Between the Lines

  • What is a Canadian critical race feminism?

    As the contributors to this book note, the interventions of Canadian critical race feminists work to explicitly engage the Canadian state as a white settler society. The collection examines Indigenous peoples within the Canadian settler state and Indigenous women within feminism; the challenges posed by the settler state for women of colour and Indigenous women; and the possibilities and limits of an anti-colonial praxis.

    Critical race feminism, like critical race theory more broadly, interrogates questions about race and gender through an emancipatory lens, posing fundamental questions about the persistence if not magnification of race and the "colour line" in the twenty-first century. The writers of these articles whether exploring campus politics around issues of equity, the medias circulation of ideas about a tolerant multicultural and feminist Canada, security practices that confine people of colour to spaces of exception, Indigenous womens navigation of both nationalism and feminism, Western feminist responses to the War on Terror, or the new forms of whiteness that persist in ideas about a post-racial world or in transnational movements for social justice insist that we must study racialized power in all its gender and class dimensions.

    The contributors are all members of Researchers and Academics of Colour for Equity.


    Sherene Razack is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies, University of Toronto. She is the author and editor of a number of books, including Casting Out: The Eviction of Muslims from Western Law and Politics, and Race, Space, and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society. Sunera Thobani is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Womens and Gender Studies, University of British Columbia. She is the author of Exalted Subjects: Studies in the Making of Race and Nation in Canada. Malinda Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Alberta, and author of Beyond the ‘African Tragedy’: Discourses on Development and the Global Economy.

  • In this concise, critical study of civil society, Jamie Swift sketches the history of the concept from its roots in the eighteenth century, to the present. Swift looks at its practical application in specific cases, such as Canada's Victorian Order of Nurses, and with community-based groups in South Asia (India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh). He examines the relationship between voluntarism, the state, politics, and the market, and considers the motives and priorities of those using the term today.

  • Ten activists, scholars, and writers analyze contemporary development issues linking Canada and the Third World, and provide an in-depth critique of Canada’s role in perpetuating poverty in the nations of the South. Widely adopted as a course text at the college and university level.

  • Gold Dust on His Shirt is an evocative telling of the experience of a Scandinavian immigrant family of hard-rock miners at the turn of the century and up to World War II. Based on fascinating historical research, these are tales of arriving in `Amerika,' blasting the Grand Trunk Pacific railway, work in the mines, and domestic life and labour struggles in company towns throughout British Columbia. Part family history, part economic and social history, Gold Dust on His Shirt is an intriguing look at life on the industrial frontier, the world of immigrant workers and the rise of unions such as the Wobblies. This remarkable and provocative tale of a family, region and era references a number of broader social and political issues. Born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to Scandinavian parents, Irene Howard has devoted her writing career to combining her interest in labour and immigrant history with her love of literature. She has been an English instructor and has broadcast talks for the CBC and written articles and essays for Canadian magazines and journals. She is the author of several books, including The Struggle for Social Justice in British Columbia: Helena Gutteridge, the Unknown Reformer, which in 1993 won the University of British Columbia Silver Medal for Canadian Biography and was shortlisted for a City of Vancouver Book Award and the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize.

  • A provocative discussion of the role of technology and its accompanying rhetoric of limitless progress in the concomitant rise of joblessness and unemployment.

  • Rarely a week goes by when juvenile delinquency or the Young Offenders Act are not discussed in the dominant media. Are we witnessing a moral panic over youth crime or a spate of “child-blaming” driven by the politics of law and order?
    Sangster traces the history of young women and crime and in so doing punctures dozens of myths surrounding these issues. Girl Trouble uncovers the voices of girls and their families who are caught up in the juvenile justice system, and provides a critical look at the definitions of, and solutions to, female delinquency. The book fills a significant gap in Canadian social and legal history.

  • User Error

    Ellen Rose

    User Error explodes the myth of computer technology as juggernaut. Multimedia educator Ellen Rose shows that there is no bandwagon, no out-of-control dynamo, no titanic conspiracy to overwhelm us. Instead, there is our own desire to join the fraternity of users, a fraternity that confers legitimacy and power on those who enter the brave new world. Rose exposes how we surrender decision-making power in personal and workplace computing situations. As users we willingly grant authority to the creators of software, support materials, and the seductive infrastructure of technocracy. "Smart" users are rewarded; reluctant users are pathologized. User identity is deliberately constructed at the crossroads of industry, consumer demand, and complicity. User Error sounds a timely alarm, calling on all of us who use the new technologies to recognize how we are being co-opted. With awareness we can reassert our own responsibility and power in this increasingly important interaction. Savvy, accessible, and up-to-date, User Error offers insight, inspiration, and strategies of resistance to general readers, technology professionals, students, and scholars alike.

