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Making It Like a Man

Canadian Masculinities in Practice

Edited by Christine Ramsay
Subjects Performing Arts, Social Science, Gender Studies, Film & Media, Cultural Studies
Series Cultural Studies Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554583270, 372 pages, October 2011
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554582792, 372 pages, August 2012
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554583751, 372 pages, October 2011

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Making It Like a Man: Canadian Masculinities in Practice, edited by Christine Ramsay
List of Illustrations
Introduction | Christine Ramsay
I. Identity, Agency, and Manliness in the Colonial and the National
1. Carnival and Masculinity in the Travel Fiction of James De Mille | Ken Wilson
2. “No Money, but Muscle and Pluck”: Cultivating Trans-Imperial Manliness for the Fields of Empire, 1870–1901 | Jarett Henderson
3. Who’s on the Home Front? Canadian Masculinity in the NFB’s Second World War Series “Canada Carries On” | Michael Brendan Baker
II. Emotional Geographies of Anxiety, Eros, and Impairment
4. Making Art Like a Man! | David Garneau
5. “Above Mere Men”: The Heterogeneous Male in Attila Richard Lukacs | Piet Defraeye
6. Stranger Than Paradise: Immigration and Impaired Masculinities | Christina Stojanova
III. The Minority Male
7. The “Hood” Reconfigured: Black Masculinity in Rude | D.L. McGregor and Sheila Petty
8. “Keepin’ It Real”? Masculinity, Indigeneity, and Media Representations of Gangsta Rap in Regina | Charity Marsh
9. Fixing Stories “Is Sure a Lot of Work”: Watching “the Men’s Dance” in Medicine River and Green Grass, Running Water | Peter Cumming
10. Masculinity in a Minority Setting: The Emblematic Body in Simone Chaput’s Le coulonneux | Nicole Côté
IV. Capitalized, Corporatized, Compromised Men
11. The Politics of Marginalization at the Centre: Canadian Masculinities and Global Capitalism in Douglas Coupland’s Generation X | Kit Dobson
12. Dangerous Homosexualities and Disturbing Masculinities: The Disabling Rhetoric of Difference in Barbara Gowdy’s Mister Sandman | Sally S. Hayward
V. Abject Masculinities
13. What Do Heterosexual Men Want? Or, “The (Wandering) Queer Eye on the (Straight) Guy” | Thomas Waugh
14. Boy to the Power of Three: Toronto’s Drag Kings | Bobby Noble
15. Life Without Death? Space, Affect, and Masculine Identity in the Work of Frank Cole | Christine Ramsay
Biographical Notes
Contributors’ Bios
Michael Baker (Ph.D., McGill University) is the FQRSC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Cinema Studies, Department of Theatre and Film, at the University of British Columbia. He is co-editor of Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada (with Thomas Waugh and Ezra Winton) and author of numerous book chapters and journal articles on film and media.
Nicole Côté is Associate Professor at the Department of Literature and Communication, University of Sherbrooke. She has published a number of articles and chapters on Quebec and on Franco- and Anglo-Canadian literatures. She has translated several Canadian authors and has edited two volumes of short stories, which she also translated: Nouvelles du Canada anglais (1999), an anthology; and Vers le rivage (2004), stories from Mavis Gallant ranging from the 1950s to the 1990s. She also co-edited Varieties of Exiles: New Essays on Mavis Gallant (2002), and Expressions culturelles de la francophonie mondiale (2008). She is French book review editor for Journal of Canadian Studies and is an editorial board member of Analyses. Her research centres on questions of identity, gender, and minorities, as well as on questions of cultural transfers.
Peter E. Cumming is Associate Professor of Children’s Literature and Culture and is Coordinator of the Children’s Studies Program at York University. His M.A. thesis, “Life After Man: ‘New’ Men in Canadian Fiction,” and his Ph.D. dissertation, “Some ‘Male’ from Canada ‘Post’: Heterosexual Masculinities in Contemporary Canadian Writing,” focus on constructions of masculinities in contemporary Canadian writing, including in the works of Robert Kroetsch, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Leon Rooke, Leonard Cohen, Brian Fawcett, Thomas King, and Michael Ondaatje. As a teacher, consultant, and writer, Peter worked for six years in Inuit communities in Nunavut. Peter has taught Children’s Literature, Canadian Literature, First Nations Literature, Creative and Expository Writing, Theatre, and Film at Guelph and York Universities as well as the University of Western Ontario. He is also a children’s author (A Horse Called Farmer, Mogul and Me, Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay) and playwright in theatre for young audiences (including the bilingual plays Ti-Jean and Snowdreams). Peter is President of the Association for Research in Cultures of Young People (ARCYP).
Piet Defraeye is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Drama at the University of Alberta. He is a drama critic, theorist, director, and dramaturge. Before coming to the University of Alberta, he taught and directed in Belgium, Toronto, and Fredericton. Recent directing credits include Arnold Wesker’s The Kitchen (1999) and Von Kleist’s Amphitryon (2002). His areas of specialization include dramaturgy, performance studies, theatre theory and modern drama, theatre of provocation, audience reception, Quebec theatre, and European theatre practices.
Kit Dobson is Assis tant Professor in the Department of English at Calgary’s Mount Royal University, where he works in Canadian Literature, Globalization Studies, and Film. His first book, Transnational Canadas: Anglo-Canadian Literature and Globalization, was published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2009.
David Garneau is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. He was born and raised in Edmonton, received most of his postsecondary education (B.F.A. Painting and Drawing, M.A. English Literature) at the University of Calgary, and taught at the Alberta College of Art and Design for five years before moving to Regina in 1999. His practice includes painting, drawing, curation, and critical writing. His solo exhibition, Cowboys and Indians (and Métis?), toured Canada, 2003–7. His work often engages issues of nature, history, masculinity, and Métis identity. His artworks are in the collections of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian Parliament, the Indian and Inuit Art Centre, the Glenbow Museum, the MacKenzie Art Gallery, and many other public and private collections. He has curated several large group exhibitions: The End of the World (as we know it), Picture Windows: New Abstraction, Transcendent Squares, Sophisticated Folk, Contested Histories, and Making It Like a Man! Garneau has written numerous catalogue essays and reviews and was a co-founder and co-editor of Artichoke and Cameo magazines. He is currently exploring the Carlton Trail and roadkill as landscape subjects and working on curatorial projects featuring contemporary Aboriginal art exchanges between Canada and Australia.
