Polish Association for Canadian Studies

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2006 Graz Seminar

Report from The 15th European Seminar for Graduate Students in Canadian Studies

The 15th European Seminar for Graduate Students in Canadian Studies was hosted at the University of Graz in the Department of Romance Philology from September 28th to October 1st, 2006.

The conference aimed to develop links between European students working on
a Master’s or Ph.D. thesis in Canadian Studies and to promote the exchange of ideas and discussion.

My presentation began the panel “Contemporary Canadian Issues” chaired by Prof. Michelle Gadpaille. It included focus on the impact of Canadian identity. Strengthening political and economic ties between Canada and the United States mobilizes one of the basic principles of the Canadian worldview. The United States sensibility is an integral part of Canadian life. Moreover, Canadian identity seems to define itself in opposition to its neighbor to the south, making it easier to highlight a common sense of national unity.

In my view, the Fifteenth European Seminar for Graduate Students in Canadian Studies gave the young participants a good opportunity to know current research topics conducted by their colleagues.

Chairmen of panels:

Guest of honor:

Abstract

This paper includes a focus on the impact of Canadian identity. Although
Canada and the US view good bilateral relations as crucial to wide range of shared interests and beliefs, the national pride has a powerful emotional appeal. One of the most important instruments of shaping Canadian national pride is to highlight whatever is in opposition to American features. The Joe’s Rant (the Molson Canadian commercial) will be mentioned here as an example. The national stereotypes are able to rely on vast reservoirs of cultural and historical capital that can be used in defining differences: historical events, myths, jokes, competition in respective national sports etc. that are used to differentiate own group and to describe others. The Canadian identity seems to define itself largely in terms of the cultural characteristics that distinguish Canadians and Americans. However some people have argued that probably, the closest and most extensive relationship (between two countries) would turn the Canadian culture into a mirror image of the U.S. culture. In many cases, the people of both countries speak the same language, watch the same television shows and cheer at the same sports events. Northrop Frye (1912- 1992) said that historically, a Canadian was an American who rejected revolution.

Résumé

Cet article se concentre sur l’impact de l’identité canadienne. Bien que les Etats-Unis et le Canada pays considèrent qu’avoir de bonnes relations bilatérales est crucial pour de nombreux intérêts communs, la fierté nationale conserve un fort attrait émotionnel. L’un des moyens les plus importants pour représenter la fierté nationale canadienne est la mise en avant de tout ce qui est contraire au modèle américain. On mentionnera en exemple The Joe’s Rant, la publicité canadienne pour la bière Molson. Les stéréotypes nationaux peuvent compter sur de vastes réservoirs de capitaux culturel et historique : des événements passés, des mythes, des plaisanteries ou la compétition dans les sports nationaux respectifs que l’on utilise pour différencier son propre groupe et décrire les autres. L’identité canadienne semble être principalement définie en terme de caractéristiques culturelles qui distinguent les Américains et les Canadiens. Cependant, certains ont indiqué qu’une relation très proche et approfondie entre les deux pays transformerait la culture canadienne en une image reflétant la culture américaine. Dans de nombreux cas, les habitants des deux pays parlent la même langue, regardent les mêmes programmes à la télévision et se réjouissent devant les mêmes événements sportifs. Northrop Frye (1912- 1992) affirma que d’un point de vue historique un Canadien est un Américain qui a rejeté la Révolution.

Łukasz Albański

Ostatnia aktualizacja strony: 2009-12-16 12:11:46