Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Canadian Scholars’ Press
Approx. 350 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
August 2019
Print ISBN: 9781773381428
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An exclusively Canadian textbook, this collection investigates the relationships between identity, geography, and popular culture that are produced and consumed in this sprawling country. Expanding beyond the clichés of friendliness and snow, this text provides a fresh perspective on what it means to be Canadian, both nationally and transnationally. Scholars look at historical subjects like Quebecois identity and Indigenous self-representation and explore issues in contemporary media, including music, film, television, comic books, video games, and social media. From Drake to the Tragically Hip, Trailer Park Boys to The Amazing Race Canada, and poutine to maple syrup, mainstream icons and trends are studied in the interdisciplinary context of race, gender, sexuality, politics, and patriotism. Contributing to the location of Canadian popular culture, this unique resource will engage students and scholars of communication studies, cultural studies, and Canadian studies.


  • includes key concepts and theories and a glossary
  • engages students with relatable historical and contemporary examples of Canadiana through a breadth of media, including television shows, websites, journals, celebrities, newspapers, literature, comic books, video games, music, and films
  • ensures equal representation of a national and transnational Canada, which includes examples of race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, with particular attention to geographical intricacies that contain all provinces and territories

    Related Titles

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Victoria Kannen and Neil Shyminsky

Part I: Identity

Chapter 1: “We Weren’t Meant to Be Singing This Music:” VAG HALEN’s Queer Feminist Covers
Craig Jennex

Chapter 2: Defining and Redefining Québécois Identity: Québec Cinema in the 21st Century
David Hanley

Chapter 3: Translocality and the Articulation of a Jamaican/Canadian Identity in the Music of Michie Mee
Niel Scobie

Chapter 4: Being Canada: Joe’s Rant, Nationalism, Whiteness, and the Illusion of Neutrality, Then and Now

Sharlee Cranston-Reimer

Chapter 5: Syrus Marcus Ware, #BLACKLIVESMATTER, and ‘Artivism’ in Canada
Joana Joachim

Chapter 6: Loving and Loathing on Schitt’s Creek: How Representations of Emotion, Identities, and Nation Matter
Victoria Kannen

Section II: Community

Chapter 7: Integrating Black Lives in Education: Black Lives Matter Freedom School
Audrey Hudson

Chapter 8: A Read on Canada Reads
J. C. Villamere

Chapter 9: Non/monogamies in Canadian Children’s Picture Books
Liz Borden

Chapter 10: “I’m a criminal…it’s all I know”: Comedy, Crime, and Critical Thinking in Trailer Park Boys
Dawne Clarke

Chapter 11: From “One Nation Under Gord” to #WeTheNorth: Whose Canada Peaked?
Jocelyn Smith

Chapter 12:“This beautiful land we can all proudly call home”: The Amazing Race Canada and the Maintenance of National Myths
Andrea Ruehlicke

Section III: Production

Chapter 13: Canadian Popular Culture and the Many “Faces” of TV Formats
Stéfany Boisvert and Audrey Bélanger

Chapter 14:The Boundaries of National Cinema: International Co-Productions and Canadian Film Culture
Peter Lester

Chapter 15: The Canadian Genre Film as a Cultural Commentary
Andrea Braithwaite

Chapter 16: Under the Shadows of Hollywood: The Political Economy of Canadian Cinema
James McMahon

Chapter 17: Burying the Past: Indigeneity and the Canadian Horror Canon
Mike Follert

Chapter 18: The Greatest Canadian Superhero There Never Was: Kao-kuk "the Eskimo Astronaut"
Neil Shyminsky

Chapter 19: Sounds Canadian? Familiar Voices in an Exaggerated Canada: Exploring the Sound World of Chilly Beach
Kristeen McKee

Chapter 20: Red, White, and Grey: Double Double Land and Un-defining Canadian Popular Culture
Nicole Marchesseau

Section IV: Technology

Chapter 21: Playing Canadian: A Brief History of Tabletop Games in Canada
Ryan Clement

Chapter 22:Canadian Indie Video Games: More Than Locations, Landmarks, and Loonies
Aaron Langille

Chapter 23: Stereo/Types: Female DJs in Canada and the Gimmick/Token Binary
Maren Hancock

Chapter 24: The Beat of Culture: Teaching Québec Culture through Music
Yvonne Völkl

Chapter 25: Ramping up Canadian Disability Culture
Kelly Fritsch

Chapter 26: Canadian Pop in the Digital Age: Pioneering Pathways to Stardom and Representation via Justin Bieber
Melissa Avdeeff

Section V: Spectacle

Chapter 27: Canadian Crybabies: Radical Softness, Feminized Fan Publics, and the Politics of Carly Rae Jepsen
Andi Schwartz and Morgan Bimm

Chapter 28: Gender Matters at the Centennial Calgary Stampede Parade
Kimberly A. Williams

Chapter 29: "Wanna hang out at the mall and catch a movie?": The Disposability of the West Edmonton Mall Multiplex
Ian Fitzgerald

Chapter 30: The 'Funny' Thing About Food Allergies...in Canadian Media Culture
Janis Goldie

Chapter 31: Consuming Popular Culture and Politics in Beer
Lori A. Crowe

Chapter 32: Hockey Invented Canada: Questioning the Myths of Manufactured Nationalism
Tyler Shipley


Contributors Biographies

Victoria Kannen

Victoria Kannen writes and teaches on the subjects of identity, privilege, education, and popular culture. She holds a PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education (newly named Social Justice Education) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. In addition to writing and teaching about the intersections of identity and Canadian pop culture, she facilitates workshops on gendered and sexual violence in educational spaces. Her work has been published in such journals as the Journal of Gender Studies, Culture,Theory and Critique, and Teaching in Higher Education.

Neil Shyminsky

Neil Shyminsky is a Professor in the School of Justice, Community Services, and General Studies at Cambrian College, whose work on superheroes has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Comic Art and Men and Masculinities.


"The Spaces and Places of Canadian Popular Culture is an ambitious and welcome collection of thoughtful essays that encourages students to think critically about Canadian popular culture and the representations of nation, community, and identity that are conveyed through texts, forms, and practices. From film, television, and music, to games, food and drink, and performance art, the scope of this collection is impressive, and the diversity of scholarship truly captures the interdisciplinary nature of the field. Engaging and accessible, this book showcases the vitality of popular culture studies in Canada."

"A comprehensive collection such as this has been long overdue in the field of Canadian popular culture studies. The book demonstrates the myriad of disciplinary approaches and the breadth of relevant and intriguing examples that compose Canadian popular culture. The thoughtful organization of the collection—and the very useful appendix of alternative ways of organizing the chapters—makes this a very worthy addition to any course on popular culture."

Student Resources

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