Graduate Student Presentation Prize – 2019

Margaret Boyce (McMaster University) wins the 2019 CACLALS Graduate Student Presentation Prize for her paper “Seeking Understanding in the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Exhibition Catalogues.”

Presentation Prize Panel (left to right) with Dr. Daniel Coleman (distinguished guest judge; McMaster), Margaret Boyce (McMaster), Connor Meeker (York), and Jonathan Nash (Victoria).

Congratulations to Margaret Boyce, PhD candidate at McMaster University, for being selected by judges Drs. Daniel Coleman, Jesse Arseneault and Asma Sayed as the winner of the 2019 CACLALS Graduate Student Presentation Prize.

Below are the citations by our judges for each finalist paper (in order of presentation):

Margaret Boyce’s paper offered an incisive exploration of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s (WAG) exhibition catalogues of Inuit art, troubling how they stage the relationship between frequently settler bodies in the south and Inuit communities in the north. While the museum’s account of Inuit art figures it as a window into Inuit culture, Boyce’s paper traces how such rhetoric instead facilitates Canada’s effective occupation of the Arctic region by imagining the North as a blank slate onto which the Canadian state can project its own Northernness and assimilate Inuit art into an imagined Canadian unity. In the process of projecting Canada into Inuit histories, the paper suggests, the WAG simultaneously relegates Indigenous claims to sovereignty to the past. Boyce’s paper stood out for a number of reasons; it provided a clear direction for current and future research thinking through the particularities of Canada’s ongoing colonial control over the north not always legible in the theoretical frameworks of southern settler-colonialism, challenged conventional frames for reading Inuit art—especially those that rely on universalist notions of aesthetics and ethnographic readings of “culture”—and, finally, closed with a nod to the possibility that artworks themselves—rather than facilitating an encounter of domination—may be documents that refuse such an encounter.”

Connor Meeker provided a thoughtful close reading of the play Reckoning by Tara Beagan and Andy Moro, noting how the play works against the Canadian reconciliation paradigm by presenting how inequitable the affective labour required by the TRC process actually is and thus acknowledging the ongoing trauma of the residential schools in the very effort of reconciliation. The play, he pointed out, thus attempts to touch feeling without presenting  Indigenous pain for settler consumption. Setting this reading in the rich context of the financial and emotional economy within which the TRC operates as well as in relation to a range of Indigenous criticisms of reconciliation discourse, Connor highlighted how the art form of this play can offer an alternative way of storytelling that demonstrates the costs and quagmires of Canada’s settler colonial desire for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”

Jonathan Nash’s presentation proposed a new theoretical framework for looking at migration and detention in global literature and argued that we need new analytics that foregrounds self-making and world-making as its humanistic point of departure instead of biopower. Situating his reading of Kate Evan’s graphic journalism in the context of current global images of migration, he elaborated on self-making in narratives of migration and theories of ‘bare life’.”

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

CFP – Critical Perspectives on David Chariandy’s Writings

Call for Contributions

Edited collection

Critical perspectives on David Chariandy’s Writings

Editor: Rodolphe Solbiac Université des Antilles
(Presses Universitaires de l’Université des Antilles)

 

The literary work of Canadian Caribbean writer David Chariandy is a resounding and growing success in the contemporary literary world in Canada and beyond. His work dedicated to the re-territorialisation of Caribbean people in Canada and the transmission of Caribbean cultural memory to new generations is translated into French and several other languages.

After the success of his first novel entitled Soucouyant, published in 2007 and selected for eleven literary awards, his second novel, entitled Brother, impresses by the sensitivity it conveys and the craft of its prose.

Brother has been nominated for several prestigious Canadian literary awards and won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award in 2017 and the Toronto Book Award in 2018. His work also includes a non-fiction prose book entitled I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You: A Letter to my Daughter published in 2018. Chariandy’s books have been published internationally and have been translated (or are being translated) into French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Catalan, Albanian and simplified Chinese.

If Soucouyant is taught in several universities in Canada, England and Martinique, with the outstanding release of Brother, it is necessary to give David Chariandy’s work critical attention in line with the importance of its public reception.

