Calls for Papers /
Upcoming Conferences & Seminars
Past Conferences, Lectures and Seminars
Maladies of the Soul, Emotion, Affect: Indigenous, Canadian, and Québécois Writings in the Crossfire of a New Turn
Banff Centre, 22-25 September 2016
A Conference Organized by the Canadian Literature Centre at the University of Alberta
and the Canadian Studies Centre at the University of Innsbruck
- Daniel Heath Justice, University of British Columbia
- Smaro Kamboureli, University of Toronto
- Daniel Laforest, University of Alberta
Round-Table of Invited Authors
- Nicole Brossard, Montreal, Quebec
- Louise Dupré, Montreal, Quebec
- Katherena Vermette, Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Aritha van Herk, Calgary, Alberta
TO REGISTER PLEASE GO TO: https://subline.ualberta.ca/6
According to D. Bachmann-Medick, a scientific turn is not synonymous with the radical reorientation of a single discipline but basically provides a new pluri- and transdisciplinary perspective complementing and reinforcing already existing approaches. A new turn does not supplant another but becomes part of a dynamic process of competing forces, which eventually may give rise to new categories of analysis and concepts. Studying both the general implications and the positive effects and deficits of such a turn is particularly rewarding when it comes to comparing different academic traditions and – as is the case with this transatlantic and transdisciplinary conference – different literary productions written in different languages.
In the wake of the conference “Crisis and Beyond,” held at the University of Innsbruck in 2015, “Maladies of the Soul, Emotion, Affect” not only responds to recent attention to affect, or the “affective turn” dubbed by Patricia Clough, but also investigates the impact of previous forms of research both on emotions and cognition on the study of Indigenous, Canadian and Québécois writings in English and French. If empathy and agency have evolved as new guiding principles in some fields of literary analysis, their roots can be found in such classical disciplines as poetics, rhetoric, or hermeneutics (Th. Anz), and also in the focus on agency advocated by the Constance school of reception theory. While selecting contemporary Indigenous, Canadian and Québécois writings in English and French as a body of investigation, the participants are encouraged to explore the emotional and affective implications of the process of literary communication, including both conceptual and empirical research and covering the following aspects:
- the emotional and affective habitus of the producer (the “real” author), her / his intentional or non-intentional use of techniques of emotionalisation, her / his definition of a specific poetics, and their possible impact on the text
- the emotional and affective response of the “real” reader to these techniques
- the text as a vehicle of emotions or affects which names, discusses or presents them as parts of the mental habitus of the protagonists (Th. Anz); the aesthetic question of how such processes are evoked (use of metaphors, inscription of the body, syntax of the unspeakable, etc.).
The focus on contemporary literature necessarily confronts us with S. Žižek’s assessment of the 21st century as the “apocalyptic zero point” and S. Ahmed’s, L. Berlant’s and others’ warnings of the West’s “cruel” attachments to neoliberal optimism. S. Ngai identifies “ugly feelings” while M.C. Nussbaum addresses the ethics of care as an affective, and alternative, form of knowledge, agency, and democracy (J. Tronto).
- And so what are the affects and emotions that index the particularity of our literary moment or our moment of crisis?
- How does intimacy or privacy respond to publicness?
- What is today’s equivalent of Romantic ennui and melancholy?
- Do situations of exile and migration enhance the new “maladies of the soul” (J. Kristeva)?
- Do authors ask questions of liveliness and animacy (M.Y. Chen)?
- Which lives today are considered worth living and are recognized as such (J. Butler)?
- How might Indigenous literary and critical interventions undo the very categorizations and labels suggested by this call for papers and enable us to tell different stories (D.H. Justice)?
These and other lines of critical inquiry – on the basis of the above-mentioned emotional and affective implications of literary communication – are designed to allow participants to approach affect, emotion, and the new maladies of the soul of this 21st century, a task which will advance terminological, methodological, and theoretical knowledge both in the fields of affect and emotion and of text analysis.
In the treatment of this description, we encourage comparative, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies. We invite proposals of traditional 20-minute papers as well as other forms of presentation such as short 10-minute position papers, round-tables, or pecha kucha presentations. Complete panel proposals (of 3 or 4 papers) are also highly encouraged.
Proposals (250 words per paper), in English or in French, with a short biographical note (50 words), should be submitted to [email protected] by February 1, 2016.
- Marie Carrière, Director, Canadian Literature Center, University of Alberta ([email protected])
- Kit Dobson, Associate Professor of English, Mount Royal University ([email protected])
- Ursula Moser, Director, Canadian Studies Centre, University of Innsbruck ([email protected])
- Albert Braz, University of Alberta
- Evelyne Gagnon, University of Alberta
- Simon Harel, Université de Montréal
- Larissa Lai, University of Calgary
- Brigit Mertz-Baumgartner, University of Innsbruck
This second conference will take place at the Banff Centre in Canada September 22-25, 2016. Situated in Banff National Park, surrounded by the magnificent scenery of the Rockies, the Banff Centre is a unique place to promote the arts and all disciplines on a Canadian and on an international level. For further information concerning the Canadian Literature Centre at the University of Alberta, please visit www.abclc.ca.
