September 16, 2022
We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature Issue 248! This is a special issue, as it ushers in our new design updates!
Christine Kim writes in her editorial:
The five articles in this issue pose intriguing questions about archives, storytelling, ways of knowing, language, and metaphor as they examine Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen, David Chariandy’s Soucouyant, Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang, Jordan Scott’s poetry, and Don McKay’s The Book of Moonlight. As a general issue, there was no set of questions for these articles to respond to, and consequently no expectation that there would be a shared focus. The range of scholarship is demonstrated through the subjects, texts, critical approaches, genres, and themes with which the authors engage. And yet, there are still many rich overlaps and shared lines of inquiry that run through these articles—shared lines that are suggestive for reflecting on the field of Canadian literary studies and its connections to other scholarly fields. Reading these articles together reveals how scholars are thinking alongside each other (although not necessarily with each other) about shared interests that span transnational sites, genres, and critical approaches. It also offers a way of conceptualizing the field of Canadian literary studies at this moment.
Focusing on moments of critical coherence is a very different method for approaching the field than most of us have been trained to perform. Such a method compels us to question how we are to define the field of Canadian literature and, moreover, what constitutes the position of the Canadianist. Such an endeavour returns us to questions about how we are to understand the relationship between what we teach in the classroom, the material we research and produce scholarly writing about, our critical approaches (which often extend beyond national borders), and how we define the field of Canadian literary studies itself. Other issues include how we perceive our scholarly and pedagogical interests as being in dialogue with or different from other scholars (contemporary or otherwise) in the field.
—Christine Kim, Reconceptualizing Canadian Generalists
This issue also features:
- Articles by Melanie Braith, Walter Rafael Villanueva, Eric Schmaltz, Joon Ho Hwang, and Kevin Tunnicliffe
- Poetry by Chimwemwe Undi, Dave Margoshes, Owen Torrey, Sarain Frank Soonias, Amanda Fayant, and Sadie McCarney
- A forum on “Morder Then and Now: Richler the Quebec Writer” by Andre Furlani, Linda Morra, Adam Gopnik, Emma Richler, Lori Saint-Martin (find the English translation here), Judith Woodsworth, and Jason Camlot,
- Verse Forward poetry by Lillian Allen, Junie Désil, and Fiona Tinwei Lam
- Reviews by Jean Barman, Bidaye Prasad, Cornel Bogle, Ruth Bradley-St-Cyr, Stephanie Butler, Irene Gammel and Jaclyn Marcus, Robert G. May, and Heather Olaveson
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!
July 8, 2022
We are pleased to share that our past Editor-in-Chief Eva-Marie Kröller was appointed to the Order of Canada in June 2022. She is recognized for her contributions to Canadian literature and her achievements as an educator. She holds the position of Professor Emerita at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC).
Kröller came to the journal in 1995 and worked to recruit an editorial board of distinguished scholars from Canada and abroad and formalized the peer review process used by the previous editors. In order to introduce a diversity of opinions and expertise to the journal, she began a tradition of having guest editors plan and supervise special issues, such as the Contemporary Poetics issue (guest edited by Associate Editor Iain Higgins in 1997) and Gabrielle Helms’ and Susanna Egan’s 2002 Auto/biography issue. Her commitment to representing Canada’s francophone
writers led Kröller to appoint Alain-Michel Rocheleau as Associate Editor of francophone writing. Gradually French-language content increased, and the efforts of Associate Editor Réjean Beaudoin, who became the Associate Editor (Francophone) in 2003, have produced the notable special issues Littérature francophone hors-Québec / Francophone Writing Outside Quebec (2005) and Gabrielle Roy Contemporaine / The Contemporary Gabrielle Roy (2007). Kröller was also responsible for the journal’s transition to electronic publishing, and under her direction the upcoming book reviews were added to Canadian Literature’s website. Kröller edited 32 issues and held the position of Editor-in-Chief until 2003. She won the Council of Editors of Learned Journals’ Distinguished Editor award in 2004, becoming the first Canadian to receive the honour. She became a fellow of the Royal Society in 2006.
