Author Spotlights

Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Author Spotlight – George Elliott Clarke

October 22, 2020

Photo Credit: Harvard University

The inaugural E. J. Pratt Poet/Professor, of Canadian Literature, at the University of Toronto, George Elliott Clarke hails from Black Nova Scotia (Africadia). He has served as Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17).

Article

“Imagining an Africa That Never Was: The Anti-Racist / Anti-Imperialist Fantasy of Charles R. Saunders’ Imaro and its Basis in the Africentric Occult—A Note”

Abstract

Despite the cautions of Frantz Fanon (and others), Afrocentrists have continued to mine the African past to find and assert proof of Black Genius and achievement to refute the Negrophobic propaganda of White Supremacy. African-Canadian Fantasy-genre novelist Charles R. Saunders follows an African-American precursor–Frank Yerby–in limning a pre-Transatlantic Slave Trade Africa that is magical–either in authorial imagination or in actual history.  While these approaches to writing Africa may instill greater pride and self-awareness in, presumably, black readers, both Saunders and Yerby also simply “blacken,” as it were, the racialist imaginings of white authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose strictures would have found support from Euro-American occult beliefs. In a sense, though striving to author a literature of Black Pride, both Saunders and Yerby integrate themselves with Euro-American occult fantasies. Yet, such may be the contradictory conceptualization of “Afrocentrism.”

 

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, is available to order through our online store.


Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Author Spotlight – Vivian Zenari

October 15, 2020

Vivian Zenari is the author of Biome, a recently completed collection of poetry about Alberta’s natural regions, from which her poem “Crowsnest Flow” is taken. Her novel Beth and Ralph’s Children is forthcoming from Inanna Publications. Zenari lives in Edmonton.

Her poem “Crowsnest Flow” can be read on our website at http://canlit.ca/article/crowsnest-flow/.

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, is available to order through our online store


Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror : Author Spotlight – Miasol Eguíbar-Holgado

October 8, 2020

Miasol Eguíbar-Holgado holds a degree in English Philology from the University of Oviedo, Spain. In 2011, she followed a Master’s Degree on American Literatures in Trinity College, Dublin and she was awarded her PhD in 2015 from the University of Oviedo, for which she received a pre-doctoral scholarship. She currently works as Assistant Lecturer in English in the same university. Her research focuses on Afro-Canadian literature and postcolonial speculative fiction.

Article

“Re-framing the diasporic Subject: The Supernatural and the Black Female Body in The Salt Roads

Abstract

This article proposes to analyse Nalo Hopkinson’s novel The Salt Roads (2003). It looks at how its intersections with gender, sexuality, and race adds new, unexplored dimensions to the spec-fic genre. More specifically, it examines how the use of the Afro-Caribbean supernatural and of the black female body in the novel, creates a redefinition of Afro-diasporic subjectivities. In many respects this novel departs from the Eurocentric concept of the diaspora and from received epistemologies in the understanding of culture and history. Instead, it creates an alternative set of routes, the salt roads, that relies on a female water spirit as unifying thread. A focus on the enslaved female black body and on relationships of solidarity among the main characters implies a subversion of the traditional heterosexual male roles that dominate works of speculative fiction. Moreover, it creates an imaginative space that redresses traditional, Western readings of Caribbean history and identity.

 

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, is available to order through our online store.


Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Author Spotlight – Lisa Arsenault

October 1, 2020

Lisa Arsenault’s first poetry manuscript, working title “The Terrorist: A Book of Love Poems” is complete and she is working towards publication. Music has heavily influenced the manuscript’s rhythm and tone: from Beethoven, Mozart, Black Sabbath’s first five albums, Garbage’s Version 2 album, Genesis, Eagles, Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Chris Cornell. She is writing a second manuscript, “Nail’er Assault,” an anagram of her name. Lisa Arsenault is from Timmins, Ontario, and has a B.A. in Psychology from York University.

Her poem “Forgotten Jasmine” can be read on our website at http://canlit.ca/article/forgotten-jasmine/.

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, is available to order through our online store.


Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Author Spotlight – Moritz Ingwersen

September 24, 2020

Moritz Ingwersen is Assistant Professor of North American Literature and Culture at the University of Konstanz, Germany. He holds a joint PhD in Cultural Studies and English from Trent University, Ontario and the University of Cologne. Building on a dissertation on intersections of science fiction and science studies, his research and teaching focus on speculative fiction, the posthumanities, ecological criticism, and North American Indigenous literatures. His publications include articles on J. G. Ballard, China Miéville, N. K. Jemisin, and Neal Stephenson.

