Call for Papers

Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

This special issue will address Black Canadian and Indigenous work in / with the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror, both genre fiction proper and slipstream fiction. While there has been quite a bit of attention to African American SF and increasingly to the burgeoning of genre fiction on the African continent, and while Indigenous SF has been growing and attracting more attention, there has not been as much attention to the relationships between Indigenous and Black SF in Canada or to the particular ways Canada’s settler colonial past and present inform the ways Black Canadian and Indigenous writers engage with science fiction, fantasy and horror. How do Black and Indigenous writers respond to the different positions colonialism historically imposed on those who were subjected to alien abduction versus alien invasion? How do these genres re-present histories of slavery, genocide, displacement and dispossession? While the dynamic between Black and Indigenous histories is at play across the Americas, as Nalo Hopkinson’s work illustrates nicely, we ask whether there is something specific about the Canadian iteration of that hemispheric history. What does it mean to engage in a comparison of Black and Indigenous writing in the genres from this location, the settler-colonial formation called Canada? How else might we think of the relations and relays between blackness and indigeneity in modes other than the comparative? How do the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror attend to the historically triangulated relations among settler, Indigenous and racialized immigrant peoples, including, for instance, Asian Canadians? What might be different about Asian Canadian engagement with this settler-colonial history? Whether in outer space, an alternate universe, a haunted house, or a mythic time, the worlds built in genre fiction seem to open up and provoke questions of how to both represent and transform the colonial conditions of our shared and still incommensurable world. How do Indigenous and Black Canadian writers working in or with these genres explore the possibilities for alternative kinds of social and political power–in other words, how do they take up the utopian impulses of conventional SF? This is the challenge of finding “new ways of doing things” that Nalo Hopkinson describes as the possibility in science fiction that is taken up by “the colonizee” as a form of critique.

We ask, further, how this comparative focus might allow for a critical engagement with Fredric Jameson’s claim that science fiction returns us to history by representing it as a speculative future, thus helping us to imagine ways past current political impasses. What does an Indigenous / Black novum look like? How do works of Afro- and Indigenous futurism also complicate the temporality of the novum by at times exploring what-could-have-been and what-always-has-been? In writing of recent African science fiction, Matthew Omelsky argues that it engages with a new form of biopolitics that he calls “neuropolitics,” by which he means the extension of power to “the control of memory and thought”; to what extent does Black / Indigenous SF exhibit a similar set of concerns?

Across these speculative, weird, and fantastic modes of storytelling, world-building and theorizing, how do Black and Indigenous authors grappling with the histories and the present of Canada find space to write within, persist within and demand the impossible?

For this special issue, we seek both scholarly essays on these questions and contributions from writers reflecting on their own work in / with these genres. In engaging with the questions outlined above, contributors might address, without feeling constrained by, the following specific themes:

  • Land and colonization
  • Contact and encounter
  • The postcolonial and the decolonial
  • Indigeneity and diaspora; sovereignty and belonging
  • Comparisons between Canadian decolonial and US / diasporic / African / antipodean (re)visions
  • Comparisons between Asian-Canadian and Indigenous and / or Black-Canadian SF
  • Contemporary ‘race science,’ scientific studies of ‘race’ and Black / Indigenous SF
  • Speculative / racialized revisionings of gender and sexuality
  • Critical utopias
  • Temporality: how does Indigenous and Black Canadian SF do the ‘future’ differently?
  • Enlightenment critique: scientific rationalism vs. non-European epistemologies
  • Tensions between Indigenous design / technologies and those introduced from without
  • Publishing media for genre fiction
  • Film and graphica
  • Monstrosity
  • Haunting
  • Possession and/or dispossession
  • The different modalities of fantasy, SF, horror
  • The apocalyptic

Special Issue editors: Lou Cornum, Suzette Mayr and Maureen Moynagh

The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2019. Please consult for instructions on how to submit via Open Journal System. All papers submitted will undergo a formal peer review process through Canadian Literature. 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.

