Niagara’s popular culture was in the spotlight this week with a new book outlining how life is lived in our unique region.
Editors Barry Keith Grant and Joan Nicks launched Covering Niagara: Studies in Local Popular Culture on June 21 in Pond Inlet. The book examines local topics such as bicycle parades and war memorials, cooking and wine culture, movie-going, music stores, tourist sites and blackface minstrel shows aimed at tourists in Niagara Falls until the 1950s.
“This is years of work coming to fruition,” Grant, a professor of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, told the audience.
The book features more than a dozen contributors, many who were introduced at the launch by Nicks, an adjunct professor of Communication, Popular Culture and Film.
Work on Covering Niagara began in 2002 with a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The project is a landmark in terms of how Brock has evolved to become more focused on research, said David Siegel, Political Science professor and then-Dean of Social Sciences.
The study of popular culture is important because it encompasses what people do in their everyday lives, said Thomas Dunk, Dean of Social Sciences. The study of it “is one of the areas where we can rightly say we’re a leader in Canada.”
Wilfred Laurier Press published the book.