Article

“Reclaiming Fossil Ghosts: Indigenous Resistance to Resource Extraction in Works by Warren Cariou, Cherie Dimaline, and Nathan Adler”

Abstract

Against the backdrop of recent Anthropocene critiques, this article offers a discussion of Indigenous resistance to resource extraction in Warren Cariou’s “An Athabasca Story” (2012), Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves (2017), and Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler’s Wrist (2016). Employing elements of gothic, horror, and science fiction, all three works invoke modes of human-geologic enmeshment to imagine Indigenous resistance to settler-colonial fossil fuel industries via the resurgence of fossils who refuse to be commodified. Building on the theoretical work of Kathryn Yusoff and others, I examine their mobilization of fossil metaphors as emancipatory expressions of a type of geologic subjectivity that generates a dislocation of Eurocentric demarcations between the human and the inhuman. Reclaiming fossils, I argue, implies a material-discursive dimension of decolonization that complements the physical repatriation of looted ancestral bones and Indigenous artifacts with the production of self-determined Indigenous narratives of geologic corporeality.

 

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, is available to order through our online store.


Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror : Author Spotlight – Rebecca Păpucaru

September 17, 2020

Rebecca Păpucaru’s short story “Yentas” won The Malahat Review‘s 2020 Novella Prize and will appear in the summer issue. Her short story, “Tropical Conversation” was shortlisted for the Penguin Random House Canada Student Award for Fiction. Her first book, The Panic Room, was awarded the 2018 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry and was also a finalist for the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry and longlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.

Her poem “Anti-depressant Pantoum” can be read on our website at http://canlit.ca/article/anti-depressant-pantoum/.

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, is available to order through our online store


Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Author Spotlight – Y-Dang Troeung

September 10, 2020

Y-Dang Troeung is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia. She specializes in transnational Asian literatures, Asian Canadian literature, critical refugee studies, and global south studies. Her work focuses on genealogies of colonialism, war, and militarism in the transpacific. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the afterlife of the Cold War in Cambodia. Her publications can be found in journals such as Modern Fiction Studies, Amerasia, ARIEL, MELUS, TOPIA, and Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.

Article

“’In this very uncertain space’:A Conversation with Omar El Akkad”

Abstract

As a journalist for The Globe and Mail for 10 years, El Akkad has reported on war and conflict from around the world, including the war in Afghanistan, the military trials at Guantanamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt, and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. In 2018, El Akkad’s debut novel, American War, was shortlisted for a number of prominent literary prizes, garnering public attention as a finalist on the CBC Canada Reads competition. In this conversation, we talk to El Akkad about his novel, journalism, literary influences, migrations, and political visions of the future. One recurring theme in the conversation is the relationship between violence and the production of uncertainty—the unpredictability movement and refuge for the displaced; the ambiguity and risks of racial representation; the secrecy of detention and redaction; and the uncertainties of the future in times of change and crisis.

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, is available to order through our online store.


Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Author Spotlight – Lauren Nerfa

September 3, 2020

Lauren Nerfa is a PhD student at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She focuses on cultural perceptions of and interactions with landscapes, community well-being, and ecological conservation in tropical forests. Born in British Columbia and raised in the Caribbean and central Canada, Lauren is at home in the temperate zone and the tropics. She draws inspiration for her poetry from the beauty of landscapes and philosophical traditions from around the world.

Her poem “Gift” can be read on our website at http://canlit.ca/article/gift/.

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, is available to order through our online store.


Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Author Spotlight – Larissa Lai

August 27, 2020

Larissa Lai is the author of six books, including the novels Salt Fish Girl and The Tiger Flu, and the monograph Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s. Recipient of the Lambda Literary Award, the Astraea Award, and the Tiptree Honor Book Award and finalist for the ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism and seven more, she lives on Treaty Seven Territory in southern Alberta, where she holds a Canada Research Chair in the Department of English at the University of Calgary and directs The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing.

Article

“Familiarizing Grist Village: Why I Write Speculative Fiction”

 

Abstract

Larissa Lai explains that she writes speculative fiction in order to embrace her own writerly agency. She takes up the practice of the thought experiment, first envisioned by Ursula LeGuin, as a way of narratively testing out ideas that could be practiced in the world as it is. Lai adds to this by recognizing that the world changes in multiple ways at once, and that we get new worlds and fresh futures not through a single change but through the concatenation of many, often driven by differing ideals. We can’t predict the results of ideals interacting, but we can learn to recognize beautiful, freeing or interesting things when they emerge. The marvel of speculative fiction is that it can show us how this might work, as for example in The Tiger Flu, Lai’s novel about a community of self-reproducing women and a disease that favours men.

 

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, is available to order through our online store.


Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror: Author Spotlight – Maureen Moynagh

August 20, 2020

Maureen Moynagh is Professor in the Department of English at St. Francis
Xavier University, in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. She teaches postcolonial literature and theory, and she has published in the areas of African and African Diaspora literatures, transnational feminist collaborations, anti-imperialist travel writing, and child-soldier narratives. She received the Joe Weixlmann prize of 2019 for a recent essay about Nalo Hopkinson’s speculative fiction, published in the African American Review.

Her editorial can be read on our website at link https://canlit.ca/article/introduction-decolonial-revisions-of-science-fiction-fantasy-and-horror/

Canadian Literature issue 240, Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.