CanLit Guides at Congress: Launch Event and Roundtable

May 24, 2018

Congress 2018 at the University of Regina is fast approaching, and at that time we will be officially launching 16 new CanLit Guides chapters. In order to celebrate the launch and also to reflect on the project and how it relates to broader questions about research and pedagogy in CanLit, we will be hosting two events, both jointly sponsored by ACCUTE: a roundtable discussion on research and teaching Canadian literature, followed by an official launch event for the new CanLit Guides Chapters (details below).

These events will take place consecutively on Monday, May 28, in LC 215. ACCUTE’s program for Congress 2018 can be found here.


Roundtable: “Working at the Intersections of Research and Teaching”

10:30am-12:00pm, LC 215

This roundtable discussion amongst CanLit Guides authors and editors uses the CLG project as a case study to open questions around the relationship between research, teaching, and learning, and what constitutes changing notions of “legitimate” academic work. Questions for discussion include:

  • Where and how does teaching diverge from scholarship? Are they valued differently?
  • What challenges do we face in bringing research and teaching together? And what practical strategies can we share for bringing together these roles in new forms and practices?
  • How do we balance work in our fields of interest with obligations to and passions for teaching and learning?
  • How is academic work defined and valued in different disciplinary and institutional contexts?

The following CanLit Guides authors will be participating in this roundtable:

  • Brenna Clarke Gray (Douglas): “The Labour of Teaching CanLit”
  • Nathalie Cooke (McGill) and Shelley Boyd (Kwantlen): “When Pedagogy and Research Meet: Creating Intellectual Frameworks for the Study of Restaurant Literature”
  • Nadine Fladd (Waterloo): “The CanLit Guides workshop: making scholarship public and accessible for learners and researchers”
  • Lucia Lorenzi (McMaster): “Shifting the Access of Power: Bringing Marginalized Voices into Classrooms with Open Educational Resources”
  • Farah Moosa (VIU): “Transitions: Researching, Teaching, and Writing about Joy Kogawa’s Obasan”
  • Gillian Roberts (Nottingham): “Internationalizing and Interdisciplining Canadian Literary Studies”
  • Carl Watts (Royal Military College): “Double Apostrophes: CanLit Guides and the Voice of the Teacher-Scholar”

Launch Celebration: New CanLit Guides Chapters

12:00-1:30, LC 215 

We are excited to be launching 16 new chapters for CanLit Guides, an open-access teaching resource produced by Canadian Literature. We will be celebrating the culmination of collaborative work between our expert chapter authors and our team of editors that began at the CanLit Guides Workshop in 2016. The launch also marks a significant shift in how the CanLit Guides are produced: previously, chapters in the guides were written in-house by editors and graduate students; now, we have transitioned to a system where area specialists write chapters. Our 16 new chapters span a wide variety of topics of interest to scholars and teachers of Canadian literature, including:

  • The Periodical Press and Early Print Culture in Canada
  • Chinese Restaurant Literature
  • Intersections of Diasporic and Indigenous Literatures
  • Dionne Brand’s No Language Is Neutral
  • Marie Clements’ Burning Vision
  • Joy Kogawa’s Obasan
  • Official Multiculturalism and Funding Canadian Literature
  • Literary Censorship in Canada
  • and many more…

We hope you can join us to contribute your voices to the roundtable discussion and to help celebrate with our authors and editors the launch of these new chapters, which are now available on the CanLit Guides website (!


« Refaire surface » : Une conférence dévouée aux écrivaines canadiennes des années 1970 au Nouveau-Brunswick

April 12, 2018

Sheila Butler
Three Swimmers
Sketching and linocut on paper
Collection of the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University

