Read it!: Tricky Myths: Settler Pasts and Landscapes of Innocence

Eva Mackey, “Tricky Myths: Settler Pasts and Landscapes of Innocence,” Settling and Unsettling Memories: Essays in Canadian Public History, edited by Nicole Neatby and Peter Hodgins, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), 310-339.


This essay has so much perspective to give.

MacKay is incredibly insightful in talking about ideas of Canadian identity bring to the readers’ attention the Canadian national narrative in relation to personal identity and the danger to prescribing to such a narrative. It is the most interesting thing I’ve read in months! Here are some gems to hook you:

“It is argued that modern identities are based on binary oppositions of self and other and the notion of fixed homogeneous cultures”

“Official nationalist narratives, “constantly mobilize images of land- be it homeland, motherland or fatherland- to do the work of constructing a sense of ‘oneness’ from diverse populations which may never meet face-to-face”

About Settling and Unsettling Memories: Essays in Canadian Public History:

Settling and Unsettling Memories analyses the ways in which Canadians over the past century have narrated the story of their past in books, films, works of art, commemorative ceremonies, and online. This cohesive collection introduces readers to overarching themes of Canadian memory studies and brings them up-to-date on the latest advances in the field.

With increasing debates surrounding how societies should publicly commemorate events and people, Settling and Unsettling Memories helps readers appreciate the challenges inherent in presenting the past. Prominent and emerging scholars explore the ways in which Canadian memory has been put into action across a variety of communities, regions, and time periods. Through high-quality essays touching on the central questions of historical consciousness and collective memory, this collection makes a significant contribution to a rapidly growing field.


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