Women’s Press
Canada’s leading academic feminist publisher
Canada’s leading academic feminist publisher

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288 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2020
Print ISBN: 9780889616158


The first book of its kind, this volume explores women and non-binary people in popular culture in Canada, with a focus on intersectional analysis of settler colonialism, race, white privilege, ability, and queer representations and experiences in diverse media. The chapters include discussions of film, television, videogames, music, and performance, as well as political events, journalism, social media, fandom, and activism. Throughout this collection, readers are encouraged to think carefully about the role women play in the cultural landscape in Canada as active viewers, creators, and participants.

Covering a wide range of topics from historical perspectives to recent events, media, and technologies, this collection acts as an introduction, an archive, and a continuing commitment to lifting the voices and stories of women and popular culture in Canada. This book is a must-read for gender studies and media studies courses that focus on popular culture, Canadian feminism, and Canadian media.


  • includes questions for critical thought that stimulate discussion
  • focuses on intersections of race, gender, ability, and sexuality
  • provides contemporary Canadian content from an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Introduction. Mediated Nation: Genders and Geographies of Popular Culture
Laine Zisman Newman

PART I - Noteworthy and Newsworthy: The Political and the Popular

1. Representing Misogynoir in Canadian News Media: From BLMTO to Marci Ien,
Cheryl Thompson

2. Reform and Utopia in Canadian Islamic Feminism: The Contradictory Project of Irshad Manji
Dilyana Mincheva

3. Tales of Resistance and Activism: South Asian Women Journalists in Metro Vancouver
Syeda Nayab Bukhari

PART II - Feminist, Eh?: Re-Reading Canadian Texts and TV

4. “How Were We to Know We Were Happy?”: Fairy Tale (Fr)antics and Margaret Atwood’s Fickle Feminism
T. Nikki Cesare Schotzko

5. “Thank You, Spike”: Representations of Teen Pregnancy in the Degrassi Franchise
Christine Mazumdar

6. "Thank You for Making Me Feel So Comfortable in Your Home": Baroness von Sketch Queering Up Canadian Television
Claire Carter

PART III - In Shining Armour: Cops, Robbers, and Superheroes

7. The Case of the Missing Detectives: Canadian Crime Films and the Absent Female Sleuth
Andrea Braithwaite and Olga Marques

8. Succubi, Synthetics, and Clones, Oh My!: Myths of Multiculturalism and Gender Equity in Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy
Laine Zisman Newman

9. Nelvana of the Northern Lights: White Goddess or Inuk Superheroine?
Chris Klassen

PART IV -Taking Charge: Recasting Pop Culture through Participatory Media

10. Instapoets and YouTube Stars: Second Generation Immigrant Young Women Reimagining the Canadian National Narrative
Anuppiriya Sriskandarajah

11. The Videoludic Cyborg : Queer and Feminist Appropriations and Hybridity
Roxanne Chartrand and Pascale Thériault

12. Playing with Identity: Exploring the Role of Gender, Death Positivity, and Queer Representation in A Mortician’s Tale
Victoria Kannen and Aaron Langille

PART V - Necessary, Not Radical: Gender Inclusivity in Performance, Podcasts, and Music

13. Indigenous Rage Incarnate: Irreconcilable Spaces and Indigestible Bodies
Jill Carter

14. “If I Disappear... Come Find Me”: Seeking Trans Feminine Music in Canada
Valley WeeDick

15. Inviting Women to Speak: The Boundaries of Gendered Access Intimacy within the Context of Podcasts with Sick and Disabled Guests
Jessica Watkin

Recommended Readings. Collective Resistance: Building Futures through Histories

Author Biographies

Laine Zisman Newman

Laine Zisman Newman received her PhD from the University of Toronto in Theatre and Sexual Diversity Studies. Her research focuses on feminist popular culture and queer performance. Zisman Newman was the founder and chair of Toronto’s Queer Theory Working Group at the Jackman Humanities Institute and the co-founder of Equity in Theatre, a national organization that worked to improve equity in the professional Canadian performance industry. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies at Brock University.


“Using intersectionality and cultural studies as its premise, this book explores media representations of gender, ethnicity, class, and ableism to critically dissect the structures of power at work in the Canadian nation-state. Taking a critical view of some of Canada’s cultural icons like Margaret Atwood to the latest hit in pop culture, The Baroness von Sketch Show, this text introduces international academics to Canada’s enigmatic pop culture. The book works hard to dispel some of the myths of a squeaky clean image through a criticality of Indigenous colonization, misogyny, and racism.”

“The volume offers a sweeping intersectional feminist analysis of popular culture in Canada, addressing the role that women-identified artists, creators, and producers play across a variety of media, including genres such as journalism, television, fiction, podcasts, and music. Together, the chapters rethink the power dynamics, ideologies, and discourses at work in shaping gender, identity, subjecthood, and meaning-making within a settler colonial national context. The volume thus successfully pushes back against and indeed rewrites normative understandings of the Canadian cultural landscape.”

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