Coastlines and Continents: Exploring People and Places
University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, May 28-30, 2011
Registration for the Fredericton iteration of the annual CACLALS conference is done through Congress 2011: http://www.congress2011.ca/
Saturday, May 28
9:00-10:15am Apology, Reconciliation, Redress in Canada and Post-National Space (Tilley 104)
Chair: Philip Mingay
Jill Scott (Queen’s), “Indigeneity and Apology: Where is the Aboriginal in Canada’s Apologies?”
Sophie McCall (Simon Fraser), “‘Unsettling the Settler Within’: Truth, Reconciliation, and Aboriginal Rights in Canada”
Brenda Carr Vellino and Sarah G. Waisvisz (Carlton), “Post-National Theatre of Redress: The Collaborative Ethics of the Steveston Noh Project”
9:00-10:15am Slavery Located and Reprised (Tilley 125)
Chair: Hugh Hodges (Trent)
Angelika Maeser Lemieux (Vanier), “The Intersections of Identity: Nation, Race and Class in Roger Buckley’s Congo Jack”
Peter Walmsley (McMaster), “The Spectral Slave in Hans Sloane’s Jamaica”
Rachael Wyatt (New Brunswick), “A New Take on the Postmodern Slave Narrative: Reflections and Inversions in Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots”
10:30-11:40am Witnessing and Identity across Generations and Nations (Tilley 104)
Chair: Laura Moss
Jennifer Bowering Delisle (McMaster), “Witnessing across Continents: Second-Generation Nostalgia in the Age of Global Media”
Gillian Roberts (Nottingham), “Lawrence Hill’s Crossings: Continents, Coastlines, and Borders in Some Great Thing, Any Known Blood, and The Book of Negroes”
Heidi Butler (New Brunswick), “The Unhomely Maritimes: Immigration and Assimilation in Rabindranath Maharaj's 'Bitches on All Sides'”
10:30-11:40am Regions and Continents: Acadia, the Postcolonial North, and North America (Tilley 125)
Chair: Jennifer Andrews
Michele Lacombe (Trent), “‘The squatter’ and « la citoyenne à part entière » – La Sagouine among ‘the savages’”
Camille van der Marel (Alberta), “Unsettled: The Poetics and Politics of Ownership in the Canadian North”
Brenna Clarke Gray (Douglas), “North American Literature: The Case for Douglas Coupland”
12:00-1:00pm Congress Big Thinking Session (Kinsella Theatre, McCain Hall)
Kwame Anthony Appiah (Princeton), “Society Matters: Why Should We Value the Humanities?”
Kwame Anthony Appiah is a world renowned philosopher, cultural theorist, and novelist. A humanist with a vast oeuvre, Dr. Appiah has tackled everything from race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and nationhood, to multiculturalism. Along the way, he has critically examined and questioned the individual, our identities, and the way we interact and connect with each other. Dr. Appiah has taught philosophy and African-American studies at the Universities of Ghana, Colombia, Drexel, Cornell, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton and is currently the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. He is the President of the PEN American Center and the Chair of the board of the American Council for Learned Societies.
1:15-2:35pm Keynote Address by Ian Baucom (Tilley 102)
Chair: John Ball
Ian Baucom (Duke) “The Human Shore: Alterity, Enmity, Bare Life”
Ian Baucom is Professor of English and Director of the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. He works on twentieth-century British Literature and Culture, postcolonial and cultural studies, and African and Black Atlantic literatures. He has authored Out of Place: Englishness, Empire and the Locations of Identity (1999) and Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History (2005), and co-edited Shades of Black: Assembling Black Arts in 1980s Britain (2005). His current book project is a study tentatively entitled The Disasters of War: On Inimical Life.
