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Cover of issue #222

Current Issue: #222 Recursive Time (Autumn 2014)

Canadian Literature's Issue 222 (Autumn 2014), Recursive Time, is now available. The issue features articles by Hannah McGregor, Aleksandra Bida, Anne Quéma, Nicholas Milne, Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten, and Eric Schmaltz, as well as new Canadian poetry and book reviews.

New guide, Producing and Evaluating Canadian Texts, on CanLit Guides

September 16, 2014

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The latest open access classroom guide is now live on CanLit Guides. Producing and Evaluating Canadian Texts features chapters on Paratexts and Literary Value, CBC’s Canada Reads, and Graphic Fiction— delving into the myriad ways texts are produced and evaluated in Canada.

The guide covers topics such as literary value, awards, celebrity, cultural nationalism, and much more.

CanLit Guides is a flexible learning resource, developed by Canadian Literature, that introduces students to academic reading and writing. The guides use articles from Canadian Literature’s online archive, helping students navigate scholarly conversations surrounding literature in Canada.

Website update

August 26, 2014

We are currently experiencing server issues on canlit.ca, and some of our web content is not functional at the moment. We’re working hard to get everything back up and running.

Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience. We will post another update once everything is back to normal.

CanLit Guides Video Tutorial

July 8, 2014

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Did you know that CanLit Guides, the online educational resource created by Canadian Literature, can be customized? CanLit Guides features a series of published literature guides on topics such as Nationalism, Gender and Sexuality, and Indigenous Literatures. Literature instructors can use the guides to structure lessons, as assigned course readings, or to foster class discussion.

You can remix (rearrange) the chapter order of any published guide or build your own guide using published chapters.We’ve just created a new video tutorial on how to customize CanLit Guides. Check it out over on YouTube!

New Issue: Contested Migrations #219 (Winter 2013)

June 23, 2014

Cover of issue 219 Canadian Literature’s Issue 219 (Winter 2013), Contested Migrations, is now available to order. The issue is led by Acting Editor Laura Moss’ timely editorial, Sustaining the Humanities, which uses an ecological model to work through major issues facing the humanities in higher education:

What if, instead of thinking of the humanities as in a state of crisis as we so often do, we think of the humanities as an ecosystem that is failing to thrive? How do we sustain the humanities as part of a system of diverse communities both within universities and in the public arena? In the face of the resource undernourishment, how can we prosper? How do we promote biodiversity (or a rich variety of communal life, research, and teaching in all its forms and combinations)? How do we protect educational habitats that are endangered by the damaging effects of human populations (be they administrators or voters)? Finally, how can we productively change the climate of graduate training in humanities faculties to create an ecology more conducive to intellectual growth, healthy life, and the maintenance of productive ground for future generations? How green and forward thinking could UBC actually be if the institution, alongside others in Canada, opted to work more equitably?

—Laura Moss, Sustaining the Humanities

Issue 219 also features articles by Vinh Nguyen, Mariam Pirbhai, Rachel Bower, Maude Lapierre, J. I. Little, and David Williams. As always, we bring you new Canadian poetry—from Weyman Chan, David Eso, Armand Garnet Ruffo, Derek Webster, Julie Paul, and Stephen Matthew Brown—and book reviews.

Head over to our online store to order a copy of this great issue!

Anne Carson wins 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize

June 11, 2014

Cover of issue #176 Anne Carson is the Canadian recipient of the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize for her work Red Doc>. Along with Brenda Hillman, the International winner, Carson was awarded $65,000.

Carson’s work has been discussed frequently in the pages of Canadian Literature, including a special issue dedicated to her work in Spring 2003. We have also published three of her poems. Have a look through our archives to discover more about Anne Carson:



Book Reviews


2013 Canadian Literature Best Essay Prize Winner

May 28, 2014

Canadian Literature is proud to announce the winner of the 2013 Best Essay Prize.

The winner of the Best Essay Prize goes to Thinking Together: A Forum on Jo-Ann Episkenew’s Taking Back Our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy and Healing by Deanna Reder, Susan Gingell, Allison Hargreaves, Daniel Heath Justice, Kristina Bidwell, and Jo-Ann Episkenew. (#214, Autumn 2012)

Jury Citation: According to one jurist, Thinking Together: A Forum is hands down the most productive and stimulating work. Together the jury argued that the forum does a wonderful job of introducing new topics for consideration as well as troubling the very medium of academic discourse. The forum represents multiple engagements with a chosen book; the format is designed to bring this work into conversation with other scholars of different generations working in related areas. The power of this piece lays not only in its attention to the complexities of Indigenous literature and its affective powers, but also in its polyvocal considerations of the transformative potential of literature and its limits. Awarding the prize to an entire forum is unorthodox but the argument about community discourse in the forum justifies the decision.

