Statement of Solidarity with Antiracist Protest

We are living through an exceptional time with the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, we are witnessing a revitalized attention to incidents of racist policing that might appear exceptional to some, but that are extensions of the racism that has long been endemic to our social lives and institutions. In firm solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and global protests assembling against anti-Black racism worldwide, the Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (CACLALS) remains committed to the difficult work of challenging institutional, relational, and systemic racism.

CACLALS’s mandate has long supported decolonial research and activism; our members continue not only to stand against racist incidents such as the murder of George Floyd, but to seek out ways to work through the systemic racism that marks the colonized worlds in which we live and that provides the conditions of possibility for the devaluation of Black lives. We also affirm that challenging racism goes beyond incidents of racist policing. It involves recognizing that violence against BIPOC lives is foundational to the police as an institution, as well as colonial states such as the United States and Canada whose very existences are predicated on the subjugation of Black and Indigenous peoples. With this in mind, we maintain in support of multiple activists and voices in Black studies scholarship that the violence through which we are living is endemic to the worlds we occupy. Challenging racism thus involves not only this statement of support, but continually working through systemic barriers presented to BIPOC lives, as well as the power dynamics embedded in the relationships that structure our everyday. This also involves, for us, rethinking the ways that the university has been and continues to be an agent of the colonial state. CACLALS itself must contend with our own organization’s implication in colonial institutions such as the university. As we go forward, the collective of BIPOC and settler scholars that regularly assembles at CACLALS looks forward to taking direction from activist voices and Black and Indigenous scholars within and beyond our organization as we navigate the necessary change that must take place if we are to ever inhabit a world in which racialized lives are not vulnerable to police violence.

We stand in solidarity against the violence of the American state, but we also call attention to the Canadian and Québécois states’ long histories of violence against BIPOC lives. Public consciousness in what many call Canada often refutes that such violence exists, and yet the evidence is glaring in ways that—as the recent change of heart of RCMP commissioner Brenda Lucki suggests—do not allow leaders within the state to deny the existence of racism for long. Amidst the courageous work of activists who are the frontline workers against state racism, we join in public mourning for those murdered by police, including Rodney Levi, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Jason Collins, Eishia Husdon, D’Andre Campbell, and Randy Cochrane. This is but a
meagre mention of the devastation that has affected many families. The Canadian state thus must also recognize and dismantle its ongoing participation in the everyday policing of Black and Indigenous lives, its participation in slavery, its founding on the genocide of Indigenous peoples, and the way that these ongoing histories continue to shape the relationship between the state and BIPOC lives. Indeed, while we at CACLALS speak from our specific location, this movement resonates with the policing of Black life globally.

Despite the cancellation of Congress 2020 and the loss of this opportunity to foreground the politics of Black life and anti-Black racism, we hope that conversations on this front will continue. For CACLALS, participating in this conversation goes beyond the act of putting out a public statement in response to the murder by police of George Floyd and the numerous Black and Indigenous lives that have been met with police violence; rather, it involves an ongoing process that precedes and extends beyond our current moment. Amidst this time of social distancing, we instead insist on social cohesion against racialized violence.

Moving forward, we invite our members to participate in this movement in whatever way is possible from their specific location. This might involve joining ongoing protests against police violence and publicly supporting calls to defund the police. It might also involve drawing our university institutions’ attention to their implication in systemic, racialized violence, and calling for further action on their part. For those of us involved in the university, we can pressure our institutions for funding for Black, Indigenous, and decolonial scholarship; demand that universities cut ties with police; lobby for the hire of BIPOC scholars against the Canadian university’s widespread racially exclusionary hiring practices and for financial support for students in Black and Indigenous communities who have long faced barriers in tertiary education; take seriously the call to “Indigenize the curriculum” by taking direction from Indigenous communities and elders and recognizing that the university in its current form is ill-equipped to realize this mandate; and encourage departments and university bodies to publicly participate in the work that is taking place against police violence. We encourage our members to contact our Secretary-Treasurer, Jesse Arseneault ( with resources that merit sharing with the CACLALS community, whether in the form of policy recommendations for universities or activist bodies; reading lists helpful to working through interlocking issues of racism, imperialism, policing and its history as an agent of the colonial state, state terror, or being BIPOC in academia; and research on systemic forms of racism in academia, particularly in Canada. As we receive material, we will circulate it to our membership via our website, Twitter page, and email.

The task ahead is daunting but, whatever direction we choose to pursue, we cannot afford to be complacent.

In solidarity,

Tenure-Track Position in Indigenous Literatures of Turtle Island

The Department of English at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton invites applications for a Tenure-Track position at the rank of Assistant Professor to commence July 1, 2021, subject to final budgetary approval.