This special issue of the journal Etudes Caribéennes, entitled Perspectives critiques sur l’oeuvre de David Chariandy, will be the first bilingual (English-French) critical anthology devoted to David Chariandy’s work.

1) Abstracts should be sent to Rodolphe Solbiac, Associate Professor of Anglophone Caribbean Literature at the University of the West Indies by July 15, 2019.
2) Contributions should be sent to Rodolphe Solbiac, Associate Professor of Anglophone Caribbean Literature at the University of the West Indies by October 15, 2019.

Email: rsolbiacAntillesuniversite@gmail.com

CLICK FOR CFP IN FRENCH

Extended Deadline: Decolonial (Re)Visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

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

Deadline extended: July 1, 2019

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 now July 1, 2019. Please consult canlit.ca 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.

 

CFP – Image and Imagery: Im/migrant passages: Crossing Visual, Spatial and Textual Boundaries

Call for Contributions to an e-book – Image & Imagery: Im/migrant passages: Crossing Visual, Spatial and Textual Boundaries

To emigrate is to leave, to immigrate is to arrive and stay, to migrate is to move, often as a result of forced displacement. Most emigrants, immigrants, migrants and/or refugees frequently face difficult, if not heartbreaking decisions when they decide they must settle elsewhere. According to the latest UNHCR estimates, 65.6 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide by war, poverty, and/or climate change. Many live(d) in refugee/migrant camps where they often face(d) inhumane conditions, discrimination, violence, and racism, while others spend/spent most of their lives in transit camps.

We are inviting scholars and artists to reflect on the im/migrant experience and examine the perspective of the displaced as illustrated/expressed in literatures and/or the arts.  Selected contributions will be published by The Small Walker Press, Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in the form of an e-book (https://brocku.ca/miwsfpa/stac/small-walker-press-publications-2019-20/ ).

To submit an article, please follow the guidelines below and send it to Catherine Parayre (cparayre@brocku.ca) and Tamara El-Hoss (telhoss@brocku.ca) by August 31, 2019. Submissions will be peer-reviewed. Accepted articles are scheduled to be published in early 2020.

Guidelines:

  • 15 to 20 pages (doubled-spaced), Times New Roman 12, WORD document.
  • MLA format.
  • Notes: at the end of the document.
  • Bibliographical references: in the list of Works Cited (not in notes).
  • Language: English or French.
  • Quotations in languages other than the one used in the article: translated into the language of the article in the text and original text in a note at the end of the document.
  • Images: authors must provide a permission of reproduction from the copyright holders by September 30, 2019. No image will be reproduced without written permission.

EXTENDED DEADLINE CFP – Post/Colonial Ports: Place and Nonplace in the Ecotone

Call for Papers: Post/Colonial Ports: Place and Nonplace in the Ecotone

Ecotones: Encounters, Crossings, and Communities (2015-2020): Ecotones #6

Concordia University, Montreal, Canada October 24-26, 2019 in partnership with EMMA (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3), MIGRINTER (CNRS-Université de Poitiers) and La Maison Française d’Oxford

<https://emma.www.univ-montp3.fr/fr/valorisation-partenariats/programmes-europ%C3%A9ens-et-internationaux/ecotones>

Venue: Concordia University, Montréal, Canada Dates: October 24-26, 2019
Language: English
Deadline for submitting proposals: EXTENDED to April 30, 2019

After conferences in Montpellier, Poitiers and La Réunion (France, 2015, 2016 and 2018), as well as Kolkata (India, 2018) and Purchase (NY, USA, 2019), this is the 6th opus of this conference cycle in Montreal, Concordia University. An “ecotone” initially designates a transitional area between two ecosystems, for example between land and sea. The “Ecotones” program (2015-2020) is a cycle of conferences which aims to borrow this term traditionally used in geography and ecology and to broaden the concept by applying it to other disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. An “ecotone” can thus also be understood as a cultural space of encounters, conflicts, and renewal between several communities. This interdisciplinary conference will more specifically focus on colonial and postcolonial port cities as ecotonic dialectics between places and non-places.