Honourable Mention goes to Germaine Warkentin for The Age of Frye: Dissecting the Anatomy of Criticism, 1957–1966. (#214, Autumn 2012)

Jury Citation: This article provides an insightful assessment of the early criticism and reception of Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism. In this elegantly styled paper that captures the tone and attitudes of the intellectual elite, Germaine Warkentin also offers a portal through which to view the period, not simply a re-evaluation of Frye’s accomplishment. It is essential reading for those learning about the history of literary criticism in (and outside of) Canada.

Honourable Mention also goes to I. S. MacLaren for Paul Kane’s Wanderings of an Artist and the Rise of Transcontinental Canadian Nationalism. (#213, Summer 2012)

Jury Citation: Through meticulous, immensely detailed historical scholarship, I. S. MacLaren peels back the contemporary designation of Paul Kane as a founding father of Canadian art to reveal an Irish-born, apolitical artist with American connections rather than the customary portrait of a mid-Victorian gentleman who is the symbol of Canadian nationalism. The article demands a new understanding of Kane and the nationalism that created his misrepresentation in Canadian history.

The editor would like to offer profound thanks to the shortlist jury of David Staines, Linda Morra, and Victoria Kuttainen and to the longlist jury of Ian Rae, Patricia Merivale, Cecily Devereux, Jon Kertzer, and David Williams.

Canadian Literature 2013 Best Essay Prize Shortlist Announced

May 14, 2014

Canadian Literature is excited to announce the shortlist for the 2013 Canadian Literature Best Essay Prize. The following five articles have been nominated:

  • Richard Brock, Body/Landscape/Art: Ekphrasis and the North in Jane Urquhart’s The Underpainter (#212, Spring 2012)
  • Ana María Fraile-Marcos, Urban Heterotopias and Racialization in Kim Barry Brunhuber’s Kameleon Man (#214, Autumn 2012)
  • Deanna Reder, Susan Gingell, Allison Hargreaves, Daniel Heath Justice, Kristina Bidwell, and Jo-Ann Episkenew, Thinking Together: A Forum on Jo-Ann Episkenew’s Taking Back Our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy and Healing (#214, Autumn 2012)
  • Germaine Warkentin, The Age of Frye: Dissecting the Anatomy of Criticism, 1957–1966 (#214, Autumn 2012)
  • I. S. MacLaren, Paul Kane’s Wanderings of an Artist and the Rise of Transcontinental Nationalism (#213, Summer 2012)

The winner will be announced at the ACQL reception on May 24th at Brock University in the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Centre, Room 200, from 6 to 7 pm.

Sherrill and John Grace, O.C.

May 8, 2014

Sherrill Garce

This month, UBC English professor and frequent Canadian Literature contributor Sherrill Grace was named an officer of the Order of Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa. Dr. Grace was honoured alongside her husband John Grace, a UBC professor of chemical engineering and a longtime supporter of Canadian Literature.

You can watch the ceremony on the CBC website. Drs. John and Sherrill Grace start appearing at 55:09 in the video.

For more on Sherrill Grace, we have collected her extensive contribuitions to Canadian Literature from our archives.

Farley Mowat, 1921–2014

May 7, 2014

Popular Canadian writer and environmental activist Farley Mowat has died at age 92. Mowat wrote dozens of books and recived many honours, including the Governor General’s Award in 1956 for his children’s book Lost in the Barrens. Although Mowat’s work was beloved by many, it was controversial as well, with experts questioning his portrayal of the Arctic and Inuit peoples. In Canadian Literature 206 (Autumn 2010), Katja Lee wrote about the controversy surrounding Mowat’s 1963 book Never Cry Wolf (order issue #206 to read the article).

Canadian Literature has been reviewing Mowat’s work since 1960—the following is a list of book reviews from our archives:

Book Reviews of Farley Mowat’s Works

Bud Osborn Remembered

May 6, 2014

Vancouver poet and activist for social justice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood Bud Osborn died on May 6. In his Canadian Literature review of Osborn’s books Hundred Block Road and Keys to Kingdoms, Adam Beardworth notes that Osborn’s work offers piercing observations of society’s marginalized people and the social factors that sustain their dispossession.

Uniting activism and poetry, Osborn memorably wrote:

to raise shit is to actively resist
and we resist with our presence
with our words
with our love
with our courage

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