Mise en récit du passé à la télévision canadienne : production, articulation télévisuelle et réception du docudrame de la CBC/Radio-Canada Canada : A people's history/Le Canada, une histoire populaire (1995-2002)

Authors: Côté, Olivier.
Advisor: Létourneau, Jocelyn
Abstract: This thesis focuses on the production, articulation and popular and media reception of the TV series Canada: A People's History, which consist of 17 episodes and was broadcast by the CBC/Radio-Canada network in 2000-2002. This TV series is analyzed using a ground-breaking approach, including: comparative analysis of original and final scripts; study of sound, image and narrative interactions; and examination of 900 e-mails sent by viewers to the CBC/Radio-Canada Audience Relations department. Stuart Hall's encoding/decoding theory is used to qualify the political economy of the television medium and viewer's reaction. Our analysis lies within the scope of cultural studies (Critical race theory, critical multiculturalism theory, critical gender theory, critical journalism studies) in its efforts to explain historical representations in terms ofthe unequal structure of Canadian society. Following our empirical analysis, we find that the series is an eclectic mix of old-fashioned nation-building and new multiculturalism. At the confluence of colonial and postcolonial representations, this TV narrative offers viewers a grand tour of Canada's past. The story's bombastic narration offers a unique endeavor composed of scenic landscapes, "Great White Men", Aboriginal heritage and history of migrant settlement. In fact, these spectacular reconstructions of history obscure an implacable reality. The series is an imaginary "refounding" of the Canadian liberal order, the transformation of the past into a narrative envisaged by today's liberal elites. This definitive TV narrative never denies the historical legitimacy ofthe federal state. Similarly, by recognizing wrongs caused to ethnoculrural minorities, it aligns itself more directly with new model of multicultural coexistence. Moreover, in-house censorship of indigenous peoples' violence and racism between ethnoculrural minority groups set the limits of social peace within contemporary Canadian liberal society. Ultimately, this TV transformation of the past into a narrative fits the cultural hegemony of English speaking Canadian liberal elites, mainly from Ontario; Executive producer Mark Starowicz, CBC journalists, and some historians belonging to the 'limited identities' historiographical school, are the participants of this hegemony, whether they were cognizant or not. This cultural hegemony is not omnipotent: it is highly contested by production members and society at large, including historians, journalists and viewers who oppose the TV narrative as much as the liberal order by virtue of their anti-liberalism, French-Québécois nationalist conceptions, diffuse feminism, militant anti-colonialism or strong regionalism.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2011
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/27164
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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