Thoughts on culture, education, and having been a Canadian in the US
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Posts from — February 2010

This is what my students will be learning to sing next fall

February 24, 2010   1 Comment

Hockey in Canadian literature

Here’s the description for the new online course I’ve just proposed on hockey in Canadian literature. I hope to offer this in August through UVM’s Continuing Education Program. There are, of course, lots of books I could talk about in this course. It could easily be a year-long class! If I get the go-ahead to offer this course, I’ll post more details here.

“Hero of the Play”: Hockey in Canadian Literature

While hockey is undoubtedly a quintessential part of Canadian identity, it is mostly absent from Canadian fiction and poetry until the publication of Roch Carrier’s celebrated short story “The Hockey Sweater” in 1978. Over the last thirty years, however, hockey has proven to become a rich source of inspiration for some of Canada’s best writers of fiction and poetry.

In this intensive two-credit online course we will read and discuss some of the most important fiction and poetry about hockey to emerge during this period. We will also spend time considering the extensive connections between hockey and Canada’s national identity, which is reflected in everything from the ubiquitous outdoor rinks in nearly every neighborhood across the country to the presence of a passage from “The Hockey Sweater” on the back of Canada’s five-dollar bill. While this is certainly a course for fans of the game, it is also designed to be a course for those fascinated by the intersections between literature and culture. Some knowledge of hockey and Canada will be helpful but is not essential in any way to one’s enjoyment of this course.

Reading list will include: Hero of the Play, by Richard Harrison; “The Hockey Sweater,” by Roch Carrier; Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems, by Randall Maggs; King Leary, by Paul Quarrington; and Twenty Miles, by Cara Hedley.

February 2, 2010   2 Comments