1st Edition

Fur Nation From the Beaver to Brigitte Bardot

By Chantal Nadeau Copyright 2001
    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    Fur Nation traces the interwoven relationships between sexuality, national identity, and colonialism. Chantal Nadeau shows how Canada, a white settler colony, bases its existence and its nationhood on a complex sexual economy based on women wrapped in fur.
    Nadeau traces the centrality of fur through a series of intriguing case studies, including:
    * Hollywood's take on the 330 year history of the Hudson Bay Company, founded to exploit Canada's rich fur resources
    * the life of a postwar fur fashion photographer
    * a 1950s musical called Fur Lady
    * the battle between Brigitte Bardot's anti-fur activists and the fur industry.
    Nadeau highlights the connection between 'fur ladies' - women wearing, exploiting or promoting furs - and the beaver, symbol of Canada and nature's master builder. She shows how, in postcolonial Canada, the nation is sexualised around female reproduction and fur, which is both a crucial factor in economic development, and a powerful symbol through which the nation itself is conceived and commodified. Fur Nation demonstrates that, for Canada, fur really is the fabric of a nation.

    Acknowledgements List of illustrations Prologue Section One: Fur Nation 1. My Fur Ladies (The Fabric of a Nation) 2. Princes, Bear Boys, and Beaver Men (Tales from the Beaver Clubs) Section Two: Beavers 3. The eyes of June Sauer (For a Sexual economy of fur fashion photography) 4. My Fur Lady , Canada's Liberty Section Three: Bardots 5. BB and her Beasts 6. Venus Forever (The Next Fur Generation) Endnotes Bibliography


    Chantal Nadeau is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University, Montréal.