Du 26 au 28 avril prochain, se déroulera, à l’Université Mount Allison à Sackville et à l’Université de Moncton, une conférence intitulée « Refaire surface : écrivaines canadiennes des années 1970 ». Tel qu’indiqué par le comité organisateur, « ce colloque découle de l’idée selon laquelle les auteures canadiennes – anglophones et francophones – de la fin des années 1960 jusqu’au début des années 1980 sont en voie d’être redécouvertes ou recontextualisées par la critique littéraire universitaire. Cette période a été fondamentale pour le mouvement féministe ainsi que pour le paysage littéraire à travers le Canada. » De fait, au programme, des communications qui se penchent sur les écrits de femmes canadiennes, québécoises, autochtones, migrantes, anglophones et francophones (entre autres) dévoilent la richesse intellectuelle émanant de ces décennies et, surtout, de l’intérêt de la part des chercheur.e.s contemporain.e.s de revisiter, récupérer, et réactualiser certaines de ces approches critiques. Outre les communications, la conférence accueillera, dans le cadre de tables rondes plénières, des invitées de renommée, dont Marie Carrière, Louise Forsyth, Kathy Garay, Carole Gerson, Sherrill Grace, Karen Gould, Mary Jean Green, Linda Hutcheon, Smaro Kamboureli, Jane Koustas, Lucie Lequin, Jane Moss, Arun Mukherjee, Joseph Pivato, Lori Saint-Martin, Patricia Smart, Conny Steenman Marcusse, Aritha Van Herk. En passant par le théâtre des femmes, la censure d’écrits polémiques, les rencontres du Grand Roman de 1978 ou de Writing Thru Race en 1990, aux presses comme Anansi ou Theytus, et aux droits politiques liées à la publication et à l’édition, le programme promet un large éventail de réflexions autour des institutions, des approches intersectionnelles et de la revitalisation d’œuvres parfois délaissées, et comment celles-ci influencent et informent les processus de recherche, d’écriture et de création de la génération d’aujourd’hui.

Pour tout complément d’information, voir :



New Issue: Literary History #233 (Summer 2017)

March 27, 2018

We are pleased to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 233 (Summer 2017), Literary History! Laura Moss begins her editorial:

In November 2017, we ran a promotion for themed bundles of issues of Canadian Literature and called it a Black Friday sale. University of Saskatchewan professor Kevin Flynn responded to the promotion on our Facebook page saying, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, “Am I allowed to be slightly offended that *Canadian Literature* has adopted the VERY American ‘Black Friday’ tradition to peddle its wares? The optics on this one are not so good, methinks.” I have to admit that my cultural nationalism was not on high alert when I agreed to the promotion. I was, however, thinking of how we need to sell some issues. Plain and simple. I was trying to “peddle” our “wares” because without peddling them, we won’t be able to produce them. If you want to maintain a notion of the purity of academic inquiry without sullying it with financial details, then you might want to stop reading here. I can’t ever stop thinking about the budget, though. It is fundamentally tied to Canadian Literature’s ongoing feasibility and that important question pressing upon this and other journals, especially in the humanities: What is the future of academic publishing?

—Laura Moss, “Literary History: Business Arising

This issue also features:

  • Articles by Eli MacLaren, Heather Murray, Myra Bloom, Ana María Manzanas-Calvo, Emily Ballantyne, and Rebekah Ludolph.
  • Poetry by Adam Dickinson, Arleen Paré, Derrick Stacey Denholm, Alan Hill, Renée Sarojini Saklikar.
  • Reviews by Kirsten Alm, Alex Asslay, Emily Ballantyne, Nicholas Bradley, David M. J. Carruthers, Ryan J. Cox, Heidi Tiedemann Darroch, Andrea A. Davis, Stephen M. Dunning, David Eso, Nadine Fladd, James Gifford, Marinette Grimbeek, Rob Jackson, Sarah-Jean Krahn, Emily L. Kring, Rachel Lallouz, Josephine Lee, Lucia Lorenzi, Jodi Lundgren, Shana Rosenblatt Mauer, Patrick McCann, Emma Morgan-Thorp, Nina Northrup, Neil Surkan, Christina Turner, Carl Watts, and Lorraine York.
  • And interviews with Di Brandt and bill bissett.

The new issue can be ordered through our online store ( Happy reading!

Call for Papers for a Special Issue on “Diversity, Inclusivity, and Mentorship”

March 13, 2018

Diversity, Inclusivity, and Mentorship in Canadian Literary Culture: Histories and Futures

At present, we are witnessing turmoil in literary culture. Conversations about diversity, inclusivity, and barriers to access in Canadian publishing are coming to a head. Writers, publishers, and universities—where literature and creative writing takes on a formalized pedagogical imperative—have struggled to attend to shifting understandings of what makes a more equitable and robust literary culture.