Sally Hayward received her Ph.D. in 2006 from the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Since 2007 she has worked as an instructor in the Academic Writing Program at the University of Lethbridge. Her research focuses on the rhetorical and narrative construction of disability in literature, medicine, the law, and the media. More specifically, she analyzes how and why people with disabilities are either appropriated by or occluded from the national imaginary. Her interest in disability and masculinity is reflected in the work she has done on the Robert Latimer case as well as in “‘Those Who Cannot Work’: An Exploration of Disabled Men and Masculinity in Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor,” which was published in Prose Studies, and in “(Dis)Enabling Masculinities: The Word and the Body, Class Politics, and Male Sexuality in El Saadawi’s God Dies by the Nile,” which was published in African Masculinities.
Jarett Henderson completed his M.A. in Western Canadian social history at the University of Manitoba in 2004 and his Ph.D. in Canadian history at York University in 2010. His research interests include, but are not limited to, the intimate intersection of domestic and political life, the conflict between colonial and imperial states, and how the lived history of nineteenth-century imperialism was affected by notions of gender, race, status, and sexuality. He has taught Canadian history in Winnipeg, Toronto, and Oshawa and is currently completing a manuscript on Lord Durham’s 1838 administration.
Charity Marsh holds the Canada Research Chair in Interactive Media and Performance in the Department of Media Production and Studies at the University of Regina. She completed her Ph.D. in Popular Studies and Ethnomusicology at York University. Her thesis was titled “Raving Cyborgs, Queering Practices, and Discourses of Freedom: The Search for Meaning in Toronto’s Rave Culture.” Her current research focuses on interactive media and performance and how cultures and practices associated with this broad category contribute to dialogues concerning regionalism, cultural identity, and community specifically in western and northern Canada, and more generally on a global scale. In 2007 she was awarded a Canadian Foundation for Innovation Grant and a Saskatchewan Fund for Innovation and Science grant to develop the Interactive Media and Performance Labs as a way to support her ongoing research in the following areas: (1) Canadian (Indigenous) Hip-Hop Cultures; (2) DJ Cultures, including EDM, Club Culture, Rave Culture, Techno, Psy-Trance, and online, community, and pirate radio; and (3) Isolation, Identity, and Space: Production and Performance of Popular Music in Western and Northern Canada. In her artistic practices, she incorporates interdisciplinary approaches and multiple media, including turntables, video, radio broadcasting, text, and soundscape composition.
Donna-Lynne McGregor is an independent screenwriter who focuses on film, television, and digital media screenwriting as an artistic practice that contributes to the development of discourse and theory in popular media. She received her M.F.A. in Film and Video Production from the University of Regina in 2007 and was the recipient of the University of Regina Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal in 2008. In partnership with co-writer Chris Cunningham, she has written several half-hour comedies, TV series pilots, and feature-length thrillers and dramas, several of which have garnered awards.
Bobby Noble is an Associate Professor of Sexuality and Gender Studies at the School of Women’s Studies at York University. He completed his Ph.D. at York University in 2000 and, after teaching on the west coast at the University of Victoria, returned to join the School of Women’s Studies at York University in July 2006. His research focuses on sexuality, gender, anti-racist whiteness, and feminist cultural studies. In particular, his work looks at the intersections of masculinity, embodiment, and sexuality in the fields of transsexual/transgender studies, queer theory, and cultural studies.
Sheila Petty is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Regina. She has written extensively on issues of cultural representation, identity, and nation in African and African diasporic cinema and new media, and has curated film, television, and new media exhibitions for galleries across Canada. She is author of Contact Zones: Memory, Origin and Discourses in Black Diasporic Cinema. She is leader of an interdisciplinary research group and New Media Studio Laboratory that spans computer science, engineering, and fine arts.
Christine Ramsay is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Regina. She is a member of the editorial boards of Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies and Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies. Her research is in the areas of Canadian and Saskatchewan cinemas, masculinities in contemporary cinemas, the culture of cities, and philosophies of identity. She has published in several anthologies and journals, including Indigenous Screen Cultures in Canada, Expressions culturelles de la francophonie mondiale, Self Portrait II: Cinema in Canada, Boys: Masculinities in Contemporary Culture, North of Everything: English Canadian Cinema since 1980, Canada’s Greatest Films, The Canadian Journal of Film Studies, and Post Script. She is currently editing an anthology with Randal Rogers entitled Mind the Gap! Saskatchewan Cultural Spaces (Canadian Plains Research Center, forthcoming 2012).
Christina Stojanova is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Regina. Her areas of research include cultural semiotics of ethnic and immigrant representation; philosophical, psychoanalytical, and religious sources of identity formation; and theories of propaganda and persuasion in media and visual arts. Among her major publications are chapters in Traditions in World Cinema, Horror International, and The Cinema of Eastern Europe. She is co-editor, with Bela Szabados, of the critical anthology Wittgenstein at the Movies: Cinematic Investigations. She is co-editor of the anthology The Legacies of Jean-Luc Godard (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, forthcoming 2012) and is currently at work on her book New Romanian Cinema for University of Edinburgh Press.
Thomas Waugh has since 1976 taught Film Studies at Concordia University, where he has also developed curriculum in Queer Studies and on AIDS. He has lectured, programmed, and published extensively on documentary, queer media, and sexual representation, as well as on the national cinemas of Canada and India. Among his books are “Show Us Life”: Towards a History and Aesthetics of the Committed Documentary; Hard to Imagine: Gay Male Eroticism in Photography and Film from Their Beginnings to Stonewall; The Fruit Machine: Twenty Years of Writings on Queer Cinema; The Romance of Transgression in Canada: Queering Sexualities, Nations, Cinemas; and (forthcoming) The Right to Play Oneself: Essays on Documentary by Thomas Waugh 1976–2001 and Challenge for Change / Société nouvelle: The Collection (coedited with Ezra Winton and Michael Baker).
Ken Wilson lectures in English and Film Studies at the University of Regina. He has worked as a freelance writer for Saskatchewan Communications Network’s series Prairie Night at the Movies and Prairie Eye. A past president of the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative, he has served as editor of the Filmpool’s Splice Magazine and has made experimental and site-specific films for several Saskatchewan-based arts events, including Crossfiring / Mama Wetotan, and, most recently, Windblown / Rafales.


