The Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (CACLALS), founded in 1973, is the first and most established association in Canada devoted to specialized research and creative production in the field of postcolonial studies. The association brings together critics, scholars, teachers, students, and creative practitioners who share an interest in postcolonial and global literatures and oratures, as well as the versions of English they employ. Through its affiliation with ACLALS, the Association provides members with an international context for studying Canadian, postcolonial and global literatures and cultures within and beyond the framework of the Canadian academy.
The current headquarters of CACLALS is at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Ontario. The Association organizes an annual three-day conference at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Members, including graduate students, share their research in sessions that feature papers, panel discussions, an Aboriginal Roundtable, readings, and workshops. It regularly sponsors joint sessions with other societies such as ACCUTE (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English), ACQL (Association for Canadian and Québec Literatures) and ILSA (Indigenous Literary Studies Association) in areas of common interest.
CACLALS is an affiliate of the international Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS). Members of CACLALS automatically acquire membership in the international body.
CACLALS has also taken a strong interest in fostering the study of Indigenous literatures and oratures in Canada. Members Jo-Ann Episkenew and Renate Eigenbrod initiated the practice of organizing the Roundtable on Aboriginal issues at each annual conference, and the Association regularly sponsors conference panels of scholarly papers on Aboriginal topics.