Her contributions to Canadian Literature are listed under her author page here.
Many congratulations Eva-Marie!
May 13, 2022
We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature Issue 247!
Christine Kim writes in her editorial:
How might we begin imagining a utopia from our present moment of overwhelming challenges? The first essay in this issue of Canadian Literature, Pamela Bedore’s “The Aesthetics of Utopian Imaginings in Louise Penny’s A Trick of the Light,” opens with this provocative question. In addition to the pandemic, she lists climate change and deep inequality as concerns that have preoccupied the first decades of the twenty-first century. How then can we conceive of a future that is utopic for all, given that we are living in times that seem to hold “a contempt for joy that makes utopia seem not only impossible but perhaps also undesirable” (Bedore)? Imagining a utopia, one that is collectively desired, is a project that seems out of sync with the prevailing pandemic atmosphere of isolation, uncertainty, and division. Indeed, as many people have commented in casual conversation, these are times that feel like they have come out of the pages of dystopian or even speculative fiction. Not only do such fleeting insights respond to the bleakness of the past few years, but they also draw attention to the seemingly shifting relations between fact and fiction as our realities become more surreal and our memories fuzzier.
—Christine Kim, Imagining Endemic Times
This issue also features:
- Articles by Pamela Bedore, Erin Goheen Glanville, Evangeline Holtz-Schramek, Toyah Webb, and Carl Watts
- Poetry by Elana Wolff, Paddy McCallum, George Elliott Clarke, Tolu Oloruntoba, Brian Bartlett, and Susan Ioannou
- Reviews by Ruth Bradley-St-Cyr, Emily Ballantyne, Gregory Betts, Melissa Dalgleish, Faye Hammill, Shannon Lodoen, Andrew McEwan, Linda Morra, June Scudeler, and Conrad Scott
- A forum on Canisia Lubrin’s poetry by Nicholas Bradley, Cornel Bogle, Tavleen Purewal, Kyle Kinaschuk, Manahil Bandukwala, Rina Garcia Chua, Shane Neilson, and Veronica Austen
- Q&A with Canisia Lubrin.
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!
April 7, 2022
Activist. Decolonialist. Experimental Poetics.
Verse Forward: Poetry on the Front Lines is a Canadian Literaturepoetry reading series featuring diverse poets speaking to the urgent themes of home, race, identity, and the environment we live in.
We are excited to present award-winning poets Junie Désil, Fiona Lam, and Lillian Allen in the third iteration of Verse Forward, emceed by author Phinder Dulai.
We’ll begin the evening in conversation with the poets, followed by readings, including new work, and an audience Q & A.
The event will be hosted on Zoom. Details will be sent out prior to the event.
Junie Désil is a poet. Born of immigrant (Haitian) parents on the Traditional Territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka in the island known as Tiohtià:ke (Montréal), raised in Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg). Junie’s debut poetry collection Eat Salt | Gaze at the Ocean (TalonBooks, 2020) was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.
Fiona Lam is Vancouver’s 6th Poet Laureate. Her poems are featured in Best Canadian Poetry, in the League of Canadian Poets’ Poem in Your Pocket program, and thrice with BC’s Poetry in Transit. Lam won The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Prize and was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Odes and Laments (Caitlin Press, 2019) is her third collection of poetry.
Lillian Allen is a professor of creative writing at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). Her most recent poetry collection is Making the World New (Wilfrid UP, 2021). Multi-disciplinary and experimental, Allen’s creativity crosses many genres including radio, theatre, music and film; as writer, featured artist and producer/director and national radio show host.
To learn more about the history of CanLit’s Verse Forward, please visit: https://canlit.ca/article/verse-forward-a-canadian-literature-poetry-reading-series/.
To see past readings, visit: https://canlit.ca/resources/events/verse-forward-poetry-on-the-front-lines/.
