March 12, 2020
Canadian Literature is thrilled to report that we have just sent packages of 2-3 back issues of our journal to over 300 secondary school libraries across Canada! We are pleased to announce the launch of a new project that we have called “The Canadian Literature High School Initiative,” and we’re excited to share with you what the project is all about.
A teacher at a local Vancouver school recently reached out to ask us if we had any spare issues of the journal that she could show to her grade 12 AP students. She wanted them to connect with a physical copy of the academic journal and to hold literary scholarship in their hands. Recognizing that it was better to have back issues of the journal in her students’ hands than on our storage shelves, we were totally happy to share. Her request stayed with us. It made us realize that exploring the contents of the journal and its print culture material might be of interest to other students and educators as well. So, we started a project—The Canadian Literature High School Initiative—of circulating copies of our journal to a range of libraries at secondary schools in all provinces and territories, compliments of Canadian Literature.
We wanted to show what it is that we do at UBC in the Faculty of Arts and we hope through this initiative to help build connections between high school and university scholarship. In each package, we included a special issue on the work of Thomas King because it is still our most popular (and most often consulted) issue and we know that Medicine River, The Inconvenient Indian, and Green Grass, Running Water are often taught.
While we were at it, we let people know about the free open-access web resource we’ve created—the CanLit Guides. We have worked for the past decade to develop this teaching resource that brings research published in the journal into university classrooms. We think it could be of great value to senior high school classes as well (grade 12, AP, and IB English and Social Studies classes particularly). As a reminder: the CanLit Guides contain textbook-style modular chapters and educational activities that we designed to supplement both classroom learning and private study. There are chapters on individual writers and on specific novels, poems, and plays, as well as chapters on Canadian history, literary theory, and culture. There are also some chapters on literary skills like close reading and poetry analysis. Visit canlitguides.ca to explore this free resource.
We hope that teachers and students across Canada enjoy the print copies of the journal. We really hope they can become valuable resources for high schools. Although we shipped to 300+ schools, we know that there are many that we missed. Please help spread the word! If secondary school librarians contact us (and we have the capacity), we can still send some more back issues out.
Ps. Special Subscription Offer: As part of our Canadian Literature High School Initiative, we are offering secondary schools a special Institutional Subscription Rate for four print copies this year: issues 240-243 for $130 (with GST=$136.50) (instead of the regular institutional rate of $245). This offer is available until June 15, 2020. Please visit canlit.ca/support/purchase/subscriptions.
February 5, 2020
We are pleased to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 239, The 60th Anniversary Issue. Laura Moss writes in her editorial:
Sixty years is a long time for any one thing to exist so we decided to pause, take stock, and honour this milestone. We took advantage of the fact that UBC was hosting the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences under the theme of “Circles of Conversation” in June 2019 and decided to host a few conversations of our own: an academic one on the state of the field; a creative one to share the work of some fine poets who have published in the journal; and a social one to toast the journal, its contributors, and its creators. . . . Over the course of decades, the journal has published thousands of articles, book reviews, and original poems in 239 issues. That’s thousands of voices coming together—sometimes in harmony and sometimes in dissonance—to engage in/with creative and critical writing in Canada and beyond. This issue serves as an example of the continued commitment to thinking critically about the place we stand. The articles take on the environmental crises in Alberta, care relations in Ontario, masculinity in Manitoba, Jewish Canadian writing, and decolonization in British Columbia.
—Laura Moss, “A Diamond Anniversary”
This issue also features:
- A Forum section with meditations on the state of the field and the journal by Lily Cho, Carrie Dawson, Gillian Roberts, and Karina Vernon
- Articles by Sally Chivers, Jenny Kerber, Aislinn Clare McDougall, Jamie Paris, and Rosemarie Savignac
- Poetry by Franco Cortese, Cyril Dabydeen, Adrian De Leon, Prathna Lor, David Martin, Melanie Pierluigi, and Meredith Quartermain
- Reviews by Paul Barrett, Gregory Betts, Magali Blanc, Natalie Boldt, Natalee Caple, Mandy Len Catron, Heidi Tiedemann Darroch, Sarah Dowling, Chiara Falangola, Alexandre Gauthier, Louis-Serge Gill, Jennifer Hardwick, Carla Harrison, Dallas Hunt, Anne L. Kaufman, Jenny Kerber, Angela Kruger, Amei-Lee Laboucan, Dorothy F. Lane, Andrea MacPherson, Krzysztof Majer, Dougal McNeill, Geordie Miller, Nanette Norris, Heather Olaveson, Claire Omhovère, Robert David Stacey, Neil Surkan, Véronique Trottier, Emily Wall, Paul Watkins, Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten, and Suzanne Zelazo
- Opinions and Notes by Ahmed Joudar and Ruth Panofsky
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!
