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

CACLALS 2018 International Keynote (jointly hosted with ACCUTE): Jahan Ramazani

We are excited to announce that our 2018 International Keynote will be Professor Jahan Ramazani!

Jahan Ramazani is University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since receiving his PhD at Yale in 1988. He is writing a book on poetry in a global age. His five previous books are Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres (2013); A Transnational Poetics (2009), winner of the 2011 Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association, awarded for the best book in comparative literary history published in the years 2008 to 2010; The Hybrid Muse: Postcolonial Poetry in English (2001); Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney (1994), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Yeats and the Poetry of Death: Elegy, Self-Elegy, and the Sublime (1990). He is editor of The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Poetry (2017); a co-editor of the most recent editions of The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry (2003) and The Norton Anthology of English Literature (2006, 2012, 2018); and an associate editor of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012). He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEH Fellowship, a Rhodes Scholarship, the William Riley Parker Prize of the MLA, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, the University of Virginia’s highest honor. In 2016, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His talk, which will be on Saturday May 26th 2018, 3:30pm-5:00pm (location TBA), is tentatively titled: “Gathering Linguistic Diversities: The Poem, the World, and Translation.”

CACLALS 2018 Plenary (jointly hosted with ACCUTE): Zarqa Nawaz

We are thrilled to announce that our 2018 Plenary will be Zarqa Nawaz!

Zarqa Nawaz has a B.Sc from the University of Toronto and after being rejected from medical school she went on to create several short comedy films that focused on Muslim issues in Canada. When the National Film Board of Canada approached her to do something more serious, she was ready for it. Her 2005 ground-breaking documentary Me and the Mosque explored Muslim women’s battle with patriarchy in the mosque. Her comedy hit, Little Mosque on the Prairie, ran on CBC Television between 2007 and 2012. Most recently she has written a bestselling comedic memoir, Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, in which she explores what it was like to grow up as a Canadian of Muslim faith. Her talk is tentatively titled: “How to write a sitcom about Muslims – very carefully!”