March 18, 2022
Canadian Literature‘s CFP for Poetics and Extraction is out now! As a prelude to the issue, our guest editors Melanie Dennis Unrau and Max Karpinski are participating in a forum on “Poetics, Energy, and Extraction.”
Date: Monday, March 21, 2022
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm CDT
Registration: email umih (at) umanitoba.ca for more details!
Hosted by Warren Cariou (U of Manitoba), Melanie Dennis Unrau (U of Manitoba), and Max Karpinski (U of Alberta), with presenters Kazim Ali, Madhur Anand, Lesley Battler, Warren Cariou, Cecily Nicholson, and Douglas Walbourne-Gough.
February 15, 2022
We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 246, Refugee Worldmaking: Canada and the Afterlives of the Vietnam War. Guest Editor Y-Dang Troeung writes in her editorial:
To what extent do the unresolved inheritances of past wars and conflicts become legible only insofar as they offer “lessons” for the contemporary moment? And to what degree is it even possible to cite Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos as a meaningful lesson or cautionary tale for the present when we have yet to adequately look at the example itself, on its own terms? Such rationales also rely upon liberal positivist assumptions of Enlightenment progress, which as critical theorist Alexander Weheliye argues, presuppose “that suffering must always follow the path of wounded attachments in search of recognition from the liberal state” (14). This “liberal notion of wounding” (14) confers legitimacy onto the site of injury only insofar as it illuminates a larger structural pattern. The “exampling” or “lessonification” of suffering also temporally demarcates the event of wars abroad as something that is over and done with, rather than something that is structurally endemic to the enduring imperial conquests of US empire.
– Y-Dang Troeung, “On Refugee Worldmaking“
This issue also features:
- Articles by Wesley Attewell and Danielle Wong, Timothy August, Jason Coe, Lindsay Diehl, and erin Khuê Ninh
- A Forum on “Remembering Cambodian Border Camps, 40 Years Later” by Y-Dang Troeung, Rithy Panh, Colin Grafton, Phala Chea, Rotha Mok, and FONKi Yav
- A Forum on “Worlds Lost and Found: On the Poetics of Hoa Nguyen” by Y-Dang Troeung, Bronwen Tate, Claire Farley, Fred Wah, Joseph Ianni, Kim Jacobs-Beck, Michael Cavuto, Paul Tran, Stephen Collis, and Sydney Van To
- Reviews by Keva X. Bui, Lina Chhun, Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi, Marianne Hirsch, and Van Anh Tran
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!
February 10, 2022
Past editor, Laura Moss, will be giving the prestigious annual David and Brenda McLean lecture at Green College Coach House, “Climate Warnings: The Power of Canadian Environmental Art, Literature, and Creative Activism.” The event will also be live streamed March 2, at 7:30 pm PST.
In this year’s McLean Lectures, Laura Moss will concentrate on creative responses to the global environmental emergency in Canadian art and letters.As the climate crisis continues, many artists and writers have raised their voices for awareness, change, and justice. Professor Moss will trace imagined representations of the wounded environment from historical context to the present in order to question the power and the limits of turning to art in a time of crisis. She will focus on works that draw on physical materials from the land and water themselves as they write back to the changing environment. From examining photographs created out of Alberta bitumen to sculptures constructed out of plastic salvaged from the Pacific Ocean to poetry that imagines the consequences of deforestation on West Coast ecosystems, the series will explore the efficacy of art and activism.This year’s series will be comprised of two evening events. On March 2, Professor Moss will present a public lecture and on March 17 she will be joined by several of the creators whose work she features in the lecture to discuss the relationship between art and activism, the climate emergency, and the limits of art in driving change.
The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with Laura Moss, Warren Cariou, Stephen Collins, and Rita Wong on Art Activism, and Climate Justice, March 17, at 7:30 pm PST.
To find out more, please see the event poster: Laura Moss McLean Lectures
followed by a panel discussion
January 14, 2022
Canada Reads has announced their longlist! As always, it’s an excellent collation of CanLit content.
