2014

The Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures invites proposals for papers for our annual conference at Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario, on May 24-26, 2014. This year’s Congress theme, “Borders without Boundaries,” encourages us to think about geopolitical borders. In the contemporary context of neoliberalism and globalization, such questioning is increasingly compelling and necessary; indeed, numerous recent studies of Canadian and Québecois literary cultures insist on the cultural and political urgency of examining contemporary geopolitical borders. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 15, 2014.

ACQL’s Call for Proposal

Annual conference
Association for Canadian and Québec Literatures:
Borders Without Boundaries

Congress 2014
May 24-26, 2014
Brock University
St. Catharines, Ontario

This year’s Congress theme, “Borders without Boundaries,” encourages us most obviously to think about geopolitical borders. In the contemporary context of neoliberalism and globalization, such questioning is increasingly compelling and necessary. Numerous recent studies of Canadian and Québecois literary cultures (e.g., Casteel and Siemerling’s Canada and Its Americas, Khordoc’s Tours et détours, Wyile’s Anne of Tim Hortons) insist on the cultural and political urgency of examining contemporary geopolitical borders.

Indeed, many kinds of borders, both literal and metaphorical, matter or have mattered to Canadian and Québecois literary studies. As a means of recognizing the material turn of Canadian and Québecois literary studies, represented most obviously by the national book histories that emerged from English Canada and Québec in the last two decades, we might investigate how literal and metaphorical borders have contributed to the production of Canadian and Québecois literatures, both in the contemporary moment and in earlier periods. How have such borders nourished the study of literature and culture in Canada; or, conversely, how have such borders functioned as barriers to its growth?

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• institutional borders: the organizing of Canadian and Québecois literatures in distinct departments (English and French); the institutional housing of Aboriginal literatures, etc.
• borders between and among literary movements
• borders in the service of periodization and canonization
• borders as markers of literary fields and areas of specialization (i.e., among “early,” “modern,” and “contemporary” CanLit)
• shifting borders around the concept of the “literary” in Canadian and Québecois literatures (in classrooms, in academic study, in popular culture, etc.)
• borders and the material culture of authorship and publishing
• borders and copyright regimes

We also welcome member-organized sessions on topics related to any aspect of Canadian and Quebec literatures. Calls for member-organized sessions should be no more than 200 words. They are due on or before 30 November 2013 and will be posted on the ACQL website (see below).

All paper or session proposals can be written in French or English. Those who propose papers or sessions must be members of the ACQL by March 1, 2014. See the ACQL website (www.alcq-acql.ca) for membership and registration information.

Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to one of the coordinators listed below by 15 January 2014.

Coordinator (English)
Professor Jody Mason
Department of English
Carleton University
Dunton Tower 1812
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1S 5B6
Telephone: (613) 520-2600 ex. 8907
Fax: (613) 520-3544
e-mail: jody_mason@carleton.ca

Coordinator (French)
Professeure Sophie Marcotte
Département d’études françaises
Université Concordia
1455, boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest
Montréal (Québec)
H3G 1M8
Téléphone: (514) 848-2424 poste 7513
Courriel: sophie.marcotte@concordia.ca

Member Organized Sessions

“From here, West is East”: Trans-Pacific Canadian Literature

Organizer: Joanne Leow

Sachiko Murakami’s poem “Tower” in her 2011 collection of poetry Rebuild cannily inverts the Eurocentric geographical compass that defines Canada’s relationship with Europe and Asia. By subverting the directionality of our gaze both West and East, the poem also recalls the history of trans-Pacific flows of immigrants, culture and capital that has shown no signs of abating. What happens when we think of West as East in a critically productive form of disorientation? How are Canada’s trans-pacific borders explored and redefined through literary texts whether novels, short stories, poetry, or film? What kinds of trajectories and inventories are traced at these coastal margins and beyond? Is this a particular way of reading Canada transnationally? And what of the unspoken borders of unceded First Nations territories that must urgently be acnowledged?
This panel invites papers to consider these issues in a range of historical and contemporary Canadian texts. It is also open to variety of theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches, although these should still take the literary text at the heart of their inquiry.

Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Joanne Leow at joanne.leow@utoronto.ca by 15 January 2014.

Re-Telling Archival Narratives

Organizers: Melissa Dalgleish and Emily Ballantyne

How do we approach working in the archives, and how do we understand ourselves as archival researchers, storytellers, and constructors of authorial identity? Building on the work of Joanne McCaig, Robert McGill, and Marianne Dever on archival desire and the “necessary collaboration,” as McGill terms it, between archivist, archive, and author, we invite examinations of the conflicting and contradictory representations of the author and his or her work offered by:

the narrative imposed by the construction of the archive itself
the critic’s creation of narrative(s) by filling in or stringing nets over gaps in the archive
the influence of living authors or authors’ estates on the construction of authorial identity and/or literary criticism through their intervention in the creation, organization, and openness (or lack thereof) of the archive

While we are interested in the roles played by archivists and authors in crafting these archival narratives, this panel seeks to foreground, and asks its speakers to reflect on, the role of critic as storyteller. How does the critic impose or refine the archival narrative and the author’s public identity based on their use of the material, and on the context in which the material appears? What happens when the archival researcher’s desires, and the author’s desires, come into conflict?
Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Melissa Dalgleish (meldal@yorku.ca) and Emily Ballantyne (emily.ballantyne@dal.ca) by 15 January 2014.

The Economy in Canadian Literature

Organizer: Margo Gouley

A great deal of recent work in Canadian literary and cultural studies has taken up the question of how economic issues shape literature. Little has been said, however, about how literary representations of the economy might shape our understanding of economic issues, both historical and contemporary. This session will consider representations of the economy and/or economics in Canadian literature. How do authors and critics represent the Canadian economy in their work? What can these representations help us understand about the relationship between literature and economics? Topics presenters might consider include, but are not limited to:

economic tropes and figures in poetry or fiction
literary engagements with economic theory
literary and/or critical representations of significant topics/events in Canadian economic history
representations of the changing economic roles of women in Canada
comparative studies of Canadian and Quebecois economies as they are represented in these literatures

Papers on any historical period are welcome, but those engaging with nineteenth-and early twentieth-century texts are particularly encouraged. Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Margo Gouley (m.m.gouley@gmail.com) by 15 January 2014.

Without Margins:  Multilingual Poetics, Indigeneity, and Citizenship

Organizer: Shannon Maguire

This panel investigates the politics and ethics of poetry that dares to rupture the bilingual binaries of Canadian and Québécios literatures and/or poetry that unsettles the colonialist underpinnings of those traditions, while also demanding a central place in twenty-first century Canada. Of particular interest is how aspects of Indigenous languages are being incorporated into poetic practice by both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous poets, and the political and ethical efficacies of such strategies; experimental translation practices and recuperative literary historiographies that bring to the fore poetries formerly marginalized in Canada, again emphasizing the politicoethical imperatives of such projects; and papers or creative presentations that comment on the role of noise in the constitution of new publics, new formations of the commons, and/or of citizenship. Topics may include but are not limited to:

Manifestos, poetics-in-progress, and creative-critical presentations that address multilingual engagements with Indigenous languages in Canada.
The material consequences of multilingual poetics in the context of Canadian nation-state.
The recovery of historical poetries written in other than the official languages in Canada.
The poetics of noise and the “borders without boundaries” of language policy in Canada.

Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Shannon Maguire (magu4260@mylaurier.ca) by 15 January 2014.

