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Excerpt from Reclaiming Canadian Bodies: Visual Media and Representation edited by Lynda Mannik and Karen McGarry

From the Introduction by Karen McGarry and Lynda Mannik

Bodies are both sensorial and affective entities. We experience the world in multi-sensory ways—through hearing, touch, taste, smell, and vision. However, given that mass media relies heavily upon the proliferation and circulation of primarily visual information (in keeping with the ocularcentrism of Western societies), a particular emphasis will be placed upon analyses of the ways in which the visualization of mediated bodies seeks to produce, transform, or destabilize normative ideals of Canadianness. The authors in this volume address the ways in which the presentation and visualization of mediated images merge the body with that of the nation. Despite a growing body of literature on affect, emotion, and embodiment, there exists a paucity of ethnographic or other qualitative, empirically based analyses within Canadian contexts. Specifically, this collection will ask its readers to think about visual techniques, methods, and strategies that are employed by and through a variety of forms of media with the intent of creating an effect, and to cultivate a sense of emotional rapport linked to Canadian nationalism.