O Canada! Canadian Cultural Studies in the 21st Century



Time and place

  • Thu 10:15-11:45, Room A 603 (Bismarckstr. 1) ICS

Prerequisites / Organizational information

Das Seminar gehört in folgenden Studiengängen jeweils zu folgenden Modulen:

  • MA North American Studies: 4
  • MA The Americas/Las Américas: 3b, 4, 7
  • BA English and American Studies: Hauptmodul A (für BA-Studierende ist eine Independent Study Group angeschlossen)


“There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. [Canada is] the first post-national state.”-- Justin Trudeau Justin Trudeau’s 2015 description of Canada postulates a “pan-cultural heritage”, canvassing a new, paradoxical Canadian exceptionalism and raising questions about how to study Canadian culture in the present day. In our seminar, we address ongoing debates over “Canadianness” across different media discourses and theories, such as the Can’t Lit phenomenon, postcolonial and settler colonial studies, and the concept of “unbecoming nationalisms” (Vosters). We consider Canadian Studies in the context of (North) American Studies by discussing different media from literature through comics and creative nonfiction. Next to contemporary essays on Canadian culture, our reading list includes short fiction by Margaret Atwood, Esi Edugyan’s 2018 novel |Washington Black| and the graphic collection |This Place: 150 Years Retold| (2019). The course credit will be awarded based on a final paper and on the completion of the Independent Study Group (ISG) tasks (for BA students).

Additional information

Expected participants: 20