Stephanie Anderson Redmond, Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, UBC
The onset of the Twenty-First century has seen an increase in public debate throughout the English-speaking world over questions of nation, race, gender, culture, national identity, collective memory and the public presentation of the past (Seixas, 2002; Parkes, 2011). My doctoral research seeks to gain insight into how Canadians describe, understand and convey national identity by exploring the multiple, competing, nationalist narratives that manifest themselves in Canadian sites of pedagogy. It attempts to explain how national identity, nostalgia, myth, public memory and collective identity all collide to create narratives that seem to privilege certain Canadian stories over others. My research also tries to make sense of new, complex, and challenging forms of national identity that are taking shape in Canada within the context of new-millennium globalization and trans-nationalism.
I completed both my B.A.H. and B. Ed. from Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario. After receiving my Masters of Education, from the University of British Columbia, I began working in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy where I taught the elementary and secondary Social Studies methodologies courses and worked as Faculty Associate with Teacher-Candidates.
My twelve years of public school experience includes teaching Social Studies and French in several cities throughout Ontario including Sault Ste. Marie, Kingston and Toronto. However, the bulk my practice has been with Vancouver School Board. In this capacity, I also worked outside the classroom developing curriculum for the Holocaust Education Center and the BC Museums Association; serving as both professional development committee chair, and technology teacher-leader; founding, sponsoring and coaching a number of school initiatives, clubs and teams; and acting as a School Associate for Teacher-Candidates.
My own particular sense of “canadienneté” is informed by my lived experience and through the reading of various texts. Growing up in Northern Ontario, my youth was shaped by the landscape in and around our family camp (not cottage!) on the North Shore of Lake Superior; and the scenery on the forested ski trails of the Hiawatha Highlands. The fact that both locations were framed by bleak-looking First Nations reserves, did not phase me. At the time, I did not begin to understand the historical significance of this. My youthful ‘connection to the landscape’ could probably best be summed up via a series of Group of Seven paintings depicting the Canadian Shield with scenes of fall colours and snow dusted jack and white pines. At the same time, despite being raised by Anglophone parents, and because Sault Ste. Marie had yet to open a French immersion elementary school, I attended the local French/ Catholic Notre-Dames-des-Écoles. As a result, by fourth grade, I was not only bilingual, but also had a deep sense of the meaning of “La Conquête” and the obligation tied to “Je me souviens”. The final piece that shaped my early Canadian identity came from travel. More specifically, several weeks of my summer were always hijacked by my parent’s agenda to travel by car, from sea to sea and almost to the other sea. This meant viewing and exploring the entire rural and urban landscape that dotted the Trans-Canada and Alaska highways. Thus, my current conception of “Canadianness” comes from a melding of these early experiences; coupled with my current status as a resident of Vancouver; my continued reading; travel; and participation in popular culture; and my constant attempt too look at our uniquely Canadian corner of the world through the lenses of humour, love and a critical eye.