As critics have argued, the increasingly significant geopolitical and economic role of the Canadian North during the Second World War and into the years of the Cold War brought about a shift in the Canadian awareness of this region. Whereas it previously was thought of as mainly empty wilderness, the North was now considered an inhabited and indigenous land of strategic interest and economic potential. Few scholars, however, have been concerned with how this shift is made manifest in travel writing from the period.
In this talk, Janice S. Kaasa will present some examples of how this changing North is represented in 1950s English-Canadian travel writing, and how the genre has been instrumental in the shaping of the discourse on the region.
Janicke S. Kaasa is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo, Norway. She is currently writing her dissertation on 1950s English-Canadian travel writing on the Canadian North, and her work examines how the genre makes part of a discursive shift on the region during this time period. Supervisors are Prof. Kjersti Bale (University of Oslo) and Prof. Sherrill Grace (University of British Columbia).