An Associate Professor in the Department of English at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Jody Mason specializes in Canadian literatures and print culture studies.
Her first book, Writing Unemployment: Worklessness, Citizenship, and Mobility in Twentieth-Century Canadian Literatures (U of Toronto P, 2013), draws on cultural and literary studies, print culture studies, labour history, and citizenship studies in order to examine how a cultural normalization of worklessness accompanied the advent of the welfare state and the idea of the national citizen in twentieth-century Canada.
Her most recent book (forthcoming with McGill Queen’s University Press in the fall of 2019), Home Feelings: Liberal Citizenship and the Canadian Reading Camp Movement, argues that literature, literacy, and citizenship took on new and contested meanings in early twentieth-century Canada, as British-Canadian settlers' desire to define themselves in relation to an expanding non-British immigrant population, as well as a need for immigrant labour, put new pressure on the concept of citizenship, particularly in the frontier work camps where the organization that eventually became Frontier College undertook its work. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, Home Feelings investigates how the reading camp movement used fiction, poetry, songs, newspapers, magazines, school readers, and English-as-a-second-language and citizenship manuals to encourage ideas of selfhood that were individual and intimate rather than collective. Through the Frontier College, one of the nation's earliest citizenship education programs emerged, drawing on literature's potential to nourish "home feelings" as a means of engaging socialist and communist print cultures and the non-British immigrant communities with which these were associated.