Candidates should have a completed PhD, or be close to completion, with research and teaching interests in Indigenous literatures; candidates with a record of achievement in creative writing, drama production, and/or film will be given special consideration. Candidates should be grounded in Indigenous knowledge systems, committed to working with Indigenous students and communities, and able to contribute to UNB’s TRC Strategic Action Plan.

A small, research-intensive department with a reputation for high-quality teaching located on unceded Wolastoqey lands in New Brunswick’s capital city, UNB’s Department of English offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including MA and PhD degrees in the academic and creative writing streams, an undergraduate drama program, and expertise in film studies and screenwriting.

Demonstrated excellence in scholarship and teaching is required. Interested individuals should ask three referees to send letters of reference and should themselves send a letter of application, a detailed curriculum vitae, and a sample of their scholarly work of no more than 30 pages (preferably in electronic format) to:

                                    Dr. John C. Ball, Chair
Department of English
Room #247, Carleton Hall
University of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 4400
Fredericton, NB     E3B 5A3


The deadline for applications is October 1, 2020.

Short-listed candidates will be required to provide satisfactory proof of credentials including appropriately certified translations of credentials into English, as applicable.

The University of New Brunswick is committed to employment equity, fostering diversity within our community and developing an inclusive workplace that reflects the richness of the broader community that we serve. The University welcomes and encourages applications from all qualified individuals who will help us achieve our goals, including women, visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

CACLALS Cancelled

Dear CACLALS members,

The Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences has announced that the in-person Congress at Western University has been canceled as a result of the currently unfolding COVID-19 crisis. After weighing the possibilities and limitations of putting on an e-conference, the CACLALS executive has decided to cancel the 2020 conference.

We plan to defer the current conference and CFP to Congress 2021 at the University of Alberta. This would mean that all currently accepted papers would automatically be added to the 2021 program (pending their authors’ attendance), and we would also extend our CFP to next year to allow for new submissions. In the coming months, we will contact those whose papers have already been accepted to confirm whether they plan to attend the 2021 conference.

Our decision was not made lightly. In our discussion we considered the time and training commitment of those administering the conference (including panel chairs); concerns about childcare for those presenting from home; the limited experience that a digital conference offers when many attend CACLALS for the experience of gathering face-to-face; that the theme of “Confronting Anti-Blackness” requires the ethos of an in-person gathering; cancellations among our partner organizations; limits to Indigenous participation and the potential cancellation of our central event, the Indigenous Roundtable; and issues of accessibility, particularly for our international members. In light of these concerns, and many more, we felt it was not appropriate to continue this year. Nonetheless, we appreciate the efforts of the FHSS team who are currently working tirelessly to offer an online platform for those associations who will continue their conference electronically.

Please note the following policies for those seeking refunds:

  • Conference and Congress fees are administered by FHSS and not CACLALS. We therefore cannot offer refunds for these fees directly. Our understanding is that FHSS will refund the fees and send a confirmation email; we will be in touch when FHSS provides further guidelines about those seeking refunds on conference fees, which we will promptly communicate to our members upon receiving them.
  • As many of you will have purchased membership fees specifically for the conference, we realize that you may want to request a refund for these as well, particularly for members with limited funding. We will grant these requests. However, we kindly ask that members with secure funding consider maintaining their membership. As many of you know from our previous AGMs, CACLALS is consistently in a tight financial position, and we depend on membership fees to keep our conferences going at their current quality, and secure membership allows for more robust programs. Please note that requests for refunds on membership fees for the year should reach CACLALS no later than April 30. Please email membership refund requests to the Secretary-Treasurer, Jesse Arseneault ( with the subject heading “Membership Refund.” You should also include in the body of the message your mailing address so that a check can be sent to you.

For active members, we will also be posting Treasurer’s and President’s Reports on our website and are exploring the feasibility of an AGM via Zoom in the coming months.

In the meantime, we wish all our members safety and good health. We will be reaching out to you as we work through these unforeseen times.


The CACLALS Executive

COVID-19 Update: In-Person Congress Cancelled–More Information on CACLALS Conference Coming Soon

Dear CACLALS Members,

The Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences has announced that the in-person Congress at the University of Western Ontario has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. You can find their official statement at this link. CACLALS is currently exploring options with the Federation on the feasibility of an e-conference and we will announce our intentions for this year’s event in the coming days via the CACLALS website (, our Twitter page (, and an email to our members and presenters.

