Just after World War II, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation hired the Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Caresser to host a weekly program airing on its nationwide network and its fledgling International Service. His engagement, this essay argues, had less to do with “carry[ing] calypso to the world” (as a CBC press release put it) than with projecting to the world a particular image of Canada—as a modern, diverse, racially tolerant nation. That project was compromised, however, by Canada's fraught history with the West Indies. Reading Caresser's CBC career in the context of proposals for Canadian–West Indies “union” and the infamous West Indian Domestic Scheme of the 1950s, Eldridge uncovers some of the more obscure origins of Canada's imperfect multiculturalism.
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Michael Eldridge; Caresser's Dominion: Race, Nation, and Calypso in Postwar Canada. Small Axe 1 July 2015; 19 (2 (47)): 29–55. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-3139358
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