31 May 2021

After Multiculturalism: The Politics of Recognition in a Colonial Canada


This course explores and critically assesses the idea of multiculturalism in the context of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous communities. Multiculturalism has long been central to Canada’s national self-identity, and for decades has been reflected in Canadian law and official state policy. To be Canadian, it is said, is to be part of a nation whose democratic institutions recognize and accommodate a plurality of cultural identities, and is to be a member of a populace that is characteristically welcoming of diversity and difference. Taking our cues from Charles Taylor’s seminal 1992 essay “The Politics of Recognition” we will explore the philosophical underpinnings of the idea of multiculturalism as representing the political imperative to recognize cultural diversity and pursue intercultural dialogue. We will then assess the adequacy of a liberal multicultural politics of recognition for addressing the relationship between the Canadian state and Indigenous communities. Here we will be guided by Glen Sean Coulthard’s 2014 work Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition, which applies the work of anticolonial theorist Frantz Fanon to argue that the “recognition” of Indigenous claims and communities offered by Canadian state institutions has remained colonial in its dictation of the terms of dialogue, often in culturally and economically self-serving ways. We will also explore what forms of resistance and alternative futures are currently being imagined by Indigenous theorists and authors, as well as what possibilities exist for non-colonial forms of recognition and reconciliation.

Dr. Andrew Tebbutt
ICS 153301 / 253301 F21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Mondays, 2pm - 5pm EST

(MWS, MA, PhD)

Enrolment Notes:
To register for this course, email academic-registrar@icscanada.edu. Last date to register September 17, 2021. Maximum enrolment of nine (9) students. ICS reserves the right to decline registrations.

*Attention TST students: if you are interested in taking this course for credit, you must petition your college of registration to count the course credit toward your degree program.