Making It Like a Man: Canadian Masculinities in Practice is a collection of essays on the practice of masculinities in Canadian arts and cultures, where to “make it like a man” is to participate in the cultural, sociological, and historical fluidity of ways of being a man in Canada, from the country’s origins in nineteenth-century Victorian values to its immersion in the contemporary post-modern landscape.
The book focuses on the ways Canadian masculinities have been performed and represented through five broad themes: colonialism, nationalism, and transnationalism; emotion and affect; ethnic and minority identities; capitalist and domestic politics; and the question of men’s relationships with themselves and others. Chapters include studies of well-known and more obscure figures in the Canadian arts and culture scenes, such as visual artist Attila Richard Lukacs; writers Douglas Coupland, Barbara Gowdy, Simon Chaput, Thomas King, and James De Mille; filmmakers Clement Virgo, Norma Bailey, John N. Smith, and Frank Cole; as well as familiar and not-so-familiar tokens of Canadian masculinity such as the hockey hero, the gangsta rapper, the immigrant farmer, and the drag king.
Making It Like a Man is the first book of its kind to explore and critique historical and contemporary masculinities in Canada with a special focus on artistic and cultural production and representation. It is concerned with mapping some of the uniquely Canadian places and spaces in the international field of masculinity studies, and will be of interest to academic and culturally informed audiences.


