Contesting Bodies and Nation in Canadian History

Edited by Patrizia Gentile and Jane Nicholas

© 2013

From fur coats to nude paintings, and from sports to beauty contests, the body has been central to the literal and figurative fashioning of ourselves as individuals and as a nation. In this first collection on the history of the body in Canada, an interdisciplinary group of scholars explores the multiple ways the body has served as a site of contestation in Canadian history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Showcasing a variety of methodological approaches, Contesting Bodies and Nation in Canadian History includes essays on many themes that engage with the larger historical relationship between the body and nation: medicine and health, fashion and consumer culture, citizenship and work, and more. The contributors reflect on the intersections of bodies with the concept of nationhood, as well as how understandings of the body are historically contingent. The volume is capped off with a critical introductory chapter by the editors on the history of bodies and the development of the body as a category of analysis.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Gender and History
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 448 pages
  • Illustrations: 40
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.2in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003495

  • PUBLISHED SEP 2013

    From: $28.46

    Regular Price: $37.95

    ISBN 9781442613874
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2013

    From: $59.25

    Regular Price: $79.00

    ISBN 9781442645592
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2013

    From: $28.46

    Regular Price: $37.95

Quick Overview

In this first collection on the history of the body in Canada, an interdisciplinary group of scholars explores the multiple ways the body has served as a site of contestation in Canadian history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Contesting Bodies and Nation in Canadian History

Edited by Patrizia Gentile and Jane Nicholas

© 2013

From fur coats to nude paintings, and from sports to beauty contests, the body has been central to the literal and figurative fashioning of ourselves as individuals and as a nation. In this first collection on the history of the body in Canada, an interdisciplinary group of scholars explores the multiple ways the body has served as a site of contestation in Canadian history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Showcasing a variety of methodological approaches, Contesting Bodies and Nation in Canadian History includes essays on many themes that engage with the larger historical relationship between the body and nation: medicine and health, fashion and consumer culture, citizenship and work, and more. The contributors reflect on the intersections of bodies with the concept of nationhood, as well as how understandings of the body are historically contingent. The volume is capped off with a critical introductory chapter by the editors on the history of bodies and the development of the body as a category of analysis.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Gender and History
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 448 pages
  • Illustrations: 40
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.2in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Unique collection…Readers are offered a series of thoughtful and well-researched essays ranging from the empirical to the post-structural which cover a variety of methodologies, including textual, visual, and oral.’


    Jennifer Susan Marotta
    Canadian Historical Review vol 95:03:2014

    ‘Contesting Bodies is an exciting collection that explores the complex questions that flow from placing the body at the centre of analysis.’
    Deborah McPhail
    Labour/Le Travail vol 73:2014

    “Filling a considerable lacuna in research, Contesting Bodies and Nation in Canadian History will serve as a foundational text for all that follows in this exciting area of study. The scholarship is exemplary, as demonstrated in its sophisticated yet accessible introduction and its original, innovative, and interdisciplinary studies. A unique and significant collection, it will be vital reading for historians, social scientists, and cultural studies scholars working in related areas and will add much to an expanding international literature.”


    Cynthia Comacchio, Department of History, Wilfrid Laurier University

    “Body history has become an important field of research, but it has been relatively neglected within Canadian historiography. This volume introduces the increasingly influential historical field through an eclectic collection of essays, all of which are based on solid scholarship and well worth reading.”


    Keith Walden, Department of History, Trent University
  • Author Information

    Patrizia Gentile is an associate professor in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University.


    Jane Nicholas is an associate professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at Lakehead University.
  • Table of contents

    List of Abbreviations

    List of Figures

    Acknowledgements 

    Introduction: Contesting Bodies, Nation, and Canadian History - Jane Nicholas (Lakehead University) and Patrizia Gentile (Carleton University)

    Part I:  Contested Meaning(s) of Bodies and Nations

    Exploring the Writing of the History of the Body

    1. Epiphany in the Archives - Kathryn Harvey

    2. Following the North Star: Black Canadians, I.Q. Testing and Biopolitics in the Work of H.A. Tanser, 1939-2008 - Barrington Walker (Queen’s University)

    Defining ‘Canadian’ Bodies: Race and Colonialism

    3. Embodying Nation: Indigenous Sports in Victorian Montreal, 1860-1885 - Gillian Poulter  (Acadia University)

    4. The Boer War, Masculinity, and Citizenship in Canada, 1899-1907 - Amy Shaw (University of Lethbridge)

    Part II:  (Re)fashioning the Body

    Fashion, Clothing, and Bodies

    5. Packing and Unpacking: Newcomer and Aboriginal Women Negotiate Fashion in Colonial Encounters during the Twentieth-Century - Myra Rutherdale (York University)

    6. The Domesticated Body and the Industrialized Imitation Fur Coat in Canada, 1919-1939 - George Colpitts (University of Calgary)

    Contesting Representations of the Body/Sexuality

    7. An Excess of Prudery? Lilias Torrance Newton’s Nude and the Censorship of Interwar Canadian Painting - Pandora Syperek (University College London)

    8. The National Ballet of Canada’s Normative Bodies: Legitimizing and Popularizing Dance in Canada during the 1950s - Allana Lindgren (University of Victoria)

    9. Gender, Spirits and Beer: Representing Female and Male Bodies in Canadian Alcohol Ads, 1930s-1970s - Cheryl Krasnick Warsh (Vancouver Island University) and Greg Marquis (University of New Brunswick)

    Bodies in Contests

    10. Nudity as Embodied Citizenship and Spectacle: Pageants at Canada’s Nudist Clubs, 1949-1975 - Mary-Ann Shantz (Carleton University)

    11. Modelling the UN’s Mission in Semi-Formal Wear: Edmonton’s Miss United Nations Pageants of the 1960s - Tarah Brookfield (Wilfrid Laurier University)

    Part III:  Regulating Bodies

    Transformations, Medicalization, and the Healthy Body

    12. Obesity in Children: A Medical Perception, 1920-1980 - Wendy Mitchinson (University of Waterloo)

    13. Public Body, Private Health: Mediscope, the Transparent Woman and Medical Authority, 1959 - Valerie Minnett (Carleton University)

    14. Trans/Forming the Citizen Body in Wartime: National and Local Public Discourse on Women’s Bodies and ‘Body Work’ for Women during World War Two - Helen Smith (Lakehead University) and Pamela Wakewich (Lakehead University)

    Re/Producing Productive Bodies

    15. ‘Flesh, bone, and blood’: Working-Class Bodies and the Canadian Communist Press, 1922-1956 - Anne Frances Toews

    16. “Better Teachers, Biologically Speaking”: The Authority of the ‘Marrying-Kind’ of Teacher in Schools, 1945-1960 - Kristina Llewellyn (University of Waterloo)

    17. Contesting a Canadian Icon: Female Police Bodies and the Challenge to the Masculine Foundations of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the 1970s - Bonnie Reilly Schmidt (Simon Fraser University)

    Bibliography

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