Broadcasting a Performance of Caring: Social Justice and Migrant Narratives on the CBC's Canada Reads
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My dissertation argues that migrant narratives are used to facilitate a Canadian performance of caring on the popular broadcast television and radio program Canada Reads. The program brings together popular culture and Canadian literature to form a reading community that models affective reading practices and solicits reader responses to social justice themes in Canadian literature. The ideal of the ‘caring’ Canadian nation implies that it is accepting of diversity, welcoming to refugees and migrants, and inclusive of a wide variety of languages and cultural traditions. As I argue in this dissertation, however, this ideal is professed but often not substantiated in Canadian culture. This is evident in the ways in which migration and social justice are discussed on Canada Reads. I analyze how the ideals of Canadian nationhood, multiculturalism, and the ‘good migrant’ are constructed and disseminated in Canadian culture and media. Focusing on panelist Samantha Bee’s 2014 defense of Rawi Hage’s Cockroach and panelist Cameron Bailey’s 2015 defense of Kim Thúy’s Ru, I assert that the migrant narratives on Canada Reads are often not fully or honestly represented. Instead, these texts are used to maintain the Canadian performance of caring and uphold the illusion of successful multiculturalism.
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Keely Cronin (2022). Broadcasting a Performance of Caring: Social Justice and Migrant Narratives on the CBC's Canada Reads. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17952