Find out more about the selections on the CBC page.
December 22, 2021
What is the continued role of feminist theory and feminist analysis in literary studies today in these lands claimed by Canada? How and why is feminist analysis still relevant to our work? We seek contributions for a special issue of Canadian Literature on feminist critique and/in Canada today.
In the 1980s and 1990s, feminist theory transformed many aspects of literary scholarship in Canada and beyond. The introduction of French feminist theory, postcolonial theory, and critical race theory gave us new tools to think about identity in relation to language. The bilingual feminist journal Tessera became a vital venue of feminist experimentation and theorizing in Canada. Women’s Press and Press Gang became important venues for feminist publishing. Texts like This Bridge Called My Back and Lee Maracle’s I Am Woman offered vital and engaged sites of intersectional feminist thinking and creation. Filmmakers like Deepa Mehta and Patricia Rozema began to explore filmmaking from a feminist perspective, and women’s and gender studies became established as a discipline.
In recent years, feminist analysis and feminist critique have taken on new urgencies in the wake of scandals like #ubcaccountable and #metoo, and in response to the rise of popular anti-feminist and transphobic celebrities and the rise of misogynistic rhetoric on social media. Movements like #Blacklivesmatter and #idlenomore have raised renewed and urgent questions for feminism. The COVID-19 pandemic has created crises around affective labour and service work that have returned attention to questions of class, gender, immigration status, precarity, mental health, and age. These events act as powerful reminders that feminism is still vital and necessary and that we must continue to find ways to advance a feminism that is intersectional, anti-racist, decolonial, and affirming of LGBTQ2S lives.
However, many of us tend to not centre feminism as a methodology in our work. As an entry point to feminism in the introduction to the recent volume In Good Relation, Sarah Nickel points to “a general anxiety around the term itself” among Indigenous feminists and “a desire to explain” how they arrive as feminists (2). Amidst contextual complexities, many scholars adopt what Rosi Braidotti calls a “nomadic feminism,” which she describes as
an opening outwards of the process of redefining female subjectivity . . . that calls for a broadening of the traditional feminist political agenda to include, as well as the issue of women’s social rights, a larger spectrum of options which range from cultural concerns related to writing and creativity, to issues which at first sight seem to have nothing to do specifically with women. (83)
However, as Chandra Talpade Mohanty reminds us, “imperialism, militarization, and globalization all traffic in women’s bodies, women’s labor, and ideologies of masculinity/femininity, hetero-normativity, racism, and nationalism to consolidate and reproduce power and domination” (9). Given these perspectives, we are interested in exploring the continued resonance and urgency of feminist thinking in the twenty-first century.
We invite contributors to respond to one or more of the following questions through an engagement with fiction, poetry, oral traditions, film, music, graphic novels, performance, and/or visual arts in lands claimed by Canada. Contributions might think through diverse feminist theoretical frameworks, including but not limited to, affect, critical race, dis/ability, decolonial, ecological, Indigenous, Marxist, new materialist, post-anthropocentric, postcolonial, posthumanist, psychoanalytic, and queer/trans theory.
- What dialogues are taking place among feminists of different generations? What intergenerational dialogues need to take place? What can we learn from previous generations of feminists? Conversely, what can we learn from younger generations?
- How might it be useful to think about your work in relation to feminism, even if you have not previously identified your work through feminist concerns? What kinds of trouble and/or alliances might be made by pairing your work with feminism?
- What forms of cultural production and activism are occurring at the nexus of trans and/or 2S/queer and feminist studies? What kinds of relations exist? What can trans and/or 2S/queer theory and feminist theory learn from each other?
- How is feminism imagining ways out of racialized and gendered violence or articulating forms of resilience and resistance? What does anti-racist feminism look like in twenty-first-century Canada?
- How do we envision decolonial feminisms? What are the implications of applying a feminist analysis to questions of Indigenous sovereignty? How do Indigenous knowledge systems and community wisdoms step into relation with feminisms? How might feminisms and Indigenous sex and gender systems co-conspire?
