Sunday, May 19, 2013

Celebrating Canada: National Holidays, Commemoration and Identity Politics

With all of the hubbub surrounding the federal government's history agenda, I thought it was worth noting that one of the things that has been occupying me lately is the early phases of an edited collection about the practice and politics of crafting national identity in Canada's past.  If you're an academic who reads this blog, this collection might be of interest to you.

Call for Abstracts – Celebrating Canada: National Holidays, Commemoration and Identity Politics

With the 150th anniversary of Confederation coming up in 2017, it seems appropriate to reflect on the political, social and cultural forces which have shaped Canada over the course of its history.  National holidays and commemorative events provide an intriguing window into how these processes have affected, and continue to shape nationalism, culture and identity politics.  With this in mind, we invite interested authors to submit proposals for an edited collection that we are developing.  Tentatively entitled "Celebrating Canada: National Holidays, Commemoration and Identity Politics", our objective is to pull together scholarship related to national holidays and major commemorative anniversaries in Canadian history.  While our launching point for this collection is the celebration and observance of Dominion Day / Canada Day, we are taking a broad approach to the book's theme, and would like to include contributions that deal with major anniversary years like the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation, the Centennial of 1967, Canada 125 and other related – or competing! - national holidays such as Victoria Day, la Fête St-Jean-Baptiste/Fête Nationale, and Empire Day. We welcome contributions that situate Canadian holidays in a broader international context. 

We have already been in discussions with University of Toronto Press, where there is keen interest in this project. Interested authors are asked to submit proposals to Matthew Hayday [] by 2 July 2013 (the day after the Canada Day holiday!) including a 250-500 word abstract and the author's institutional affiliation and contact information.  Our planned schedule is to contact authors regarding their proposals by the end of July, and have first completed drafts due in late spring 2014.  We are planning to apply for a SSHRC Connection Grant, with an eye to having participants come together for a workshop in the summer of 2014 to discuss each other's work.  This should provide ample time for revisions and the peer review process to allow the collection to be in print no later than 2017.

Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Matthew Hayday
Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Guelph

Raymond Blake
Professor, Department of History, University of Regina

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