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Lecture 1

EN252 Lecture 1: EN 252_ Multiculturalism_ Notes

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Mariam Pirbhai

EN 252: Multiculturalism and Literature Dr. Mariam Pirbhai Course Evaluation: Dates: - Participation/ attendance: 5% - Short Essay: 10% Jan 31 st th - Mid- term Essay: 25% Feb 16 - Final Essay: 30% Mar 28 th - Final Exam: 30% Required Readings: - Guillermo Verdecchia- American Frontiers/ Fronteras Americanas (Talon Books, 2012) - Rawi Hage- Cockroach (Anansi Press, 2009) - Leila Halaby- Once in a Promised Land (Beacon Press, 2008) - Gurjinder Basran- Everything was Goodbye (Penguin, 2012) - Mariam Pirbhai- Coursepack of required readings Genres Fiction: We will be looking at two types of fiction, the short story and novel. Drama: We will be looking at one type of drama (a comedic “one- man” play) Essays: We will be looking at several different essays in the form of journal, magazine articles, chapters or extracts. Focuses - Caribbean Diaspora - “Arab” or “Middle Eastern” Diaspora - South Asia Diaspora - Latin American Diaspora Diaspora: En masse migration and settlement of communities outside their natal land, who are identified or self- identify as sharing common ethnic, cultural or religious ties, or who havr a shared history of migration having left their homeland for shared historical reasons, including war, persecution and labour. Dia (across); spora= to seed Topics and Issues to be covered: - Immigration to North America by Non- European Individuals and Communities - Diaspora: Being Part of Larger Migration Histories or Communities - Citizenship and Belonging, Including Forms of Cultural Alienation. Marginalization, Xenophobia, 9/11 - Work and Labour or Employment and the New Immigrant - Inter- Generational Identities (eg, First VS Second Gen.) - Race, Ethnicity, Diversity - National Myths & Ideals: American Dream, Melting Pot, - Multiculturalism - Canada VS United States Locating our Contexts Caribbean Refer: Barbados, Trinidad, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica, an archipelago of islands, usually formed by volcanic activity Latin America: Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Guatemala, Honduras, Region that includes parts of North, Central, South America and the Caribbean, Chicano/ Chicana is the term used to refer to Mexicans born and raised on the US side of the Mexico- US border, assumption all “Latinos” are Hispanophones or Spanish speakers. Middle East: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Israel, A region that is in continual dispute regarding who or what constitutes it: technically a part of Western Asia. South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives, Over 200 languages in India along, South Asians are largely of Muslim, Hindu or Sikh religions, as well Buddhist, Christian and Jain. Caribbean Migration to Canada: - In 2001, over half a million of people of Caribbean origin lived in Canada. That year, they represented almost 2% of the total population of Canada - The majority of immigrants of Caribbean origin arrived in Canada relatively recently - In 2001, 28% of immigrants with Caribbean roots living in Canada had arrived in the previous decade; another 25% had arrived in Canada between 1981 and 1990; only 14% had arrived in the 1960’s, while just 2% came to Canada before 1961. - 91% of people who reported Caribbean origins lived in Ontario or Quebec. That year, Ontario was home to 69% of the overall Canadian Caribbean community, while 22% lived in Quebec. Anti- Immigration Policies - Asian exclusion acts of Canada and us - 1882- 1943: Chinese Exclusion Act in effect in US - 1907: Asian exclusion implemented in Canada - 1923- 1947: Canada halted immigration from Asia, but not until 1967 and the establishment of a new points system of immigration did Asians start to be accepted into Canada once again Fact: - Almost 40% of Canada is of a non- British or non- French heritage - Toronto has been named, by the United Nations, as “The most Multicultural city in the world.” Push/ Pull Factors from migration - Push Factors: are circumstances, situations, or things in their country that motivate someone to emigrate from their country and go somewhere else. - Pull Factors: On the other hand, are circumstances, situations, or things in that motivate someone to immigrate to a certain country. Pull factors are positive attractions that make you want to live in a country and pull you into it. - Push factors might include war, civil unrest, political or economic instability, unemployment, persecution (religious or other), or general quality of life - Pull factors not only include the factors that make a country desirable but also factors that serve as that country’s own initiatives to recruit new immigrants at different moments (e.g. Need for cities to rebuild after WWII during 1950’s in Europe, need for skilled workers in Canada during 1960’s and 19700’s, etc.) Latin American Immigration to Canada - In 2001, 244,400 people of Latin American origin lived in Canada. That year, they represented almost 1% of the total population of Canada. - 15% came from Mexico, while 14% were Chilean, 11% came from El Salvador, 7% were Peruvian and 6% were from Columbia. In 2001, 62% of Canadians who reported Latin American origins were born outside of Canada. - Immigration from Latin America to Canada is relatively recent. - Of foreign- born Latin Americans living in Canada in 2001, 47% had arrived in the previous decade, while another 35% had come to Canada between 1981 and 1990. In contrast, only 3% had arrived in the 1960’s, while less than 1% had come to Canada before 1961. - There are more Latin Americans in the US than there are Canadians! - Total of 53 Million (note that Canada is only 35 Million in total) - Only Mexico (112 Million) had a larger “Latin” population than the US. South Asian Immigration to Canada: 100 Years Pre- 1960’s - Main area of settlement: British Columbia (total BC pop:100,000) - Official Accounts show a community of approx. 