In Canada, literature and literary culture have been consistently imbricated in tensions between established or popular writers, critics, practices, and movements on the one hand, and other voices seeking to shift aesthetics, disregard gatekeeping, and work for a wider scope of inclusivity on the other hand. This special issue of Canadian Literature seeks essays that engage with questions of access, diversity, inclusivity, and mentorship in literary culture, both historical and present. When has intergenerational mentorship worked? How has it gone wrong? Given our current state of affairs, how might mentorship benefit from more multidirectional movement? While open to all submissions that address one or more of these issues, the editors particularly encourage work that engages with the following:

  • Literary histories that trace un/ethical strategies of mentorship
  • Considerations of literary representations of mentorship, including but not limited to the campus novel and the Künstlerroman
  • Critical methodologies for historicizing and reorienting toxic power structures
  • Strategies for intergenerational knowledge transfer in literary communities and institutions
  • Literary representations of mentorship and the teaching of literature and/or writing
  • Capacious and generous modes of solidarity in Canadian literary culture
  • Critical accounts of initiatives made by Canadian presses and publishers to address problematic power structures
  • Structural impediments to intergenerational understanding
  • Impediments to mentorship alongside a rise in prize culture and other public programming.
  • Implications of technological change on mentorship and writerly communication
  • The role of mentorship in the development of literary cultural production
  • Archival evidence for literary mentorship where the published record is lacking
  • Where do institutions of literary culture – the university, the newspaper, the literary reading series, the editor, the publisher, etc. – appear inCanadian literature, how are they represented, and why?
  • What are the genres in which contemporary thinkers are articulating dissatisfactions with these institutions (the twitter thread, the open letter) and can we think of them as part of our body of literature?

The deadline for submissions is August 31, 2018. Please consult for instructions on how to submit via Open Journal System. All papers submitted will undergo a formal peer review process through Canadian Literature. Essays should follow current MLA bibliographic format (MLA Handbook, 8th ed.) Maximum word length for articles is 7,000 words, which includes endnotes and works cited. The guest editor of this special issue will be Erin Wunker. All correspondence will go through the CanLit office.

New Issue: Meanwhile, Home #232 (Spring 2017)

December 14, 2017

We are pleased to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 232 (Spring 2017), Meanwhile, Home! Laura Moss and Brendan McCormack begin their editorial:

As we write in Vancouver in the summer of 2017, British Columbia remains in a state of emergency as hundreds of forest fires continue to burn across the province. Wild fires in BC burnt an estimated 1,170,000 hectares of land between April 1 and August 23. . . . After one of the wettest winters on record in Vancouver with 240.2 mm of rainfall in November 2016, we’ve seen one of the driest summers, with only 1.8 mm of rain in July 2017—making this the province’s “worst wildfire season on record.”

[…] With both the destructive reality and the regenerative potential of wildfires in mind, this editorial was conceived early in the summer as we considered the implications of drawing an analogy between the recent “firestorms” of CanLit (as amorphously defined as that field has become in public discourse) and the wildfires. After a year in which the asymmetries of power and privilege operating within and upon the field have been newly illuminated by a number of high-profile flare-ups, we have seen many people drawing on fire metaphorically on social media, often with images of dumpster fires accompanied by #CanLit. Statements like David Gaertner’s succinct tweet in response to the distressing re-emergence of the Appropriation of Voice debates abounded: “If this is #CanLit, let it burn” (n. pag). It’s a provocative metaphor to think with, given the state of both our home province and our critical fields this summer, for its power to acknowledge the damage wrought within a combustible climate but also to spark ways of looking forward and affirming new futures. What does CanLit need to regenerate after critical destruction? What conversations might grow after the critical fuels have burned away the old and sometimes even decaying ideas? What might thrive in a newly cleared out ecosystem that promotes diversity and enhanced habitability for a range of critics, writers, and publishers? What kind of impact could shifting winds have on public discourse? What is the critical, literary equivalent of fireweed? Given the pervasively tinder-dry conditions in Canadian literary culture these days, what might catch fire next?

[…] Meanwhile, as some of CanLit simmers, or not, the articles in this issue engage complex notions of home—as a space of failed futurity, as a space of refuge, as a volatile space, as a space to run to, and as a space of witnessing. “Meanwhile” also signifies “so long as a period of intervening time lasts; for the interim” (OED). Thinking about CanLit as a kind of home for criticism, meanwhile, we ask what futures will emerge from the embers of the intervening present and the interim.

We are in the meanwhile, it seems, in CanLit criticism, where conditions remain tinder dry.

