Author Spotlights

Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings Author Spotlight – Hsiu-chuan Lee

October 14, 2019

Hsiu-chuan Lee is Professor in the Department of English at National Taiwan Normal University, where she teaches Asian American studies, American literature, psychoanalysis, and film theories. Her essays have appeared in Mosaic, Amerasia Journal, Ariel, Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, Chung-wai Literary Quarterly, and Review of English and American Literature. She co-edited with Cathy J. Schlund-Vials and Guy Beauregard The Subject(s) of Human Rights: Crises, Violations, and Asian/American Critique (Temple UP, 2019).

 

Article
“Writing, History, and Music in Do Not Say We Have Nothing: A Conversation with Madeleine Thien”

Abstract
This conversation focuses on, but is not limited to, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016). In the first section, Thien dwells on creative writing’s mediating role in historical representation; she also comments on her relationship with characters and readers. The second section discusses the inspiring role of music in the creation of the novel and probes the meaning of music, silence, and mathematics in politics and for individual characters. In the third section, Thien deliberates on the motif of “the Book of Records” and the implications of taking “compiling” and “copying” as creative forms. In the last section, Thien turns to her approach to June Fourth by linking it to the history of the Cultural Revolution. She also compares her writing with Ma Jian’s Beijing Coma and discusses writing as a way to connect generations.

Canadian Literature issue 238, Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings, is available to order through our online store.


Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings Author Spotlight – Eva Darias-Beautell

October 7, 2019

Eva Darias-Beautell is Professor of Canadian literature at the University of La Laguna. She has been Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Toronto, Ottawa, and British Columbia, and has published widely on contemporary Canadian literature in English. Her books include Shifting Sands: Literary Theory and Contemporary Canadian Fiction and Graphies and Grafts: (Con)Texts and (Inter)Texts in the Fictions of Four Canadian Women Writers, as well as the edited collections Unruly Penelopes and the Ghosts: Narratives of English Canada and The Urban Condition: Literary Trajectories Through Canada’s Postmetropolis. Darias-Beautell co-directs the fully-funded international research project Justice, Citizenship and Vulnerability, and leads the group TransCanadian Networks: Excellence and Transversality from Spain about Canada towards Europe.

Her editorial can be read on our website at canlit.ca/article/rescaling-canlit-global-readings.

Canadian Literature issue 238, Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality Author Spotlight – Dawn Macdonald

August 8, 2019

Dawn Macdonald is a re-emerging poet, returning to the craft after many years of working on unfinished novels and generally not completing projects. She holds a degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Western Ontario, and lives in Whitehorse, Yukon where she was raised off the grid.

Her poem “Compression” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/compression/.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality Author Spotlight – Julie Cairnie

August 1, 2019

Julie Cairnie is an Associate Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on connections between southern African and Canadian literatures and contexts; postcolonial sport, especially hockey and running; and Zimbabwean childhood narratives.

 

Article
“Truth and Reconciliation in Postcolonial Hockey Masculinities”

Abstract
Sport is one of the key recommendations in the TRC’s final report, and it is imperative that scholars of sport literature and culture take this seriously. Hockey, as Canada’s national sport, is a critical place to begin. It is assumed that hockey is unifying, but it is a “contact zone” (Pratt) where “players” present competing narratives about the meaning of hockey, “our game,” in a post-TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) Canada. Here I present a contact zone reading of two books about hockey: Stephen Harper’s A Great Game (2013) and Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse (2012). The books were published a year apart and each one has national significance: Harper’s history was published when he was the sitting Prime Minister, and Wagamese’s novel was a strong contender in CBC’s “Canada Reads” in 2013. Harper presents a neat progress narrative (from amateur to professional hockey), while Wagamese refuses the conventional narrative of hockey development and progress, and tracks the movement away from professional to community-based hockey. In Indian Horse both hockey and masculinities undergo a process of truth and reconciliation, and hockey is provided a far more nuanced narrative than Harper’s text allows.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality Author Spotlight – George Elliott Clarke

July 25, 2019

Photo credit to Harvard University, 2014

George Elliott Clarke has published eighteen poetry “projects” since 1983—including verse-plays, opera libretti, poem-novels, narrative lyric suites, and also general collections. He’s won praise and prizes and has seen books translated into Chinese, Italian, and Romanian. The 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-2015) and 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2016 & 2017), his current project is a 3-part epic, Canticles, of which Canticles I has already appeared (2 vols., 2016 & 2017). Canticles II is due out—in 2 vols.—in 2019 and 2020.

