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Cover of issue #215

Current Issue: #215 Indigenous Focus (Winter 2012)

Canadian Literature's Issue 215 (Winter 2012) is now available. The issue features articles by Renate Eigenbrod, K. J. Verwaayen, Paul Murphy, Sylvie Vranckx, Mareike Neuhaus, Angela Van Essen, and Anouk Lang, and new Canadian poetry & book reviews.

Current Issue: #215 (Winter 2012)

May 30, 2013

Cover of issue 215Canadian Literature’s Issue 215 (Winter 2012) is now available. This special issue entitled Indigenous Focus features articles by Renate Eigenbrod, K. J. Verwaayen, Paul Murphy, Mareike Neuhaus, Angela Van Essen, Anouk Lang, an interview with Richard Van Camp by Sylvie Vranckx, Margery Fee’s editorial on The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a collection of new poetry and book reviews.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is coming to Vancouver from September 18th to 21st, 2013. The University of British Columbia has suspended classes for a day while the commission is in session to allow faculty, staff, and students to attend. Why is the university taking such an exceptional step? Many Canadians—including UBC students—think Canada has treated Aboriginal people fair and square and that their land has come to us through official channels. Don’t they get special treatment in return for all that land? Only if you define special negatively, since even after Stephen Harper’s apology for the residential schools in 2008, the federal government continues to spend less—often much less—per capita on educating Aboriginal students than the provinces spend on non-Aboriginal students (Sniderman n. pag.). Given that history lessons have tended to focus on Sir John A. Macdonald and the railway rather than Louis Riel and the buffalo, it’s not surprising that many Canadians don’t know much about Indigenous peoples in Canada. If you read the guide for new Canadians—Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship—you will see that although Aboriginal people are now listed as one of the three founding peoples, there’s not much there that would help anyone understand the need for a TRC on Indian Residential Schools or the Idle No More movement, for that matter. And yet bureaucratic idling has been a very effective tool of colonization. The motto of the TRC is For the child taken, for the parent left behind. It might also add, for the Canadians kept in the dark.

—Margery Fee, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

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2012 Canadian Literature Essay Prize Nominees

April 3, 2013

The Canadian Literature Essay Prize is awarded annually to the best of the 24 or so articles we publish every year. We hope in this way to signal our eagerness to receive and recognize the best submissions in our field. We know that some readers are graduate students and junior academics looking for the best examples on which to model their own writing, and one goal of this award is to make it clear what our adjudicators (selected from the editorial team and the editorial board) think is the best. We know that to receive such an award from ones peers is always welcome, and we hope that the award will encourage those who win it to continue to produce their best writing.

—Margery Fee, editor


  • Alan Filewod, Authorship, Left Modernism and Communist Power in Eight Men Speak (#209, Summer 2011)
  • Annette Hayward, Littérature et politique au Québec pendant la première moitié du vingtième siècle" (#209, Summer 2011)
  • Karl Jirgins, Neo-Baroque Configurations in Contemporary Canadian Digital Poetics (#210/11, Autumn/Winter 2011)
  • Meredith Quartermain, Tang’s Bathtub: Innovative Work by Four Canadian Poets (#210/11, Autumn/Winter 2011)

More details.

Interview with Tamas Dobozy

March 28, 2013

Tamas DobozyWell, I always loved the reading it put me in touch with. It also gave me a view into the national academic community, which was larger and more varied than I would have imagined. I think the sheer variety of it was an inspiration—all these people working in all those areas, with new ones emerging, it seemed, by the day. When I started, Bill New had just handed over the journal to Laurie [Ricou], who I think ran it in an interim way until Eva-Marie [Kröller] showed up, and then she ran it while I was there. I loved that job, really, just being in the midst of those people, all fanatically dedicated to things I cared, and still care, about quite deeply. You need that as a writer and an academic, that sense of shared passion. It sustains you. Beyond that, I think it represented a cultural work we really need here in Canada, gathering up the shreds of a lot of disparate and sometimes isolated artistic projects and creating a repository or an archive where they come together in dialogue and are preserved for people down the road who’ll be able to glimpse back at our rituals and fixations in order to better understand and manage their own.

—Tamas Dobozy, on his time as a student assistant at Canadian Literature. Read the rest.

Current Issue: #214 (Autumn 2012)

March 27, 2013

Cover of issue 214Canadian Literature’s Issue 214 (Autumn 2012) is now available. The issue features articles by Germaine Warkentin (on Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism), Andrea King (on Anne Hébert’s Les fous de Bassan and Mary Novak’s Conceit), Joanne Leow (on the poetry of Wayde Compton), and Anne María Faile-Marcos (on Kim Barry Brunhuber’s Kameleon Man), and new Canadian poetry & book reviews.

Also in this issue is Thinking Together: A Forum on Jo-Ann Episkenew’s Taking Back Our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy, and Healing. This special section includes writing by Susan Gingell, Deanna Reder, Allison Hargreaves, Daniel Heath Justice, Kristina Fagan Bidwell, and Jo-Ann Episkenew.

In November, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the year of our founding editor’s birth (see canlit.ca for more). Of course, George Woodcock’s life work consisted of far more than putting out seventy-three issues of a quarterly critical journal between 1959 and 1977. Alan Twigg’s remarks at the celebration focused on the remarkable success of the non-profit aid organizations founded by him and his wife Inge, for example. What interests me here, however, is how the journal is still shaped by his commitments. Somehow, I just never get around to reading all the back issues of the journal. What I’m basing my remarks on, then, is what has come down to me from working as an associate editor and editor and reading here and there about its history.

—Margery Fee, How Anarchist is Canadian Literature?

