Ontario College of Art & Design

Course Calendar


Imagining Nation: Canada's Cultural History
0.50 Credit(s)
Academic Course
Prerequisite: 7.5 credits, including 1.0 credit of second-year liberal studies (including 0.5 VISC credit).
Art, film and literature produced by artists in this country over the course of the 20th C, and into the 21st, could be considered tangible representations of Canadian identity. This cultural history has been implicitly tied to the project of defining nation. This course will examine this history by looking at the ways that various institutions such as the CBC, the National Film Board and the Canada Council have been shaped by the need to differentiate Canada from its colonial past and its neighbours. These institutions will be looked at in conjunction with policy instruments - the Indian Act, the Massey Commission, and the Multiculturalism Act - through which federal interests were implemented. Artists were deeply involved with these processes of institutionalization. Beginning with early collectives such as the Royal Society in the early 1900's up to the formation of the Artist Run Centres in the 1970's, artists have organized in order to maintain a voice within the discourse of governmentality. Also, postcolonial studies and practice will be examined in conjunction with its influence on artistic production and exhibition. Other areas that will be interwoven will include Canada's intellectual history and canonicity (both inclusion and exclusion). This course will give students the opportunity to see that Canadians have historically been conscious of some of the complex questions we are wrestling with today. By contextualizing artistic practices within the larger narrative of imagining nation, students will see that the history of culture in Canada is more than the sum of the artworks themselves. A repro-text will be produced in order to accommodate the numerous points of view within this discussion. The following bibliography covers some of those readings.
Anti-requisite: Students who have taken VISC 3B25 may not take this course for further credit.
Course was last updated May 4, 2011 - 4:33 PM