February 6, 2013
ENGL 222 – Canadian Literature
Vancouver Community Centres and money
o Community centres angry about Vancouver’s distribution of community centre money
Dunbar Community Centre is very angry – Vancouver does not exist to them,
just Dunbar exists
Massey Lecture: Thomas King “You’re Not the Indian I Had in Mind”
o Indian of fact vs. Indian of fiction
o THE Indian vs. Indians
o The literary Indian
o Identity and authenticity
Race as a construction, not a condition
We believe we can see it (we hope we can see it)
o Visual confirmation – having to look a certain way in order to be
identified a certain way
o “in mind” – mental images associated with people, figures, places
Cook reads novel – novel gives image of Indian does not match Thomas King
Writer of the novel has never once seen an Indian
Pervasiveness of images
Cultural images exist everywhere
o What happens to contemporary Indians when they’re supposed to meet the literary
o What mental images do we have about place, as perpetuated by the stories we tell
How does that affect our ability to engage with a place?
How does that affect our expectations of a place to meet the mental image?
Expectations are crafted – by stories from siblings, functionality is
shaped by parents’ expectations for you, cinema
Is UBC the university you had in mind?
Was the story of UBC the right story for you?
Thomas King, “Borders”
P. 582: Border guard helping Indians, trying to figure out whether the Indian is Canadian or
o Idea of trying to be helpful
How is that help is constructed (help is not help if it’s not wanted)
P. 584: Canadian female border guard – enthusiastic (stereotypically Canadian) o “Can ONLY be American and Canadian”