Book launch: The Search for a New National Identity: The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s–1970s

Title
Book launch: The Search for a New National Identity: The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s–1970s
Speaker(s)
Hosted by: Centre for Canadian Studies, Citizens Nations and Migration (CNaM) Network # UoE
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
19th Jan 2017 13:00 - 19th Jan 2017 14:30
Location
6th Floor Staff Room, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square
URL
http://www.cst.ed.ac.uk/events_at_the_centre/open_research_seminars/2016_2017/book_launch_the_search_for_a_new_national_identity_the_rise_of_multiculturalism_in_canada_and_australia,_1890s1970s

At this roundtable on his new book, author Jatinder Mann (University of Alberta) will present the main arguments of the volume, and Emile Chabal (UoE History) and Mario Alvarada Guerra (UoE Sociology) will comment on the work and raise some questions for further discussion. Jimmy Kennedy (UoE Sociology) will chair the session. 

Abstract

This book explores the profound social, cultural, and political changes that affected the way in which Canadians and Australians defined themselves as a “people” from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s. Taking as its central theme the way each country responded to the introduction of new migrants, the book asks a key historical question: why and how did multiculturalism replace Britishness as the defining idea of community for English‐speaking Canada and Australia, and what does this say about their respective experiences of nationalism in the twentieth century? The book begins from a simple premise—amely, that the path towards the adoption of multiculturalism as the orthodox way of defining national community in English‐speaking Canada and Australia in the latter half of the twentieth century was both uncertain and unsteady.

It followed a period in which both nations had looked first and foremost to Britain to define their national self‐image. In both nations, however, following the breakdown of their more formal and institutional ties to the ‘mother‐country’ in the post‐war period there was a crisis of national meaning, and policy makers and politicians moved quickly to fill the void with a new idea of the nation, one that was the very antithesis to the White, monolithic idea of Britishness. This book will be useful for both history and politics courses in Australia and Canada, as well as internationally.

Further details can be found here

Dr Jatinder Mann