Unbecoming Nationalism: From commemoration to redress in Canada


Winner, Ann Saddlemyer Award, The Canadian Association for Theatre Research (2020) (alongside Julie Bruelle’s Encounters on Contested Lands).  


“Examines how performance-based genres expose the myths of Canadian innocence and peaceful settlement. Committed to truth-telling, it strives to decolonize Eurocentric binaries between public and private, mind and body, theory and practice, and research and activism.”

– Sylvie Vranckx, Canadian Literature (Link)

“In this complex yet deeply personal book Vosters employs a highly original methodology, using a variety of self-directed cultural performance pieces to open a critical enquiry which challenges and refutes recent performances of Canada as nation state. Within this book, performance is writ large and involves an uncomfortable re-thinking and a fierce critique of various institutions, museums and events that perform an established nationalism. Within this passionate discussion, Vosters invites her audiences to unravel the whitewashing these performed nationalisms try to conceal. Demonstrating how the Harper government’s re-performing of Canada’s military past and the Trudeau government’s performing and performance of Canada 150 while both governments simultaneously ignored the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action situates Unbecoming Nationalism as an urgent and necessary addition to our understanding how Canada is performed. Vosters book challenges the status quo, highlights contemporary performances and sites of performance that offer a counter-narrative to the official performed narrative, furthers recent explorations of architecture as performance, but most importantly challenges, no, insists, that we all do better.”

– Wes D Pearce, Rosalind Kerr, Cam Culham, judges, Ann Saddlemyer Award, The Canadian Association for Theatre Research (Link)

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