3:15-4:30pm Outcastings: Bare Life and African Literatures (Tilley 104)
Chair: Peter Walmsley
Hugh Hodges (Trent), “Bare Life and the Beast of No Nation in Chris Abani's Nigeria”
Alessandra Capperdoni (Simon Fraser), “Ecologies of Life: Nuruddin Farah’s Somalia and the ‘Failed State’ Economy”
3:15-4:30 pm On Edge(s): Ecological Degradation and Xenophobia (Tilley 125)
Chair: Romita Choudhury
John Ball (New Brunswick) “‘The Shimmering Edge’: Surfing, Risk, and Adolescent Ecology in Tim Winton’s Breath”
Susie O’Brien (McMaster), “The Black Swan and the Ugly Duckling: Liberal Xenophobia in The Reluctant Fundamentalist”
4:45-5:45 pm Spoken Word Performance and Talk-back: El Jones (Carleton 139)
El Jones is a spoken word activist, a poet, and a teacher currently completing her PhD in English literature at Dalhousie University. El uses spoken word poetry to speak openly and fearlessly about the social and political issues that affect the daily lives of people of African ancestry. Beginning in more traditional poetry forms, El discovered spoken word as a way to make her voice heard in public venues. In 2008 she won the CBC Poetry Faceoff in Halifax.
Introduction: Susan Gingell
7 pm CACLALS No-Host Dinner: Chez-Riz, 366 Queen Street, phone 454-9996.
Sunday, May 29
9:00-10:15 Graduate Student Prize Presentation Panel (Tilley 104) Prizes sponsored by RandomHouse Canada, publisher of Michael Crummey’s Galore, 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (CWP) winner for Canada and the Caribbean, and HarperCollins Canada, publisher of Rana Dasgupta’s Solo, 2010 winner of the CWP Best Novel award; and judged by Diana Brydon, Hugh Hodges, and Susan Gingell
Chair: Margery Fee
Jesse Arseneault (McMaster) “Animal Movements and Postcolonial Geographies”
Jessie Forsyth (McMaster) “Just a Speculation: Epistemological Economies in Equiano’s Italic TextInteresting Narrative”
Amanda Perry (British Columbia) “Sounding Out Cross-Cultural Relations in Edward Kamau Brathwaite's Rights of Passage”
10:30 am-12:00 pm Aboriginal Roundtable: The Role of Aboriginal Religion and Spirituality in the Study of Indigenous Literatures and Oratures (Tilley 5)
Convenor: Kristina Fagan (Saskatchewan)
Invited Participants: Angela Bear Nicholas (St. Thomas), Margery Fee (British Columbia), Armand Ruffo (Carleton)
12:00-1:00pm CACLALS Executive Meeting (Tilley 104)
1:30-2:45pm Troubling Borders and Boundaries (Tilley 104)
Chair: John Ball
Josh Prescott (New Brunswick), “Troubling the Borderland: Mapping and Remapping in Dionne Brand’s Land to Light On”
Sharlee Reimer (McMaster), “Gender and Geopolitical Space: Imagined Possibilities in Contemporary ‘Canadian’ Literatures”
Sarah Brophy (McMaster), ““Queer Intimacies and Post-imperial Histories in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty”
1:30-2:45pm Place, Belonging, and History in Newfoundland and Labrador (Tilley 125)
Chair: Jennifer Bowering Delisle
Linda MacKinley-Hay (Independent Scholar), “Phalometers and Bridges: Exploring Place and Out of Place in Kathleen Winter's Annabel”
Michael Collins (Toronto),”Oddly's Island: Newfoundlandish Heterotopia in Jessica Grant's Come, Thou Tortoise”
Kristina Fagan (Saskatchewan), “‘The Tyranny of the Fact’: The Escape from Newfoundland History in Michael Crummey’s Galore”
3:00-4:30pm Michael Crummey, A Reading and Interview with Cynthia Sugars
A Joint Session with ACQL/ALCQ (Tilley 102)
Michael Crummey is a poet, short fiction writer, and novelist from Newfoundland. His works include Hard Light, Flesh and Blood, River Thieves, and The Wreckage. His third novel, Galore, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Canada and the Caribbean and is a finalist for the 2011 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
5:00-7:00 pm President’s Reception (Ball Room Student Union Building)
7:30 Bard in the Barracks production of Macbeth, in which CACLALS stalwart John Ball plays Duncan and the Doctor. Runs May 28-June 2, 7:30 pm nightly at Odell Park. Tickets are available on site or online at www.regonline.com/macbeth, at a price of $14.50 regular and $10.50 for students (plus a $3.50 processing fee). Attendance is capped at 150 per performance, so online booking is recommended.