—Laura Moss and Brendan McCormack, “Meanwhile, Home: Tinder-Dry Conditions

This issue also features:

  • An Interview with author Lawrence Hill by Laura Moss, Brendan McCormack, and Lucia Lorenzi
  • Articles by Dale Tracy, Petra Fachinger, Heather Olaveson, Evangeline Holtz, and Kailin Wright
  • Poetry by Arleen Paré, Jeremy Stewart, Sam Weselowski, Chris Oke, Robert Hilles, and Bill Howell
  • Reviews by Kristen Alm, Emily Bednarz, Nicole Birch-Bayley, Natalie Boldt, Liza Bolen, Nicholas Bradley, Connie T. Braun, Bettina B. Cenerelli, MLA Chernoff, Michael Collins, Joel Deshaye, David Eso, Caela Fenton, Susan Fisher, Marc André Fortin, Andre Furlani, James Gifford, Beverley Haun, Benjamin Hertwig, Karl E. Jirgens, Martin Kuester, Daniel Laforest, Dorothy F. Lane, William V. Lombardi, Andrea MacPherson, Dancy Mason, Jody Mason, Emily McGiffin, Robert McGill, Emma Morgan-Thorp, Shane Neilson, Catherine Owen, Ruth Panofsky, Laurie Ricou, Hilary Turner, Emily Wall, Carl Watts, Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten, Ian Williams, and Christine “Xine” Yao
  • A special Opinions and Notes by Nicholas Bradley


The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!



Call for Papers for a Special Issue on “Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings”

December 7, 2017

It is now commonly accepted that Canadian literature has become a global literature, implying that any understanding of textual localities is traversed by vectors that exceed, complicate, and extend the nation in physical, historical, and cultural ways. But the gaze is seldom reversed and little attention has been paid to the role of international scholarship in the current transformation and development of the field.

How are Canadian texts read and circulated beyond the national borders? What is the place of Canadian literature in the institutional spaces of universities outside Canada? How do those transnational contexts negotiate the relationship between texts and readers? Are there defining differences in the ways non-Canadian scholars approach CanLit? How does transnational scholarship influence, challenge, enrich, and rescale Canadian literary production?

This special issue invites scholars of Canadian literature from around the globe to engage critically with any aspect of Canadian literary production, dissemination, or reception. Essays should implicitly bring to view the two-way direction of reading and writing Canadian literature globally, demonstrating the porosity of transnational scholarship as well as advancing innovative perspectives that may contribute to the rescaling of the field.

All submissions to Canadian Literature must be original, unpublished work. Essays should follow current MLA bibliographic format (8th ed).
Articles should be between 6500 and 7000 words, including endnotes and works cited.

Submissions should be uploaded to Canadian Literature’s online submissions system (OJS) by the extended deadline of June 1, 2018. 

The guest editor of this issue will be Eva Darias-Beautell of University of La Laguna, Spain.

New Poetry Editor, Phinder Dulai

November 24, 2017

Canadian Literature is pleased to welcome Phinder Dulai as our new poetry editor, with many thanks to Stephen Collis for his wonderful and dedicated service as poetry editor from 2014 to 2017.

Phinder Dulai is the author of three poetry collections: dream / arteries (Talonbooks, 2014), Basmati Brown (Nightwood Editions, 2000), and Ragas from the Periphery (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1995). His work has also been published in Canadian Literature, Offerings, Cue Books Anthology, Ankur, Matrix, Memewar Magazine, Rungh, The Capilano Review, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Toronto South Asian Review, subTerrain and West Coast LINE.

A consulting editor and member of the Talonbooks’ Poetry Board, Phinder Dulai is also a co-founder of the interdisciplinary contemporary arts group South of Fraser Inter-Arts Collective (SOFIA/c), and a past adjudicator for the Canada Council for the Arts.

Recently, Phinder Dulai led the design and served as faculty lead for Centering Ourselves: Writing in a Racialized Canada. This residency was hosted at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada’s first dedicated literary incubator for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour authors.

We look forward to the creative directions Phinder Dulai will take Canadian Literature’s poetry section. We welcome him to our CanLit team!

