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Slippery Pastimes

Reading the Popular in Canadian Culture

Edited by Jeannette Sloniowski & Joan Nicks
Subjects Cultural Studies
Series Cultural Studies Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889203884, 360 pages, March 2002
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554587612, 360 pages, October 2009

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Slippery Pastimes: Reading the Popular in Canadian Culture, edited by Joan Nicks and Jeannette Sloniowski
“The Pleasure Is Exquisite but Violent”: The Imaginary Geography of Niagara Falls in the Nineteenth Century | Karen Dubinsky
Aboriginal Cultural Tourism in Canada | Valda Blundell
Laura Secord Meets the Candyman: The Image of Laura Secord in Popular Culture | Christine Boyko-Head
Canada Post’s Le petite liseur (The young reader): Framing a Reproduction | Loretta Czernis
Dilemmas of Definition | Will Straw
Reading Canadian “Popular” Television: The Case of E.N.G. | Jim Leach
Two Lawyers and an Issue: Reconstructing Quebec’s “Nation” in A nous deux! | Sheila Petty
Straight Up and Youth Television: Navigating Dreams without Nationhood | Joan Nicks
Popularizing History: The Valour and the Horror | Jeannette Sloniowski
In the Great Midwestern Hardware Store: The Seventies Triumph in English-Canadian Rock Music | Bart Testa and Jim Shedden
Reelin’ ‘n’ Rockin’: Genre-Bending and Boundary- Crossing in Canada’s East Coast Sound | Nick Baxter-Moore
Forceful Nuance and Stompin’ | Tom William Echard
“It’s My Nature”: The Discourse of Experience and Black Canadian Music | Rinaldo Walcott
“Cowboyography”: Matter and Manner in the Songs of Ian Tyson | Terrance Cox
Canada, the Olympics and the Ray-Ban Man | Andrew Wernick
Hockey as Canadian Popular Culture: Team Canada 1972, Television and the Canadian Identity | Neil Earle
Nick Baxter-Moore is an associate professor in the Departments of Political Science and Communications, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University. His current research interests include popular music and politics; media and cultural policy; and the evolution of Canadian popular music.
Christine Boyko-Head is an adjunct professor for the Creative Arts in Learning, Masters of Education Program, Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has contributed essays to Theatre Research in Canada and the Journal of Canadian Studies, and has published over fifty theatre reviews. She resides in Dunnville, Ontario.
Valda Blundell is a professor of anthropology at Carleton University. She is a co-editor of Relocating Cultural Studies: Developments in Theory and Research (1993), and the author of Changing Perspectives in the Anthropology of Art (2000) as well as numerous articles on Indigenous culture and art in Canada and Australia.
Terrance Cox writes poems and non-fiction in St. Catharines, Ontario, where he also teaches popular music, film and drama at Brock University. His published collections include a “spoken word with music” CD, Local Scores (Cyclops Press, 2000) and Radio & Other Miracles (Signature Editions, 2001).
Loretta Czernis is a professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bishop’s University. Her publications include Weaving a Canadian Allegory (1994). She is the director of Bishop’s Communication and Cultural Studies Programme, and is currently an executive member of the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
Karen Dubinsky teaches history at Queen’s University. She is the author of The Second Greatest Disappointment: Honeymooning and Tourism at Niagara Falls (1999) and Improper Advances: Rape and Heterosexual Conflict in Ontario, 1880–1929 (1993).
Neil Earle is an ordained minister who serves as adjunct professor of American history at Citrus College, Glendora, California. He is the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in American Popular Culture: Uneasy in Eden (1994). His articles have appeared in the Social Science Journal and the Los Angeles Business Journal.
William Echard is an assistant professor of music at Carleton University. His teaching and research concern the social and textual dimensions of popular music as a signifying practice. His work has appeared in various publications, including the Indiana Theory Review, Popular Music, Semiotic Review of Books, and Topia.
Jim Leach is a professor in the Department of Communications, Popular Culture and Film, Brock University. His research and teaching interests include Canadian, British and popular cinemas, and film and cultural theory. He has published the first study of Claude Jutra's films, and adapted a Canadian edition of a film studies textbook.
Joan Nicks is an associate professor in the Department of Communications, Popular Culture and Film, Brock University. Her writing on Canadian cinema and popular culture has appeared in the anthologies Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women’s Cinema and Documenting the Documentary, and in various journals and encyclopaedia.
Sheila Petty is a professor of film and video at the University of Regina. She has written extensively on issues of cultural representation, identity and nation in African and African diasporic cinema. She is completing a book on African diasporic film and has a forthcoming monograph on the TV series, Law and Order.
Jim Shedden is the studio producer at Bruce Mau Design in Toronto. Previously he worked as a film and video curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where he also programmed music and performance. He has directed two documentaries: Michael Snow Up Close (1994) and Brakhage (1998).
Jeannette Sloniowski is an associate professor in the Department of Communications, Popular Culture and Film, Brock University. She has published articles in the Journal of Popular Film and Television, Canadian Communications and the Canadian Journal of Film Studies. She is co-editor of Documenting the Documentary and Canadian Communications: Issues in Canadian Media and Culture.
Will Straw teaches communications in the Department of Art History and Communications Studies at McGill University. He is the author of numerous books on music, film and culture, and is a co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock (2001).
Bart Testa teaches film studies and semiotics at the University of Toronto. His research interests include avant-garde, Canadian and European cinemas. He is the author of Back and Forth: Early Cinema and the Avant-garde (1992), Richard Kerr: Overlapping Entries (1994), Spirit in the Landscape (1989), and numerous essays in anthologies and journals.
Rinaldo Walcott is an associate professor in the Division of Humanities, York University. He is the author of Black Like Who: Writing Black Canada (1997) and editor of Rude: Contemporary Black Canadian Cultural Criticism (2000). He is currently completing Disturbing the Peace: The Impossible Dream of Black Canadian Studies.
Andrew Wernick teaches cultural studies at Trent University. He is the author of Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expressions (1991) and many other writings on social theory and contemporary culture. His most recent book is Auguste Comte and the Religion of Humanity.


Sixteen essays, written by specialists from many fields, grapple with the problem of a popular culture that is not very popular — but is seen by most as vital to the body politic, whether endangered by globalization or capable of politically progressive messages for its audiences.
Slippery Pastimes covers a variety of topics: Canadian popular music from rock ’n’ roll to country, hip-hop to pop-Celtic; television; advertising; tourism; sport and even postage stamps! As co-editors, Nicks and Sloniowski have taken an open view of the Canadian Popular, and contributors have approached their topics from a variety of perspectives, including cultural studies, women’s studies, film studies, sociology and communication studies. The essays are accessibly written for undergraduate students and interested general readers.


Provides helpful insights for anyone interested in religion and popular culture in North America. V. Blundell's essay on aboriginal cultural tourism, for example, clearly relates to important questions about the commercialization of indigenous sacred sites and objects.

- Jamie S. Scott, York University, Religious Studies Review, 2004 September