Monday, May 30
9:00-10:15am Feasts, Exhibitions, and Prizes in Canadian and Transnational Spaces (Tilley 104)
Chair: Alessandra Capperdoni
Antonia Smith (Vancouver Island), “Local Feast: Food, Culture, and Identity in Timothy Taylor’s Stanley Park and Bill Gaston’s The Order of Good Cheer”
Guy Beauregard (National Taiwan), “Remnants of Empire: Roy Kiyooka, Osaka, 1970”
Sophie McCall (Simon Fraser) and Laura Moss (British Columbia), “Teaching Literary Prizes: A Critical Dialogue on Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy”
9:00-10:15am On the Grounds of Gender and Race: Transformations, Reconciliation, and Creativity (Tilley 125)
Chair: Angelika Maeser Lemieux
Alison Toron (New Brunswick), “Magical Transformations: Humour, Gender, and Racialization in Suzette Mayr’s Moon Honey”
Alicia Robinet (Western Ontario), “‘They were orphans’: Transnational Reconciliation and White Civility in the Home Children Case”
Max Haiven (Mount St. Vincent), “The Creative Work of Race”
10:30-11:50am Plenary Address by Victor Li (Tilley 404)
Chair: Diana Brydon
Victor Li (Toronto) “Making the World Disappear: Globalization as Allegory”
Victor Li is Associate Professor of English and Faculty Member of the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. Dr Li received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of British Columbia and his Ph.D. from the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. He taught at the National University of Singapore, UBC, and Dalhousie University in Halifax before joining the University of Toronto in 2004. His research interests include contemporary critical and literary theory, postcolonial literatures, globalization studies, theories of modernity, primitivism, and the intersection of anthropology and literature. Co-editor of The University of Toronto Quarterly, he is the author of The Neo-Primitivist Turn: Critical Reflections on Alterity, Culture, and Modernity (2006) and of many journal articles on modern literature, postcolonial theory, the uses of primitivism, and the problems of globalization.
12:15-1:20 Congress Big Thinking Session (Kinsella Auditorium in McCain Hall)
Chief Shawn Atleo is National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and a Hereditary Chief from the Ahousaht First Nation. He graduated in 2003 from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, with a Master’s of Education in Adult Learning and Global Change. Chief Atleo’s commitment to education was recognized when he was named Chancellor of Vancouver Island University, becoming British Columbia’s first indigenous Chancellor.
1:45-3:00pm Belonging in India: Places, Spaces, and Subject Locations (Tilley 104)
Chair: Prabhjot Parmar
Anindo Hazra (York), “The Queer Seawall in Vikram Chandra’s ‘Artha’”
Paulomi Chakraborty (Indian Institute of Technology), “‘Rivers ran in our heads, the tides were in our blood’: Landscape, Place, and the Politics of Belonging in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide”
Romita Choudhury (Athabaska), “Maternal Theorists: Ethical Feminism and Gandhian Imperatives”
3:15-3:55pm Celebration Session (Tilley 104), with funding assistance from UBC Press, U of Toronto Press, SCL/ÉLC, and the Department of English, UNB
Marking of 35th Anniversary: Studies in Canadian Literature/Études en literature canadienne (SCL/ÉLC)
Book Launches: • Jennifer Andrews, In the Belly of a Laughing God: Humour and Irony in Native Women's Poetry (U of Toronto P) • John Clement Ball, ed., Twentieth-Century World Fiction, vol. 3 of Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction (Wiley) • Sophie McCall, First Person Plural: Aboriginal Storytelling and the Ethics of Collaborative Authorship (UBC P)
Book Notices: • Ashok Mathur, Jonathan Dewar, and Mike DeGagné, eds., Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation through the Lens of Cultural Diversity (Aboriginal Healing Foundation) • Daniel Coleman and Smaro Kamboureli, eds., Retooling the Humanities: The Culture of Research in Canadian Universities (U of Alberta P)
4:00-5:30 Awarding of Graduate Student Prize and CACLALS AGM (Tilley 104)
7:30-10:00 Armand Garnet Ruffo, A Windigo Tale: An Introduction, Showing, and Q&A
Chair: Kristina Fagan
Kwame Anthony Appiah, “Society Matters: Why Should We Value the Humanities?”