Research seminar / Séminaire de recherche 2016
THE CANADIAN LITERATURE CENTRE’S TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY - A LITERARY CELEBRATION
CANADIAN WRITINGS IN CONVERSATION
Date: Monday, February 29th 2016
An Event Chaired by Evelyne Gagnon and Orly Lael Netzer
The 2015-2016 academic year marks a unique moment for the literary community at the University of Alberta. With the Canadian Literature Centre celebrating a decade of work, and the Writer in Residence program at the Department of English and Film Studies celebrating 40 years, the 2016 research seminar is a wonderful opportunity to partake in the celebrations. This year’s event emerges from the Centre’s mandate as an organization committed to Canadian Literature as a creative body, a scholarly discourse and literary community, and follows a decade of fostering and nurturing diverse communities through research and dialogue. Our 2016 theme, Canadian Writings in Conversation, sets out to explore how we nurture new paths that bring into conversation artistic and scholarly perspectives through a shared interest and commitment to what are truly multiple Canadian literatures. Now that “CanLit has become CanLits” (Smaro Kamboureli; 2014), we wish to focus on the ways in which our work opens up and engages in conversations across positions (cultural, linguistic, artistic, pedagogical, scholarly or multidisciplinary, and political). We ask whether we have indeed moved away from acknowledgements of cross‑cultural diversity to critically engage in what Diana Brydon and Marta Dvořák define as “crosstalk” (i.e. “forms of discussion that can respect and learn from diversity”; 2012). We invite fellow writers and scholars (emerging and established) to explore, unpack, and challenge this idea from a variety of perspectives, related but not limited to the following questions:
- The current surge in translations of Canadian literary works from English to French (and vice versa) seems to suggest a rise in circulation not only of texts but also of conversations within and between reading and writing communities in Canada. Daniel Laforest and Maïté Snauwaert have stressed the currently growing interest of Francophone critics for English Canadian literature, and the numerous intersections between the two corpuses. Laforest and Snauwaert claim that now, new ways of encountering strangeness are the focus of reflection, rather than the geographical divisions and strict national and symbolic boundaries (2014). In those new spaces of dialogues, Leclerc and Simon think that we should therefore consider the dynamics created by those multiple areas of contacts between dislocated cultural and linguistic points of view and literary discourses (2005). In other words, can contemporary Canadian writings recreate in their own ways what Édouard Glissant called “a poetics of the Diverse”?
- Can we identify emerging dialogues between Indigenous, diasporic, immigrant, Francophone, feminist, queer, national or transnational perspectives? For example, a renewed interest in intergenerational dialogues between Canadian women’s writings and the critiques of their works are building a new tradition in a multicultural and bilingual scope (Carrière and Demers; 2014). How are those new dialogues different from previous ones and in what ways are they committed to varied ideas of fostering communities (literary and other)?
- Do contemporary Canadian literary works revisit older tropes of CanLit? Are we ‘haunted’ by certain literary and political histories and legacies, and in which ways? What are we willfully forgetting, and why?
- Are considerations of (re)conciliation limited to the relationship between Indigenous nations and the Canadian state, or do Canadian writers (and writings) suggest other potential avenues of cross-cultural relationships that can foster and nurture other kind of (re)conciliation? What about works that reject the idea altogether?
- Are current manifestations of hybrid forms, genres, methods and practices — in terms of both creative and scholarly work — engaging with ideas of community or relationship building in novel ways?
- Brydon and Dvořák call us to engage with “questions of audience, community and the shifting forms of collective imaginaries… [and] seek to capture the dynamic potential of this situation for reimagining the public spheres of engagement for creative work today” (2012). How do we (readers, writers, scholars) reimagine our ‘public spheres of engagement’? How do we imagine and engage with our literary communities, and how do we mobilize our communities to do work beyond the literary?
CONTRIBUTIONS AND PAPERS
Please consider the following guidelines when submitting your abstracts:
- 20-minute presentations, interlacing readings of creative works and a critical reflection on the writing process, or the relationship between creative and scholarly work — putting our practices in conversation.
- Roundtables, including 8-minute presentations (3 or 4 participants) followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. Participants are welcome to send abstracts for individual presentation, partial or entire roundtable proposals. If proposing a complete topic-based roundtable, please send a proposal that includes the names, abstracts and biographies of all panel members. The committee will also accept individual proposals and will undertake thereafter to match individuals with common interests. To foster a fruitful discussion, panel members will be asked to read one another’s papers in advance.
- Interview or tête-à-tête conversation — either between scholar and artist/author, among colleagues, or a student and mentor — should include a title and detailed (250 word) abstract of the topic and approach the conversation will take, as well as a list of questions which their conversation or interview will address. Please include both participants’ names and short biographies. The committee will also accept individual proposals and will undertake thereafter to match individuals with common interests.
- Conference paper presentations are restricted to 20-minutes to enable sufficient time for questions and discussion.
Please send the organizing committee a 300-word abstract, with a title and a brief biography, in either English or French, by January 15th, 2016:
Evelyne Gagnon, CLC Postdoctoral Fellow (SSHRC): [email protected]
Orly Lael Netzer, CLC Research Affiliate: [email protected]
And don’t forget about… The 2016 CLC Poetry Contest!
The third CLC Poetry Contest will reward the best original poem (in French and in English) written by a student at the University of Alberta. The winners will be announced at the annual CLC Research Seminar.
Open to all students of the University of Alberta, the CLC Poetry Contest will reward the best original poem in French and English.
For full details please click here: 2016 CLC Poetry Contest_English
Crisis and Beyond: The Literatures of Canada and Quebec
September 30th– October 2nd, 2015, University of Innsbruck, Austria
In the midst of global violence, unrest, and environmental disaster, a sense of crisis
encapsulates us. According to Slavoj Žižek in Living in the End Times (2010), “the global
capitalist system is approaching an apocalyptic zero point,” comprised of “the ecological
crisis, the consequences of the biogenetic revolution, imbalances within the system itself
(problems with intellectual property; forthcoming struggles over raw materials, food and
water), and the explosive growth of social divisions and exclusions.” On the other hand,
recent theorizations in the field of affect studies, such as Lauren Berlant’s Cruel
Optimism (2011), prompt us not only to rethink our attachments to previously held
notions of the good life – attachments that have led to our contemporary crises – but to
articulate new modes of being or becoming. Writers in turn intervene in ways of thinking
about and relating to a time of crisis. In the post-9/11 backdrop of the critical essays of
L’horizon du fragment (2004) Nicole Brossard articulates her “desire to take up again the
senseless quest for meaning and beauty” while other writers rely on derision, humor, and
irony to show ways and means of “how to succeed in one’s hypermodernity and save the
rest of one’s life” (see Nicolas Langelier, 2010; Nicolas Dickner, 2009).
