Introduction: Contesting memory and citizenship in Canada.
Refereed Article, 2018
Nijhawan, M., Winland, D., & Wustenberg, J. (2018). Introduction: Contesting memory and citizenship in Canada. Citizenship Studies, 22(4), 345–357.
The commemorative events marking the 150th anniversary of Canada’s 1867 confederation prompt us to reconsider the nexus between citizenship and memory. In the introduction to this special issue, we explore how the past continues to inform debates on Canadian identity in relation to the legacy of settler colonialism and its enduring impacts on Indigenous peoples, immigration and the transnationalization of Canadian society. Government responses to pressures to address historical injustices have resulted more recently in the establishment of a framework for reconciliation, apologies and other measures of redress. Demands for more democratic forms of citizenship though continue to be frustrated by systemic barriers to inclusion. We ask how Canadian idioms and practices of memory citizenship are reworked and grounded in attempts to transform dominant historical norms and narratives. Moreover, what role can increased scholarly attention to transnational memory play in unsettling the logics and practices upon which Canadian citizenship are built? Scholars of citizenship must think through not only the symbolic meanings of commemoration, but also engage with the political and legal ramifications of how physical and imagined sites of memory have been dealt with – and by whom.