  • Jake is celebrating his tenth birthday. That's a remarkable feat, because at birth he was given only three years to live. Miriam Edelson is his mother, a dedicated fighter for Jake and families in similar situations. Edelson poses some tough questions: How do parents cope with a child who has special needs? Are we failing, as a society, to care for children with disabilities? Whatever happened to the federal government's promise of a "Children's Agenda"? My Journey with Jake works on two levels. It's a poignant memoir by a devoted mother, and a hard-hitting, well-researched look at health care for Canada's children.

  • Jamie Swift combines sharp-eyed journalism that brings out the nuances of daily life with a penetrating analysis of jobless recovery. He describes the emerging world of work through the eyes and experiences of people in Kingston and Windsortwo Ontario cities with roots in the pre-industrial past, places poised for the post-industrial information age.

  • How is it that corporations are able to behave irresponsibly, criminally, and undemocratically?
    Wealth by Stealth is a scathing introduction to the operations of the modern corporation, written by a corporate lawyer. Many writers point to the growth of undemocratic corporate power. Glasbeek takes these observations further and outlines clearly how corporations become so powerful. He also shows how they are able to act without regard to the behaviour and laws governing citizens and other groups.
    Glasbeek is known by generations of students for his brilliant, funny lectures at Osgoode Hall Law School. With Wealth by Stealth his informative critique of corporate behaviour becomes available and accessible to all.
    How is it “The corporation makes them do it”?

  • Fun & Games & Higher Education ranges from Wayne's World to hot-rodding, from automobility to the popular phenomenon know as the tailgate party, from German sociologist George Simmel to Canadian Media Guru Marshall McLuhan-all in the interests in exploring North American obsession with play-and particularly the intersection between education, work, and leisure.

  • Some Like It Cold plunges headlong into the political conundrum of Canada's climatechange debate. Focusing on the past responses of both Liberal and Conservative governmentsto the looming crisis-ranging from negligence to complicity and connivance-Paehlke illuminatesthe issues surrounding compliance with global regulations such as Kyoto, includingthe dilemma of tar sands development. But he also lays out crucial political steps that could, if taken, lead towards a solution. While he presents a potentially positive projection for the future, Paehlke is not afraid topoint a finger at Canada's fractured and flawed democracy-demonstrating that the country'sambivalence is our biggest hindrance to joining the international quest to move forward onthis unparalleled global challenge.

  • Eating Fire

    Michael Riordon

    Eating Fire follows in the steps of Riordon's popular 1996 book Out our way, on gay and lesbian life in the country (BTL, 1996). This new set of tales examines the range in living patterns and relationships among queer families across Canada. Eating Fire illuminates the rich diversity in which people negotiate their personal and public identities. As in all his writing and radio work, Riordon brings to this book a subtle, direct, and vivid style. For Eating Fire he travelled widely, engaging in significant new research and speaking with hundreds of fascinating people. The resulting book is wanted and needed in classrooms, within queer communities, and among everyone hungry for knowledge about the wide range of Canadian families.

  • Using colourful and detailed case material, Street-Level Democracy introduces a new method of researching everyday politics. It is a wide-ranging book that traces the conflicts between global power and local action. People in farming communities, town mosques, city markets, and fishing communities suffer the effects of wrenching change, but live far from the centres of power. From Britain and small-town USA to Nigeria, India, and Nicaragua, citizens everywhere grapple with the politics of everyday life.

  • Feminist, educator, Quaker, and physicist, Ursula Franklin has long been considered one of Canada's foremost advocates and practitioners of pacifism. The Ursula Franklin Reader: Pacifism as a Map is a comprehensive collection of her work, and demonstrates subtle, yet critical, linkages across a range of subjects: the pursuit of peace and social justice, theology, feminism, environmental protection, education, government, and citizen activism. This thoughtful collection, drawn from more than four decades of research and teaching, brings readers into an intimate discussion with Franklin, and makes a passionate case for how to build a society centered around peace.

  • Our Friendly Local Terrorist tells the story of the fourteen-year struggle of Suleyman Goven, a Kurd accused by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service of being a terrorist. Mary Jo Leddy was "accidentally" present at Suleyman''s first interview with CSIS. During that eight-hour ordeal he was propositioned: you work for us as a spy and you'll get your papers; otherwise-there are no guarantees. Mary Jo continued to be a witness to this bizarre and painful process over the following years at judicial and semi-judicial hearings, which finally ruled that Suleyman ought to be given his papers. This moving personal story explores the efficacy of the immigration and security clearance systems in the Canadian government. It also provides an entry into the (often-complex) political dynamics and pressures within Kurdish communities in Canada and elsewhere in the diaspora, and reveals Turkey's role and influence in international relations when the tender of huge business contracts is at stake.

