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Stanley, Timothy J. "Whose Public? Whose Memory? Racisms, Grand Narratives and Canadian History." In To the Past: History Education, Public Memory, and Citizenship in Canada, edited by Ruth W. Sandwell, 32-49. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006.


Timothy Stanley argues that the since public memory relies in a large part on a national grand narrative, it is important to understand how the grand narrative works to exclude and make invisible narratives of racism and racialized individuals from the “imagined community” of the Canadian nation. As an example, Stanley uses the Dominion Institute surveys to underscore that a white, Eurocentric, anglophone version of Canada is the one many Canadians understand to be natural and inevitable. He also illustrates the impossibility of narrating the history of anti-Asian racism in Canada, as proof that the grand narrative works in conjunction with political and social spaces to make natural the patterns of racist exclusion in our present and past. He suggests that it is important to “re-imagine” history as overlapping stories of connection and struggle in order to confront the monolithic grand narrative that frames our access to nation.

Samantha Cutrara