Print Culture at the Margins: Recovering Periodicals, Chapbooks, and Print Ephemera

Organizers: Hannah McGregor and Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten

Critical conversations about periodicals in Canada have been largely guided by scholarship on Montreal-based little magazines such as Preview and First Statement, magazines that have been vital to scholars’ understanding of Canadian modernism. Yet, other periodicals, chapbooks, and other print ephemera are proving to be equally important to our understanding of a broader Canadian literary history. From the poetry postcards of Duncan Campbell Scott to Lorne Pierce’s Ryerson Chapbook Series to middlebrow magazines like Maclean’s and Chatelaine, there is much left to say about the place of this material in the study of Canadian literature. This panel calls for papers that challenge dominant narratives by engaging with material that lies at the margins of print culture. Topics may include:

periodicals produced before or after the World Wars;
marginalized geographies or communities in Canada;
antimodern, middlebrow, or nineteenth-century magazines;
funding and publishing models for magazines in Canada;
the material production of chapbooks, magazines, and other print ephemera;
the seriality or periodicity of the magazine;
expressions and forms of nationalism or transnationalism;
the visual cultures of magazines and chapbooks (including artwork, illustrations, advertisements, and typesetting);
magazines and technological innovation;
magazines and chapbooks in the twenty-first century.

Please send paper proposals (250-300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Hannah McGregor (hmcgrego@ualberta.ca) and Jeffrey Weingarten (ja.weingarten@mail.mcgill.ca) by 15 January 2014.

Travelling memories: Foreign traumas in Quebecois Literature

Organizer: Evelyne Ledoux-Beaugrand

According to Shoshana Felman “the twentieth century can be defined as a century of trauma” (2002: 171) and the first decade of the twenty-first century has seen considerable efforts to preserve the memory of these traumatic events. Not only can memory be transmitted from one generation to another one but it also travels across national borders. Memory is in constant, unceasing motion. Astrid Erll calls such movements “the ‘travels’ of memory, les voyages […] de mémoire” (2001: 11). The Holocaust often serves as a model for theorizing the travels of memory, although the memories of other historical events – such as slavery, genocides, and totalitarian regimes – are also moved outside of their original national context.

If the exploration of traumas from elsewhere in Quebecois Literature is most obvious in migrant writing, the phenomenon exists in novels and poetry by non-migrant writers such as Gil Courtemanche’s Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali, Carl Leblanc’s Artéfacts, Annie Dulong’s Onze, Louise Dupré’s Plus haut que les flammes, to name only a few.

This panel wants to explore how Québecois Literature (migrant writing or not) published since 2000 depicts and appropriates various traumatic events that do not “belong” to Canadian and Québec’s history. What kind of questions do these travelling memories raise in the context of Québécois Literature?

Please send paper proposals by email (no more than 300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract by January 15 2014 to Evelyne Ledoux-Beaugrand: Evelyne.LedouxBeaugrand@UGent.be

New Solidarities in Franco-Canadian Literature

Organizers : Pénélope Cormier, Nicole Nolette et Ariane Brun del Re

In the wake of the rupture of French Canada at the end of the 1960s, the francophone literary landscape of this country fragmented into literatures that are rooted in the affirmation of regional francophone identities: we now recognize Quebec, Acadian, Franco-Ontarian and Western Francophone literatures. Quebecois literature has become, in accordance with the classic centre-periphery model, the literary point of reference. Since the 1990s, however, scholars have been cultivating lateral institutional links that do not necessarily pass through Quebec or Quebecois literatures and that instead seek to connect Acadian, Franco-Ontarian, and Western-Canadian francophone literatures. Do these linkages allow us to speak of a “Franco-Canadian literature” (Boudreau 2011; Brun del Re, Cormier, and Nolette 2013)?

Recognizing Franco-Canadian literature as an institutional reality, this session will examine the “cross-border” writing practices that witness this new francophone literary configuration in Canada. Studying such practices allows us to observe the emergence of new strategic solidarities, while recognizing the differences among francophone communities in Canada. What are the literary points of encounter (themes, spaces, characters, trajectories, intertextualities, relations to the other, relations to language, etc.) among Franco-Canadian texts? How do Acadian, Franco-Ontarian, and Western-Canadian francophone texts write themselves into this new space, and does this practice allow them to preserve their respective regional identities?

Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF  to the coordinators listed below by 15 January 2014.
Pénélope Cormier : penelope.cormier@umoncton.ca
Nicole Nolette : nicole.nolette@mail.mcgill.ca
Ariane Brun del Re : abrun103@uottawa.ca

Queer Frontiers in Canadian and Québécois Literature

Organizers : Jorge Calderón, Domenic A. Beneventi
Joint Session: Association of Canadian and Québec Literatures (ACQL) / Association of Canadian and Quebec Studies (ACQL)

The concept of “frontier” is most productive in thinking about queer experience. The spatial frontier separates the invisibility of private intimacy from the visibility of public life; the freedom and security of queer districts (for instance, the Village in Montreal, Church Street in Toronto and Davie Village in Vancouver) from the heteronormative erasure of queer life in towns and cities throughout Canada. The border is also temporal and generational, separating childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age of those who live their queer experiences in extremely different ways. It marks queer legal status before and after same-sex marriage; queer history before and after the appearance of HIV, AIDS and tritherapies; and larger social histories before and after the sexual liberation struggles of the sixties and seventies.

Many questions may guide an analysis of the concept of the frontier in the representation of queer experience ; for instance, what are the borders which separate gays and lesbians in their twenties from those in their sixties? What are the borders which mark class differences in the LBGT community? Which are the frontiers between gender normativity in the public sphere and the challenges of gender performativities of femininity, masculinity, male femininity, female masculinity, the femininity or masculinity of transsexuals, etc.? Sexuality is also problematic and must be understood within a logic of agency and of the multitude of choices which are offered, from total sexual abstinence to the most unrestrained sexuality. Many other factors define, separate and cohere in the multiple experiences of queers in Canada and Quebec: including the plurality of desires, racial, ethnic and cultural identities, nationality and transnationality, postcolonialism and globalization, heteronormativity and homonormativity, the defense of marginality, and so on.

It is in this context that we invite scholars in Québécois and Canadian literatures to explore the concept of the frontier in works which represent the experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexuals, intersexual, drag and transvestites subjects – in other words of queer realities. Papers may include analysis of novels, poetry, short story, and theatre, and may target a work in particular or a set of texts, relate either to Francophone or Anglophone literatures exclusively, or be a comparative analysis of the literary traditions of Quebec and English Canada. Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Jorge Calderón (calderon@sfu.ca) and Domenic A. Beneventi (domenico.beneventi@usherbrooke.ca) by 15 January 2014.

Unpacking our Libraries: Reading the Library in Canadian and Québec Literatures

Organizers: Bart Vautour and J.A. Weingarten

The recent opening of the Mordecai Richler Reading Room at Concordia University reminds us of the importance of libraries to the production of literature: as an acknowledgement of such, both Richler’s library and his preferred writing desk are on permanent display as a partnered set. Indeed, there are many ways in which libraries inhabit the literary imaginary: libraries appear in Canadian and Québec Literatures and they can constitute the material assembly of Canadian and Québec Literatures. We are interested in receiving proposals for a panel on libraries and Canadian and Québec Literatures that address the “literary library” as a feature of cultural production in multiple ways:

Discussions about libraries in creative, historical, and/or critical narratives
Libraries as tools of literary criticism
Preserving libraries in and outside of institutions
The ways in which a library is or is not a literary archive
Performative acts of assembly in the library
Libraries and affective geographies (cities, regions, nations, etc.)
Commemoration and libraries
Marginalia and the collaborative relationship between author and reader

Please send paper proposals (no longer than 300 words) along with a short biography and 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Bart Vautour (bvautour@mta.ca) and J.A. Weingarten (ja.weingarten@mail.mcgill.ca) on or before 15 January 2014.