"Narratives of power: historical mythologies in contemporary Québec and Canada" in Race & Class, 52 (1)
This article examines the historical and contemporary variants of these images and the narratives constructed around them, arguing that Canada’s history of colonial violence, slavery and racism has been marginalised through their circulation, and that their continued invocation in public debates on crime, terrorism and immigration is a crucial factor in the perpetuation of racial exclusion. The official narratives that Canada tells itself about its history and identity facilitate the contemporary exercise of power, determining who is to be regarded as fully belonging and who is alien. While race is excised from these national narratives, it has in fact been central to the formation of Canadian nationhood. The image of the respectable, peaceful, multiculturalism-loving Canadian citizen, descendant of the two founding nations, France and Britain, goes hand in hand with its opposites: the Indigenous ‘Indian’, the Black, the immigrant newcomer and the refugee.
David Austin is an author and educator. He teaches in the Humanities, Philosophy, and Religion Department at John Abbott College and the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.
Other publications from this author include:
- DREAD POETRY AND FREEDOM: LINTON KWESI JOHNSON AND THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION (2018)
- Moving Against the System: The 1968 Congress of Black Writers and the Shaping of Global Black Consciousness (2018)
- Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex, and Security in Sixties Montreal (2013)
- You Don't Play With Revolution: The Montreal Lectures of C.L.R. James (2009)