CanLit Author Spotlights

Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Daniela Janes

December 1, 2021

Daniela Janes teaches Canadian literature at the University of Toronto Mississauga. A life-long re-reader of L.M. Montgomery’s works, she has taught the novels Anne of Green Gables, Rilla of Ingleside, and Emily of New Moon in classes on Canadian literature, children’s literature, the First World War, and the artist novel. She has presented her work on Rilla and the print culture of WWI and on Rilla and trauma at conferences in Charlottetown and Toronto. Daniela is a member of the steering committee of “Conversations about L.M. Montgomery,” a virtual discussion series launched during the pandemic to connect Montgomery readers. She has also published articles on historical fiction, social reform writing, the castaway narrative, and the short story cycle. 

Article

“The Clock Is Dead”: Temporality and Trauma in Rilla of Ingleside

Abstract

L.M. Montgomery’s First World War novel, Rilla of Ingleside, is a text preoccupied with time. The novel paces through the harrowing years of war along a horizontal axis, chronologically following its young heroine from youth to maturity. Its structure, though, illustrates the gap between two modes of experiencing and representing time: standard time, a system of measurement that is external and objective, and autobiographical time, which is wrapped up in the personality and perceptions of the experiencing subject. Montgomery’s novel juxtaposes standard time and autobiographical time to capture the individual, subjective experience of war and to register the war’s private traumatic impact. The disjunction between standard time and autobiographical time in Rilla of Ingleside demonstrates the slipperiness of time as a human experience, emphasizing its abstract, individualized nature in the context of war-time trauma. I argue that through characters’ processes of organizing and understanding time, we witness the ongoing battle to make meaning out of the war.

 

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.


Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Ayo Okikiolu

November 24, 2021

Ayo’s full name is Ayooluwanimi Okikiolu–but you can call him Ayo. Currently, he is a Nigerian-Canadian fourth-year student at the University of Alberta. When he is not involved in school-work, he is likely volunteering, writing, doing some research, eating, sleeping, talking, spending time with family, and doing other human things. He spends much of his time writing poetry or, alternatively, thinking about writing poems.

 

His poem “Stand with You.” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/stand-with-you/.

 

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.


Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Nicole Go

November 17, 2021


Nicole Go is a faculty fellow at the University of King’s College, where she teaches in the Foundation Year Program. She completed an Hon. BA and MA in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto and held a Nippon Foundation Fellowship at Stanford’s Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, Japan. She is a current PhD candidate and former sessional lecturer in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, where she is completing a dissertation on how language and translation are theorized in novels, poetry, and photography by Asian Canadian and Japanese authors. More broadly, her research considers the links between language, nation, and race, as well as the intersections of Asian Studies and Asian American studies.

Article

The “retinal-world” of Roy Kiyooka’s Wheels

Abstract

Roy Kiyooka’s (1926-1994) Wheels: A Trip Thru Honshu’s Backcountry (1981) documents his travels around Japan, but while the text ostensibly presents him as a Western tourist who gazes upon the non-West, his hybridized subjectivity complicates the native/foreigner dichotomy. This liminal state is reflected in photographs mediated by train windows and car windshields separating the camera’s eye from the landscape. Additionally, his constant references to the act of photography—winding up film, brushing dirt off the lens, clicking the shutter—effectively put his own body into the viewfinder. In demonstrating an acute awareness of being seen, Kiyooka implicates a white, hegemonic, Anglophone Canadian audience in his racialization: first, in the exoticization and tokenization of his work within the predominantly white fields of Canadian art and literature; and second, as an “enemy alien” under national surveillance during WWII.

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.


Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Chantel Lavoie

November 13, 2021

Chantel Lavoie has published three books of poetry: Where the Terror  Lies (Quattro Books in 2012), Serve the Sorrowing World with Joy (with Meg Freer, Woodpecker Lan, 2020) and This is about Angels, Women, and Men (Mansfield Press, 2021). Originally from Saskatchewan, she now lives in Kingston, Ontario, where she teaches at the Royal Military College of Canada.

 

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

 

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.


Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Keah Hansen

November 3, 2021

Keah Hansen is a doctoral candidate in the Communication and Culture program at York University. She previously completed her Master’s of Arts degree in English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, and her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at McGill University. She currently studies the intersection of affect and finance and is bilingual in English and French.

