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Keywords:

  • Canada;
  • deixis;
  • imagined community;
  • narratives;
  • nationalism;
  • ‘the War on Terror’

Abstract

This article examines the ways in which young Canadians represent the ‘the War on Terror’ in their narratives. I explore how a hegemonic nationalist narrative enters into this representation in different ways and positions itself in a dynamic tension with the USA, at times eliding the difference and at times affirming it. I illustrate that these students do not simply tell the narrative of the war, but use the deixis of ‘we/us/our’ or ‘them/they/their’ in a way that constructs multiple imagined communities. I argue that these presumably benign representations of Canadian involvement in the war produce banal nationalism that excludes ‘others’, and binds human imagination into a framework that works against critical thinking.