All correspondence will go through the CanLit office.

Call for Papers

Comics and Catharsis: Exploring Narratives of Trauma and Memory in the Graphic Novel

Contributions are invited for a collection of essays that explore the medium of comics in the 21st Century as the site for narratives of individual and collective trauma and memory. This volume seeks to give visibility to comics— specifically, though not limited to, the graphic novel—from different cultural and linguistic contexts, and explore how they employ the graphic and textual interplay of the medium to tell personal and/or shared stories of personal and/or shared suffering. By drawing (pun intended) on his father’s experience during the Holocaust, Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus (1980-1991) is perhaps the best-known example of this narrative form giving voice to an individual’s traumatic experience that is also inextricably tied to a community’s collective trauma. It is an example of comics as a space to “work through” painful memories, to use Dominick LaCapra’s wording.[1] In the past 20 years, writers and illustrators from different parts of the world in different languages have been using the same medium to explore their own personal/familial/collective ordeals, such as the boom of historical memory in Spanish comics with regard to the Spanish Civil War and Franco dictatorship, or the science fiction works of Latin America that confront economic exploitation and imperialism, or the graphic stories of the indigenous peoples who suffered in Canada’s residential schools, to give a few examples.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Humour and trauma
  • Theory: the relationship between image and text, trauma and memory
  • Comics and war
  • Comics and dictatorship
  • Comics and marginalized peoples
  • Comics and “places of memory”/Comics AS “places of memory,” to use Pierre Nora’s term [2]

    Proposals for should be sent to Dr. Jordan Tronsgard by December 1, 2018. Please include your name, institutional affiliation, a short biography, an abstract of no more than 500 words, and a list of up to 5 keywords. Notification will be sent to submitters by February 1, 2019. Those selected will submit their completed essays of 5000- 8000 words by June 2019.

    [1] LaCapra, Dominick. History in Transit: Experience, Identity, Critical Theory. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2004.
    [2] Nora, Pierre, Ed. Realms of Memory. Rethinking the French Past. Trans. Arthur Goldhammer. New York: Columbia UP, 1996.


Call for Papers

Special issue of Studies in Canadian Literature Neoliberal Environments

Edited by Tania Aguila-Way, Kit Dobson, and Nicole Shukin

In his 2011 book Anne of Tim Hortons: Globalization and the Reshaping of Atlantic-Canadian Literature, the late Herb Wyile pushed back against neoliberal ideologies through readings of literary texts that, in his view, countered “the mobility, deracination, and sense of placelessness that characterize our highly technological, globalized consumer society.” Following Wyile’s cue, this special issue asks: how do literary and cultural texts counter or conform to neoliberalism? How do they respond to environmental challenges in an age shaped by global capital? Neoliberalism is here understood in the broadest sense, offered by Wendy Brown, as a “governing rationality in which everything is ‘economized’,” remaking human as well as nonhuman social and material lives into various species of capital (Undoing the Demos).

Picking up on the conversations started in the 2014 issue of SCL entitled “Canadian Literary Ecologies” (edited by Pamela Banting, Cynthia Sugars, and Herb Wyile), what is the past, present, and future of work in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities in the context of analyses of neoliberalism? As Rita Wong states in her poem “ricochet,” from the 2007 book forage: “i can’t bear the weight of history & i can’t not bear it.” What is the role of literary and cultural texts in confronting the weighty, intertwining histories of land dispossession, resource extraction, and capitalist accumulation that the Canadian settler state is built upon? This special issue of Studies in Canadian Literature is devoted to an examination of what happens at the intersections of neoliberalism and the environment.

