Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sports, Nations, and Utopia in Canadian Literature and Culture

Title: Sports, Nations, and Utopia in Canadian Literature and Culture

Guest Speaker: Prof Jason BlakeLink opens in a new window (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, EUTOPIA Alliance Partner)

Convenor: Dr Emrah AtasoyLink opens in a new window (English and Comparative Literary Studies & Institute of Advanced Study)

Date-Venue: 5 May 2023 Friday, 14:00-16:00, TEAMSLink opens in a new window

Dear Colleagues,

We warmly invite you to our guest Prof Jason Blake's talk "Sports, Nations, and Utopia in Canadian Literature and Culture" held at 14:00 on Friday 5th May 2023.

When we enter a sporting arena as fans or when we play a game of pick-up football, we expect to be surrounded by what Johan Huizinga called the ‘magic circle’ of play; we expect to experience freedom from quotidian troubles and even the tyranny of regular clock-time. Philosopher Bernard Suits even argued that ‘Utopian existence is fundamentally concerned with game-playing.’

In this talk, I consider Canadian literature and, more broadly, culture in terms of sports, utopian ideals, and ideas of nationhood. Canada’s most famous story is surely Roch Carrier’s nostalgic “The Hockey Sweater.” Would the same story have enjoyed such acceptance if it were about curling or baseball? Unlikely. After providing an overview of types of Canadian sports literature, I consider the roles individual sports (can) have in the game of performing nationhood.

Jason Blake is a professor in the University of Ljubljana’s English Department. He is the author of Canadian Hockey Literature, co-editor (with Andy Holman) of The Same but Different: Hockey in Quebec, and the author of Culture Smart Slovenia. As well, he has contributed to Im Ausland Leben für Dummies (“Living Abroad for Dummies”). He is the editor-in-chief of the Central European Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue d’Etudes Canadiennes en Europe Centrale.

*This is an online event.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes,

Dr Emrah Atasoy