- What are the gendered effects of pandemics (COVID-19 or otherwise), specifically with regard to affective labour and care work? How do economics, class, labour, and dis/ability inflect this question?
- How have neoliberal discourses co-opted and adopted feminism? How has feminism resisted, or capitulated, to neoliberalism?
- How does feminism manifest in, through, with, and beyond the body?
- How does feminism help us to understand ecological relations, kinships, and/or trans-species solidarities?
- How are experimental forms or particular generic concerns shaped/catalyzed/exploded in relation to feminism?
- What is the relationship between feminist activism and cultural production?
How does literary work bring us to think through, about, or with these clustered concerns? How have writers and other cultural workers responded to these questions in their literary and artistic practice? We encourage contributions from emerging, diversely positioned, and established scholars. We welcome standard academic essays as well as submissions that take on unconventional or creative forms.
All submissions to Canadian Literature must be original, unpublished work. Essays should follow current MLA bibliographic format (MLA Handbook, 9th ed.). Word length for articles is 6,500-8,000 words, which includes endnotes and works cited.
Please feel free to contact the journal editor, Christine Kim, at email@example.com, or the special issue guest editors, Aubrey Hanson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Heather Milne (email@example.com), to discuss ideas ahead of time. Submissions should be uploaded to OJS by the deadline of 31 August 2022. Our Submission Guidelines can be found at canlit.ca/submissions. General questions about the special issue may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please limit images accompanying the submission to those receiving substantial attention in the article. Note that contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce images in their article, and must pay any permission costs. The editors can provide a sample template for permission requests and permissions must be cleared before publication. Please send low resolution images (small jpegs), in separate attachments. If the article is accepted, high quality images will be required.
Braidotti, Rosi. Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming. Polity, 2002.
Mohanty, Chandra Talpade, “US Empire and the Project of Women’s Studies: Stories of Citizenship, Complicity and Dissent.” Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, vol. 13, no. 1, Feb. 2006, pp. 7-20.
Nickel, Sarah. Introduction. In Good Relation: History, Gender, and Kinship in Indigenous Feminisms, edited by Nickel and Amanda Fehr, U of Manitoba P, 2020, pp. 1-19.
December 3, 2021
In memory of Ronald Hatch, we’ve collected tributes from past Canadian Literature editors. Ron will be missed around the office, often swinging by to chat and catch up on the latest in canlit.
Ron was a frequent friendly visitor to Canadian Literature and it was always great to visit with him. Ronsdale Press connected him closely to the world of BC publishing, so he was an unmatched source of news from that front. –Margery Fee
Ron taught—inside and outside the classroom—with an impassioned respect for the interdependence of the mystery of the forest and the mystery of words gathering into literature. His unfailing commitment to this intimate correspondence made him for me an inspiration and the ultimate definition of integrity. –Laurence Ricou
Hatch was a gentle bear of a man—whose strong beliefs never stopped him from engaging with others. An enthusiastic publisher, especially of BC writers, he was also a friend, always ready to help, advise, and appreciate a moment of relaxed laughter. I loved publishing with Ronsdale Press (three books for children, a long essay on irony, and an anthology of comments on Canadian writing by many of the most articulate writers of the last century) because Ron was such a fine editor—scrupulous with text and sensitive to the demands of each project, always keeping the readership in mind. The anthology, From a Speaking Place, which I edited along with Réjean Beaudoin, Susan Fisher, Iain Higgins, Eva-Marie Kröller, and Laurie Ricou, collects essays and reviews from Canadian Literature. I admired Ron’s independence, appreciated his patience, and was stirred by his commitment to the world in which we live. What a remarkable contribution he made to life, letters, and thought in British Columbia. He is already much missed. –William H. New
We’d also like to invite you to read “A Life of Letters and Mountains,” by Ronald’s grandson Forrest Berman-Hatch.