January 28, 2020
What does it mean to “survey” CanLit? At the 2018 meetings of ACCUTE at Congress, a panel of faculty members from across Canada convened to reflect upon a number of practical and pedagogical issues that influence their syllabi, the basis of their choices of texts, the notion of “coverage” of the field, the contingencies of course listings, the texts that come in and out of favour over time, and the changing demographic of students. Canadian Literature is pleased to publish the papers and dialogue from that event in “Surveying CanLit.” As organizer Manina Jones writes in her introduction,
In thinking about where “Canlit” happens, much conversation has taken place around high-profile authors, publishers, and social/media outlets. What about “Canlit” in the classroom, the place where many students encounter “Canlit” as a field? . . . When we create so-called “national survey” courses, we define and challenge historical and cultural borders and boundaries that define the field, and, potentially, open it to further inquiry. . . . [This panel] was meant to both model and prompt the kinds of conversations that go into challenging each other to reflect on and rethink the ways we take up the challenge of surveying Canadian literature.
“Surveying CanLit” features presentations, brief questions and responses from the following interlocutors:
- Manina Jones (University of Western Ontario):
“Introduction: Surveying Canlit”
- Lily Cho (York University):
“Surveying Canlit in Four Scenes and a Counterintuitive Argument for Distance”
- Laura Moss (University of British Columbia):
“Infinitely Surveying CanLit”
- Jennifer Andrews (University of New Brunswick):
“Surveying Canlit: Making Sense of a Crumbling Edifice”
- Michelle Coupal (University of Regina):
“Irreconcilable Spaces: The Canlit Survey Course in the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre Round Room”
- Stephanie Oliver (University of Alberta):
“Confronting CanLit’s ‘Dumpster Fire’ Through Backward Course Design”
We are delighted to share the panel conversation here on the Special Projects pages of the Canadian Literature website. Thank you to Manina Jones for creating the panel and organizing this special section.
December 10, 2019
Le monde et la discipline de la littérature canadienne ont changé au cours des cinq années qui se sont écoulées depuis l’appel de textes du numéro inaugural destiné aux chercheur.e.s émergent.e.s. Une situation d’urgence climatique a été déclarée. Nous avons assisté à une montée des formes d’exclusion et des dangers liés aux nationalismes, et cela à l’échelle globale. Des guerres et des crises humanitaires ont éclaté. Les manifestations de grande ampleur sont devenues la norme des revendications dans l’espace public. La prolifération des violences sexuelles et des formes d’intimidation a été mise en lumière. Les réseaux sociaux ont à la fois contribué à la création de communautés et sont devenus une plateforme privilégiée sur laquelle exprimer des opinions divergentes. Il semblerait que le monde soit constamment en état d’urgence. Ce temps d’urgence nous engage ainsi dans un désir d’écouter des voix émergentes. Les soumissions reçues pour les deux éditions précédentes dédiées aux « Chercheur.e.s émergent.e.s » ont démontré avec dynamisme quel était l’état de la discipline il y a cinq ans. De quelles manières est-ce que les chercheur.e.s qui définissent et définiront la discipline s’engagent-ils/elles, à l’heure actuelle, avec cette dernière ?
Comment est-ce que les chercheur.e.s émergent.e.s engagent-ils/elles actuellement un discours critique au sujet des œuvres romanesques, du théâtre, de la poésie, des œuvres intermédiales, des textes autobiographiques, des essais littéraires ou des adaptations ? Que ce soit par le biais des humanités environnementales, énergétiques, publiques ou médicales, ou encore à travers les théories critiques de la race, les études décoloniales, les études sur la migration et les réfugié.e.s ou les études du genre, voire depuis des approches critiques différentes, de quelle façon est-ce que les jeunes chercheur.e.s contribuent-ils/elles aux recherches les plus actuelles ? Pour quelles raisons étudier aujourd’hui l’histoire de la littérature ou la réception et les contextes historiques de la production culturelle ?
Une fois de plus, nous nous tournons vers des personnes qui sont (relativement) nouvelles dans la discipline afin de faire une place à de nouveaux travaux de recherche en littérature canadienne. Ce numéro contribuera de cette manière à mettre en lumière les travaux des chercheur.e.s émergent.e.s et à offrir une vitrine aux nouvelles avenues de recherche. Nous invitons les étudiant.e.s aux cycles supérieurs, les chercheur.e.s postdoctoraux et celles et ceux qui se considèrent comme chercheur.e.s émergent.e.s (sans limite d’années d’expérience pour cette catégorie) à soumettre des propositions en français ou en anglais sur tous les sujets.
