Dead Downtown: Writing the Cultural Obituary of the Alternative Press in Border/lines

G. Genosko, Kristina Marcellus


Working through five examples, this article accounts for the role of Toronto-based magazine
Border/lines (1984-1999) in Canadian cultural studies. The emphasis is on its “Junctures”
section as a key to understanding the magazine’s situatedness. The larger context is the
urban alternative press in major Canadian centres and the demise of so many like-minded
publications. The Junctures pieces are discussed as eulogies for fellow travellers in the
Canadian alternative press. Factors are outlined that likely contributed to Border/lines’
collapse as well as that of other, similar publications. Border/lines was watching and
commenting upon the deaths of its contemporaries even as it followed not far behind.
“Dead Downtown” is also a eulogy for a largely lost era of Canadian cultural studies.

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