Class Year

2014

Access Type

Vassar Community Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Earth Science and Geography Department

First Advisor

Joseph Nevins

Abstract

This paper traces the making and unmaking of a unique former temporary visa program in Canada: the Exotic Dancer Visa Program. Using theories of territory and colonialism, I imaginatively analyze the construction of the Canadian state and migrant exotic dancer bodies as spaces reflective of the surrounding social order to recognize structurally violent discourses and ideologies. Drawing connections between Canada’s history of colonial nation-building tactics as a white settler nation, I ask that we recognize the continued legacy of colonialism within the state’s immigration policy to unsettle and discomfort our complacency within a “post-colonial” world. By conceptualizing the body as a space, this thesis reimagines territory using theories on geographic scale so that the internalized subjectivities produced by the EDVP can be understood to constitute migrant territories which are peripheral within the dominant territory of the state. Drawing from press coverage of various formative scandals, and court cases regarding legal activity within strip clubs, I interrogate the ideologies and discourses perpetuated by the media which constructed not only the EDVP in itself, but the migrant and state territories. Ultimately it is my hope that by exploring the production of colonial territories in relation to the EDVP, a space for discomfort and recognition of complacency within a world dominated by violence and discourse can be acknowledged, and inspire self-reflection and change.

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