Many of you will understandably have questions about refunds for conference and membership fees, and we are committed to responding to your queries. Since conference fees are processed through the Congress membership system, however, we ask that you wait until we receive information from the Federation on how refunds will be processed before seeking them from us. We aim to have more information for you within the next week, at which time we will promptly update our members through the above channels.


The CACLALS Executive

Tenure-Track Appointment in Indigenous Literature and Culture at Saint Mary’s University – Application Review Date: Sept. 4, 2020

Please find more information here: SMU Indigenous Literature and Culture Job Posting.

CONFERENCE: Canadian Ecologies: Thinking about Illness, Wellness, and Wellbeing


The 20th International Baltic Conference on Canadian Studies,

9-10 October, 2020

Vilnius University


Canadian Ecologies: Thinking about Illness, Wellness, and Wellbeing


Since Michel Foucault’s delivery of his lectures on bio-politics, there has emerged in contemporary critical theory a whole spate of reflections on the perils of “neoliberal governing” (Wendy Brown), “virtuoso labour” (Isabel Laurey), “precarity” (Judith Butler), “slow violence” (Rob Nixon), and “cruel optimism” (Lauren Berlant), which call to reexamine the Western narratives of progress and modernity. At the heart of these intellectual accounts is the observation that the neoliberal condition, by substituting economic principles for political agency, exacerbates human vulnerability and social insecurity derived from government practices of precarization and bio-political segmentation. As a result, the social formation is depleted of its ethical ligaments that bind individuals to one another in a shared experience of precariousness and structural inequality. In such a magnified state of anxiety the old idea of “the good life” loses traction, bringing to surface the different ways in which ‘the ordinary becomes a landfill for overwhelming and impending crises of life-building and expectation whose sheer volume so threatens what it has meant to ‘have a life” that adjustment seems like an accomplishment.’ (Berlant, 2011: 3)


Concomitant with the cultural critique of neoliberal subjectivity is a new attentiveness to material contexts and counter-hegemonic knowledges, which call for a conceptual revision of the normative scenarios of life-building underlying the logic of the Anthropocene. The intellectual work of ecocriticism, the new materialism, and posthumanist thought has put us on notice to biospheric connectedness, ‘the ecological space of attunement’ (Morton, 2018: 139), and the solidarity with what is given, on the one hand, and technological penetration, violence of efficiency, and waste culture, on the other.


Given these conceptual premises, the conference invites Canada-related critical perspectives on both human and nonhuman historicities, theories and practices of wellbeing, subversive impulses, utopian dreams, minoritarian contexts, and artistic forms, which test the interpretive possibilities of sustainable existence. Conference participants are welcome to address wide-ranging topics that involve variously framed Canadian views on illness, wellness, and wellbeing. These topics include (but are not limited to):


  • Corporate Canada and its “merry bonds”: narratives of wealth vs. a wealth of narratives
  • Indigenous sovereignty and storytelling: place, body, voice, power
  • Rethinking health: historical traumas and the body politic
  • Ecocriticism and bioethics
  • Ethics of vulnerability: narratives of anxiety, contingency, and precarity
  • Theories of “the good life” and “sustainable life”
  • “Going viral”: medicine, market, imagination
  • Food as pharmakon: taste, nourishment, poison
  • Modes and ethics of recycling and upcycling
  • Composted emotions: biopolitics, affect, and the Anthropocene
  • Waste as/and resources: desire, consumption, affect, effect
  • The ethics and aesthetics of the ordinary: narrating domesticity
  • Biodiversity and the arts: plants, animals, and humans in discourse
  • Ecologies of remembering: orthodoxies and alternatives



LENGTH OF PRESENTATIONS: 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

LANGUAGE OF PRESENTATIONS: the working language of the conference is English, but presentations in French are very welcome.

Please send the title of your paper, an abstract (about 100 words), and a brief bio to Rūta Šlapkauskaitė ( no later than 15 September, 2020.


Dear CACLALS members,

Please note that our CFP has been extended to January 25, 2020. We encourage you to submit a proposal if you have not already done so, and look forward to seeing you in June!

CACLALS CFP 2020_Revised

Job Posting at Mount Allison University in African, Caribbean and Island Nations, and/or African Diasporic Literatures

The Department of English Literatures at Mount Allison University is seeking candidates for a tenure-track probationary position at the rank of Lecturer or Assistant Professor (subject to budgetary approval) in the subject area of Literatures of Africa and the African Diaspora.

This subject area can include literatures of continental Africa, the Caribbean and island nations, and of the African diaspora in North America, Europe, and around the world.

This area of expertise should be situated within the larger fields of post-colonial, global, and world literature in English.