Commonly understood, a port is the site where ships’ passengers enter or exit, and cargo is loaded or unloaded. Thus, it represents the flow of people and exchange of goods, in the age of sail, as well as in the contemporary globalized world. The unbounded space of the port offers opportunities to explore “discontinuous histories” of port cities, and “its interfaces with the wider world” (Gilroy 1993), as a site that decentres the nation through its slippery flows. In addition, port cities anchor urban development around shipping routes and international trade. Ports of call offer the hope of safe harbours for migrants, a refuge in a storm, or alternatively a vulnerable site for colonial concessions or gateways that must be regulated or controlled. Ports are also passages of communications. In computer networking, a port is a nodal point of communication through which data flows, a portal to information. Lastly port cities occupy that liminal space between land and water, an in-between ecotonic zone of transition.

Ports are often referred to as nonplaces – gateways subject to global forces that historically shaped trans-oceanic connections, expansion into hinterlands, and crossroads of historical and contemporary encounters. Nonplaces within cities are commonly perceived as liminal locations reduced to their function of transportation or commercial nodes, or as locations that crush the sense of individual empowerment. But artists, writers, critics and researchers have depicted them as multiple, paradoxical spaces, where new possibilities arise and new cultures emerge. Nonplaces may produce social flows and networks that are not only a defining feature of our “super-modernity”, but also, in the longue durée of urban and semi-urban dynamics, a matrix for identity formation, cultural transitions and environmental adaptation.

Port cities, however, are also placed. Cities such as Georgetown in Guyana, Shanghai, Dar es Salaam, Liverpool, Calcutta, Nantes, or Montreal among many others, may be viewed through longstanding geographic imaginaries, linguistic collectivities and/or colonial and postcolonial histories, suggesting an ongoing struggle over who ‘claims’ the city (in Montreal’s case, unceded territory), and gestures towards political, social, or economic insecurities apparent in the spatial configurations of urban life, with implications that potentially destabilize national narratives. For example, as an island in the Saint Lawrence River, the city of Montreal is not only connected to multiple elsewheres through migration, but also through trade. The Saint Lawrence opens on to the Atlantic ocean through which flowed a long-standing trade in bauxite from towns in the Caribbean to Quebec (following circuits laid by imperialism). Thus, ports shape material channels of profit and power, as well as modes of resistance that occur around these networks of control.

We seek papers that engage with these multiple formations of ecotone spaces within port cities, past and present. We encourage abstracts on topics such as (but not limited to):

· Circulations and hubs of ideas, migration, or commerce that linked cities across empire(s)
· Interactions and networks of mobile labour in port cities, the spatiality of encounters
· Cultural transitions or environmental adaptions in (post)colonial port cities at different historical junctures or across geographic locations
· Urban colonial heritage, and attendant linkages to global urbanism
· Memorializing of port city histories and the shaping of identities (including sexuality, race, gender, language, religious, migrant)
· Literary representations and/or Visualities of colonial or postcolonial urban flows
· Port cities as globalized past and/or migrancy of the present
· Regulation, control, and spatial division within (post)colonial port cities

We invite contributors to upload their proposals (a 250-word abstract, title, author’s name, a 150- word bio, and contact) to the conference website: https://ecotones.submittable.com/submit/135822/ecotones-6-montreal

Each presentation will be 20 minutes (followed by discussion time). A selection of papers will be considered for publication at the conclusion of the series of Ecotones events.

Ecotones 6 Organizing Committee Jill Didur (English, Concordia University) jill.didur@concordia.ca Nalini Mohabir (Geography, Concordia University) nalini.mohabir@concordia.ca

Ecotones Program Coordinators Thomas Lacroix (Maison Française, Oxford-CNRS) thomas.lacroix@cnrs.fr Judith Misrahi-Barak (EMMA, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3) judith.misrahi-barak@univ-montp3.fr Maggi Morehouse (Coastal Carolina University) morehouse@coastal.edu