The editors of this issue are interested in analyses of literary complicities with or resistances to the following:

  • Land dispossession, resource extraction, and/or environmental racism.
  • Biotechnology, biocapitalism, biocolonialism, and the hijacking of living processes.
  • Neoliberal investments in nonhuman life (or nonlife) and labour; noncompliant nonhumans.
  • The neoliberal co-opting of virtuous rhetorics of reconciliation, along with “green” concepts such as resilience and remediation; the role of Indigenous resurgence and land-based pedagogies in resisting this phenomenon.
  • Human capital, natural capital, and/or animal capital.
  • Neoliberal environments of risk/precarity (including political and environmental refugees, of any species).
  • Genres of neoliberalism; the instrumentalization of dystopic fiction, speculative fiction, and other forms of “middle-brow” fiction as alibis for neoliberal futurity; poetry as a mode of anti-capitalist resistance; the role of BIPOC writing in generating alternative visions of the past, present, and future.
  • The biopolitics of renewability and disposability of resources, species, and even populations (as in “allowable” extinctions).
  • The cultures of resources and power (oil/ bitumen/ gas/ water/ electricity and beyond).
  • Caring for the land/ affective environments.
  • Natures/ cultures: “untouched” or “pristine” environments/ modified environments/ built environments.
  • Pollination and cross-pollination in both literary and disciplinary contexts; the monetization of the environmental humanities and other forms of interdisciplinarity within the neoliberal university.

Submissions should be 6000-8000 words, including Notes and Works Cited. English submissions should conform to the MLA Handbook, 8th edition; French submissions to Le guide du rédacteur (by the Translation Bureau, 1996).

Please submit essays electronically via Word attachment to

Deadline for submissions is 1 May 2019.

For more information, visit the journal’s website at or contact Tania Aguila-Way at, Kit Dobson at, or Nicole Shukin at

Download the PDF – ENGLISH

Download the PDF – FRENCH

New Executive Member

Congratulations to our newest executive member and Colleges Representative, Dr. Alia Somani (Sheridan College). Welcome to the team!

CACLALS 2019 CFP: Out Now!

We are thrilled to announce the 2019 CACLALS Call For Papers with confirmed keynotes Dr. David Chariandy and Prof. Jasbir Puar. Abstracts are due January 15th, 2019. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

CFP: CACLALS at Congress 2019 University of British Columbia (Vancouver, B.C.)

June 1-3, 2019

“Listening and Speaking: Postcolonial Circles of Conversation”

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Dr. David Chariandy (Simon Fraser University)
Prof. Jasbir Puar (Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers University)

Postcolonial Studies has always been mobilized by theoretical and material “circles of conversation”— that is, it has come about as a field rooted in acts of listening and speaking. One might say that “postcolonial listening” is inherently dialogic, drawing on and contesting a wide range of disciplinary modes of inquiry, from the anthropological to the environmental. Postcolonial listening also takes place in the nexus between the local and the global, encompassing the national and subnational; and as we move toward an era of greater intersectionalities, postcolonial studies continues to listen for possible alliances, both within and beyond the academy. Postcolonial speaking, on the other hand, gestures toward the meta-critical nature of the discipline itself. Questions about speaking, the spoken for, speechlessness, and the spoken drive postcolonial conversations about power, appropriation, representation and subjectivity. As a fundamentally contestatory practice, postcolonial conversation is, often urgently, forged by critical discussion, modalities of dissent, and internal mechanisms of what Edward Said calls “scrupulous subjectivity.”

In the spirit of postcolonial circles of conversation, we invite papers, panels, roundtables and workshops to reflect on critical, theoretical and creative acts of listening and speaking. What are the conversations that the “postcolonial” has failed to adequately address? What are the silences, gaps or points of erasure in postcolonial circles of conversation? What are the new conversations generated by or beyond the field, in terms of new theoretical crossroads or points of intersection, new forms of alliance, new acts of cross-cultural listening, new comparative mappings, etc.? How do we approach modes of listening in the context of indigenous knowledge (such as notions of “deep listening”)? How does listening occur across species boundaries? How does the aesthetic or creative, more generally, facilitate original modes of listening and speaking?

