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

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.