Organized by the Canadian Studies Centre (CSC) at the University of Innsbruck and the
Canadian Literature Centre (CLC) at the University of Alberta, this two-part bilingual
(English-French) conference seeks to explore how crisis directs or transforms First
Nations, Québécois, and Canadian writings in English and French, and how authors and
intellectuals endeavour to counterbalance the social, economic, and ideological
insecurities we live in. Are there identifiable thematic or stylistic characteristics that mark
a literature of crisis, in crisis, and leading beyond it? We seek to understand how writing
deals – on either an aesthetic, a thematic, a political, or a personal plane – with global
disorder and which strategies it employs to stand up against the hauntings of planetary
death, ideological and epistemological collapse, financial breakdown, the contemporary
legacies of history, environmental disaster, or the electronic age. How can crisis merge,
through writing, with deliberate mobilization, political resistance, radical transgression,
and agency towards social change and transformation? Can irony – or even humor –
counterbalance disaster and give humanity new hope? We are interested in all forms of
narratives (fictional, poetic, non-fictional, theoretical, cinematic, performative) of
vulnerability, trauma or dystopia, and in ways that lead beyond crisis. Of particular
interest are productions that reveal First Nations, Québécois, and Canadian literatures as
transnational, cross-border, postcolonial, feminist, or transgender practices.
Among other related lines of critical inquiry, participants are encouraged to consider the
• What is the relationship between crisis and vulnerability, fatigue, or nostalgia?
Can these elements figure as a position of connection, openness, ethics, and
• How do uncertainties about the present – conveyed through a sense of
lateness, ending, or apocalyptic apprehension – emerge in literature?
• How are historiographical writing, testimony, and the ethics of those practices
determined by crisis?
• How can feminist, queer, and transgender readings reconfigure our
understanding of crisis?
• How does the electronic shift in communication produce a sense of
instantaneity and anxiety of unmapped and rapidly transformed territories?
What are the positive effects of modern communication methods and how do
they affect literary production?
• How does the body experience crisis? What are the relationships between
crisis, trauma, writing, corporeality, affect, and embodiment?
• How do literatures negotiate boundaries: between the local and the global,
between material and virtual environments, between different times and
spaces, between the human and the non-human?
• Does the critical predominance of the prefix “post” (postmodernism,
postcolonialism, postfeminism, postnationalism, or more recently, posthuman)
figure today as a sense of an ending or of a dawning? Does the “post”
announce the creation of new and alternative poetic and political paradigms?
• What new ethical, political, and aesthetic constructions emerge in literature in
an age of information and surveillance and in the very decry of damage,
violence, and the violation of human rights?
• What new futurities emerge from dystopian writing? Does dystopian writing
substitute the need for new utopias?
• Is the writing of crisis at the beginning of the 21st century a “First World”
(Alfred Sauvy) phenomenon? How do the literatures of the so-called
developed, capitalist, and industrial countries extend to concrete experiences
of Canada’s First Nations and of the so-called “Third World”?
• Is crisis writing a prerogative of the privileged?
In the treatment of any of these possible and other related topics, we encourage
comparative, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies. We
invite proposals of traditional 20-minute papers as well as other forms of presentation
such as short 10-minute position papers, panel discussions, or pecha kucha presentations.
Conference or 3-4 people panel proposals (250 words), in English or French, with a
short biographical note (50 words), should be submitted to Ursula Moser
([email protected]) and Marie Carrière ([email protected]) by January 1,
• Ursula Moser, Director, Canadian Studies Centre, University of Innsbruck,
Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
• Marie Carrière, Director, Canadian Literature Center/Centre de littérature
canadienne, University of Alberta
Conference Committee 2015
• Birgit Däwes, University of Vienna
• Kit Dobson, Mount Royal University
• Doris G. Eibl, University of Innsbruck
• Evelyne Gagnon, University of Alberta
• Adrien Guyot, University of Alberta
• Libe Garcia Zarranz, University of Innsbruck
• Gudrun M. Grabher, University of Innsbruck
• Daniel Laforest, University of Alberta
• Birgit Mertz-Baumgartner, University of Innsbruck
• Katharina Pöllmann, University of Innsbruck
• Helga Ramsey-Kurz, University of Innsbruck
• Srilata Ravi, University of Alberta
The first symposium will take place in the beautiful historic city of Innsbruck from
September 30 to October 2, 2015. Innsbruck is situated in the valley of the river Inn at the
heart of the Alps in the west of Austria. It is close both to the Italian and to the German
borders. For further information concerning the Canadian Studies Centre of the
University of Innsbruck please consult www.uibk.ac.at/canada.
The second symposium will take place at the Banff Centre in Canada in September 2016.
There will be a separate call for papers. Situated in the Banff National Park, surrounded
by the magnificent scenery of the Rockies, the Banff Centre is a unique place to promote
the arts and all scientific disciplines on a Canadian and on an international level. For
further information concerning the Canadian Literature Centre of the University of
Alberta please consult www.abclc.ca.
CLC Research seminar 2015
New Voices, Emerging Paths in Contemporary Canadian Writings
When: April 23, 2021
Where: Senate Chamber (Old Arts 326, University of Alberta)
An event chaired by Evelyne Gagnon, Adrien Guyot and Orly Lael Netzer
In the footsteps of the 2014 Seminar, which revolved around Canadian literature in the throes of the 21st century, the 2015 Seminar will attempt to build on last year’s fertile reflections, to shed light on new and emerging paths proposed by current literary works. As a result, one may ask, to what extent does contemporary Canadian literature allow us to rethink the precarious bond that every individual may share with alterity, with diverse communities (local, national, virtual) to which he or she feels attached, with a world struck by a series of unprecedented disruptions and changes (political, ecological and technological)? What new or alternative forms of subjectivity and representation manifest themselves, leading to new modes and methods of expression? How do these changes translate into new forms of writing and how do they transform modes of enunciation, genres, techniques and other ways of disseminating literary expression? Although expressions such as “end of literature” (Alexandre Gefen) and “post history” (Sylvain David) have entered on the literary scene, doesn’t recent cultural production offer an alternative to this period marked by pessimism? Thus to what extent do contemporary works allow us to venture on more optimistic routes, by not only suggesting, here and there, that the current discourse of exhaustion be transcended and left behind, but also by proposing a poetics of renewal?
