BAAS Annual Conference 2022
Canada in the U.S.-American Imagination: Representations of America’s Northern Neighbor in Popular Culture
Canada holds a special position in cultural imaginaries produced in the United States.
For centuries, the neighbor to the north has inspired different kinds of curiosity,
comparisons, and conceptualizations – leading to a unique set of cultural productions.
While Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King once summarized
Canada as a country with “too much geography and not enough history”, U.S.-based
writers, travelers, and artists often found in Canada a space defined by possibilities
that seemed out of reach within their home of “limitless possibilities”.
Canada thereby served and continues to serve as a projection space for a plethora of
escapism(s) and as “a place of refuge” in U.S. cultural productions. This brings up
important questions as to what patterns define the construction of these cultural
borderlands in relation to affinity, identity, and imagination (Victor Konrad). How is
“Canada” and how are Canadians represented? Which ideological, mythical and/or
semiotic frameworks furnish constructions of Canada? How is Canada drafted as a
space for imagining the “other America”?
In order to address these questions, we would like to invite scholars of North American
studies, film, media, music, literature as well as history and politics to submit their
papers to shed light on Canada in the U.S. imagination.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
▪ Canada as a place of refuge (slave narratives, draft evaders, discontent with
political situation in the U.S.)
▪ Canada as a “more progressive version of the U.S.” (welfare state, race relations,
social liberalism, amongst others)
▪ Imaginations of Territorial Canada (Geography)
▪ Ecological discourses
▪ Representations of Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis, Inuit)
▪ Canada as a utopia/dystopia
▪ Stereotypes of all things Canada
▪ Representations of French-speaking Canada
▪ Canadian border politics
▪ Canada as a space for Hollywood productions
Paper proposals should be no longer than 250 words (including a working title) and
accompanied by a brief biography of max. 200 words. Please include an email address
at which you can be reached.
Proposals should be sent to both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. using the subject line “CfP
BAAS 2022”. The deadline for submissions is 15 November 2021.
Please note: We intend to proceed further after the conference with a book project of
the same topic. Therefore, we ask applicants to indicate whether they are applying for
our conference panel, the book project, or both.