Taking Exception to Narratives of Exceptionality - Japanese-Canadian Internment Camps & Canadian Literature
In this episode, Linda begins by speaking about the kinds of assumptions made about her because of her Italian-Canadian immigrant background - and then expands that consideration to show how making such assumptions can actually be harmful. Case in point? The Christie-Pitts riot on August 16, 1933. There have been two graphic novels written about this riot: one simply titled Christie Pitts and the other titled The Good Fight.
A second case in point is the Japanese-Canadian internment camps during the Second World War. She considers four works of literature in Canada that address this subject:
- Joy Kogawa's Obasan
- Frances Itani's Requiem
- Kerri Sakamoto's One Hundred Million Hearts
- Mark Sakamoto's Forgiveness: A Gift from my Grandparents
Then, for the Takeaway, she invites scholar, Jennifer Andrews, who addresses narratives of exceptionality and demonstrates what function they serve (and whose) and why they persist. Using her book, Canada Through American Eyes (published by Palgrave in 2023), Jennifer chats with Linda about how narratives of exceptionality are rehearsed in both the United States and Canada - and why we need to challenge them.
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