Nous sommes, dès MAINTENANT, à la recherche de soumissions pour ce numéro, alors n’hésitez pas à partager le mot !
Tous les textes soumis à Canadian Literature doivent être inédits et donc ne pas avoir fait l’objet d’une publication antérieure. Les textes doivent se conformer au protocole éditorial du MLA (MLA Handbook, 8th éd.). Les articles devront comprendre entre 6500-7000 mots incluant les notes de fin et la bibliographie.
Un poste de professeur.e en littérature canadienne à UBC : une nouvelle aventure pour Canadian Literature
November 21, 2019
En 2019, la revue Canadian Literature a célébré son 60e anniversaire… et le Département de langue et de littératures anglaises (Department of English Language and Literatures) a récemment annoncé un nouveau poste de professeur.e agrégé.e/titulaire en littérature canadienne. Mais quel lien entre les deux?
Depuis son inauguration, Canadian Literature a toujours eu pour domicile administratif la Faculté des Arts et, à sa barre, un ou une rédacteur.trice en chef dont le département d’affiliation principal était celui d’études anglaises. Comme le mandat de notre redoutable rédactrice en chef actuelle, Laura Moss, arrive à sa fin, ce n’est pas une mince affaire de trouver la personne qui prendra la relève! De plus, au cours des prochaines années, la revue devra adopter quelques changements pour mieux refléter notre société contemporaine, où le libre accès à l’information est de plus en plus de mise. Ainsi, entre autres, Canadian Literature devra adopter un format en libre accès afin de se conformer aux règlements de financement du CRSH au cours des 3 prochaines années. Outre les tâches éditoriales habituelles — et n’oublions pas tout le travail qui se passe dans les coulisses — le nouveau ou la nouvelle rédacteur.trice en chef devra diriger la revue tout au long de cette transition, et collaborer avec le reste de l’équipe éditoriale afin d’explorer les nouvelles opportunités de diffusion qui s’offrent à nous. Pour reprendre les mots de Bilbo Baggins, « nous partons à l’aventure! »
Restez donc à l’affût, en visitant notre site web, des développements à venir… et, en attendant, pourquoi ne pas contribuer à notre prochain numéro spécial « Emerging Scholars, Redux » ? Les choses ne changent bien évidemment pas seulement à Canadian Literature… nous assistons actuellement à de grands bouleversements, à l’échelle mondiale, qui affectent notre société, nos idéologies, nos vies. Comment les concilier avec les littératures et les arts? Comment nos recherches contribuent-elles à envisager, à créer un meilleur futur, une société plus juste?
—Sarah Henzi, rédactrice adjointe
November 14, 2019
Congratulations to our former poetry editor Stephen Collis for winning this year’s Latner Writer’s Trust Poetry Prize!
The Prize considers all Canadian poets and awards a mid-career poet in recognition of a remarkable body of work, and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian poetry.
The Writers’ Trust recognizes Stephen’s works Once in Blockadia (Talonbooks 2016), The Commons (Talonbooks 2014), To the Barricades (Talonbooks 2012), and On the Material (Talonbooks 2010).
Jurors Hoa Nguyen and Margo Wheaton writes:
Through six collections of poems, Stephen Collis has achieved something remarkable: an invigorating body of work that convincingly addresses both the urgency of the present moment and the long echoes of our historical and lyrical past.
In disrupted language simultaneously unsettled and musical, Collis passionately investigates subjects as diverse as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, John Clare and the English countryside, the increasing disappearance of public space, and, in a hauntingly beautiful sequence, the death of his sister from cancer. The depth and scope of Collis’ vision is startling and impressive; so are the courage, precision, and care he brings to the poems he creates.
In Collis, we find a poet ferociously hitting his stride. We’re looking forward with eagerness to what comes next.
Likewise, Canadian Literature is excited to see what’s in store for Stephen and we wish him all the best.
Links to Stephen Collis’ works in Canadian Literature
October 29, 2019
In the five years since the first call for our inaugural Emerging Scholars issue, both the world and the field of Canadian literature have changed. A climate emergency has been declared. There has been a global rise in dangerous and exclusionary forms of nationalism. There have been wars and humanitarian crises. Large-scale public protest has become the norm. There has been a spotlight on the pervasiveness of sexual violence, intimidation, and bullying. Social media has both helped create communities and become a place for sharp dissent. We seem to be living in a state of sustained urgency. Urgent times prompt us to want to hear from emergent voices. The submissions for the first two Emerging Scholars issues (226, 228/9) dynamically showed the state of the field five years ago. How are researchers who will shape the field and its future engaging with it today?