  • It's a very short trip from the limousine seat to the curb. Jim Mann never missed a payroll for the dozen men who worked for his flourishing landscaping business he built from the ground up. Now he lives hand-to-mouth. His pockets are empty long before his next social assistance cheque arrives. In early 2010 over two hundred civic and faith leaders fanned out into thirty Ontario communities. Their goal? To explore how the least fortunate people in one of the world's richest places are faring. The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition's latest social audit exposed a tattered social assistance system run by volunteers desperately struggling to fill the gaps. There can be no papering over the savage inequalities and suffering exposed in this compelling look at life from the margins.

  • Young Canadians are increasingly active and engaged in global issues. Many are eagerly poised to contribute-in smaller and even larger ways-to international development and the Canadian national politics that, for better or worse, shape the field. Generation NGO captures some of the first impressions of these young international development professionals before they are relegated to the dusty corners of memory. It provides snapshots of some of their first experiences with inequality and poverty, power and privilege, stereotypes, identity, social location, prejudice, and injustice. It is as much about questions as it is about answers. These essays illustrate the continual negotiation of development workers in positioning and conducting themselves in a morally and ethically charged profession. A must-read collection for Canadians contemplating development work abroad, this collection will also provide food for thought for more seasoned veterans of NGO forays long after they have returned from the field.

  • In our society, cultural activity-or the arts-usually refers to the high culture of the elites and popular mass culture. Clarke Mackey argues for a third category that is as old as human society itself but seldom discussed: vernacular culture. Vernacular culture comprises all those creative, non-instrumental activities that people engage in daily, activities that provide meaning in life: conversations between friends, social gatherings and rituals, play and participatory sports, informal storytelling, musical jam sessions, cooking and gardening, homemade architecture, and street festivals. In this lively and eclectic discussion, Mackey maintains that practising and celebrating such activities at the expense of passive, consumer culture have far-reaching benefits. Mackey further examines how literacy, imperialism, industrialization and electronic technologies have produced a culture of spectatorship, apathy and powerlessness. This is a timely, considered, and provocative response to the popularity of amateur, participatory, and do-it-yourself culture available on the internet.

  • In Brink of Reality, Peter Steven examines the convergence of video-art and social-issue documentary, from the 1940s to the present. No other book has explored contemporary Canadian documentary so thoroughly, or provided as broad a view of the state of the art in the 1990s.

  • An Unauthorized Biography of the World explores the practice of engaged oral history: the difficult, sometimes dangerous work of recovering fragments of human story that have gone missing from the official versions.
    Michael Riordon has thirty years’ experience as a writer and broadcaster in the field. Readers will encounter a gallery of brave, passionate people who gather silenced voices and lost life stories. The canvas is broad, the stakes are high: the battles for First Nations lands in Canada; environmental justice in Chicago; genocide in Peru; homeless people organizing in Cleveland; September 11/01, and after, in New York City; gay survivors of electroshock in Britain; the struggle to preserve a people’s identity in Newfoundland; peasant resistance to a huge transnational gold mine in Turkey.

  • Gatekeepers

    Franca Iacovetta

    An in-depth study of European immigrants to Canada during the Cold War, Gatekeepers explores the interactions among these immigrants and the "gatekeepers"-mostly middle-class individuals and institutions whose definitions of citizenship significantly shaped the immigrant experience. Iacovetta's deft discussion examines how dominant bourgeois gender and Cold War ideologies of the day shaped attitudes towards new Canadians. She shows how the newcomers themselves were significant actors who influenced Canadian culture and society, even as their own behaviour was being modified. Generously illustrated, Gatekeepers explores a side of Cold War history that has been left largely untapped. It offers a long overdue Canadian perspective on one of the defining eras of the last century.

  • McLuhan's Children

    Stephen Dale

    McLuhan's Children is an inside look at Greenpeace's rise to global prominence through its savvy use of mass media imagery. From the flamboyant, guerilla-theatre approach to the emergence of environmentalism as a dominant international issue.

  • IN RECENT YEARS Canadians have become more and more concerned about the origins oftheir food and the environmental impacts of pesticides in agriculture. What is less well knownis that pesticide corporations such as Monsanto and Du Pont have bought their way into the seed industry and are taking control of what was once the exclusive domain of farmers.In Good Crop / Bad Crop, Devlin Kuyek deftly examines the economic and environmental background of the modern seed trade from a Canadian perspective. Historically seeds were viewed more as public goods than as commodities, and plant breeding objectives were widely shared by scientists, governments, and farmers. Now that approach is changing; seeds have become increasingly commodified, and plant breeding has become subject to corporate priorities. Farmers and citizens in Canada, Kuyek points out, need to heed the hard-won lessons from the developing world, where farmers greatly damaged by the much-heralded approaches of theGreen Revolution are now taking steps to reclaim control over seed supplies, food security, and their futures.

empty