His poem “Samson II” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/samson-ii/.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality Author Spotlight – James Hahn

July 18, 2019

James Hahn is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Toronto who specializes in the Canadian documentary long poem. His research focuses on the ethical dimensions of the genre’s engagement with historical figures and events.

 

Article
“‘It should never have occurred’: Documentary Appropriation, Resistant Reading, and the Ethical Ambivalence of McAlmon’s Chinese Opera

Abstract
This essay explores the ethical dimensions of documentary appropriation by staging a “resistant reading” of Stephen Scobie’s McAlmon’s Chinese Opera (1980). By dwelling on Robert McAlmon’s documented aversion to seeing his controversial marriage transformed into literature, Scobie’s long poem effectively commits the very transgression it thematizes while also encouraging the reader to further scrutinize McAlmon’s private life. Yet Opera’s proliferation of transgressions is inextricably linked to its efforts to rescue McAlmon from historical obscurity, and to pay homage to the values inherent in his own writings. With this in mind, Opera serves as a compelling example of the ethical ambivalence often at play in the documentary long poem’s engagement with historical figures and events.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality Author Spotlight – Michael Penny

July 11, 2019

Michael Penny was born in Australia, but has lived his adult life in Canada. He has worked as a lawyer and consultant and been active as a volunteer board member for numerous arts and literary organizations. He has published five books, and now lives on Bowen Island.

His poem “Automobilia” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/automobilia/.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality Author Spotlight – Jane Boyes

July 4, 2019

Jane Boyes is a PhD candidate in English at Dalhousie University, where she specializes in contemporary experimental literature, with emphasis on digital techniques, Canadian contexts, and marginalized perspectives.

 

Article
“Non-Recognition in the Colonial Archive: Rachel Zolf’s Janey’s Arcadia: Errant Adˆent$res in Ultima Thule

Abstract
In her 2014 poetry collection Janey’s Arcadia: Errant Ad^ent$res in Ultima Thule, Rachel Zolf thinks through the role of the archive in legitimizing colonial aims by playing with the source material of the archive itself. Zolf takes as a basis for her poems texts from the settler Canadian archive and feeds them through Optical Character Recognition software, which transforms scanned images of print texts into “malleable language” (Janey’s Arcadia 117). This study situates Zolf’s text in relation to archive theory and Canadian feminist innovative poetics, before moving on to argue that the OCR glitch in Janey’s Arcadia exposes, stirs up, and disrupts the workings of power in the archive, whereby the mis- and non-recognition of Indigenous and other racialized groups is mobilized to support the capitalist and colonialist aims of settler Canada.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality Author Spotlight – Sabyasachi Nag

June 27, 2019

Sabyasachi Nag is the author of two books of poetry: Bloodlines (Writers Workshop, 2006) and Could You Please, Please Stop Singing (Mosaic Press, 2015). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in several anthologies and publications including, The Antigonish Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Crosswinds, Grain, Emerge, Perihelion, R.kv.r.y Quarterly, The Squaw Valley Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, Void, and the VLQ. Native of Calcutta, West Bengal, Sachi lives in Mississauga, Ontario with his wife and son. He is a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and a graduate of the Writer’s Studio at Simon Frazer University. He works in Human Resources and Education.

His poem “Maria After the Concert” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/maria-after-the-concert/.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality Author Spotlight – Alec Follett

June 20, 2019

Alec Follett is a white settler PhD candidate in literary studies at the University of Guelph who writes about Indigenous and Canadian environmental justice literature. He serves as co-editor of The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada and works with various community organizations that promote local literary culture and environmental knowledge.

 

Article
“‘A life of dignity, joy and good relation’: Water, Knowledge, and Environmental Justice in Rita Wong’s undercurrent

Abstract
Environmental activism often centres Western knowledge to the detriment of Indigenous peoples’ efforts to define and enact environmental justice on their own terms. In undercurrent, Rita Wong’s poetry centres Indigenous knowledge and approaches to water, while maintaining that non-Indigenous knowledges may be deployed strategically in support of Indigenous peoples’ fights for justice.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.