Making It Like a Man delves deftly and deeply into one of the most conspicuous voids in Canadian arts and culture, namely: where have all the heroes gone? It's the question that fascinates Christine Ramsay as much as the quest. The fact is, masculinity has never been a simple or static state in Canadian culture, and in this lies the revelation. If men in Canadian culture weren't in a state of perpetual representational crisis, they'd be from somewhere else.

- Geoff Pevere, co-author Mondo Canuck: A Canadian Pop Culture Odyssey, author ofToronto on Film and Goin' Down the Road, 2011 August

The collection...investigates Canadian masculinities across disciplines, spaces, and time periods. Essays explore everything from national settlement propaganda in the late 1800s to Indigenous rap in contemporary Regina, and the authors make use of a wide array of analytical and theoretical approaches.... Making It Like a Man suggests that we need to move past the binaries (urban/rural, white collar/blue collar, bachelor/family) that govern them in order to engage more fully with the complexity of male identity in Canada.

- Jennifer Hardwick, Canadian Literature, 216, Spring 2013, 2013 November

Christine Ramsay's edited collection Making It Like a Man, offers a significant and welcome contribution to the growing body of work on masculinity. Considered as a whole, Making It Like a Man is a ground-breaking study of Canadian masculinity in art, culture, and film. The text is one of the first to interrogate Canadian masculinity from a cultural perspective and joins with other similar work in offering a corrective to mainstream visions of manhood.... In interrogating and challenging the traditional—white, heterosexual, and able-bodied—perception of Canadian masculinity in art and culture, the text succeeds magnificently.... Ramsay's work will no doubt become a standard textbook for courses in gender and sexuality studies, media studies, and Canadian studies. No matter where future research and writing goes in terms of the study of Canadian masculinities, future scholars and activists will have to read Making It Like a Man.

- Brian Thorn, Nipissing University, Labour/Le Travail, 72, Fall 2013, 2014 January