Nadine C. Fabbi
“North” is an undefined territory – it can refer to the entire country of Canada or to what lies north of the political territorial boundaries, the treeline, or the Arctic Circle. More importantly, “North” is a key concept in Canadian culture impacting even political thought and movements (Canada First Movement) and features largely in the Canadian imagination (including in the works of Atwood, Stan Rogers, the Group of Seven, etc.). But the “North” is also a real place where the Inuit have lived for thousands of years and one of the last regions in North America to be colonized. It is home to the new territory of Nunavut carved out of the Northwest Territories in 1999 – the largest land claims settlement ever made between an aboriginal group and state. This course will examine both the imaginary concepts and actual history and culture of the “North” in Canada. The course will cover the creation of the new territory of Nunavut; Nunavik, the Inuit territory in northern Québec; the distinct land claims of the Inuvialuit in the western Arctic; Inukitut, the Inuit language; the history of the North from the search for the Northwest Passage to whaling, the fox fur trade, Cold War security measures and the colonization of the 1940s/50s, and; an introduction to the impact of the “messengers” from the North such as Robert Flaherty who filmed and produced Nanook of the North to James Houston who brought Inuit art to the world to Farley Mowat (author) and Richard Harrington (photographer) who exposed the tragic starvation of the Keewatin Inuit.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
The course will be structured with daily lectures and student presentations and weekly writing assignments. A background in Canadian Studies is helpful but not necessary. Students from the School of Education as well as K-12 educators are welcome.