CFP – Post/Colonial Ports: Place and Nonplace in the Ecotone

Call for Papers: Post/Colonial Ports: Place and Nonplace in the Ecotone

Ecotones: Encounters, Crossings, and Communities (2015-2020): Ecotones #6

Concordia University, Montreal, Canada October 24-26, 2019 in partnership with EMMA (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3), MIGRINTER (CNRS-Université de Poitiers) and La Maison Française d’Oxford

<https://emma.www.univ-montp3.fr/fr/valorisation-partenariats/programmes-europ%C3%A9ens-et-internationaux/ecotones>

Venue: Concordia University, Montréal, Canada Dates: October 24-26, 2019
Language: English
Deadline for submitting proposals: April 5, 2019

After conferences in Montpellier, Poitiers and La Réunion (France, 2015, 2016 and 2018), as well as Kolkata (India, 2018) and Purchase (NY, USA, 2019), this is the 6th opus of this conference cycle in Montreal, Concordia University. An “ecotone” initially designates a transitional area between two ecosystems, for example between land and sea. The “Ecotones” program (2015-2020) is a cycle of conferences which aims to borrow this term traditionally used in geography and ecology and to broaden the concept by applying it to other disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. An “ecotone” can thus also be understood as a cultural space of encounters, conflicts, and renewal between several communities. This interdisciplinary conference will more specifically focus on colonial and postcolonial port cities as ecotonic dialectics between places and non-places.

Commonly understood, a port is the site where ships’ passengers enter or exit, and cargo is loaded or unloaded. Thus, it represents the flow of people and exchange of goods, in the age of sail, as well as in the contemporary globalized world. The unbounded space of the port offers opportunities to explore “discontinuous histories” of port cities, and “its interfaces with the wider world” (Gilroy 1993), as a site that decentres the nation through its slippery flows. In addition, port cities anchor urban development around shipping routes and international trade. Ports of call offer the hope of safe harbours for migrants, a refuge in a storm, or alternatively a vulnerable site for colonial concessions or gateways that must be regulated or controlled. Ports are also passages of communications. In computer networking, a port is a nodal point of communication through which data flows, a portal to information. Lastly port cities occupy that liminal space between land and water, an in-between ecotonic zone of transition.

Ports are often referred to as nonplaces – gateways subject to global forces that historically shaped trans-oceanic connections, expansion into hinterlands, and crossroads of historical and contemporary encounters. Nonplaces within cities are commonly perceived as liminal locations reduced to their function of transportation or commercial nodes, or as locations that crush the sense of individual empowerment. But artists, writers, critics and researchers have depicted them as multiple, paradoxical spaces, where new possibilities arise and new cultures emerge. Nonplaces may produce social flows and networks that are not only a defining feature of our “super-modernity”, but also, in the longue durée of urban and semi-urban dynamics, a matrix for identity formation, cultural transitions and environmental adaptation.

Port cities, however, are also placed. Cities such as Georgetown in Guyana, Shanghai, Dar es Salaam, Liverpool, Calcutta, Nantes, or Montreal among many others, may be viewed through longstanding geographic imaginaries, linguistic collectivities and/or colonial and postcolonial histories, suggesting an ongoing struggle over who ‘claims’ the city (in Montreal’s case, unceded territory), and gestures towards political, social, or economic insecurities apparent in the spatial configurations of urban life, with implications that potentially destabilize national narratives. For example, as an island in the Saint Lawrence River, the city of Montreal is not only connected to multiple elsewheres through migration, but also through trade. The Saint Lawrence opens on to the Atlantic ocean through which flowed a long-standing trade in bauxite from towns in the Caribbean to Quebec (following circuits laid by imperialism). Thus, ports shape material channels of profit and power, as well as modes of resistance that occur around these networks of control.