 

Article

Getting to Resurgence through Sourcing Cultural Strength: An Analysis of Robertson’s Will I See? and LaPensée’s Deer Woman

 

Abstract

Many Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples contend that the Canadian government has failed Indigenous peoples in addressing missing and murdered Indigenous women and in encouraging Canadians to respond to the Calls to Action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In my paper, I examine how two Indigenous graphic novels—Deer Woman by Elizabeth LaPensée, Will I See by David A. Robertson et al.—and one non-Indigenous-authored graphic novel—Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire—provoke empowerment and shame, respectively, in their readers, in order to incite action to counter failures of the government in addressing colonial violence. While pre-existing work has addressed Indigenous storytelling through graphic novels (Tiger) and the potential of graphic novels to represent trauma for justice (Crawley and Rijsijk, Donova and Ustundag), my paper is novel in examining how emotionality in graphic novels can function to subvert government inaction in addressing violence against Indigenous peoples.

 

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.


Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Stephen Bett

October 27, 2021

Stephen Bett is a widely and internationally published Canadian poet with 24 books in print. His upcoming book, Broken Glosa: an alphabet book of post-avant glosa, will be published by Chax Press later in 2021. His personal papers are archived in the “Contemporary Literature Collection” at Simon Fraser University. His website is stephenbett.com.

 

His poem “Fred Wah: A Floating Space” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/fred-wah-a-floating-space/.

 

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.


Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Morgan Cohen

October 20, 2021

Morgan Cohen is currently pursuing her M.A. in Rhetoric and Communication Design at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests encompass understanding the “how” and “why” of structures of knowledge, that is, the “what” that may reflect its content, yet distorts the possibilities of meaning. She hopes to use these understandings to change the mechanisms by which information is obtained and disseminated to create a vibrant body politic.

 

Article

“can you tell the rhetorical difference?”: Foraging and Fodder in Rita Wong’s forage

 

Abstract

In Forage, Rita Wong explores the subversion and lexicon of “familiar” neoliberal culture with its less-familiar harmful consequences. The definition of forage is to conduct a “wide search over an area in order to obtain something, especially food or provisions” (Oxford). By “forage,” Wong largely means the process of “scouring” to locate the source of cultural malaise, the result of this capitalist influence. However forage has another layer of meaning in its Germanic origin, also pertinent here: it means “fodder,” that is, “a person or thing regarded only as material for a specific use” (Oxford). This essay shows how the imagery related to fodder represents national political ethea of subverting responsibility and cultural apathy. Wong highlights the individual’s search and need for sustenance, and how the same individual caught within the capitalist system and its deployment of “status quo stories” that are used as “fodder” for the functioning of neoliberal machinery.

 

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.

 


Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – David Martin

October 13, 2021

David Martin works as a literacy instructor in Calgary and is an organizer for the Single Onion Poetry Series. His first collection, Tar Swan (NeWest Press, 2018), was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Book Prize. David’s work has been awarded the CBC Poetry Prize, shortlisted for the Vallum Award for Poetry and PRISM international’s poetry contest, and has appeared in numerous journals across Canada.

 

His poem “Holy Trinity, Bankhead” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/holy-trinity-bankhead/.

 

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.


Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Emma Lansdowne

October 6, 2021

Emma Lansdowne is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. A professional horticulturalist-turned-academic, her research explores the intersection of plants and colonial/post-colonial histories with a specific focus on gardens as contact zones and sites of resistance.

Article

Rustling Shadows: Plants as Markers of Historical Violence and Diasporic Identity in Badami’s Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?

Abstract

Anita Rau Badami’s novel Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? gives voice to three female protagonists who spend their lifetimes constructing and negotiating identities shaped by the legacies of multigenerational and cultural traumas. Set against the violent political and sociocultural upheavals of Partition and post-Partition Punjab and its translation to Indian diasporic communities in Canada, the protagonists’ paths of negotiation zigzag through domestic landscapes dotted with plants whose sound, scent, and visual appearance carry the weight of closely-held memories. It is within the novel’s domestic spaces that the women seek expression of their inner and outer selves while they cope with the challenges of a liminal existence. Plants play a key role in contextualizing home in its various iterations and narrating the silences between the novel’s physical, psychological and temporal spaces. This paper explores the role of plants in Nightbird as indicators of violence and evocations of diasporic domestic identity.

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/support/purchase/single-issues/.


Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Russell Thornton

September 29, 2021

Russell Thornton has published seven books of poetry, most recently The Broken Face (Harbour, 2018). His collection The Hundred Lives was shortlisted for the 2015 Griffin Prize; his collection Birds, Metals, Stones & Rain was shortlisted for the 2013 Governor General’s Award. He has a new collection due out from Harbour Publishing in the fall of 2021 called Answer to Blue. He lives in North Vancouver.

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

Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available to order through our online store at https://canlit.ca/full-issue/?issue=244.