Can the emergence of new discursive strategies or narrative modes be considered a characteristic of recent production? What could be said about the representation of North-American spaces (geographical or imaginary)? In what ways do contemporary texts suggest a re-visioning or critical reading of Canadian history? What futuristic images do current texts provide to Canadian readership? Where do they position Canada in a global perspective? How does literature deal with concepts of subjectivity, community and citizenship of various sorts (national, continental, global, virtual) in the context of the 21st century? How does Canadian literature recreate the nation, and does it render questions of national belonging (in terms of literary tradition, as well as cultural and political citizenship) obsolete? How does contemporary Canadian literature allow us to rethink concepts of community building? Are there clues as to the re-emergence of old literary trends (pan‑americanism, baroquism, transculturalism, transnationalism, exoticism…) in recent literary production or research activity?
CONTRIBUTIONS AND PAPERS
We encourage participants to explore, challenge, and discuss these topics from a variety of perspectives (such as indigenous, immigration, diaspora narratives, women’s writing) as well as a range of literary forms and genres (including oral narratives, life writing, non-fiction, etc.). Since the CLC defines this event as a Research Seminar, we’d like the day to highlight collegiality and collaboration. This will be reflected in the seminar form, seeking to raise, address, and discuss theme-related questions through roundtables and tête-à-tête conversations. We also welcome abstracts for traditional conference presentations related to the theme and linked to some current individual research. Furthermore, in the spirit of nurturing scholarly interaction, we would like the seminar to be an opportunity for the CLC to welcome emerging scholars in our research community. We ask that faculty encourage graduate students who are working on projects that are relevant to this year’s theme to send proposals, attend the seminar, and engage in the conversation.
Please consider the following guidelines when submitting your abstracts:
Roundtables will include 8-minute presentations (2 or 3 participants) followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. Participants are welcome to send abstracts for individual presentation, partial or entire roundtable If proposing a complete topic-based roundtable, please send a proposal that includes the names, abstracts and biographies of all panel members. The committee will also accept individual proposals and will undertake thereafter to match individuals with common interests. To foster a fruitful discussion, panel members will be asked to read one another’s papers in advance.
Tête-à-tête conversation - either between scholar and artist/author, among colleagues, or a student and mentor - should include a title and detailed (300 word) abstract of the questions that their conversation will address. Please include both participants’ names and short biographies. The committee will also accept individual proposals and will undertake thereafter to match individuals with common interests.
Conference paper presentations are restricted to 15-minutes to enable sufficient time for questions and discussion.
Please send a 300-word abstract, with a title and a brief biography, in either English or French, by March 1st, 2015 to the organizing committee:
Evelyne Gagnon, CLC Postdoctoral Fellow researcher (SSHRC) : [email protected]
Adrien Guyot, CLC Research Affiliate : [email protected]
Orly Lael Netzer, CLC Research Affiliate : [email protected]
And don’t forget about the… 2015 CLC Poetry Contest!
The second CLC Poetry Contest will reward the best original poem (in French and in English) written by a student at the University of Alberta. The winners will be announced at the annual CLC Research Seminar. THEME 2015 : Emergence and renewal.
POETRY CONTEST 2015
THEME: EMERGENCE AND RENEWAL
Open to all students of the University of Alberta, the CLC Poetry
Contest will reward the best original poem in French and in English.
First prize - French: 100$ & a few surprises
First prize - English: $100 & a few surprises
The winning poems will be announced at the annual CLC Research Seminar on April 23, 2015. Winning poems will be published on the CLC website and in Glass Buffalo’s Summer issue.
- One poem per student, maximum one page, typed and printed on one side of a page.
- Contact details on reverse side of sheet only (Name, email, phone number, mailing address,
- Submit in person to: The Canadian Literature Centre (Room 4-115 Humanities Centre) or to
the bookstore Le Carrefour (8627 91st St, Suite #112) by March 30, 2015.
Click here for more details: 2015 CLC Poetry Contest - ENGL
Click here for Radio-Canada interview with Evelyne Gagnon about the contest: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/Le_Cafe_show/2014-2015/archives.asp?date=2015-03-02
Winning Poem (English) 2014 CLC Poetry Contest:
Here and Now (by Erin Carter)
It is said that we live in the Anthropogenic era,
our influence on the planet so profound
that we must name a geological epoch for ourselves.
Atmospheric evidence confirms the reality
of our actions, but I am not thinking about that
as my feet skim over packed ice and snow,
the dirty linoleum of a kitchen floor, running
with my orange-jacketed sister and her dog towards
the downward slope of the river valley,
smoke coming out of her mouth, her eyes
In the river valley, the setting sun is a broken egg,
oozing whiteness from the heart of creation,
light fringed by the silhouettes of conifers, which look
infinitely divisible, I say, noting the intricacy
of branches and needles. You know
you just described dividing by zero
says my sister, and tells me about her favourite trees,
one of which she thinks lacks auxin
because it’s bent over like a lanky fourteen year old.
Her dog darts over the frozen river
a black splash on white snow, river and sky.
A muscle in my thigh freezes; the sound of cars
churn softly like a washing machine,
and we surface to a pink wash of sky
and the sea shell glitter of buildings
as cold soaks through flesh.
beneath the standing trees like strands of hair
and the dark figures of dog walkers,
are sixteen Papaschase bodies.)
Poème gagnant : Concours de poésie du CLC 2014 (Français)
Machine de productivité par Lola Adeyemo
Femme. Mère. Soeur. Fille.
Mon corps m’identifie –
mes seins augurent.
Nature m’inflige des responsabilités.
Donneuse de la vie– sacrifice charnel pour l’humanité.
Vision de la perpétuité.
les cœurs commencent leurs éternités
Leurs destins –
de battre pour le paradis ou l’enfer
Source de saveur et de l’amer.
Je ne me vends pas
Mon corps !
coute plus cher que tu peux m’offrir.
Moi. Ton engin.
L’approvisionnement de l’efficacité exacte – le fordisme.
Tu me condamnes à la punition éternelle ?
Je ne sens plus
Mon sacrifice économique
Que veux-tu d’autre ?
Juste pour des gains, des profits superflus ?
