenous communities dependent on colonial processes to improve socioeconomic disparities. The legacies of colonization, the patriarchal foundations of capitalism, and the transient nature of extractive developments disproportionately harm Indigenous women, making corporate partnerships an unsustainable option to maintain Indigenous independence from the Canadian State.</p> Jessica Marsella Copyright (c) 2021 Jessica Marsella Sun, 26 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400 What Sparkles Does Not Always Shine <p>This paper is an ethnographic and sociological study of the neighborhood of Runnymede-Bloor West Village, identifying trends and drawing conclusions based on statistical data, academic theory, and notes taken during research trips. It is also worth noting that this study was conducted in January of 2020 before the Global pandemic was declared. Focusing on gentrification, segregation, and inequality, I identify that this neighborhood is part of a growing trend in Toronto of the increasing severity of all three of these issues. Runnymede-Bloor West Village is quickly becoming one of Toronto’s wealthiest neighborhoods, with the average household income increasing substantially. While this will certainly make real estate agents happy and will probably provide the city with more property tax, it also has the effect of pushing less affluent people out, as increasing living costs make their continued residence in Runnymede-Bloor West Village unaffordable. It also influences the local businesses, as businesses that do not cater to the new influx of affluent residents go out of business, either because their customer base has left or because they can no longer afford to pay their rent. I also identify the increased segregation of the neighborhood, as the racialized character of income inequality in Toronto results in people of color being priced out. Finally, I recommend that the solution to much of this increased inequality is the building of more affordable housing and restrictions of the building of unaffordable housing. Much of this will require the actions of a progressive, engaged local government. Hopefully, these steps will be able to halt or even reverse the trend of an ever-increasing cost of living, provide the local businesses with customers who do not have to spend most of their income on housing costs, and provide a short term solution to the issue of income and ethnicity-based segregation in Toronto.</p> Simon Topp Copyright (c) 2021 Simon Topp Tue, 09 Nov 2021 00:00:00 -0500 From the Editorial Board Editorial Board 2020/2021 Copyright (c) 2021 Contemporary Kanata Sun, 26 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400