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Soundin' Canaan: Music, Resistance, and Citizenship in African Canadian Poetry

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dc.contributor.advisor Heble, Ajay
dc.contributor.author Watkins, Paul
dc.date 2015-06-15
dc.date.accessioned 2015-06-29T13:06:49Z
dc.date.available 2015-06-29T13:06:49Z
dc.date.issued 2015-06-29
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10214/8936
dc.description.abstract Idealistically, citizenship—like music—is not confined to any single space. Soundin’ Canaan (Canaan, as Canada was often referred to in spirituals during the Black migration to Canada) draws from a cross-fertilization of communicative techniques to examine how citizenship is explored by African Canadian poets’ resistive soundings. The dissertation investigates how many African Canadian poets draw from African American and pan-African musical forms (including blues, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, dub, and other improvisatory practices) in order to remap the concept of identity and citizenship within intercultural (or multicultural) spaces. I ask: what does Canadian citizenship sound like, particularly as voiced by African Canadian poets interested in a fluid citizenship that moves, like music, between local and global spaces? By looking at Canadian literature in a more global cross-cultural and interdisciplinary context and focusing, as Ajay Heble does in his article “Sounds of Change: Dissonance, History, and Cultural Listening,” on the values of dissonant histories “not in harmony” as a meaningful disturbance to knowledge production in Canada, my dissertation investigates poetic fluidity between African Canadian multimodal practices (particularly orality and music) and those of African Americans and the larger African diaspora. The Introduction outlines my methodologies, and sets the stage for the larger theoretical discussions pursued in Chapter One. Chapter Two establishes parameters for what defines a dub poem, converging around M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!. Chapter Three focuses on George Elliott Clarke’s musical dedications in Blue, Black, and Red. In Chapter Four I examine Dionne Brand’s Ossuaries, particularly the deconstructive jazz approach that Brand takes to remapping a historically marginalized, yet fluid community of resistance. Chapter Five focuses on Wayde Compton’s Performance Bond into which he incorporates hip-hop and turntable poetics. Chapter Six looks at hip-hop artist K’naan, whose song of global fraternity, “Wavin’ Flag,” was chosen as an anthem for the FIFA 2010 World Cup. The Outro (conclusion) brings the primary themes back into the mix, examining how citizenship, the self, and nationality are articulated in African Canadian poetry and literature through what I am terming “listening communities.” en_US
dc.description.sponsorship I would like to acknowledge that this research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Canada en_US
dc.subject African Canadian en_US
dc.subject Black en_US
dc.subject improvisation en_US
dc.subject music en_US
dc.subject resistance en_US
dc.subject multiculturalism en_US
dc.subject jazz en_US
dc.subject hip-hop en_US
dc.subject Zong en_US
dc.subject Martin Luther King, Jr. en_US
dc.subject Pierre Elliott Trudeau en_US
dc.subject M. NourbeSe Philip en_US
dc.subject George Elliott Clarke en_US
dc.subject Dionne Brand en_US
dc.subject Wayde Compton en_US
dc.subject K'naan en_US
dc.subject remix en_US
dc.subject community en_US
dc.subject citizenship en_US
dc.subject CanLit en_US
dc.subject Toronto en_US
dc.title Soundin' Canaan: Music, Resistance, and Citizenship in African Canadian Poetry en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.degree.programme Literary Studies / Theatre Studies in English en_US
dc.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.degree.department School of English and Theatre Studies en_US


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