Universities today exist in a complex and sometimes uncertain environment. Our institutions are at the centre of a digital revolution that is transforming the way we learn and interact. It is turning human creativity into a powerful asset for a globalized world. Navigating the halls of North America’s institutions and campuses, today’s authors and scholars are inventing a new narrative about the civic, cultural, and social value of their work. This “Big Thinking” lecture explores the ramifications of this rich new narrative and will look at the value of the humanities in the context of an increasingly globalized and pluralist world.
Jesse Arseneault, “Animal Movements and Postcolonial Geographies”
This paper gives a theoretical analysis of postcolonial geographies through the lens of animality theory. It suggests that animals are agents that we need to consider when rethinking imperial geographies. Because of animals’ capacity for movement beyond imperial representations of nature, they represent a formidable resistance to imperial paradigms of mapping.
Chief Shawn Atleo, “First Nations Education: Can We Afford to Miss Out?”
Chief Atleo wants to inject an additional $71-billion into the Canadian economy over the next 10 years and benefit from an under-tapped pool of talent. In a recent call-to-action, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations made a passionate plea to all governments, education institutions and private and public sector organizations to support his vision, one that will provide a foundation for growth for the next generation of First Nations Canadians. Canada’s First Nations are the youngest and fastest growing population in the country. Yet the education gap between First Nations Canadians and all other Canadians is real. Their social and economic future is Canada’s. For this “Big Thinking” event, Chief Atleo will share his vision for Aboriginal education and chart the steps leading to a more accessible, equitable, and supportive post-secondary education system.
John Clement Ball, “‘The Shimmering Edge’: Surfing, Risk, and Adolescent Ecology in Tim Winton’s Breath”
Breath (2008), Tim Winton’s coming-of-age surfing novel, encourages links between the risk-taking of adolescent males and that of a society teetering on the edge of oceanic climate change. This paper draws on cultural geography, risk theory, adolescent psychology, and the sociology of surfing to provide an ecocritical reading of Breath.
Ian Baucom, “From Bare Life to Species-Being: Postcolonial Studies in the Age of Natural Science” The humanities are in the midst of a moment of paradigm shift, one in which our conceptions of what it means to be human are being significantly transformed by developments in the natural sciences (particularly genomics and neuroscience but also environmental science). Taking the notions of “bare life” and “species being” as its points of departure, this talk examines the implications of this shift for the future of postcolonial studies.
Guy Beauregard, “Remnants of Empire: Roy Kiyooka, Osaka, 1970”
This paper discusses Roy Kiyooka’s poetic and photographic sequence StoneDGloves, a text he produced while working at the Canadian Pavilion at Expo ’70 in Osaka. It argues that engaging with Kiyooka’s text provides an opportunity to rethink world exhibitions as technologies intimately tied to the organization and display of Empire.
Sarah Brophy, “Queer Intimacies and Post-imperial Histories in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty”
This paper offers the first sustained reading of cross-racial intimacies and their implications in Alan Hollinghurst’s Booker-prize-winning novel The Line of Beauty (2004). Drawing on theories of “orientation” (Ahmed) and “homing desires” (Fortier) from queer and postcolonial theory, I read the novel as a retrospective exploration of 1980s queer political consciousness as it emerged within and against the desire to be accepted into the English social elite, whose privileges manifest most attractively and problematically in their elegant dwellings. Hollinghurst’s novel attempts obliquely to anticipate queer claims on social and national belonging which will be something different from ‘wistfully keen’ (Hollinghurst) and which will go beyond simplistic myths of pluralistic accommodation to recognise the necessity for scepticism, for alliances which necessarily transgress everyday boundaries, and for endurance.
