Village Among Nations: "Canadian" Mennonites in a Transnational World, 1916-2006

By Royden Loewen

© 2013

Between the 1920s and the 1940s, 10,000 traditionalist Mennonites emigrated from western Canada to isolated rural sections of Northern Mexico and the Paraguayan Chaco; over the course of the twentieth century, they became increasingly scattered through secondary migrations to East Paraguay, British Honduras, Bolivia, and elsewhere in Latin America. Despite this dispersion, these Canadian-descendant Mennonites, who now number around 250,000, developed a rich transnational culture over the years, resisting allegiance to any one nation and cultivating a strong sense of common peoplehood based on a history of migration, nonviolence, and distinct language and dress.

Village among Nations recuperates a missing chapter of Canadian history: the story of these Mennonites who emigrated from Canada for cultural reasons, but then in later generations “returned” in large numbers for economic and social security. Royden Loewen analyzes a wide variety of texts, by men and women – letters, memoirs, reflections on family debates on land settlement, exchanges with curious outsiders, and deliberations on issues of citizenship. They relate the untold experience of this uniquely transnational, ethno-religious community.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 340 pages
  • Illustrations: 20
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.1in
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SKU# SP003635

  • PUBLISHED OCT 2013

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    Regular Price: $37.95

    ISBN 9781442614673
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    ISBN 9781442646858
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2013

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    Regular Price: $37.95

Quick Overview

Village among Nations recuperates a missing chapter of Canadian history: the story of traditionalist Mennonites who emigrated from Canada for cultural reasons, but then in later generations “returned” in large numbers for economic and social security.

Village Among Nations: "Canadian" Mennonites in a Transnational World, 1916-2006

By Royden Loewen

© 2013

Between the 1920s and the 1940s, 10,000 traditionalist Mennonites emigrated from western Canada to isolated rural sections of Northern Mexico and the Paraguayan Chaco; over the course of the twentieth century, they became increasingly scattered through secondary migrations to East Paraguay, British Honduras, Bolivia, and elsewhere in Latin America. Despite this dispersion, these Canadian-descendant Mennonites, who now number around 250,000, developed a rich transnational culture over the years, resisting allegiance to any one nation and cultivating a strong sense of common peoplehood based on a history of migration, nonviolence, and distinct language and dress.

Village among Nations recuperates a missing chapter of Canadian history: the story of these Mennonites who emigrated from Canada for cultural reasons, but then in later generations “returned” in large numbers for economic and social security. Royden Loewen analyzes a wide variety of texts, by men and women – letters, memoirs, reflections on family debates on land settlement, exchanges with curious outsiders, and deliberations on issues of citizenship. They relate the untold experience of this uniquely transnational, ethno-religious community.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 340 pages
  • Illustrations: 20
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.1in
  • Reviews

    ‘Village among Nations is a patiently pieced together patchwork of memoirs, letters, newspapers, diaries, and the research of graduate students; what emerges from the many pieces is a coherent and compelling whole, the most comprehensive portrait of the Low German world  to date.’


    Robyn Sneath
    The Mennonite Quarterly Review; January 2015

    ‘Royden Loewen’s monograph is a fantastic, insightful, and nuanced study… The book is an important contribution to migration history and is a must read for anybody interested in adding transnational perspectives to Canadian history.’


    Benjamin Bryce
    Canadian Historical Review vol 97:01:2016

    ‘Loewen has created a sources that transcends the academy and is accessible for a broad audience….The book’s most significant contribution is that it creates a scholarly map identifying the terrain for future studies. As such, this is a path breaking work.’


    Patricia Harms
    Journal of Mennonite Studies, vol 32:2014

    “In Village among Nations, Loewen covers a tremendous amount of geographic territory and nearly a century of time. Like an expert guide, he takes the reader through all of this with a fine mix of storytelling and historical analysis.”


    Brian Froese, Department of History, Canadian Mennonite University

    “Royden Loewen is an engaging storyteller and a solid scholar. Village among Nations will be of interest to those curious about the experience of transnationalism among Canada’s minority groups.”


    Doreen Klassen, Department of Folklore, Memorial University
  • Author Information

    Royden Loewen is the Chair in Mennonite Studies and  a professor in the Department of History at the University of Winnipeg. He is an award-winning author of a number of books on Mennonites and immigrants in North America.

  • Table of contents

    Preface

    Acknowlegements

    Introduction

    Ch 1: Leaving the ‘British Empire’ in Canada: Promises in the South, 1916-1921

    Ch 2. Drawing Lines on God’s Earth: Settlers in Mexico and Paraguay, 1922-1929

    Ch 3: Dreaming of ‘Old Canada’: Nostalgia in the Diaspora, 1930-1945

    Ch 4: Rethinking Time and Space: East Paraguay and Beyond: 1945-1954

    Ch 5: Meeting the Outside Gaze: New Life in British Honduras and Bolivia, 1954-1972

    Ch 6: Crystallizing Memory: The Return of the ‘Kanadier’, 1951-1979

    Ch 7: Imagining a Pan-American Village: Reading Die Mennonitische Post, 1977-1996

    Ch 8: Homing in on the Transnational Village: Women Migrants in Ontario, 1985-2006

    Conclusion

    Bibliography

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