CACLALS welcomes conference paper or panel proposals that address any aspect of the CFP’s central questions or issues. We also welcome proposals otherwise related to the Association’s broader mandate to examine postcolonial and global literatures. The following are suggestions in this vein:

  • Dialogue and Dialogism
  • Contested Speech/The Speech Act
  • Testimony and Trauma/Testimonial as Genre
  • Intergenerational Conversations
  • Ecology and Debate in the Anthropocene
  • The Body, Debility and Disability
  • Aurality and Sound/Sound Studies and the Postcolonial
  • The Politics of Representation/Appropriation
  • Empathy, Sympathy and Incommensurability
  • Speculative Subjectivities and Solidarities
  • Cosmopolitanism, Transnationalism and Cross-Cultural Engagement
  • Listening and Post-TRC Indigenous-Settler Relations
  • Listening Across Boundaries (e.g., spatial, geographic, species)
  • Language, Voice, Erasure
  • Multilingual Voices/Official vs. “Unofficial” Languages
  • New Comparative Mappings (e.g., linguistic, regional, diasporic, global, etc.) — New Cross-Disciplinary Approaches

Formal papers should be designed to be delivered in not more than 20 minutes; member- organized panels or roundtables should include 3-5 members and deliver 5-minute position statements related to a single issue or text and then open up discussion to the audience; member- proposed special events and workshops are also welcome. If the latter have funding implications, we ask that the proposal include ideas about how at least partial funding might be secured. We additionally welcome member-proposed panels that draw on a creative-critical interface, provided the submission includes a full description and rationale.

Proposals of approximately 350 words should be sent by January 15, 2019, as a Word doc. attachment to with the subject heading of “CACLALS Proposal at Congress 2019.” Proposals should also include the following information: presenter’s affiliation and rank

presentation title, a 50-word abstract, a short bio, and an indication of any special media or other needs. Proposals are double blind-vetted.

Conference queries should be sent to CACLALS President, Dr. Mariam Pirbhai: Please also see the CACLALS website and follow us on twitter @caclals_ca for more information about the association and for conference updates.

Membership renewal or new membership must be paid in full for inclusion in the final conference program. The automated membership system is available on the CACLALS website: Membership inquiries and fee payments can also be directed to CACLALS Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Henghameh Saroukhani:

The Annual CACLALS Graduate Student Conference Presentation Prize: Information about the Graduate Student Conference Presentation Prize can be found at under the “Graduate Students” tab. All graduate student proposals (clearly identified as such by program and university) will be considered for the prize, with the exception of previous winners.

New Executive Members

Congratulations to our newest executive members:

  • Québec Representative: Jesse Arseneault (Concordia);
  • BC & Northern Territories Representative: Asma Sayed (Kwantlen Polytechnic);
  • Graduate Student Representative: Shalika Sivathasan (York);

Welcome to the team! We look forward to working with you.

Graduate Student Presentation Prize Winner – 2018

Brandi Estey-Burtt (Dalhousie University) wins the 2018 CACLALS Graduate Student Presentation Prize for her paper “Dancing across the Divide: J.M. Coetzee’s Postsecular Embodiment.”

Congratulations to Brandi Estey-Burtt, PhD candidate at Dalhousie University, for being selected by judges Drs. Diana Brydon, Henghameh Saroukhani and Terri Tomsky as the winner of the 2018 CACLALS Graduate Student Presentation Prize.

Grad Prize Panel Finalists (left to right): Brandi Estey-Burtt, Sara Rozenberg, and L. Camille van der Marel.

“This was truly a stellar panel, comprising three theoretically sophisticated, ambitious, and clearly focused papers, each of which advances the terms of engagement of the postcolonial, with its various challenging politics and with the evolving demands of the aesthetic. The judging committee spent our first half hour praising each presentation. In the end, we concluded that Brandi Estey-Burtt’s paper should win the prize this year. We commend this paper for its clarity in dealing with controversial issues in a rhetorically powerful and well-articulated argument that explained not only the texts under discussion but also why the issues the paper raises matter.