We seek papers that engage with these multiple formations of ecotone spaces within port cities, past and present. We encourage abstracts on topics such as (but not limited to):

· Circulations and hubs of ideas, migration, or commerce that linked cities across empire(s)
· Interactions and networks of mobile labour in port cities, the spatiality of encounters
· Cultural transitions or environmental adaptions in (post)colonial port cities at different historical junctures or across geographic locations
· Urban colonial heritage, and attendant linkages to global urbanism
· Memorializing of port city histories and the shaping of identities (including sexuality, race, gender, language, religious, migrant)
· Literary representations and/or Visualities of colonial or postcolonial urban flows
· Port cities as globalized past and/or migrancy of the present
· Regulation, control, and spatial division within (post)colonial port cities

We invite contributors to upload their proposals (a 250-word abstract, title, author’s name, a 150- word bio, and contact) to the conference website: https://ecotones.submittable.com/submit/135822/ecotones-6-montreal

Each presentation will be 20 minutes (followed by discussion time). A selection of papers will be considered for publication at the conclusion of the series of Ecotones events.

Ecotones 6 Organizing Committee Jill Didur (English, Concordia University) jill.didur@concordia.ca Nalini Mohabir (Geography, Concordia University) nalini.mohabir@concordia.ca

Ecotones Program Coordinators Thomas Lacroix (Maison Française, Oxford-CNRS) thomas.lacroix@cnrs.fr Judith Misrahi-Barak (EMMA, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3) judith.misrahi-barak@univ-montp3.fr Maggi Morehouse (Coastal Carolina University) morehouse@coastal.edu

CFP – Instituting, Forgetting, and Remembering: (Post-)Colonial Practices of Child Removal in Children’s Media

Call for Papers: Special Issue of International Research in Children’s Literature (http://www.euppublishing.com/loi/ircl)
Editors: Lies Wesseling (lies.wesseling@maastrichtuniversity.nl) and Mavis Reimer (m.reimer@uwinnipeg.ca)

Abstracts due: 1 April 2019

The (forcible) relocation and re-education of Indigenous children at the peripheries of empire was a wide-spread form of colonial governance. Children were considered to be more malleable than their adult counterparts, meaning that colonial regimes considered it possible to ‘take the Indian out of the child’, or to ‘breed the color out of aboriginals’ or to transform Indigenous children up to the points at which they could make themselves useful as local intermediaries between the coloniser and colonised. Thus, Indigenous children have often figured as both targets and tools of Western civilising projects, as a tentative solution to the perennial problem of how to govern vast nations by means of a relatively small number of colonial administrators who, moreover, often lacked in-depth knowledge of the languages and cultures of the nations they were supposed to rule.

As Karen Sánchez-Eppler has argued convincingly in Dependent States, colonial strategies for governing the peripheries of empire and pedagogical regimes for raising metropolitan children were interdependent. Empires were ‘raised like children’ and children were ‘civilized like savages.’ Children’s literature and affiliated media such as textbooks played a pivotal role in instituting, forgetting, and remembering the systematic instrumentalisation of Indigenous children in (post-)colonial contexts. For instance, educative discourses bent on piquing metropolitan children’s interest in the colonies in order to recruit the next generation of colonial administrators, missionaries, and entrepreneurs. After decolonisation, these discourses were complicit in creating a silence around the colonial past. At the same time, however, these discourses and texts also preserved the past and eventually contributed to the disruption of the silence about the ‘stolen generations,’ ‘lost birds,’ deracinés.

This special issue aims to analyse how children’s literature and affiliated media instituted, silenced, and remembered forcible child removal from an international comparative perspective, including but also moving beyond the conventional focus on the former British Commonwealth. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following issues:

  • How was the relocation and re-education of Indigenous children ‘sold’ to metropolitan children?
  • What versions of ‘family’ and ‘family values’ are propagated by children’s media that targets Indigenous children at the peripheries of empire?
  • How did children’s literature and textbooks respond to decolonisation?
  • Have exotic colonial themes, settings, and plot structures vanished from children’s media? If so, when did this occur?
  • When do efforts to re-present and remember child removal through children’s media gain ascendancy over silence and oblivion? How does children’s fiction relate to historiography in this respect?
  • Can the responses and resistances of Indigenous children to their removals and relocations from family homes be disinterred from the silences of history? What work has been done and what work remains to be done to ensure that their voices are heard?
  • Is the question of the ‘decolonisation of childhood’ still topical? How do contemporary forms of neo-colonialism, post-colonialism, and anti-colonialism impact on the cultural construction of childhood as articulated by children’s media?