Juste pour survivre, je dois me donner à vous.
Discourse and Dynamics: Canadian Women as Public Intellectuals
October 16-18, 2014. Mount Allison University, Sackville N.B.
Canadian Literature in the Throes of the 21stcentury
Thursday April 10, 2021
The CLC Research Seminars aim to provide an ongoing public and research forum for the discussion of and study into a wide range of issues relevant to Canadian writing, in English and in French, of all forms, genres and practices. The seminars are open to everyone; participation is solicited from graduate students, university instructors, staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows. The seminars seek to create an interdisciplinary and thoughtful atmosphere for the presenting, sharing and fine tuning of research in progress. They provide opportunities for researchers of different walks of life and at different stages of their scholarly careers to engage with one another as well as with a general audience, in an informal, supportive and productive setting.
Theme 2014: Canadian Literature in the Throes of the 21stcentury
An event chaired by Evelyne Gagnon, Postdoctoral Fellow at the CLC
This year’s gathering will bring together researchers reflecting on contemporary Canadian literature. The seminar will address diverse representations of the 21st century and how Canadian literature proposes different visions (historical, symbolic, topological) of the early years of this new era. How can literature feature, directly or indirectly, the turn of a new century ? As the conclusion of a challenging era marked by a “sense of the end” (Paul Chamberland, 2004) ? Or as the beginning of an uncertain period where the very possibility of meaning seems exhausted or expanded (for example, David Sylvain speaks of “post-history”; 2012, while Rosi Bradotti sees a new “post‑humanity”; 2013) ? How does literature represent the transition between a constant projection into the technological future and an often forgetful attitude towards history ? How can we rethink this vulnerable world, marked by the collapse of numerous epistemes and ideologies, threatened by global instability and ecological challenges ? How can the current cultural productions reconfigure the possibilities of living and acting in the 21st century ? What new forms of subjectivity are brought forth ? French scholar Dominique Viart defines the current literary landscape as producing writers of contemporary vulnerability who are aware of the fragility of our times and of the crisis of legitimacy faced by language and literature (Viart, 2011). What is the specificity of Canada’s literature and its North‑American perspective on that matter? Those are the questions that will be raised, addressed, and discussed at this seminar which will welcome research presentations of various kind (conference papers, round tables, summaries of current research), on all writing genres.
Author, Professor and Associate Chair (Academic)
Department of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta
“History’s Absent Hand: Lessons in Modes of (Textual) Production From Gaétan Soucy’s The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches”
Affecting Women’s Writing in Canada and Québec Today/ L’affect et l’écriture des femmes au Québec et au Canada aujourd’hui
- Evelyne Ledoux-Beaugrand (Ghent University, Belgium).
- Belén Martín-Lucas (University of Vigo, Spain)
- Catherine Mavrikakis (Author, Université de Montréal, QC)
- Gail Scott (Author, Université de Montréal, QC)
- Maïté Snauwaert (University of Alberta, AB)
Marie Carrière, Dir. of the Canadian Literature Centre (U. of Alberta)
Libe García Zarranz, 2010 Trudeau Scholar/ English and Film Studies (U. of Alberta)
Simon Harel, 2009 Trudeau Fellow/ Dir. du département de littérature comparée (U. de Montréal)
Daniel Laforest, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies (U. of Alberta)
Women’s Writing in Canada & Québec Today:
Spring 2013 (date to be confirmed)
- Simon Harel, Director of the Department of Comparative Literature, Université de Montréal, and 2009 Trudeau Fellow — [email protected]
- Marie Carrière, Director of the Canadian Literature Centre / Centre de littérature canadienne, University of Alberta — [email protected]
- Daniel Laforest, Assistant Professor, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta — [email protected]
- Libe García Zarranz, PhD Candidate in English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, and 2010 Trudeau and Killam Scholar — [email protected]
- Christl Verduyn (Davidson Chair in Canadian Studies, Director of the Centre of Canadian Studies, Mount Allison University, NB)
- Shani Mootoo (Author, Toronto, ON)
- Kim Thuy (Author, Montreal, QC)
Focusing on the first decade of the 21st century, this two-part conference aims to expose the multiple forms, directions, and intersections of Québécois and Canadian women’s writing. In an attempt to foster new collaborations and departures, these twin conferences look for points of convergence and rupture between Canadian and Québécois women writers in the contemporary literary panorama in terms of the aesthetic and political concerns of literary texts, and also of the approaches and methodologies that critics adopt to engage with these writings. We firmly believe that a fruitful dialogue between what has been commonly conceived as opposite literary traditions in Anglophone Canada, Québec and Francophone Canada is imperative in the contemporary moment in order to envision alternative forms of coalition, resistance, and struggle for women writing in Canada today. Through side-by-side and/or comparative examinations of women’s writing produced in Canada and Québec, the conferences will not necessarily attempt to bridge traditions, but rather to dislodge naive accounts and perceptions of the relationship between Québécois and Canadian women’s writing. We are interested in engaging with those dissenting voices, traditions and practices within contemporary women’s writing that advocate for the creation of alternative logics of desire and embodiment, a reconfiguration of social relations, and the formulation of alternative ethical and political positions.
The first conference will take place at The Banff Centre from October 12-14, 2012. This event will coincide with the international writers festival WordFest, thus offering an excellent opportunity to foster conversations between scholars, writers and artists in the community. Located in Banff National Park, overlooking the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, The Banff Centre has become a key space for the development of the arts and cultural scenes not only in Alberta and the rest of Canada, but also internationally. With its new mission Inspiring Creativity, the Centre stands as an iconic space invested in the proliferation of learning and knowledge exchange. A number of rooms have been secured at The Banff Centre: www.banffcentre.ca/conferences/accommodation
The second conference will take place in Montréal in the spring of 2013. A different call for papers for this event will circulate later.