Heidi Butler, “The Unhomely Maritimes: Immigration and Assimilation in Rabindranath Maharaj's 'Bitches on All Sides'“
In the short story “Bitches on All Sides,” Rabindranath Maharaj challenges Fredericton’s dominant culture by rendering the city’s familiar gathering places unfamiliar. When Maharaj defamiliarizes readers with these spaces, he demonstrates that public places, attitudes, and policies must be reconsidered as Maritime demographics continue to change.
Alessandra Capperdoni, “Ecologies of Life: Nuruddin Farah’s Somalia and the ‘Failed State’ Economy”
This paper discusses Somali exile author Nuruddin Farah’s fiction as a critical intervention into the discourse about Somalia as a nation ridden by anarchy and chaos and, therefore, “a failed State” in the context of economic and political forces operating at the local and global level.
Paulomi Chakraborty, “‘Rivers ran in our heads, the tides were in our blood’: Landscape, Place, and the Politics of Belonging in Amitav Ghosh’sThe Hungry Tide”
This paper reads Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide (2004) as a novel that brings to crisis the centrality of both national and continental consciousnesses in constituting political belonging in the way it constructs imaginaries of place and territoriality.
Romita Choudhury, “Maternal Theorists: Ethical Feminism and Gandhian Imperatives”
The discourse of the postcolonial intellectual largely assumes the middle-class cosmopolitan male intellectual as subject of investigation. Relating two apparently discrete contexts of postcolonial subjectivity – Indian women’s writing in English and the discourse of the intellectual – raises the problem of cultural self-representation in distinctive ways.
Jennifer Bowering Delisle, “Witnessing across Continents: Second-Generation Nostalgia in the Age of Global Media”
In her memoir The Orange Trees of Baghdad, second-generation Canadian Leilah Nadir recounts fond, intimate family stories of Iraq, and bears witness to the suffering in her father’s homeland. I show how the second generation negotiates between nostalgia for a lost home and the excess of information generated by transnational media.
Kristina Fagan, “‘The Tyranny of the Fact’: The Escape from Newfoundland History in Michael Crummey’s Galore”
The characters of Michael Crummey’s Galore live in a fictional Newfoundland outport in an undefined time. While the novel does represent historical forces of religious discrimination and economic exploitation, the characters primarily inhabit a mythical world of ghosts, curses, and miracles. I will critically investigate Galore’s turn away from history.
Jessie Forsyth, “Just a Speculation: Epistemological Economies in Equiano’s Interesting Narrative”
This paper explores Olaudah Equiano’s 1789 ex-slave narrative for the ways in which discursive and commercial speculation (drawing from Baucom’s work on the Zong) open up Equiano’s space for subject-formation. Despite ostensibly remaining bound within Eurocentric epistemologies that deem Equiano a racialized, commodified non-subject, Equiano participates in and changes discourses.
Brenna Clarke Gray, “North American Literature: The Case of Douglas Coupland”
This paper examines Douglas Coupland in relation to issues of continental literature in North America. Coupland’s border-straddling work allows for the examination of a critical need to stake national claims, the study of cross-border issues, and the usefulness and limitations of a pan-North American critical framework.
Michael Collins, “Oddly's Island: Newfoundlandish Heterotopia in Jessica Grant's Come, Thou Tortoise”
In her 2010 debut novel Come, Thou Tortoise, Jessica Grant radically reinterprets Newfoundland's physical and cultural otherness. She constructs Newfoundland not as a ghostly remnant but as a vital Foucauldian heterotopia. My paper will explore the linguistic, cultural, and narrative construction of Grant's vision of a queer, heterotopic Newfoundland.
Max Haiven, “The Creative Work of Race”
This paper seeks to rehistoricize the notion of “creative work” that animates current cultural, urban and economic policy. Drawing on several examples, I argue that the global economy has relied, since 1492, on the conscription of creativity to produce racialized differences as a necessary element of capitalist accumulation.
Anindo Hazra, “The Queer Seawall in Vikram Chandra' s ‘Artha’”
This paper will argue that Vikram Chandra’s short story “Artha” traverses the uneven meeting-ground of “queer” and “India.” “Artha” engages in a complex analysis of the construction of categories such as “majority” and “minority” and reflects the ways in which queer Indian textual production extends from representations of sexuality to wider reflections on the normal.
