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 Featured Title
How We Talk About Canada
W. H. New  

$26.95 Paperback
Release Date: 6/1/1998
ISBN: 9780774806596    

128 Pages

Brenda and David McLean Canadian Studies series


About the Book

• Winner, 2000 Bronze Medal for Best Designed Book, Leipzig International Book Art Competition
• Recipient of the 1998 Alcuin Citation for Excellence in Book Design in Canada

Under the general title of Borderlands, the three related essays in this monograph address the rhetoric of border/boundary in Canadian studies and its social, political, and cultural implications, the character of cultural responses to Canada-US border tensions, and two specific examples of how border transgressions continue to affect current Washington State and British Columbia cultural expression.

A number of motifs appear throughout these essays, including the politics of separation, the persistence of racist discourse in North America (and of attempts to counter it), the role of education in informing public debate, the existence of communally-held social values in Canada, the necessity of the arts, the power of language, and the relation between social choice and indeterminacy.

The first essay, 'Giddy Limits,' ranges the most widely, drawing on examples from history and literature, geography and popular culture. It elucidates the politics of various recurrent rhetorical strategies in Canadian cultural commentary. The second essay, 'The Edge of Everything,' pursues a series of specific applications of 'border rhetoric' (including irony, national policies, and oppositional strategies) to Canada-US relations. The third essay, 'The Centre of Somewhere Else,' looks in part at the rhetoric of two contemporary writers (Seattle's David Guterson and Victoria's Jack Hodgins) in relation to the 1859 Pig War and to curricular reform. This final essay demonstrates further how the large issues raised in the first two essays resonate both in historical narrative and in contemporary social and cultural practice.

About the Author(s)

W.H. (Bill) New held the McLean Chair in Canadian Studies in 1997. He is a professor in the Department of English at the UBC. He was the editor of the well known journal Canadian Literature for 20 years. He has published 9 books, edited or co-edited another 28 books, and contributed chapters to numerous other books.

Table of Contents

1. Giddy Limits: Canadian Studies and Other Metaphors

2. The Edge of Everything: Canadian Culture and the Border Field

3. The Centre of Somewhere Else: The Pig War and English 91


Within the borderlands that separate and join Canadians and Americans, the Canadian search for difference goes on.

- Jeffrey Simpson, The Globe and Mail

... it would be a shame if New’s thoughtful and thought-provoking volume were overlooked because Borderlands is one of those rare books that work on many carefully layered levels: literary, poetic, philosophical and political. ... a rich tapestry.

- Georgia Straight, October 15-22, 1998

What New has to say is important since he recasts the issues of national identity in a post-modernist fin de siècle ambiguity... New acknowledges new issues that have fundamentally challenged national boundaries, such as the multinational corporation, multiculturalism, and aboriginal identity.

- Anthony W. Rasporich, Western Historical Quarterly

Sample Chapter

A sample chapter of this title is not available at this time. For further information, please email

Related Topics

Cultural Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Borderlands from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
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Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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