We particularly welcome transnational comparative approaches.

Abstracts due: 1 April 2019; completed papers 1 October 2019, publication July 2020.

CACLALS 2019 Keynote Speakers: Bios and Abstracts

We are delighted to announce our three distinguished keynote speakers for CACLALS 2019.

Photo by Joy van Tiedemann

David Chariandy is a Professor in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University and a well-known scholar in the fields of Black, Canadian, and Caribbean literatures. Chariandy teaches contemporary literature, especially Black, Canadian, and Caribbean prose forms. He also teaches creative writing and cultural studies. His scholarly criticism has been published in journals such as Callaloo, Transition Magazine, The Journal of West Indian Literature, Postcolonial Text, The Global South, and Topia, as well as in academic books such as the Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature, The Routledge Companion to Caribbean Literature, and Narratives of Citizenship. He has co-edited three special issues of journals, most recently Transition Magazine 124: “Writing Black Canadas.”

His first novel entitled Soucouyant was nominated for eleven literary awards and prizes. It was longlisted for the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the 2008 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the 2007 Governor General’s Award for English-language fiction, the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book of Canada and the Caribbean, the 2008 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the 2008 City of Toronto Book Award, the 2008 ReLit Award for fiction, and the 2007 Books in Canada First Novel Award. His second novel entitled Brother was longlisted for Canada Reads and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, named on eight year-end Canadian ‘Best Books’ lists, and won the 2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the 2018 Toronto Book Award. His latest work of creative non-fiction is entitled I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You: A Letter To My Daughter. Chariandy’s books have been published internationally and have been translated (or are currently being translated) into French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Catalan, Albanian, and Simplified Chinese. Originally from Scarborough, Ontario, Chariandy was trained at Carleton University (BA and MA) and York University (PhD).

 

Theory[1]

In Dionne Brand’s recent novel Theory, the unidentified speaker attempts to complete a wildly ambitious thesis, confronting not only the distracting forces of three consecutive lovers, but also the question of ‘Theory’ itself, and the contradictions between the ideal of freely revolutionary research and writing, and the strictures of institutionally sanctioned language, methods, and references. One decidedly minor character appearing in a footnote near the end of the novel is ‘Chariandy,’ whose enthusiastic commentary on the writings of the brilliant ‘Xavier Simon’ serves, perhaps, as but a further cautionary illustration of the tension between authorized academic criticism and the sublime energies of Black art.

In the proposed work of auto-fiction, we will attempt to excavate the story of the mysterious ‘Chariandy,’ exploring his own complicated romance with ‘Theory’ in an academic moment and setting defined by post-structural melancholia, gloomy utilitarian architecture, an increasingly vocal racialized student body, and the neo-liberal assault upon an ostensibly ‘radical’ university. In particular, we will explore ‘Chariandy’s’ efforts to complete an original thesis on Black Canadian literature while secretly pursuing what he assumes is Theory’s wholly discredited notion of ‘creative writing.’

[1] A footnote.

(This event is co-hosted with ACCUTE)

 

Photo by Tanja Tiziana

Jasbir K. Puar is Professor and Graduate Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, where she has been a faculty member since 2000. Her most recent book is The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability (2017) published with Duke University Press in the series ANIMA: Critical Race Studies Otherwise that she co-edits with Mel Chen. Puar is the author of award-winning Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (2007), which has been translated into Spanish and French and re-issued in an expanded version for its 10th anniversary (December 2017).

Puar’s edited volumes include a special issue of GLQ (“Queer Tourism: Geographies of Globalization”) and co-edited volumes of Society and Space (“Sexuality and Space”), Social Text (“Interspecies”), and Women’s Studies Quarterly (“Viral”). She also writes for The Guardian, Huffington Post, Art India, The Feminist Review, Bully Bloggers, Jadaliyya, and Oh! Industry. Her writings have been translated into Polish, French, German, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Danish.

