Little Mosque on the Prairie and the Paradoxes of Cultural Translation:

Little Mosque on the Prairie and the Paradoxes of Cultural Translation:

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By Kyle Conway
Cultural Spaces
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2017
World Rights
184 Pages 2 Images
ISBN 9781487520557
Published Feb 2017
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In 2007, Little Mosque on the Prairie premiered on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation network. It told the story of a mosque community that worshiped in the basement of an Anglican church. It was a bona fide hit, running for six seasons and playing on networks all over the world.

            Kyle Conway’s textual analysis and in-depth research, including interviews from the show’s creator, executive producers, writers,  and CBC executives, reveals the many ways Muslims have and have not been integrated into North American television. Despite a desire to showcase the diversity of Muslims in Canada, the makers of Little Mosque had to erase visible signs of difference in order to reach a broad audience. This paradox of ‘saleable diversity’ challenges conventional ideas about the ways in which sitcoms integrate minorities into the mainstream.

Kyle Conway is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa.


Introduction. Muslims and Sitcoms in Post-9/11 North America

1. Sitcoms, Cultural Translation, and the Paradox of Saleable Diversity

2. Representation Between the Particular and the Universal

3. The Paradoxes of “Humanizing Muslims”

4. Saleable Diversity and International Audiences

5. Religion as Culture Versus Religion as Belief

Conclusion. Identity and Difference in North American Sitcoms



"Kyle Conway’s analysis of Little Mosque on the Prairie offers imaginative and significant insights about representations, circulations, and interpretations of what it means to be Muslim, or not, in post-9/11 North America. Traversing disciplinary boundaries and cultural divides, this book should be of keen interest to scholars and students of media, translation, cultural, and religious studies. I’d also recommend it strongly to media professionals and policy makers."

Michael Curtin, Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

"In Little Mosque on the Prairie and the Paradoxes of Cultural Translation Kyle Conway pierces below the surface of the discourse of this sitcom to examine its modes of production, distribution, and consumption. His notion of ‘saleable diversity’ is a major conceptual advance in understanding the dynamics of media translation between cultures in the context of global consumer capitalism."

Franz Volker Greifenhagen, Dean, Luther College, University of Regina

‘A valuable study of media and multiculturalism. Highly recommended.’

C.L. Clements, Choice Magazine vol 55:01:2017

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