2500 South Asians in B.C by 1906, before the anti- Asian riots of 1907 - Prior to ‘Continuous Passage’ regulation of 1908 which prevented immigration from South Asia to Canada Post- 1960’s - In 2011, 1.5 million people of South Asian origin lived in Canada, representing about 5% of the total pop. - The majority of immigrants of South Asian origin arrived in Canada relatively recently. In 2001, 53% of immigrants of South Asian origin had arrived in the previous decade, while another 22% came to Canada between 1981 and 1990. In contrast, only 5% had arrived in the 1960’s, while less than 1% had come to Canada before 1961. ‘Arab- American’ Immigration to North America - Large influx during late 19 C (mainly from Greater Syria- Lebanon and Syria), from 1880’s - Iraq and Palestine make up other group of ‘Arab’ migrants - At least 1.9 million “Americans” are of Arab descent - Nearly 3.5 million “Americans” trace their roots to an Arab country - While the majority of Arab Americans descend from the first wave of mostly Christian immigrants, Arab Muslims represent the fastest growing segments of the Arab American community. - Contrary to popular assumptions or stereotypes, the majority of Arab Americans are native- born to the US, and nearly 82% are citizens. “Push” Factors… of Arab Immigration to Canada - Lebanese Civil War in 1975- 1990 - Occupation of Palestine in 1967- present day - Iran- Iraq War in 1980’s - Us invasion of Iraq in 1990’s - Syrian War in 2011- present day Canada - Fall of British empire in 1940’s - Post- war era/ post- war “boom”; selective immigration from US, UK and North- Wastern Europe - Formal intro of Canadian citizenship in 1947 - 1960’s: Black Rights Movement - 1960’s: Universal Declaration of Human Rights - 1960’s: Canadian Bill of Rights barred ethnic, racial and religious discrimination - Mobilization of 2 Gen. Eastern European, Slavic, Asian immigrants to challenge British/ French domination of citizenship debate and express greater cultural/ ethnic self- assertion - Vietnam War: Canada’s gradual distantiation from the US after the calamity of the Vietnam War (1980’s) - The point system of the 1970’s: Under this system, each applicant was awarded points for age, education, ability to speak English or French, and demand for that particular applicant’s job skills. “On Being a WOP” - Antonio D’ Alfonso, born in Montreal, 1953 (Italian parents from Molise, Italy) - Founder of the Canadian small press, Guernica (in 1978) - Prose- poems “On Being a WOP” and “I’m Sachsenhausen” from The Other Shore (1986) Chinese Exclusion Act - Chinese Exclusion Act, 1923- 1947 - Head tax of $10/ Chinese immigrant imposed in 1885, and increased to $500 by 1901 Multiculturalism as State Policy Timeline - October 8 , 1971 – PM Pierre Elliot Trudeau rea statement declaring multicultural policy in house of parliament: - “There is no official culture, nor does any ethnic group take precedence over any other. No citizen or group of citizens is other than Canadian, and all should be treated fairly.” Declaration of 4 Priority Initiatives: - Provision of resources t cultural groups seeking assistance and support - Gov’t assistance to help cultural groups overcome cultural barriers for full participation in Canadian society - Promotion of inter- cultural encounters and creative activities in the interest of national unity - Assist immigrants to acquire at least 1 of the 2 official languages for full participation in Canadian society. Rawi Hage- Cockroach - De Niro’s game (2006) shortlisted for gov. general’s Scotiabank Giller Prize - Cockroach (2008) same as above - Carnival (2012) - Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1964 - Spent childhood there during the Lebanese Civil War - Immigrated to Canada in 1991 Illusion Works to Cockroach - Illusion of Metamorphasis (plot of comparing human to insect) (Franz Kafka’s Novella (1915, Metamorphsis) - Albert Camus’s Novel “The Stranger” (1942, L’Etranger) (Both books have “exiled” main characters) Absurdism - Albert Camus & Franz Kafka known as “existentialists” - Considered “existentialists” and proponents of the school of thought known as the “absurdism” Theory: Human condition is to search for meaning in a meaningless universe; we continually seek to find value and meaning in life while knowing that there is no meaning to be found. There is something “absurd” about the human quest to find meaning in this life; all routes to meaning are dead- ends, sostospeak, hence:  Myth of Sysophis (man punished to role boulder up a hill every day and it role’s back down at night.) Only 3 Possible Responses to Such a State: 1) Suicide: Escape one’s existence 2) A leap of faith: Spiritual belief system that transcends the absurd 3) Acceptance: Accept the liberation of the self, this is all that there is - Lebanon under French Colonization: 1920- 1943 - The Lebanese Civil War: 1975- 1990 - Lebanese diaspora around the globe constitute the largest community of the Arab diaspora - The diaspora is largely settled in the U.S, Canada & France in the 3 metropolitan centers of NY, Montreal, and Paris - Hage’s novel… In/ Visible Minority - Visible minority  Includes persons who are non- Caucasian in race or non- white in colour & who do not report being aboriginal- persons of colour but not native, visible minorities including: South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Arab, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean, Japanese. Setting the Stage - Structure - Narrative perspective - Characters - Main settings - Plot - Atmosphere - Any motifs - Only community they enter is another community of exiles. What is an Exile? - Ex- Patriots = people who go out of country to work (you will come back in number of years to o
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