We thank all the participants for their inspiring presentations and groundbreaking scholarship. You remind us all why the postcolonial field matters. We can’t wait to see your papers published.”
(Dr. Diana Brydon)

For a description, criteria for judging, and other information about the prize, see Graduate Student Conference Presentation Prize.


CACLALS on Twitter (Congress 2018)

As we are gearing up for Congress 2018, we wanted to make sure that you have all the key hashtags for your Twitter needs. We’ve recently set up a Twitter page (@caclals_ca), so please do follow us and spread the word. Each year we will have a distinctive CACLALS hashtag to track related events and to ensure that we stay connected throughout the conference. For this year’s Congress, please feel free to use our hashtag #caclals18 for related posts and affiliated events. Below is a list of Twitter hashtags that may be of use as you network and tweet through Congress/CACLALS 2018:

#caclals18 (see above for description)
#congressh (note from Congress: “The Federation has created a unique Twitter hashtag specific to the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences — one that does not change from year to year, is bilingual and has now been in use for five years. In English, the SSH at the end of the hashtag represents the acronym for ‘social sciences and humanities’, and in French, the SH stands for ‘sciences humaines’. Last year at Congress 2017, we tracked over 13,095 tweets using the #congressh hashtag. Use the #congressh hashtag across all platforms.”)
#SeeYouInRegina (note from Congress: “In preparation for Congress 2018 we encourage you to also use the hashtag #SeeYouInRegina in relevant tweets to help generate excitement and conversation around Congress at the University of Regina.”)

CACLALS Executive: Call for Nominations

This is a call for nominations for several CACLALS Executive Committee positions, each of which consists of a 2-year term:

  1. BC regional rep (full-time faculty from universities in British Columbia)
  2. Quebec regional rep (full-time faculty from universities in Quebec)
  3. College rep (faculty from a college or Cégep across Canada)
  4. Graduate Student rep (MA or PhD; ideally, students should not be in their last term of a program unless they are anticipating full-time registration in another graduate or post-doctoral program in the Fall)

We welcome nominations and self-nominations to be submitted to CACLALS President by Friday, May 18th.

Please refer to our constitution for descriptions of our executive positions. Nominees should also ensure their membership dues are up-to-date. Members who have not previously served on the CACLALS Executive are encouraged to consider these positions.

The final nomination slate, including additional nominations from the floor, will be part of the official elections process to be held at our AGM on May 28th, at Congress 2018.

CACLALS 2018: Conversation and Reading with Rita Bouvier

We are delighted to announce that Rita Bouvier will be reading from her work at this year’s CACLALS! Rita is the author of three collections of poetry. nakomowin’sa for the seasons (Thistledown Press, 2015) was the 2016 Sask Book Awards winner of the Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Aboriginal Peoples’ Writing Award. In 2005, Gabriel Dumont Institute Publishing transformed the title poem “papîyâhtak”, of her 2004 publication, into a children’s picture book—Better That Way. Her poetry has appeared in literary anthologies, musicals and television productions, and been translated into Spanish, German and Michif. The reading and luncheon (co-sponsored by Ariel), will take place on Monday May 28th, 12:00pm-1:30pm (location TBA).

“Like the seasons by which it is inspired, Rita Bouvier’s collection of poetry takes us on a cyclical journey, moving through landscapes of speech and silence. Language creates, but its force is intense: it loves, but it can wound most intimately. In this age of apology, where “sorry” is often inadequate, we are called to listen as the poet asks, ‘How do we hold silence / in lines of poetry?’ While silence bears the weight of history, it offers refuge as well: in nakomowin’sa for the seasons, Bouvier responds to the trauma of silencing with the healing whispers of generations and the gentle cacophony of the land.”

— Nancy Van Styvendale, Assistant Professor (English) at the University of Saskatchewan