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Reclaiming Canadian Bodies

Visual Media and Representation

Edited by Lynda Mannik & Karen McGarry
Subjects Social Science, Gender Studies, Film & Media, Cultural Studies
Series Cultural Studies Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554589838, 272 pages, February 2015
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554589920, 272 pages, February 2015


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.

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Reclaiming Canadian Bodies: Visual Media and Representation, edited by Lynda Mannik and Karen McGarry

Introduction | Karen McGarry and Lynda Mannik

Section 1: Embodied Ideals

The Media and the Ideal and Fat Body: An Examination of Embodiment and Affect in a Canadian Context | Wendy Mitchinson

We've Got Beaver! Women as a National Resource in Canadian Beer Commercials | Ailsa Craig

Ethnographic "Frictions" and the "Ice Scandal": Affect, Mass Media, and Canadian Nationalism in High-Performance Figure Skating | Karen McGarry

Section 2: The Embodiment of "Others"

Pride, Shame, and Canadian Sporting Identities: Media Depictions of Wayne Gretzky, Ben Johnson, and Georges St-Pierre | Dale Spencer and Bryan Hogeveen

Arrivals by Boat in the Canadian Press: Humanitarian Effort or Crisis? | Lynda Mannik

Section 3: Embodied Activism and Advocacy

Feeling Our Pain: The Embodied Cinema of Loretta Todd | Jennifer L. Gauthier

"On Devrait Tout Détruire": Photography, Habitus, and Symbolic Violence in Clichy-sous-Bois and Regent Park | Chris Richardson

Media Legacies: Community, Memory, and Territory | Michael Connors Jackman

Conclusion | Lynda Mannik and Karen McGarry




The central focus of Reclaiming Canadian Bodies is the relationship between visual media, the construction of Canadian national identity, and notions of embodiment. It asks how particular representations of bodies are constructed and performed within the context of visual and discursive mediated content. The book emphasizes the ways individuals destabilize national mainstream visual tropes, which in turn have the potential to destabilize nationalist messages.

Drawing upon rich empirical research and relevant theory, the contributors ask how and why particular bodies (of Estonian immigrants, sports stars, First Nations peoples, self-identified homosexuals, and women) are either promoted and upheld as “Canadian” bodies while others are marginalized in or excluded from media representations. Essays are grouped into three sections: Embodied Ideals, The Embodiment of “Others,” and Embodied Activism and Advocacy. Written in an accessible style for a broad audience of scholars and students, this volume is original within the field of visual media, affect theory, and embodiment due to its emphasis on detailed empirical and, in some cases, ethnographic research within a Canadian context.