Proposals, submitted in English or in French, may address any form of contemporary writing by women in Québec or Canada, and focus on (but are not limited to) the following:
- Collaboration and coalitions
- Betrayals and disloyalties
- Contact zones and border crossings
- The politics and the poetics of the ‘trans-‘: transnational women’s writing, transculturation, transnational poetics, transgender literature
- Ethical choices and practices
- Subjectivity and agency
- Gendered and racialized spaces
- Queer practices and authorship
- The body politic
- Corporeality and embodiment
- Interdisciplinary pedagogies
- Un-narrated urban/ rural spaces
- Contemporary turns in the Humanities: ethical turn, material turn, the affective turn
- Social movements and women’s writing
- Feminism(s) today
- Approaches, methodologies, and theory
CLC Research Seminar
“Canadian Writing and the Digital Turn”
February 10, 2021
Senate Chamber (Room 326), Arts & Convocation Hall
University of Alberta
*RSVP by February 7: [email protected] / 780-492-9505
This year’s seminar will bring together researchers presently engaging in digital humanities research and Canadian writing, and in relation to the “CWRC” online infrastructure project, or Canadian Research Writing Collaboratory. A wine and cheese reception will follow, with a literary reading by a special guest author.
Participants are asked to send a short, 200-word summary of their presentation, in either English or French by January 13, 2022. The CLC offers two modest travel bursaries to out-of-town graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior scholars.
Papers (which should be no longer than 5 double-spaced pages in length) will need to be submitted by February 3, 2021, one week before the day of the seminar. Individuals will present their papers, either by reading them in full or by summarizing the main points. Presentations will be limited to 10 minutes, allowing ample time for response from the moderators and the other presenters, as well as discussion with the general audience.
For the seminar schedule and abstracts of this year’s presentations, click here: CLC Research Seminar 2012 (PDF) / 780-492-9505 or email the organizers:
2nd Colloquium of the Canadian Literature Centre
Alumni House (11515 Saskatchewan Drive), University of Alberta
14 - 15 October 2021
See the campus map: campus map
- J. Edward Chamberlin (University of Toronto)
- Sherry Simon (Concordia University)
Conference Registration & Fees: Registration for “Spaces/Memories” is now available. Please click here to be directed to the secure registration and payment site. Costs (in CAD, plus GST):
- Faculty — $150.00
- Post doctoral researchers & independent scholars — $75.00
- Students — No charge
- Daily Drop-In Fee — $10.00
A discounted group booking rate is available at Campus Tower Suite Hotel until September 19, by clicking here: www.coastpromos.com/cip
Preliminary conference programme: Spaces/Memories tentative programme
As we saw in the first conference of the Canadian Literature Centre in the Spring of 2009, Canadian literature is becoming exceptionally difficult to conceive of in terms of national literature. Canadian literature still has its canons, milestones and founders, but its history and its potential are nevertheless unfolding as a series of forms that move from a self-conscious, deliberate interculturality to an often unconscious, tacit transculturality. Beyond this apparent heterogeneity, we saw the emergence of two notions that have not been lost on researchers gathered for the first CLC colloquium: space and memory. These are fields of inquiry that, in order to do justice to their omnipresence in the literary corpus, it seems to us wise to put in the plural. Thus we propose: spaces, memories.
With their breadth of scope, these two fields prompt a multiplicity of questions about, and responses to, Canadian literature. Thus, we should put “Canadian Literature” in the plural as well, since as we could see from the proceedings of the first conference published by the CLC (Transplanting Canada: Seedlings, CLC Studies, vol. 1, 2009), spaces and memories seem like appropriate notions to explore with a view to their expansion, their extension.
In thinking of the importance of space, place and frontiers in Canadian literature and criticism, this conference will engage with the imaginative powers of Canada’s domestic and global geographies. Topics that might be addressed include:
- urban space in literature and the figure of the literary city;
- geo- and eco- politics and criticisms;
- the material space of Canadian publishing, including corporate histories, public funding and censorship, archives, festivals, and the promotion of Canadian literature overseas;
- representations of frontier spaces in early Canadian literature and the persistence of the frontier in modern and contemporary literatures;
- memorialized spaces and literatures of remembering;
- regional spaces in Canadian literary production;
- the international perceptions of Canadian literature along with the elastic boundaries of what is considered Canadian;
- constructions and perceptions of “the North” or the “americanity”;
- borders, passports, migration, refugees, and the construction of illegal cross-border movements;
- racialised geographies;
- space and the representation of a national past, present, or future.
Memory unspools as something that is both diachronic and synchronic. Diachronically, the great autobiographical tendency that goes across the whole of contemporary western literature, and is only getting stronger in contemporary life and literary production, is a breeding ground for the subjective romance. Bildungsromans, family histories, self-examinations via collective identities, migration and belonging, integration or the loss of inherited memory, migration and immigration narratives all help to reclaim a trans-generational or maternal connection to the country of origin. They encompass French and English poetry and prose, all the while constructing a transcultural and trans-subjective “thickness.” Synchronically, memory’s territory is constructed in relation to exterior, foreign, faraway places, which remain contemporary. This territory then becomes an attempt at writing a history of the present, of creating a shared way of experiencing time. It’s thus an echo of the memory process itself, made out of other languages, other memories, and other imagined countries, of journeys between the country, the landscape, and their imaginary counterparts. All of these approaches invite us to diversify the gaze we cast on Canadian literature, or to make Canadian literature the laboratory of a renewed reading of these approaches.
The CLC invites all interested researchers, in Canada or abroad, to send us their proposal. The Centre is open to all display and theoretical approaches, and a special consideration for the following areas of research, which will be at the heart of the Centre’s activities for the next three years:
- Transcultural and transnational thought
- Canadian comparative literature
- Cultural production
- Francophone literature of western Canada
For more information, please write to: [email protected].
CLC Research Seminar 2011
“Urban Spaces in/and Canada’s Literatures”
4 February 2011, 2:00 to 5:00 pm.
University of Alberta
Wine and cheese reception to follow, with literary reading by special guest author.
What is it?
The CLC Research Seminars aim to provide an ongoing public research forum for the discussion of and study into a wide range of issues relevant to Canadian literature of all forms, languages, genres and practices. The seminars are open to everyone; participation is especially solicited from graduate students; university instructors, staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows are also strongly encouraged to participate. The seminars seek to create an interdisciplinary and thoughtful atmosphere for the presenting, sharing and fine tuning of research in progress. They will provide opportunities for researchers of different walks of life and at different stages of their scholarly careers to engage with one another as well as with a general audience, in an informal, supportive and productive setting.
