Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Intercultural Dialogue: Canada and the Other

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Intercultural Dialogue: Canada and the Other

Article excerpt

Martin Howard (ed.), Intercultural Dialogue: Canada and the Other (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2007), xiv + 138pp. Paper. $30. ISBN 9780776606460.

This collection of essays is taken from the 12th Biennial Conference of the Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland, held at University College, Cork, in April 2004. Focusing on the topics of 'international dialogue and alterity as they relate to issues at play both within Canada and at an international level' (p. ix), scholars from Britain, France, Mexico, Ireland and Canada tackle a range of subjects. Reflecting the experience of most Canadian Studies conferences, this publication demonstrates the range of differing methodologies and perspectives employed by the international community of Canadianists today. However, it also shows the shared issues which fall across multiple disciplines - represented here are linguistics, literary studies, politics and philosophy.

Analysing Canadian intersections with the 'Other', these articles dwell on the subsequent production of creativity and/or violence. Marie-Joie Brady's essay highlights this, dwelling on the positive uses of tension in Canadian society through a discussion of Chantal Mouffe and William Connolly's notions of agonistic democracy. Brady notes 'the important role of conflict and its potential as an agent of social and political transformation' (p. 9). Donna Marie Kabalen de Bichara's discussion of 'Cultural Understanding between Mexico and Canada' adds an interesting dimension to discussions of identification and community. Drawing the work of Charles Taylor and Arjun Appadurai into a pan-American literary context, Kabalen de Bichara celebrates a concept of affiliated identity, and is worthwhile reading for students of comparative literature. …

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