How do emerging scholars critically engage with works of fiction, drama, poetry, intermedia, memoire, creative nonfiction, or adaptation today. Whether through a lens of environmental, energy, public, or medical humanities, or by way of critical race, decolonial, migration, refugee, or gender studies, or any other approach, what are newer scholars contributing to contemporary scholarship? Why study the history of literature and the historical contexts of cultural production and reception today?
We again turn to people who are (relatively) new to the field to call attention to new work in the field of Canadian literature. This issue will highlight the work of Emerging Scholars and showcase the directions the field is taking. We welcome submissions on any topic in English or French from senior graduate students, postdocs, and those who might consider themselves to be Emerging Scholars (we place no time limit on this category).
We are actively seeking submissions for this issue NOW, so please help spread the word!
All submissions to Canadian Literature must be original, unpublished work. Essays should follow current MLA bibliographic format (MLA Handbook, 8th ed.). Word length for articles is 6,500-7,000 words, which includes endnotes and works cited.
October 4, 2019
We are pleased to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 238, Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings. In her editorial, guest editor Eva Darias-Beautell reminds us of the original questions posed in the initial Call for Papers for this special issue: “How are Canadian texts read and circulated beyond the national borders? What is the place of Canadian literature in the institutional spaces of universities outside Canada? Are there defining differences in the ways non-Canadian scholars approach CanLit? And how does transnational scholarship influence, challenge, enrich and rescale Canadian literary production?” She further elucidates the concept of “Rescaling CanLit”:
Rescaling in this sense means recontextualizing, establishing the value of Canadian writing on a different scale, shifting the site of reading to look at texts from new critical lenses. While it is now commonly accepted that Canadian literature has become a global literature, implying that any understanding of textual localities is traversed by vectors that exceed, complicate, and extend the nation in literal and metaphorical ways, the gaze is seldom reversed and little attention has been paid to the role of international scholarship in the current transformation of the field.
—Eva Darias-Beautell, “Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings”
This issue also features:
- Articles by Simona Bertacco, Anna Branach-Kallas, Ana María Fraile-Marcos, Hsiu-chuan Lee, and Kristiana Karathanassis and Andrea King
- Poetry by John Donlan, Chris Johnson, Sherry Johnson, Jake Kennedy, Shane Neilson, and Catherine Owen
- Reviews by Zachary Abram, Joel Baetz, Emily Ballantyne, Alex Bellemare, Gregory Betts, Nicole Birch-Bayley, Myra Bloom, Natalie Boldt, Liza Bolen, Marie-Eve Bradette, Nicholas Bradley, Sunny Chan, Tim Conley, Paul Denham, Joel Deshaye, Jamie Dopp, Scott Duchesne, Margery Fee, Ryan Fitzpatrick, James Gifford, Patricia Godbout, Dominique Hétu, Nancy Holmes, Evangeline Holtz Schramek,Weldon Hunter, Renée Jackson-Harper, Suzanne James, Jenny Kerber, Daniel Laforest, Rebekah Ludolph, Jessi MacEachern, Kenneth Meadwell, Dana Medoro, Jean-Sébastien Ménard, Geordie Miller, Nathaniel G. Moore, Saghar Najafi, Catherine Owen, Olivia Pelegrino, Carl Peters, Richard Pickard, Catherine Rainwater, Madeleine Reddon, Michael Roberson, Laurel Ryan, Dani Spinosa, Neil Surkan, Dale Tracy, Véronique Trottier, Hilary Turner, Nathalie Warren, Carl Watts, Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten, Bart H. Welling, R. J. (Ron) Welwood, Kinga Zawada, and Suzanna Zelazo
- Opinions and Notes by Tereza Virginia de Almeida
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!
September 9, 2019
Since we launched the 2018 Collection of our open-access educational resource CanLit Guides last May, we’ve seen a significant increase in engagement and readership in Canada and around the world.
[F]or an entirely online resource such as this, the most accessible and powerful tool at our disposal for gauging engagement is web analytics (Google), which offers a range of data sets that enable us to better understand how the site is being used, from where, on what platforms, in which languages, for how long, on what pages, and so on. It also helps us to see how trends develop over time as the content of the CanLit Guides evolves and as the interests amongst its users shift. In late April, we conducted an audit of some of our high-level web statistics for the ~11-month period since the May 2018 launch of the 2018 Collection. We then placed this data alongside the comparable prior-year period to see what we could learn. What story do the numbers tell?
