National Postcolonial: Representations of the enemy within in Canada's national newspapers

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Smolash, Wendy Naava
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University of Guelph

This thesis examines current constructions of "the enemy within" in Canada's national newspapers through an analytical framework inspired by Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, and other theorists including Critical Whiteness scholars such as Richard Dyer. It theorizes national newspaper narratives through a counterdiscursive close reading of coverage of the "Project Thread" arrests over a three-month period in 'The Globe and Mail ' and 'The National Post'. This coverage of the "preventative detentions" of international students from Pakistan and India reveals patterns that resemble the racialized representation of bodies deemed "the enemy within" during World Wars One and Two. Through such factors as repetitions, juxtaposition, the nature of headlines, quotations, and images, and the placement and size of stories, this thesis argues, Canada's national newspapers privilege the circulation of dominant notions of "the enemy within," the axes of which are media(ted) discourses of "the Nation," "Muslims," "Immigrants," "Terrorism," and "Whiteness."

Canada, national newspapers, Project Thread arrests, preventative detentions, The enemy within