Celebrity Cultures in Canada, edited by Katja Lee and Lorraine York

Cultural Studies Series, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016



Celebrity Cultures in Canada is an interdisciplinary collection that explores celebrity phenomena and the ways they have operated and developed in Canada over the last two centuries. The chapters address a variety of cultural venues—politics, sports, film, and literature—and examine the political, cultural, material, and affective conditions that shaped celebrity in Canada and its uses both at home and abroad. The scope of the book enables the authors to highlight the trends that characterize Canadian celebrity—such as transnationality and bureaucracy—and explore the regional, linguistic, administrative, and indigenous cultures and institutions that distinguish fame in Canada from fame elsewhere.

In historicizing and theorizing Canada’s complicated cultures of celebrity, Celebrity Cultures in Canada rejects the argument that nations are irrelevant in today’s global celebrityscapes or that Canada lacks a credible or adequate system for producing, distributing, and consuming celebrity. Nation and national identities continue to matter—to celebrities, to fans, and to institutions and industries that manage and profit from celebrity systems—and Canada, this collection argues, has a vibrant, powerful, and often complicated and controversial relationship to fame.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Celebrity Nation – P. David Marshall

Introduction: Celebrity Cultures in Canada. It’s Not a Question – Katja Lee and Lorraine York

  1. Rediscovering Nell Shipman for Canadian Cultural Heritage – Amy Shore                     
  2. “What an elastic nationality she possesses!” Transnational Celebrity Identities in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries – Katja Lee
  3. Terry Fox and Disabled Celebrity – Valerie J. Millar
  4. Canadian Political Celebrity: From Trudeau to Trudeau – Jennifer Bell
  5. Celebrity and the Cultivation of Indigenous Publics in Canada – Lorraine York
  6. Lament for a Hockey Nation, Don Cherry, and the Apparatus of Canadian Celebrity – Julie Rak
  7. Bon Cop, Bad Cop: A Tale of Two Star Systems – Liz Czach
  8. Crossover Stars: Canadian Viewing Strategies and the Case of Callum Keith Rennie – Katherine Ann Roberts
  9. What’s so Funny about Canadian Expats? The Comedian as Celebrity Export – Danielle J. Deveau
  10. Re: Focusing (on) Celebrity: Canada’s Major Poetry Prizes – Owen Percy
  11. Bureaucratic Celebrity – Ira Wagman