Read here for Brendan McCormack’s summary illuminating noteworthy traffic changes of CanLit Guides.
July 3, 2019
A huge congratulations to Dionne Brand for winning Ontario’s Trillium Book Award! Her book The Blue Clerk (McClelland & Stewart) was named the best English-language title in the province.
In The Blue Clerk, award-winning poet Dionne Brand stages a conversation and an argument between the poet and the Blue Clerk, who is the keeper of the poet’s pages. In their dialogues—which take shape as a series of haunting prose poems—the poet and the clerk invoke a host of writers, philosophers, and artists, from Jacob Lawrence, Lola Keipja, and Walter Benjamin to John Coltrane, Josephine Turalba, and Jorge Luis Borges.
—from Penguin Random House Canada
The Blue Clerk was also a finalist for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. As well, it was on the longlist for The League of Canadian Poets’ 2019 Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Brand’s poetry collection Land to Light On also won the Trillium Book Award in 1998.
We are proud to congratulate Brand on this honour, and we invite you to visit Canadian Literature’s articles on and book reviews of her work:
- “It is life you must write about”: Fixity and Refraction in Dionne Brand’s A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging
by Sharlee Cranston-Reimer
Published in Emerging Scholars 2. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 228-229 (Spring/Summer 2016): 93-109
- Spaces of Agency: Installation Art in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For
by Veronica Austen
Published in Agency & Affect. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 223 (Winter 2014): 67-83
- Dionne Brand’s Ossuaries: Songs of Necropolitics
by Anne Quéma
Published in Recursive Time. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 222 (Autumn 2014): 52-68
- Roughing It in Bermuda: Mary Prince, Susanna Strickland Moodie, Dionne Brand, and the Black Diaspora
by Andrea Medovarski
Published in Tracking CanLit. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 220 (Spring 2014): 94-114
- Soccer and the City: The Unwieldy National in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For
by Michael Buma
Published in Sport and the Athletic Body. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 202 (Autumn 2009): 12-27
- Affective Coordination and Avenging Grace: Dionne Brand’s In Another Place, Not Here
by John Corr
Published in Disappearance and Mobility. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 201 (Summer 2009): 113-129
- “Streets are the dwelling place of the collective”: Public Space and Cosmopolitan Citizenship in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For
by Emily Johansen
Published in Diasporic Women’s Writing. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 196 (Spring 2008): 48-62
- Wondering into Country: Dionne Brand’s A Map of the Door of No Return
by Maia Joseph
Published in Canada Reads. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 193 (Summer 2007): 75-92
- Picking the Deadlock of Legitimacy: Dionne Brand’s “noise like the world cracking”
by Ellen Quigley
Published in Women & the Politics of Memory. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 186 (Autumn 2005): 48-67
- Dionne Brand’s Winter Epigrams
by Edward Kamau Brathwaite
Published in Poets & Politics. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 105 (Summer 1985): 18-30
- Theory reviewed in Love under Capitalism by Natalee Caple
- The Blue Clerk reviewed in Postnational Argonauts by Gregory Betts
- At the Full and Change of the Moon reviewed in Uses of Cultural Memory by Maureen Moynagh
- The Journey Prize Stories 19: The Best of Canada’s New Writers by Caroline Adderson, David Bezmozgis and Dionne Brand reviewed in New Short Fiction by Heidi Tiedemann Darroch
- What We All Long For reviewed in Soul Survivors by Evelyn C. White
- Inventory reviewed in Poems of Witness by Hilary Clark
- Land to Light on reviewed in Still Need the Revolution by Susan Gingell
- “We’re Rooted Here and They Can’t Pull Us Up”: Essays in African Canadian Women’s History by Dionne Brand et al. reviewed in Others’ Histories by Donna Palmateer Pennee
- Thirsty reviewed in Orbiting Toronto by Heather Smyth
- Bread out of Stone reviewed in Making Bread out of Stone by Guy Beauregard
- Chronicles: Early Works reviewed in Black Chronicles by Pilar Cuder-Domínguez
See also CanLit Guides chapters on Dionne Brand’s works
- Dionne Brand: No Language Is Neutral
by Carl Watts
- Diaspora Studies and Canadian Literature
by L. Camille van der Marel
- What We All Long For by Dionne Brand