Literary History Author Spotlight: Emily Ballantyne

Emily Ballantyne is a doctoral candidate in Canadian literature at Dalhousie University, where she has held a Killam Fellowship and an SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship. Recently, she co-edited a special issue on P. K. Page for Canadian Poetry and a collection on transnational modernist writing in Paris for University of Ottawa Press. Her work has appeared in Canadian Poetry, Studies in Canadian Literature, University of Toronto Quarterly, and The Dalhousie Review. She has also contributed chapters to Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics and Archival Narratives for Canada.

Emily Ballantyne is the author of “Colonial Cosmopolitanism? Resistance, Aesthetics, and Modernism in Patrick Anderson’s Prose.”

Article Abstract:

In this article, I contend with the claim that Patrick Anderson exemplifies the failure of Canadian modernist cosmopolitanism. I explore the potential value and limitation of Anderson’s works as what I have termed “colonial cosmopolitanism”. I view colonial cosmopolitanism as a form of cosmopolitan thought that brings its inherent contradiction to the fore.

Anderson’s travel writing, with its inward gaze, self-critical narration, and engagement with difference, suggest that one of the central contributions Anderson makes in this period is defining Canadian cosmopolitanism in the genre of travel writing. Anderson’s work offers a more nuanced way of thinking about cosmopolitanism in a colonial context. In this article, I demonstrate some of the ways that Anderson’s modernist cosmopolitanism can at least partially succeed, all while continuing to acknowledge and tease out the “exemplary failure” of colonial cosmopolitanism to extricate itself from colonial ideology.

Canadian Literature issue 233, Literary History, is available to order through our online store.