New Issue: Indigenous Literatures and the Arts of Community #230-231 (Autumn/Winter 2016)

September 14, 2017

 We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 230-231 (Autumn/Winter 2016), Indigenous Literature and the Arts of Community! Guest Editors Sam McKegney and Sarah Henzi write:

Indigenous literatures not only emerge from, depict, and address particular communities; they grapple with the meaning of community itself, while expanding our understandings of how communities might be imagined, lived, and sustained in pursuit of decolonial futures. Indigenous literatures don’t just represent communities; they call communities into being. This special issue considers what Kristina Fagan Bidwell calls “the messy multiplicity of communities” as they manifest in Indigenous literature and its study. We invited Indigenous creative artists and scholars, along with settler, diasporic, and allied artists and scholars, to explore the relationships among (i) diverse expressions of Indigenous literary art, (ii) the myriad Indigenous (and other) communities out of which such art emerges and toward which it is directed, and (iii) the responsibilities embedded in such art’s ethical study. In this “Afterword,” we are interested in whether the ethics of community implied by the Indigenous Literary Studies Association’s support of the “ongoing production of Indigenous literatures” are in fact commensurate with those implied by its advancement of “the ethical and vigorous study and teaching of those literatures”—in other words, whether “community” means the same thing(s) in creative and critical contexts; if it doesn’t, we wonder if maybe it should and whether this might be the direction in which the Indigenous literary arts are, in fact, guiding us.

—Sam McKegney and Sarah Henzi, “Indigenous Literatures and the Arts of Community: Editors’ Afterword

This double issue also features:

  • An Opening Note by Daniel David Moses
  • Articles by Dallas Hunt, Michele Lacombe, Max Karpinski, Lianne Moyes, June Scudeler, Pauline Wakeham, Keavy Martin, Brandon Kerfoot, Sophie McCall, Sarah Henzi, and Judith Leggatt
  • Extraordinary Poetry by Janet Rogers, Sharron Proulx-Turner, Jordan Abel, angela semple, Garry Gottfriedson, Shannon Webb-Campbell, Armand Garnet Ruffo, annie grace ross, Sonnet L’Abbé, and Dani Spinosa
  • Reviews by Lourdes Arciniega, Alison Calder, Susie DeCoste, Jeff Fedoruk, Graham Nicol Forst, Rebecca Fredrickson, Evangeline Holtz, Madelaine Jacobs, Suzanne Jacobs, Kyle Kinaschuk, Ariel Kroon, Tina Northrup, Catherine Rainwater, Michael Roberson, Dale Tracy, and Paul Watkins

The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!

Littératures autochtones et traduction

September 12, 2017

Un nouveau souffle vient agrémenter les corpus anglophones et francophones de la littérature autochtone — et ce grâce à la traduction. Depuis quelques années, notons plusieurs traductions d’œuvres d’écrivains autochtones anglophones maintenant disponibles en français, publiées chez Mémoire d’encrier et Hannenorak. Notons, par exemple : La guerre des fleurs de Domingo Cisneros, Nous sommes les rêveurs de Rita Joe, Ballades d’amour du North End de Katherena Vermette, La force de marcher de Wab Kinew et Paix, pouvoir et droiture de Gerald Taiaiake Alfred. De façon similaire, la maison d’édition Mawenzi a publié, en traduction anglaise, le premier recueil de Joséphine Bacon, Message Sticks, et deux recueils de Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, Do Not Enter My Soul in Your Shoes et Assi Manifesto; Arsenal Pulp Press, Kuessipan de Naomi Fontaine; et, tout récemment, Winter Child de Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau, par Freehand Books. Mentionnons aussi des recueils bilingues Languages of Our Land/Langues de notre Terre (Banff Press) ou Terres de Trickster/Lands of Trickster (Possibles Éditions). Ainsi, un nouveau dialogue au-delà des frontières linguistiques s’établit enfin, et les intéressés de la littérature autochtone ont accès à un véritable corpus transnational.

Margery Fee, Lucie Hotte, and Lorraine York named Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada

September 7, 2017

Congratulations to Margery Fee, past Editor of Canadian Literature (2007-2015), who has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) in recognition of her outstanding contributions to scholarship in Canadian and Indigenous studies. Fee joins previous editors Laurie Ricou (2003-2007; elected FRSC 2006), Eva-Marie Kröller (1995-2003; elected 2006), W. H. New (1977-1995; elected 1986), and George Woodcock (1959-1977; elected 1968, resigned 1974) who have also received the same honour.

Two members of Canadian Literature’s Editorial Board have also been named among the Class of 2017. Lucie Hotte (Département de français, University of Ottawa) and Lorraine York (Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University) were elected Fellows in the Division of the Humanities of the RSC’s Academy of the Arts and Humanities for their exceptional contributions to Canadian literary and cultural studies.

Congratulations to Dr. Fee, Dr. Hotte, and Dr. York for receiving the highest national honour for scholars in the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences in Canada. The induction ceremony for the RSC’s Class of 2017 will take place in Winnipeg on November 24.

The Royal Society’s news release and a full list of this year’s Fellows are available here.