Candidates are sought with one or more intersecting areas of secondary expertise (parenthetical lists are examples only, and no single candidate is expected to engage every example):

  • Contemporary literary forms (for example: digital literature, graphic novels, zines, multimedia texts, spoken word, rap/hip-hop)
  • Literary approaches to contemporary popular culture (for example: gaming, film, television, and video, digital cultural platforms, social media studies, popular music, performance art)
  • Interdisciplinary literary studies (for example: literature and science studies, feminist literary analysis, digital humanities, literature and environmental studies)

In their cover letters candidates should describe their specific expertise profile in relation to their research and teaching backgrounds. The successful candidate will be expected to maintain a balance between research and teaching, as Mount Allison University places a high value on both research and teaching and providing research opportunities for undergraduate students.

Mount Allison University is a top-ranked undergraduate university in Canada that prioritizes engaged and creative undergraduate teaching. Candidates are asked to include a Teaching Proposal of up to 1000 words that describes their plan to develop courses and course materials within the Mount Allison Department of English Literatures. Candidates are encouraged to look at the current offerings in the list of Department Courses link, but to also reimagine new courses and approaches to teaching that will support the ongoing decolonization and diversification of our current program. Faculty in the department are expected to teach first- and second-year introductory courses in literature, as well as third- and fourth-year courses on specific subjects in English literature.

Candidates should describe how their teaching will engage multiple levels of university teaching, with details concerning specific themes, texts, and pedagogical methods. Candidates should connect their teaching proposal to one or more of the following teaching approaches or pedagogical theories:

  • Interdisciplinary teaching practice
  • Indigenous/ decolonized/ anti-racist teaching and learning
  • Experiential learning
  • Learning competencies and skill development
  • Creative practice/ research-creation pedagogies

Please do not send Teaching Portfolios or Statements of Teaching Philosophy.

Qualified candidates will have a complete PhD in English Literature or another field directly related to the described position. The Department of English Literatures seeks to reverse the historic under-representation of equity-seeking groups among our faculty. We thus encourage applications from those who would contribute to the diversification of our staff and faculty including, but not limited to, individuals willing to self-identify as being of African heritage or African Descent, including people from the Caribbean and the Americas. Applicants are invited to write a statement that identifies them as a person of African Descent or other racial or cultural minority group, as expressed by their current connection to their community, or their personal or family narrative that describes their past connection to such a community.

Candidates should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and 1000-word Teaching Proposal as one PDF document directly to: Further materials may be requested later in the search process.

Three letters of reference from academic referees should be sent directly from the referee to:

Application materials should be addressed to:

Professor Janine Rogers

Chair of the Search Committee, Literatures of Africa and the African Diaspora

Department of English Literatures

Mount Allison University

Sackville, New Brunswick


Mount Allison acknowledges, honours, and respects that the land named Sackville, NB is part of the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People who are the historic inhabitants, custodians, and dwellers on the land where our University is built and confirms its commitment to strengthening relationships with all Indigenous people.

Mount Allison is committed to diversity and inclusiveness. We encourage applications from members of racialized communities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual and gender identities. We seek candidates with qualifications and knowledge to contribute specifically to the further diversification of our campus community.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are given priority. Canadians and permanent residents should indicate their citizenship status in their application.

REMINDER: CACLALS CFP Deadline, January 15

This is just a reminder that the deadline for the CACLALS CFP is January 15, 2020. We look forward to seeing new and familiar faces in London, Ontario. Please submit your proposals by the deadline, and circulate widely in your networks. We accept papers on a wide range of issues, so don’t hesitate to submit a potential paper!

Also, graduate students, please remember to indicate your status to qualify for consideration for the Graduate Student Presentation Prize!

Our CFP is available here: CACLALS CFP 2020.

LTA in Children’s Literature at St. Francis Xavier University

Department of English

Limited Term Appointment for Assistant Professor


The Department of English at St. Francis Xavier University invites applications for a 9 month Limited Term Appointment for a specialist in children’s literature at the rank of Assistant Professor. The term of the appointment is from September 1, 2020 to May 30, 2021. The position is subject to final budgetary approval.


The teaching load will include first-year introductory courses. An ability to teach a class on children’s visual media would be considered an asset. Ph.D. preferred.


Applicants should provide a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statements on teaching interests and philosophy, a sample of writing (6000-8000 words), and the names, addresses (including email), and telephone numbers of three references. Applications should be sent via email to:


Dr. Jason Potts

Chair, Department of English

St. Francis Xavier University

P.O. Box 5000, Antigonish NS B2G 2W5



Review of applications will begin on January 31, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.



Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. StFX respects diversity and welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities and members of a sexual minority group.


Posted: December 16, 2019