Hockey in literature stickhandles into classes

A new Red Deer College course is bringing hockey to the classroom. English instructor Laura Davis is behind the course, Hockey in Canadian Literature, examining how hockey is part of and integral to Canada’s national imaginary.

Laura Davis will teach an English course on hockey in literature next fall.

Laura Davis will teach an English course on hockey in literature next fall.

A new Red Deer College course is bringing hockey to the classroom.

English instructor Laura Davis is behind the course, Hockey in Canadian Literature, examining how hockey is part of and integral to Canada’s national imaginary.

Davis is not an avid hockey fan. In fact, she joked she is worried her students will know more about the actual game than she does.

But she is an expert in Canadian literature, and she is interested how this literature is tied to Canada’s national identity.

“What does it mean to be Canadian?” said Davis.

“For a lot of people, hockey signifies Canada or what it means to be Canadian. I want to talk a lot about that.”

Typically, the instructor who teaches the course, which is English 371 — Topic in Canadian Literature, chooses the topic within the framework of Canadian literature. Davis said the course used to attract only English majors.

With her course, she hopes to reach a broad range of students, including hockey players and those who don’t necessarily play or watch but have an interest in how hockey is represented, mythologized and romanticized in Canadian culture.

“I use the word national imaginary because a lot of people would say national identity but I use the word imaginary because really it is an imagined identity,” said Davis.

“That’s what a lot of Canadian literature critics say. We can talk about a Canadian identity but it is really what we imagine it can be. Hockey becomes a part of that because it is kind of imagined in a certain way.”

The reading list is made up of short stories, novels and poems that deal with a hockey theme or subject. A tentative list includes the classic short story The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier; King Leary by Paul Quarrington; and Twenty Miles by Cara Hedley.

A Hobbema hockey team is featured in the story about a hockey riot in Truth by W.P. Kinsella.

And The Hockey Fan Came Riding by late Red Deer College instructor Birk Sproxton is among the selections.

Davis wanted to include a few local connections because she wanted to show how literature happens in communities and is relevant in life.

“Literature is really about the world around us and the stories that we tell,” said Davis.

“Those stories that we tell are about us. So I want to come out with this appreciation for stories, the stories of our lives and the stories right at home. Also that hockey and literature can come together.

“Literature is seen as this high culture thing and hockey is seen as this low culture thing. But no, they are totally entwined with one another.”

The one-semester course will run twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays starting on Jan. 5, 2012, and runs to April 10, 2012.

Registration is now open and space is limited to 30 students. A prerequisite of a first-year English course is required. Visit www.rdc.ab.ca

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A commercial building, housing two businesses, in Stettler was completed destroyed by a fire Thursday. (Photo courtesy Stettler Regional Fire Department)
Fire destroys commercial building in Stettler

A commercial building just outside of Stettler was destroyed by a fire… Continue reading

Almost half of Alberta's population should have at least one shot by the end of May said Premier Jason Kenney Monday morning.
Alberta poised for economic ‘renaissance’ after pandemic, says premier

Economic recovery is Alberta’s “next big challenge,” says the province’s premier. “It’s… Continue reading

Red Deer has a new welcome sign at the south end at the new entrance from Hwy 2. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Red Deer ranks 241st on MacLean’s Best Communities list

The list features 415 Canadian communities

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

A FedEx worker loads the 255,600 doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine which came from Europe into a freezer trailer to be transported during the COVID-19 pandemic at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada’s incoming vaccine supply from Moderna will… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Have an opinion you'd like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
Letter: MLAs who are against tougher restrictions have no plan for consequences

The group of UCP MLAs pushing to end lockdowns are exacerbating what… Continue reading

Former Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair leaves the police station after being charged with two counts of sexual assault dating back to 2014, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Preliminary inquiry in September for ex-PQ leader Boisclair charged with sex assault

MONTREAL — Former Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair will have a preliminary… Continue reading

Three vials of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine are pictured in a new coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccination center at the Velodrome-Stadium in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Sohn, pool
Trudeau sending help to Ontario as Pfizer vaccine supply bolstered by 8 million doses

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says more doses of COVID-19 vaccines are coming… Continue reading

Teachers demonstrate outside a school during a morning walk out in Longueuil, Que., Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Around 73,000 Quebec teachers say they will walk off the job for several hours on April 27. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
73,000 Quebec teachers plan to walk off the job for more than two hours April 27

MONTREAL — Around 73,000 Quebec teachers say they will walk off the… Continue reading

People line up in the rain for a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up clinic at the Masjid Darus Salaam in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood in Toronto on Sunday, April 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario science advisers urge six-week stay-home order as province pleads for help

TORONTO — Ontario’s science advisers called for a six-week stay-at-home order and… Continue reading

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Students in Alberta town ready to return to school after quarantining

ATHABASCA, Alta. — A superintendent of schools in northern Alberta says the… Continue reading

Britain’s Prince Charles, with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visits the gardens of Marlborough House, London, Thursday April 15, 2021, to look at the flowers and messages left by members of the public outside Buckingham Palace, following the death of Prince Philip. (Jeremy Selwyn/Pool via AP)
Princes William, Harry won’t walk side-by-side at funeral

LONDON — Prince William and Prince Harry won’t walk side-by-side Saturday as… Continue reading

Most Read