Prosimy dokładnie przeczytać tematy esejów oraz ustosunkować się do wszystkich aspektów określonej problematyki sugerowanych w pomocniczych pytaniach.

1. It has been stressed by critics that visual imagery has a significant role in the formation of cultural and national identity. Images become internalized as cultural memories and they act as instruments of cohesive identity. Discuss the vision of Canadianness as created by Emily Carr in her paintings. What images of Canadianness does she promote? What do her paintings say about her relation to First Nations’ cultures? What is specific about her representation of Canadian identity? What was the reaction of the Group of Seven painters to the art of Carr? What are the similarities and/or differences between the vision of Canadianness represented in the paintings by Carr and the Group of Seven?

2. The category of Canadian nationhood has been changing throughout history. Initially, Canada was constructed as a bicultural nation, with the English and French recognized as the distinct dominant cultures, with no room left for the cultural diversity represented by immigrants to this country from all over the world, saying nothing about the diversity represented by the Indigenous people of this land. Provide several examples of the discriminatory treatment of the Indigenous population and non-British and non-French immigrants to Canada. The Canadian Multicultural Act, passed in 1988, ensured equal treatment and respect for all citizens regardless of their cultural or ethnic background. Nevertheless, this multicultural policy has been both praised and criticized. Why? Have there been any changes introduced to this official Canadian government policy in recent decades?

3. The title of a novel Two Solitudes (1945) by Hugh MacLennan has become emblematic of the relations between Anglophones and Francophones in Canada. The increasing tension between these two nations has resulted in the willingness of the majority of Francophone Quebecers to separate from Canada. Discuss the reasons for Quebec to separate from the rest of the country. What events in Canadian history intensified this conflict? Comment on possible promises and threats resulting from the separation of the province from Canada. What are the differences in the vision of Canadianness proposed by English Canadian and French Canadian politicians? How is the distinctiveness of Quebec represented by the artists/writers (give three-four names) of this province?

4. Comment on the present-day situation of Canadian Aboriginals. How have their societies changed since the arrival of white Europeans who brought with them their values, social codes and beliefs? What has been the impact of the Indian Act on Indigenous people in Canada? What challenges do they face on a daily basis? What actions do they take in order to fight for their rights? What is the meaning and importance of the Idle No More movement? What do you think is the future of Indigenous nations in Canada? For the analysis of some aspects of this topic you may consult, apart from various websites, such films as Poundmaker’s Lodge: A Healing Place, No Address, The Invisible Nation and You Are on Indian Land (available online at https://www.nfb.ca/ – see bibliography).

5. Examine the distinctiveness of Inuit filmmaking on the basis of Zacharias Kunuk’s work. Select two films available online to discuss the topic. Explore the websites on Inuit culture taught by films which will help you to focus on the topic. Concentrate both on the content and form of the film projects with reference to the representation of this distinct culture: http://www.isuma.tv/inuit-culture-education/teaching-films; http://www.isuma.tv/inuit-culture-education/inuit-filmmaking-style

6. Discuss the phenomenon of Leonard Cohen, the Canadian singer-songwriter-poet-novelist. The critics say: “No comparison can be drawn between Leonard Cohen and any other phenomenon. Many will undoubtedly attempt such a comparison, but the result will be, at best, fragmentary. For Cohen is a rarity, if not a scarcity. And though he will always be rare in the true sense of the word, he will be listened to, sung, and read by an ever increasing entourage, those of the new awareness, those seeking artists of sensitivity.” Do you agree with this statement? What kind of philosophy of life do Cohen’s texts convey? Do you think his sung poetry can be still attractive to young people of today? Express your opinion.

7. The UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage established the World Heritage List as “a means of recognizing that some places, either natural or cultural, are of sufficient importance to be the responsibility of the international community as a whole”. Canada has 17 World Heritage sites and another seven sites are on Canada’s Tentative List of World Heritage sites. Choose three of these sites and examine their distinctiveness and their importance to Canadian culture, history and identity, as well as the “universal values” that they convey. Consider the criteria for inclusion on the world heritage list and criteria for determining the “Outstanding Universal Value”, as explained in the online material provided.

8. Discuss the distinctive character of Canadian Northwest Indigenous art. Comment on its major characteristics and choose two examples to explore the worldviews of the Indigenous people of this geographical region of Canada.

9. Polish Heritage Day at the Royal Ontario Museum April 5, 2014 highlighted the work of artists and writers of Polish diaspora in Canada with a special focus on the impact of the Catholic religion on Polishness. Teresa Berezowski, the current president of the Canadian-Polish Congress stated: “We’ve played a part in the development of Canada and our multicultural fabric. It’s very, very faith based. It’s an important part of our community.” This traditional vision of Polishness has been expanded upon by such writers as Ewa Stachniak who contributes to the richness of Canadian society by constructing more complex visions of Polish society and the Polish experience in Canada. Concentrate on the writing of Ewa Stachniak to discuss the way she confronts the Polish historical heritage. Choose her novel Necessary Lies (2000), translated as Konieczne Kłamstwa (2004) to show the distinct immigrant view on the history of Polish society and its multicultural character.