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Robarts goes POP!

An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Canadian Popular Culture, April 17th-18th, 2015.

“The culture of a nation comprises many aspects… It includes the many ways that people express themselves in words, movement, music and images. It reveals itself in the ways people choose to spend their time, the music they listen to, the books they read and the films they watch, the sports they encourage and the historical sites and natural environments they protect. These factors shape how a nation sees itself, and how it establishes its identity.” (Statistics Canada, 1995, 11)

How does Canadian popular culture inform the construction of Canadian identity?  The Robarts Centre’s second annual interdisciplinary graduate conference is interested in theories, forms, genres, and representations of Canadian popular culture both past and present. We welcome multiple interpretations of the conference theme from a wide range of disciplines, seeking presentations that deal with the role of popular culture in Canadian identity formation. We are also interested in the extent to which our identity is informed by other nations’ depiction of Canada (e.g.; the depiction of Canadian culture through exaggerated stereotypes in South Park; the belief that Canadians are passive and polite, Commentary of Canada through social media [for example: Norm MacDonald’s #PrayForMoncton story], etc.).

We invite proposals of no more than 300 words that address the conference theme from those engaged in the study of Canadian popular culture in all disciplines or research areas (arts and media, history, languages, geography, literature, archaeology, economics, politics and policy) and from multiple perspectives (urban or rural; local or global; indigenous, immigrant, or diasporic; virtual or embodied).

Possible approaches to the conference theme include:

• Interpretations of Canadian Popular Culture

• Canadian Cultural Icons and Iconicity

• Politics in/of Canadian Popular Culture

• Canadian Popular Culture in Film, Television, Literature, Theatre, and Fine Arts

• Issues of Identity, Race, Ethnicity, Class, Gender, Sexuality and Popular Culture

• Popular Culture and French Canada

• Sport Cultures and the Body

• Cultural Studies and Historical Approaches to Canadian Popular Culture

Please send proposals to by January 26th, 2015.

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