Hugh Hodges, “Bare Life and the Beast of No Nation in Chris Abani’s Nigeria”
A discussion of Giorgio Agamben's concept of “bare life” and its necessary corollary “pure violence” as they play out in Graceland, Song for Night and other works by Chris Abani.
El Jones, “Spoken-Word Performance and Talk-Back”
Spoken-word activist, El Jones will perform and then engage in a talk-back about political art, engaging such questions as What is the role of art that explicitly engages issues such as race/gender/place/identity in the political struggle, and what are the limitations and possibilities of performance in this context? Is spoken word poetry an analytical vehicle for engaging a critical perspective, particularly perhaps within academic contexts (i.e. Can a spoken word piece be taken as a legitimate act of theoretical criticism? How does the exploration of these issues in the spoken word genre perform critically, as activism, or as a site of resistance/struggle?)
Michele Lacombe, “‘The squatter’ and « la citoyenne à part entière» – La Sagouine among ‘the savages’”
Antonine Maillet’s 1972 play La Sagouine, which came to embody the decolonization of Acadian citizenry, here is read as a well-intentioned but misguided appropriation of some aspects of Mi'kmaq culture. In particular, its use of “les Sauvages” to talk about the legal status of Acadian land, language, and identity does a disservice to both groups.
Angelika Maeser Lemieux, “The Intersections of Identity: Nation, Race and Class in Roger Buckley’s Congo Jack“
Roger N. Buckley's historical novel, Congo Jack (1997), set in 1802 in Dominica, revisits the mutiny of African slave soldiers of the British Eighth West India Regiment. The Nigerian protagonist's identity is shaped by nation, race and class against the background of exile, British imperialism, and Caribbean revolutionary struggles.
Victor Li, “Making the World Disappear: Globalization as Allegory”
Globalization sees the world as “world picture,” as the world viewed through representational schemes. Globalization discourses are thus selective allegorical interpretations that elide details of the world that don't fit the reality they wish to highlight. As in allegory, the world has to disappear for globalization to establish its “truth.”
Sophie McCall, “‘Unsettling the Settler Within’: Truth, Reconciliation, and Aboriginal Rights in Canada”
The paradoxical interaction of Weetigo and Weesageechak in Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road and Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen invites us to consider a politics of reconciliation in grappling with legacies of colonial violence. These figures enable us to consider multiple sites of Indigenous sovereignty and the ‘settler within.’
Sophie McCall and Laura Moss, “Teaching Literary Prizes: A Critical Dialogue on Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy”
What effect do literary prizes have on the production and reception of contemporary literature? What influences have international prizes had on the formation of postcolonial canons? In this dialogic paper we consider the challenges of teaching the politics of literary prizes, value, and the exigencies of publishing in the 21st century.
Linda MacKinley-Hay, “Phalometers and Bridges: Exploring Place and Out of Place in Kathleen Winter's Annabel”
This paper examines Kathleen Winter's Annabel as it relates identity to place while focussing on a hermaphrodite born to a Labrador Metis trapper and a St. John's teacher. The novel also surveys journeys taken by those others who discover themselves and their places, fulfilling a human need to make a place for oneself.
Susie O’Brien, “The Black Swan and the Ugly Duckling: Liberal Xenophobia in The Reluctant Fundamentalist”
This paper reads Mohsin Hamid's novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist as a critical commentary on the nexus of finance capitalism, security and xenophobia in post-9/11 US culture, with a particular focus on the geopolitics of the “black swan” (mathematician/philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb's term for the paradoxical inevitability of highly improbable events).
Amanda Perry, “Sounding Out Cross-Cultural Relations in Edward Kamau Brathwaite's Rights of Passage”
Drawing on the theories of Édouard Glissant and Jean-Luc Nancy, I analyze how Brathwaite uses sound in the record release of Rights of Passage to resist appropriation and challenge Western hermeneutic strategies and oral/written hierarchies. By destabilizing the process of signification, Brathwaite creates work to be listened to, not mastered.