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Call for Papers: Science & Canadian Literature

February 22, 2013

In the three decades since the last science-themed issue of Canadian Literature appeared, much has changed in both literary and scientific circles. New literary theories have come to shape our critical conversations, new Canadian authors have emerged, publishing has been fundamentally changed with the advent of the Internet; at the same time, sheep have been cloned, food has been genetically modified, computers have shrunk to pocket size. And neither of these circles exists in isolation: each has affected the other, with differences that have made a difference (to borrow the language of ecologist Gregory Bateson) across the disciplinary boundaries. […more details…]

George Woodcock: Collected editorials from Canadian Literature

January 22, 2013

Cover of George Woodcock: Collected editorials from Canadian LiteratureCanadian Literature proudly presents our first ebook: George Woodcock: Collected editorials from Canadian Literature.

Compiled and edited by Canadian Literature’s Glenn Deer (Associate editor, poetry) and Matthew Gruman (Marketing and Communications), this collection contains all the editorials George Woodcock wrote during his tenure as editor and Balancing the Yin and the Yang, written as a guest editorial in 1992. Also included are Alan Twigg’s In Praise of an Omnivorous Intelligence and Glenn Deer’s Alive to Unfashionable Possibilities: Reading Woodcock’s Collected Editorials—two tributes written specifically for this edition.

George Woodcock: Collected editorials from Canadian Literature is available in the EPUB format (list of supported devices), and will soon be available for the Amazon Kindle.

Click here for more information.

Transforming Knowledge Dissemination in Quebec and ROC: A Bilingual Roundtable

December 12, 2012

Co-organized by Canadian Literature and the Canadian Literature Centre.

Bilingual Canadian literary institutions like the journal Canadian Literature at UBC and the Canadian Literature Centre at the University of Alberta face evolving challenges regarding translation, the circulation of information, the shifting modes of knowledge dissemination, and the moving boundaries of popular and academic discourse. How do we constructively address such challenges? What are the roles of literary institutions in public debate? Is a bilingual journal or centre still feasible in Canada? How can scholars working in both languages co-produce research? And what is the place for research pursued in other, non-official languages? Why do public intellectuals (such as, for instance, Charles Taylor, Roméo Dallaire, Michael Ignatieff, and Chantal Hébert) tend to cross borders (linguistic, geographic, cultural) when academics hesitate? The current speed of humanities research and the speed of technology are not in sync. What could the new rhythms of research look like? How do we use the compression of time and space of globalization to our intellectual advantage?

This bilingual roundtable will concentrate on ways to productively and creatively transform knowledge dissemination today across Quebec and the ROC.

The session will be a roundtable with up to 8 people making 5-minute prepared interventions followed by group discussion. Please send a 100-word proposal (in English or French) for a 500-word intervention to Laura Moss (laura.moss@ubc.ca) and Daniel Laforest (daniel.laforest@ualberta.ca) on or before 15 January 2013.

When submitting proposals, please cc ACQL program chairs Sophie Marcotte (sophie.marcotte@concordia.ca) and Sara Jamieson (sara_jamieson@carleton.ca).

Current Issue: New Work on Early Canadian Literature #213 (Summer 2012)

November 7, 2012

Cover of issue 213Canadian Literature’s Issue 213 (Summer 2012) with guest editors Janice Fiamengo and Thomas Hodd is now available. The issue features articles by I.S. MacLaren, Michele Holmgren, Brooke Pratt, Jennifer Harris, Florian Freitag, Jennifer Henderson, and Heather Jones, and new Canadian poetry & book reviews.

This special issue springs from the editors’ shared passion for early Canadian literature in English and our awareness of how much bibliographical, historical, and critical research remains to be done in the field. It would be wrong, of course, to argue that our early literature has been ignored or neglected—far from it. As a field of study, however, it remains an uneven and tantalizingly patchwork affair, not unlike the maps of early Canada that enticed the explorers and adventurers who set out to be the eyes of the Hudson’s Bay or North West fur-trading companies.

—Janice Fiamengo and Thomas Hodd, New Work on Early Canadian Literature.

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George Woodcock Centennial Celebration

October 23, 2012

Canadian Literature’s George Woodcock Centennial Celebration
George Woodcock edited the first issue of Canadian Literature in 1959, and it is with pleasure that UBC is celebrating the centennial of his birth in the presence of another of Canada’s literary icons, Margaret Atwood, Woodcock’s colleague and friend.

Canadian Literature’s George Woodcock Centennial Celebration will take place on November 22, 2012, just before Margaret Atwood’s contribution to the Terry Global Speakers Series (Terry Talks), a student-organized effort that the journal is helping to sponsor. During the Celebration you will have the opportunity to mingle with other invited guests in the Great Performers Lounge, listen to poetry readings and tributes to George Woodcock, and share food and drink at a reception attended by Margaret Atwood prior to her talk.

More details at startanevolution.ubc.ca/projects/canadian-literature

Tightrope Books’ Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012 (Final Day!)

October 11, 2012

Best Canadian Poetry 2012This is the last day of our four-day promotion for Tightrope Books’ The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012’s Vancouver launch, which is tonight at the Montmartre Cafe (7pm).

Canadian Literature’s Mike Borkent, Karen Correia Da Silva, and Matthew Gruman will be at the launch selling copies of our recent 21st-Century Poetics (#210-211, Autumn/Winter 2011) special double issue for $20 (regular price is $29.95 + HST and shipping). Say hi, pick up a great issue for a great price, and enjoy some of Canada’s best poetry!

Today’s Poets

Rhea Tregebov (note: Rhea is reading at the Vancouver launch)

Patricia Young

Changming Yuan

From the Long List

Kenneth Sherman

Eleonore Schonmaier

Elana Wolff

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