Creative Subversions

Whiteness, Indigeneity, and the National Imaginary

Margot Francis

  • Published: 2011. Paperback 2012
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 288 pp., 45 illus., 10 in color, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

In this richly illustrated book, Margot Francis explores how whiteness and Indigeneity are articulated through four icons of Canadian identity - the beaver, the railway, the wilderness of Banff National Park, and "Indianness" - and the contradictory and contested meanings they evoke. These seemingly benign, even kitschy, images, she argues, are haunted by ideas about race, masculinity, and sexuality that circulated during the formative years of Anglo-Canadian nationhood. Juxtaposing these nostalgic images with the work of contemporary Canadian artists, she investigates how everyday objects can be re-imagined to challenge ideas about history, memory, and national identity.
Margot Francis is an associate professor ofwomen's studies and sociology at Brock University.

"This book is both timely and of broad appeal. Its exploration of artistic forms that speak back to and re-flesh cultures rendered into ghosts makes a significant addition to the debate on Canadian national memory and identity."
-Beverley Haun, author of Inventing 'Easter Island'


Introduction: andquot;Ghosts Trying to Find Their Clothesandquot;

2 The Strange
Career of the Beaver: Anthropomorphic Discourse and Imperial

3 Things Not
Named: Bachelors, Dirty Laundry, and the Canadian Pacific

4 Exploring
Banff National Park: Rangers on the Mountain Frontier

5 Playing
Indian: Indigenous Responses to Indianness

6 Conclusion:
Living in "Haunted Places"