Puar’s major awards include a 2018 Fellowship from the Palestinian American Research Council, the 2013-14 Society for the Humanities Fellowship at Cornell University, the Edward Said Chair of American Studies 2012-13 at the American University of Beirut, a Rockefeller Fellowship at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center (1999-2000) and a Ford Foundation grant for archival and ethnographic documentation work (2002-2003). She received the 2013 Modern Languages Association Gay Lesbian/Queer Caucus Michael Lynch Award for her years of scholar-activist work. In January 2013 she was honored with the Robert Sutherland Visitorship at Queens University, awarded to “a notable individual with expertise in race relations.” She has also received two awards for her graduate teaching, in 2011 from the Graduate School of Rutgers University and in 2012 from the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools. In 2017 Puar’s article “Bodies with New Organs: Becoming Trans, Becoming Disabled” (Social Text #124) was awarded the Modern Language Association’s Gay Lesbian/Queer Caucus’s Crompton-Noll Prize for Best LGBTQ Studies Article.

Distinguished lectureships include the Butrill Endowed Fund for Ethics Lecture at Texas A&M University (2017); the Hull Lecture on Women and Justice at University of California Santa Barbara (2015); the Lionel Cantu Memorial lecture at University of California Santa Cruz (2014); Henry Jackson Endowed Lectureship in International Relations at Whitman College (2014); the Peg Zeglin Brand Lecturer at Indiana University (2013); Whidden Lecturer at McMaster University (2013); Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University of Cairo (2012); the Institute of Women’s Studies’ Shirley Greenberg Lecture at the University of Ottawa (2012).

 

Spatial Debilities: Slow Life and Carceral Capitalism in Palestine

There has been much written on the forms of control enacted in the splintering occupation of Palestine, in particular regarding mobility, identity, and spatiality, yet this vast scholarship has presumed the prominence of the abled-body that is hindered through the infrastructures of occupation. In this lecture I examine the splintering occupation in relation to disability and the spatial distribution of debilitation, highlighting the logistics of border crossings and movement in the West Bank in relation to disability rights frameworks. I argue two things: one, that the creation of what Celeste Langan terms “mobility disabilities” through both corporeal assault and infrastructural and bureaucratic means are not only central to the calculus of the occupation, but importantly, linked logics of debilitation; and two, that these calibrations of various types of movement are forms of carceral containment and enclosure that render specific stretchings of space and time, what we could call slow life.

(This event is co-hosting with ACCUTE)

 

Photo: Standford University

David Palumbo-Liu’s fields of interest include social and cultural criticism, literary theory and criticism, East Asian and Asia Pacific American studies. His most recent book, The Deliverance of Others: Reading Literature in a Global Age (Duke, 2012) addresses the role of contemporary humanistic literature with regard to the instruments and discourses of globalization, seeking to discover modes of affiliation and transnational ethical thinking; he is also co-editor with Bruce Robbins and Nirvana Tanoukhi of Immanuel Wallerstein and the Problem of the World: System, Scale, Culture (Duke, 2011).  Palumbo-Liu is most interested in issues regarding social theory, community, race and ethnicity, justice, globalization, ecology, and the specific role that literature and the humanities play in helping us address each of these areas.  He is the founding editor of Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (found on Arcade) and blogs for TruthOut and The Boston Review. He is also a Contributing Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books and on the HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science & Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) Steering Committee and the Academic Steering and Advocacy Committee of the Open Library of the Humanities.

 

Ethics Before Comparison

“Ethics Before Comparison” considers the project of comparison as first of all an ethical one.  Before we begin to draw comparisons between cultures, languages, and literatures, it is critical to first recognize the assumptions that undergird the very act of comparison.  For example, when setting forth to compare novels from Japan and France, what do we understand the novel form to be?  What counts as a narrative?  Most importantly, what might the consequences of denying a national culture a “form” such as a novel?  What kinds of moral and ethical judgments might we be tempted to make about that “lack”?  At base is an attempt to realize the potentials and weaknesses of such an idea as a “global citizen.” As such, the talk extends far beyond the classroom to connect with people of all ages and occupations.

(This event is co-hosted with CCLA and ACCUTE)

 

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 canlit.ca 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 jtronsga@ubishops.ca 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.

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