Josh Prescott, “Troubling the Borderland: Mapping and Remapping in Dionne Brand’s Land to Light On”
By working from the idea of the “door of no return,” this paper examines the relationship between black consciousness and national self-imagining in Brand's Land to Light On (1997).
Sharlee Reimer, “Gender and Geopolitical Space: Imagined Possibilities in Contemporary ‘Canadian’ Literatures”
This paper seeks to theorize a pattern of non-normatively gendered characters who imagine different, more equitable geopolitical spaces than the nationalized ones they inherit as they emerge across a variety of literatures that fit uncomfortably under the rubric of “Canadian literature,” while also leaving room for the emancipatory possibilities of drawing these lines, particularly for marginalized groups.
Gillian Roberts, “Lawrence Hill’s Crossings: Continents, Coastlines, and Borders in Some Great Thing, Any Known Blood, and The Book of Negroes”
Arguing that the Canada-US border constitutes a primary site of the intersections of Canada’s relationships to colonialism, postcolonialism, and neocolonialism, this paper traces Lawrence Hill’s representations of Black identities in Canada, in both the past and the present, as they are configured and reconfigured at the borders of the nation-state.
Alicia Robinet, “‘They were orphans’: Transnational Reconciliation and White Civility in the Home Children Case”
This paper examines how attempts to reconcile the mass child migration movement from Britain to its colonies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries mobilize the figure of the child. I interrogate parliamentary proceedings, government apologies, and the play Homechild (2008), questioning the geopolitical negotiations of a transnational grievance.
Jill Scott, “Indigeneity and Apology: Where is the Aboriginal in Canada’s Apologies?”
This paper will provide a rhetorical and literary critical analysis of apologies issued to Canada's Aboriginal Peoples for harm caused by Residential Schools. The second part of this paper will specifically address the question of indigeneity and apology, asking how Canada’s apology could have accounted for the specificity of indigenous ways of knowing.
Antonia Smith, “Local Feast: Food, Culture, and Identity in Timothy Taylor’s Stanley Park and Bill Gaston’s The Order of Good Cheer”
This paper explores the ways that two recent BC novels engage with Canada’s complex colonial history through the device of the “local feast.” A close reading suggests that food as a literary theme needs fresh examination that considers ecology, indigeneity and globalization, moving beyond traditional lenses of gender and ethnicity.
Alison Toron, “Magical Transformations: Humour, Gender, and Racialization in Suzette Mayr’s Moon Honey”
Using feminist and critical race theories, this paper explores Suzette Mayr’s innovative use of magic realist conventions and feminist humour in her novel Moon Honey (1995). This paper argues that Mayr’s novel expands the realm of literary feminist humour from being solely concerned about gender to encompass other emancipatory goals.
Camille van der Marel, “Unsettled: The Poetics and Politics of Ownership in the Canadian North”
Although Canada is mapped and governed as a united nation, its colonization was fundamentally different in the South from in the North; these differences represent a rupture in the colonial histories of Canada’s already disparate halves. How then should we understand the Canadian Arctic as a zone of colonization?
Brenda Carr Vellino and Sarah G. Waisvisz, “Post-National Theatre of Redress: The Collaborative Ethics of the Steveston Noh Project”
This paper seeks to understand the approach and ethics of collaboration at the heart of Daphne Marlatt's intercultural, multi-genre, and bilingual play The Gull, a Noh play about the Japanese-Canadian fishing village of Steveston, BC.
Peter Walmsley, “The Spectral Slave in Hans Sloane’s Jamaica”
At the heart of Hans Sloane’s Voyage to Jamaica (1707, 1725) there is a gap, an emptying out of living core of the imperial engine – the working body of the slave is nowhere to be seen. To read the Voyage’s botanical descriptions and medical journal is to become increasing aware of this spectral presence.
Rachael Wyatt, “A New Take on the Postmodern Slave Narrative: Reflections and Inversions in Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots”
An examination of the postmodern pastiche setting – with different times and places overlaid and referenced – of Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots that examines the way the novel functions as a metafiction. The comic-tragic inversion of the novel reflects modern society to reveal the structure of underlying western ideologies to the reader.