National Performance: Representing Quebec from Expo 67 to Celine Dion

National Performance: Representing Quebec from Expo 67 to Celine Dion

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By Erin Hurley
Cultural Spaces
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2010
World Rights
256 Pages
ISBN 9781487521332
Published Feb 2017
Online discount: 25%
 $29.95    $22.46
ISBN 9781442640955
Published Jan 2011
Online discount: 25%
 $47.95    $35.96
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442660175
Published Jan 2011
Online discount: 27%
Full purchase $29.95

In National Performance, Erin Hurley examines the complex relationship between performance and national identity. How do theatrical performances represent the nation in which they were created? How is Quebecois performance used to define Quebec as a nation and to cultivate a sense of 'Quebec-ness' for audiences both within and outside the province? In exploring Expo 67, the critical response to Michel Tremblay's Les Belles Soeurs, Carbone 14's image-theatre, Marco Micone's writing practices, Celine Dion's popular music, and feminist performance of the 1970s and 80s, Hurley reveals the ways in which certain performances come to be understood as 'national' while others are relegated to sub-national or outsider status. Each chapter focuses on a particular historical moment in Quebec's modern history and a genre of performance emblematic of the moment, and uses these to elaborate the nature of the national performances.

Winner of the Northeast Modern Language Association's Book Prize, National Performance is sophisticated yet accessible, seeking to enlarge the parameters of what counts as 'Quebecois' performance, while providing a thorough introduction to changing discourses of nation-ness in Quebec.

Erin Hurley is a professor of drama and theatre in the Department of English at McGill University.

List of Illustrations

  1. Marginals, Metaphors and Mimesis National Construction: Quebec's Modernity at Expo 67
  2. National Reflection: Michel Tremblay's Les belles-soeurs and le nouveau théâtre québécois
  3. National Simulation: Marco Micone's culture immigrée
  4. National Metonymy: Arresting images in the devised works of Carbone 14
  5. National Affection: Céline Dion

Works Cited

'Erin Hurley makes a major contribution to Canadian and Quebec Studies with her carefully argued exploration of how theatrical and cultural performances have over the past half-century focused international attention on evolving notions of québécité and legitimized Quebec's aspiration to nationhood. Through the critical lens of performance and cultural studies and postcolonial and feminist theories, Hurley reads and theorizes the architecture of Montreal Expo 67, the nouveau theatre inaugurated by Michel Tremblay, the culture immigré proposed by Italo-Quebec writer Marco Micone, the imagistic dance theatre of Carbone 14, the mega-stardom of Céline Dion, and the impact of feminist theatre on Quebec public discourse.'

Jane Moss, Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies, Duke University, and Editor, Québec Studies

'National Performance is an engaging, sophisticated, and inventive look at the evolution of Quebec cultural forms. Erin Hurley's analysis is an important update on conceptions of the national in Quebec.'

Sherry Simon, Département d'études françaises, Concordia University

‘This compelling and lucidly written study makes an important contribution to Quebec and Canadian Studies, as it is certain to change the way we will henceforth recognize a performance as being "national."’

Pamela V. Sing, Canadian Literature

Winner of the Northeast Modern Language Association Manuscript Prize (United States) - Winner in 2009
Ann Saddlemyer Award awarded by Canadian Association for Theatre Research (Canada) - Winner in 2011
International Council for Canadian Studies Pierre Savard Award () - Winner in 2012