Negotiating the Nation Through Superheroes
Making the Canadian Shield Visible
Keywords:identity, comics, cultural studies, multiculturalism, popular culture
This case study focuses on Canadian students’ responses to our invitation to imagine their own nationalist superheroes whose costumes and powers represent a nation. We provide a close reading of 34 student artifacts to show how they draw on discourses that position Canada as a benevolent, multicultural country—a rhetorical formation we call the Canadian Shield. We also reveal how some artifacts negotiate tropes of the Shield, adapting or revising them in distinctive ways. We conclude, however, that when invited to create Canadian superheroes, many of the student creations reaffirm dominant visions of the country, and such habits of thought, we venture, are best considered as ideological bottlenecks.
Copyright (c) 2021 Dr. Lee Easton, Dr. Kelly Hewson
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.