What’s it About?
The main focus of this year’s seminar is Urban Spaces in/and Canada’s Literatures. In the form of 10-minute position papers, participants will present research projects, problems, results, themes, challenges, questions, theories or methodologies pertaining to the seminar’s focus and their own research fields of inquiry or interests. Questions for reflection might include:
- How are Canadian urban spaces portrayed, defined or re-defined by literature?
- How do urban spaces produce gender, race, class, and ethnicity?
- How are urban spaces in turn produced by these categories?
- How is public or political discourse (in)formed by our cities, and how are cities (in)formed by these discourses?
- Is there a specifically Canadian, Québécois, Francophone, or immigrant urbanity?
- What are the connections between urban space and personal memory, collective memory, migration, mobility, language or citizenry?
- What are the connections between urbanity and cultural production in Canada?
- Are there new forms of Canadian writing, performance or publishing that reflect contemporary urban realities?
How to Participate:
Interested participants are asked to send a short, 200-word proposal, in either English or French, and a brief, 25-word biographical note by December 6, 2010. Invitation to present in the seminar will be based on the quality of the proposal and the appropriateness of the topic in relation to the seminar’s main focus. Creative or experimental approaches are most welcome. The CLC will offer modest travel bursaries to two out-of-town graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or junior scholars. Proposals and inquiries should be directed to: [email protected]
How Will it Work?
Papers (no longer than 5 double-spaced pages in length) will need to be submitted by January 21, 2011, two weeks before the day of the seminar. They will be read in advance of the seminar by two moderators and the other presenters. At the seminar, individuals will present their papers, either by reading them in full or by summarizing the main points. In either case, presentations will be strictly limited to 10 minutes, allowing ample time for discussion with the moderators, the other presenters and the general audience.
CWRC 1 - Canadian Women Writers Conference:
“Connecting Texts and Generations”
Alumni House, University of Alberta, 30 September - 3 October 2021
Online registration is now available! Click here to register online now.
Conference Registration Fees: Faculty and Postdoctoral Researchers (presenting or just attending) $150.00 CAD, Students (presenting) No fees (registration required), Students (attending but not presenting) $65.00 CAD. All fees subject to GST.
Accommodation/travel info (Word .doc)
Accommodation/travel info (PDF)
The preliminary conference program can be accessed here
The Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC, pronounced “quirk”) will provide a digital platform for new collaborations in humanities research. Supporting team-based scholarship, digitization and editing, and embedding its material in political, commercial and cultural contexts, CWRC brings digital arts into dialogue with other artistic practices that are part of a contemporary landscape of imaginative and creative work and critical research. CWRC has been successful in securing, under the leadership of Dr. Susan Brown (University of Alberta / University of Guelph), substantial funding from both the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and provincial funding bodies.
CWRC’s centerpiece is a Canadian Women Writers project, a radically interdisciplinary, collaborative and bilingual research initiative that will be developed across three primary modules: 1) a virtual archive of textual, visual, and audiovisual materials relevant to research in women’s writing in Canada; 2) a searchable, expandable, user-producer textbase of historical, bio-critical data on women’s writing in Canada; 3) an interactive forum/salon for the circulation of discussion, new textual, audio and visual material, and readers’ and writers’ communities.
This gathering will be the first of up to three conferences planned around this flagship project of CWRC. This venture with multilingual, multi-genre, and multi-media content is anchored in the premise that digital and electronic instruments are key to enabling and producing new meanings in embodied, experiential, participatory ways. In coordinated collaboration with related major projects partnered with CWRC (TransCanada Institute; Editing Modernism in Canada; canadiana.org, among others), this Canadian Women Writers initiative aims to bring into alignment established and emergent histories, to integrate divergent perspectives on history, and to engage users as producers in a variety of textual, visual, and audio formats.
The conference will bring together scholars, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, and software designers, along with invited keynote speakers, to catalyze discussion — particularly on women’s writing in Canada, literary history, historiography, collaborative methods, and digital and feminist scholarship — through papers, panels, readings, and online hook-ups and demonstrations.
- Nicole Brossard (Author, Montréal)
- Louise Dennys (Executive Publisher and Vice-President, Knopf Canada, Random House Canada, Vintage Canada)
- Lucie Hotte (Research Chair on the Literatures and Cultures of Francophone Canada, University of Ottawa)
- Rosemary Sullivan (Author and Canada Research Chair, Department of English, University of Toronto)
We invite papers that illuminate the vast diversity of Canadian women’s writing, past and present, in all genres and formats (printed text, manuscripts, journalism, screenwriting, graphic novels, songs, music, performance art, artists’ books), of all cultures, regions, and linguistic groups. Papers should be relevant to CWRC’s emphasis on collaboration and digital scholarship. They may:
- comment on the critical reception of Aboriginal, minority and/or multilingual writing
- explore the potential for comparative study and analysis through an integrated online history and/or its implications for Canadian Comparative Literature
- pursue both historical specificity and trans-historical connections
- consider the plurality of Canadian women’s literary histories
- examine these histories in relation to various versions of the nation or a transnational perspective
- address the practicalities of the marketplace
- interrogate distinctions between popular and elite, subversive and insider writing
- investigate platforms necessary to make Wikipedia-like resources literary, creative, scholarly and extensible
- address the limitations of current available sites (e.g.,. lone databases) and the potentials of interlinked or integrated knowledge systems
- explore modes of circulating, disseminating and expanding an integrated history
- offer frames for reading digital works as media systems, social practices, or cultural networks
- offer examples of using digital tools to produce new kinds of cultural or historical analysis
- illustrate the emergence of new forms of technological infrastructure and media
Forward abstract (500 words), along with a one-page CV, in English or in French, to: [email protected]
Deadline for submission: 29 March 2021
Members of the conference committee:
- Dr. Susan Brown, University of Alberta/Guelph University
- Dr. Marie Carrière, University of Alberta
- Dr. Patricia Demers, University of Alberta
- Dr. Cecily Devereux, University of Alberta
- Dr. Carole Gerson, Simon Fraser University
- Dr. Christl Verduyn, Mount Allison University
Address all mail inquiries to:
Canadian Women Writers Conference
c/o Canadian Literature Centre
4-115 Humanities Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E5
CLC Graduate Students Colloquium:
The Canadian Literature Centre (CLC), the Canadian Studies Institute and the Graduate students of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies of the University of Alberta are pleased to invite you to the first edition of the Multiculticanada Graduate Students Colloquium.
