Articles



‘Big About Green’: The Ecopoetry of Earle Birney
Abstract: The poetry of Canadian modernist Earle Birney presents a relationship between humanity and the natural world that is fraught with tension, conflict and destruction. Taking nine emblematic poems into consideration, and their occasionally extensive revisions, Birney’s work on the environment emerges as more than passive, observant nature poetry, but rather, as a deeply politicized, ecological polemic that laments the destruction wrought by modern, industrial development. Furthermore, his extensive revisions of a number of the earliest poems in question often function to highlight their ecological and environmentalist ethos.

‘But How Do You Write A Chagall?’ Ekphrasis and the Brazilian Poetry of P. K. Page and Elizabeth Bishop
Abstract: “Remembering the Strait of Belle Isle or some northerly harbor of Labrador, before hebecame a schoolteacher a great-uncle painted a ...

‘Gently Scan’: Theme and Technique in J. G. Sime’s Sister Woman (1919)
Abstract: I’ESSIE GEORGINA SIME (1868-1958) — a gender-neutral ‘J.G. Sime’ on the title page of her books and J. Georgina Sime ...

‘Lectures’ publiques à Québec au dix-neuvième siècle
Abstract: СÍHAQUE ÉPOQUE,” ESTIME Tzvetan Todorov, “a son propre système de genres, qui est en rapport avec l’idéologie dominante . . ...

‘Sri Lankan’ Canadian Poets: The Bourgeoisie That Fled The Revolution
Abstract: M,ЛСНАЕЬ ONDAATJE’S Running in the Family has been characterized by an American reviewer as “a kind of travel book,”1 and ...

“‘Who’s going to look after the river?’ Water and the Ethics of Care in Thomas King’s The Back of the Turtle
Abstract: This paper analyses the trope of water in Thomas King’s latest novel The Back of the Turtle from an ethics-of-care perspective that puts in conversation Indigenous ethics, feminist care ethics and environmental ethics. I suggest that King’s focus on water offers a harsh—even if often humorous—critique of the anthropocentric, neoliberal extractivist mentality while proposing a transcultural ethics of care. Consequently, my analysis of the novel draws on the dialogue taking place in the realm of the Environmental Humanities in Canada and beyond about the centrality of water (See Cecilia Chen, Janine MacLeod and Astrida Neimais’ Thinking with Water; Dorothy Christian and Rita Wong’s Downstream: Reimagining Water; Astrida Neimanis’ Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology; Stacy Alaimo’s Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times, as well as on Indigenous epistemologies that eschew anthropocentrism in favour of attentive caring for the interconnected needs of humans and non-humans within interdependent ecologies, and feminist environmental care ethics that emphasize the importance of empowering communities to care for themselves and the ecologies that sustain them.

Flânoter” : The Montreal Pedestrian Narrates
Abstract: Because it is a particularly dense, varied, and vigorously contested social imaginary, Montreal gives rise to uneven geographies and spatial instabilities that its pedestrian writers nimbly tread and transform.  Montreal’s contemporary literary flâneurs and flâneuses are not blasé loiterers but gregarious foragers on the prowl for the composite character of a polyglot city that defies subordination to a unifying social script. Diversely situated in terms of class, race, ethnicity, gender, and language, the French and English novels of Leonard Cohen, Rawi Hage, Gail Scott, André Carpentier, Peter Dubé, and Hugh Hood trace altered paths of civic participation, where personal freedoms and group obligations intersect and, just as freely, disentangle and separate. Transient assembly, rather than institutional partisan affiliation, becomes a pedestrian mode of political agility.  While they are anonymous, unsponsored and free subjects on the bummel from the encroachments of social identity and State categories, equally the strollers of Beautiful Losers, Cockroach, Heroine, Ruelles, The City’s Gates, and Around the Mountain belong to an informal civilian sentinel that, relying on the provision of public works, patrols the city’s liberties and modifies its contours. These peripatetic texts reveal that the public third spaces of casual encounter are not confined strictly to determinate sites but are as fluid and situational as the languages employed there. They not only “note while loitering” (the meaning of Carpentier’s portmanteau verb flânoter) but also help modify Montreal in a stealthy guerrilla urbanism that is remaking the contemporary North American city. And in the process they overstep narrative conventions.

“A Book that All Canadians Should Be Proud to Read”: Canada Reads and Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road
Abstract: In this paper, I examine the responses of readers to Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road in light of its appearance on Canada Reads, particularly in relation to the CBC’s paratextual framing of the novel and the way it was discussed by the panellists in the 2006 iteration of the programme. I explore the clash of reading practices that emerge, and suggest that although there is no easy separation to be made between groups of readers, there is value in exploring how, and why, different interpretive modes emerge, particularly in a context where narratives of national history and identity are at stake. Finally, I seek to locate Canada Reads in the wider cultural field by contextualizing it in relation to other debates about literary value, such as Frankfurt School objections to mass culture and Virginia Woolf’s aversion to the middlebrow.

“A Foreign Presence in the Stall”: Towards a Poetics of Cultural Hybridity in Rohinton Mistry’s Migration Stories
Abstract: i. ForeignPresences The title for this paper finds its origin in a short story called “Squatter” by South-Asian-Canadian writer Rohinton ...

“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 maintain that non-Indigenous knowledges may be deployed strategically in support of Indigenous peoples' fights for justice.