Keynote Address (9:15 a.m.):
Marie Vautier, Director, University of Victoria,
“The transcultured autobiographical novel in Canada: religiosity and postcolonialisms.”
Canada has become a source of inspiration for numerous countries in terms of integration and multiculturalism. As a result, we would like to take this opportunity to explore the way in which texts, images, and other mediums construct and represent the idea of Canada as a cultural mosaic and the controversial questions that come with the notion of multiculturalism and the concept of “transcultural” in Canada” With this in mind, the colloquium participants are presenting papers from a wide array of disciplines that deal with literary texts, visual works or other media that underscore or problematize questions of multiculturalism and the “transcultural” in Canada.
Contact: [email protected]
Following the conference, selected papers will be considered for publication in the journal International Journal of Canadian Studies. This conference is being generously supported by the Canadian Studies Institute (U of A, Campus Saint-Jean) and the Canadian Literature Centre (U of A, north campus).
CLC Scholarly Speakers Series
These biannual lectures promote research results dealing with present and controversial questions around the writings of Canada. Topics recently addressed by our speakers:
Nancy Huston’s biculturalism; gender and race in Dany Laferrière’s cinema; the reception and translation of Canadian literature abroad; stereotype in Aboriginal writing; zones of conflict in Canadian writing.
Toni Holland, University of Texas at Arlington, “American and Canadian Poets Laureate: A Literary and Cultural History,” Wednesday, November 24, 2010, Senate Chamber (Arts & convocation Hall), University of Alberta
Dr. Simon Harel, University of Québec at Montréal, “Une souffrance commune : Port-au-Prince-Montréal, l’écriture de la survie dans les œuvres d’Émile Ollivier,” Wednesday, February 3, 2010, Senate Chamber (Arts & convocation Hall), University of Alberta
Dr. Keavy Martin, University of Alberta, “Just a Story? Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach and the Politics of Aboriginal Literatures,” Wednesday, November 25, 2009, Arts Student Lounge, University of Albert
An Inaugural CLC Colloquium
Proceedings from the colloquium, Transplanting Canada: Seedlings is now available! Read more here.
Read the program: Colloquium Program (pdf version)
The Canadian Literature Centre/ Centre de littérature canadienne (CLC) at the University of Alberta seeks to bring together researchers who are interested in the ways in which the literatures of Canada can be said to “travel” or “move” from one “place” to the other. Lest anyone be put off by this preponderance of “scare quotes,” let us just say that we are hoping to welcome all manner of scholarship devoted to the mutability and flexibility of Canada’s literatures. In honour of our 2009 Kreisel Lecturer Dany Laferrière, who will speak at the University of Alberta on the eve of the colloquium (March 5), we would especially welcome work on his writing, and the multiple transplantations (from Port-au-Prince to Montreal to Miami, from novel to film, from journalism to fiction) that his work illustrates. Other possible topics include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Expatriate, immigrant, emigrant and migrant writers and literatures
- Canadian literature (in any language) as a continental, or an American (South and North) project
- Canadian literature (in any language) as it is read or taught in Europe/Africa/Asia/rest of Americas
- Canadian literature (in any language) as part of a pan-indigenous project (connected to New Zealand, Australia, etc.)
- Aboriginal literature across the Canada-US border; Joseph Boyden’s New Orleans, Louise Erdrich’s “French Indians,” etc.
- The role of textuality in indigenous literatures; syllabics vs. roman text, aboriginal languages adopted and used in European forms (such as the novel), etc.
- Quebec literature as it is read or taught in English Canada
- English-Canadian literature as it is read or taught in Quebec
- Acadian, Québécois, Franco-Ontarian and Western literatures as part of La Francophonie
- Has “Commonwealth Literature” a future?
- English-Canadian texts translated into European French
- Quebec texts translated into U.S. English
- Canadian literatures translated into minority languages (Irish Gaelic, Scots, Catalan, Breton, etc.)
- Aboriginal critics reading non-Aboriginal texts
- Moves between media (from literature to film, from film to theatre, etc.)
- Moves between traditional forms of writing and avant-garde narratives
- Moves between forms (Laferrière, Godbout from essayist to novelist to filmmaker; Atwood, Brand from poet to novelist to critic)
- New perspectives on travel literature
- Space as a key metaphor in criticism
- Move between the exurban (rural or wilderness) and the urban/metropolitan
- Transplantation/rewriting/transmission/circulation of Canadian myths in today’s writings (the wilderness, the rural, the North)
- Canadian literatures moving into cyberspace
- Canadian literatures as they camouflage their geo-cultural origins
- Transculture as an identity and an aesthetics
- Feminism from first, second to third wave, from meta to post, from public to private
Researchers are strongly encouraged to bring work in progress to the table. Possible formats will not be limited to traditional 20-minute conference papers, although these are welcome, but will include panel and roundtable discussions of shorter (10- or 15-minute) presentations of current research. Since the CLC’s primary goal is to foster future collaboration among researchers interested in the many voyages that continue to define Canada’s literatures, participants will be asked to envision or demonstrate how their projects might benefit from or fit into larger collaborative endeavours.
Please submit 250-word proposals for papers or for shorter, more informal presentations, as well as a 50-word bio, in either French or English, indicating which approach (conference paper or informal presentation) you would like to adopt. The deadline for proposals is January 9, 2009. However, we encourage participants to submit their proposal sooner, and notices of acceptance will be given as quickly as possible.
Submissions should be addressed to:
Director, Canadian Literature Centre/Centre de littérature canadienne
3-05 Humanities Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E5
Email: [email protected]