2015 Ottawa

We are pleased to present you the final program for ACQL’s annual conference, which took place at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Ottawa, May 30-June 2, 2015.

Canadian    Literature:    The    Past    Forty Years

Having published its first issue in 1976, Studies in Canadian Literature/Études en littérature canadienne will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016. This panel will be dedicated to the past forty years in Canadian literary production and scholarship. The period witnessed substantial developments and shifts in the field, from the legitimation of Canadian literature as an academic field of study and the rise of popular non-academic phenomena such as “Canada Reads” and the Giller Prize, to significant literary and critical movements: postmodernism, postcolonialism, feminism, canon debates, new historicism, Indigenous studies, book history, transnationalism, critical race theory, queer studies, diaspora studies, and, more recently, advances in the fields of digital humanities and ecocriticism. Many of these changes resonated in important ways with broader political and cultural events in Canada, such as the official Multiculturalism Act in 1988, the free-trade debates of the late 1980s, the 1990 Oka crisis, the constitutional crisis and ensuing referendum of 1990, the Japanese-Canadian Redress Movement, the “appropriation of voice” debates of the 1990s, the formation of the Territory of Nunavut in 1999, the demise of many Canadian small presses and bookstores, and the Harper government’s cancellation of the “Understanding Canada” program and its adverse effects on Canadian studies internationally. This period saw the publication of many groundbreaking literary texts, the selection of Canadian authors for several prestigious international awards, and the rise of Canadian literature as a popular subject of study internationally, but also the death of many authors and critics associated with the heyday of Canadian literature, including such figures as Margaret Laurence, Gabrielle Roy, Robertson Davies, Mordecai Richler, Timothy Findley, Robert Kroetsch, Barbara Godard, Anne Hébert, Northrop Frye, Carol Shields, Mavis Gallant, Gaston Miron, David French, Rita Joe, Farley Mowat, and Alistair MacLeod. Looking back on the past forty years, how do we assess the changes that have taken place in this period? In what ways have the past forty years been formative (or not) in the development of Canadian literature? In what sense can one trace a series of identifiable shifts and/or interventions? What is the value of a generational analysis of Canadian literature? In what ways has the period been marked by a series of disjunctions?

The organizers invite submissions for papers that engage with the past four decades from a range of entry points and perspectives. We welcome proposals on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

• shifts in authorship and/or critical focus over the past 40 years
• the significance of the cultural nationalist period of Canadian literary production and scholarship
• literary reputations and celebrity
• new authors emerging during this period
• looking backward and/or looking forward
• the influence of electronic and digital media
• the legacy of postmodernism and/or postcolonialism; the linguistic “turn”
• new theoretical areas that emerged during this period: e.g. trauma theory, affect theory, life-writing, memory studies, ecocriticism
• revised configurations of the concept of “nation”
• the rise of historical fiction
• international developments in Canadian literary study
• shifts in Canadian literary pedagogy
• changes in conceptualizations of regionalism
• new developments in Canadian poetry
• changes in Canadian theatre production
• discourses of optimism and/or crisis

Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Cynthia Sugars (csugars@uottawa.ca) or Herb Wyile (Herb.Wyile@acadiau.ca) by 15 January 2015. Presenters must be members of ACQL or CACLALS by 1 March 2015.

Studies in Canadian Literature is planning an anniversary issue, to be published in 2016, based on this topic. Expanded essays based upon papers presented for this panel will be considered for the anniversary issue. We will also be celebrating the anniversary of both SCL and ACQL at Congress 2015. Please join us at Congress for a piece of early anniversary birthday cake!

Translating Queer / Queer Translations: Member-Proposed Session

Organizer: Domenic Beneventi, Université de Sherbrooke; Jorge Calderón, Simon Fraser University; Nicole Côté, Université de Sherbrooke

The 2014 ACQL sessions on “Queer Frontiers in Canadian and Quebec Literatures” sought to explore the notion of the frontier as a discursive concept to describe the multiple forms of embodied, spatialized, scripted, and lived LBGTQ realities and communities. Given the significant interest on the topic, we propose to further this inquiry in a call for a special session on Queer Translation / Translating Queerness. We invite papers that examine the intersections between queer texts and subjects in Canadian / Quebec literatures and the practices, methodologies, andtheories of translation. Thinking queerness and translation together as forms of bodily and/or textual representation, transformation, resignification, transmission, rupture, and eccentricity may be most productive in the analysis of the lived realities of queer subjects and their “reception” by both Queer and non-queer publics. Queerness and Translation both may be seen as subversive — as producing destabilizing effects on socially codified and normalized forms of textuality, embodiment, and sexuality. It is in this context that we invite scholars in Québécois and Canadian literatures, Translation Studies, and Queer Studies to explore the intersections between Queerness and Translation.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

• Intersections between Queer Theory and Translation Studies
• Translating the queer body
• Queer adaptation (film, theatre, graphic novels, performance)
• The queer body as text (cross-dressing, drag, tattooing, surgery)
• Translating queer history
• Translating intersexuality, hermaphroditism, transsexuality
• Queerly translating class, race, ethnicity, religion
• Translating irony, kitsch, camp or other queer textualities
• Translating queer materiality
• Translation, Queerness and Nation
• Literal and intersemiotic translations of queerness

Please send proposals (no more than 300 words) in English or French, with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Nicole Coté (nicole.cote@usherbrooke.ca), Domenic Beneventi (domenico.beneventi@usherbrooke.ca), and Jorge Calderón (calderon@sfu.ca) by 1 February 2015.

Space-time in Peripheral Literatures of Canada: Joint Session (APFUCC)

Organizers: Ariane Brun del Re, Université d’Ottawa; Isabelle Kirouac-Massicotte, Université d’Ottawa; Mathieu Simard, Université d’Ottawa

Although space and time are often studied separately, these categories are interdependent. Mikhaïl Bakhtine is one of the first theorists to have underlined this interdependence with his “chronotope” notion, which he defined as “la corrélation essentielle des rapports spatio-temporels, telle qu’elle a été assimiliée par la littérature” (237). Studies about minority literatures have often privileged space over time. According to François Paré, “small” literatures aim to “glorifier l’espace” (115), while “great” literatures seek to be part of “une pure problématique du temps” (115-116). However, as Emir Delic points out in his work (2013), time is just as relevant as space for the analysis of Canadian peripheral literatures. In fact, the franco-ontarian literature specialist Robert Yergeau once wrote that “[i]l ne faut pas dialectiser l’espace au détriment du temps ou vice versa, ni brandir l’espace comme symbole de résistance contre le temps” (144).

On the heels of Bakhtine’s and Yergeau’s works, this workshop aims to study the representation of space together with time in peripheral literatures of Canada. What are the modalities of space-time (re)presentations? Is the primacy of space over time still current when we talk about contemporary minority literatures? If Franco-Canadian literatures attach more importance to time, can we conclude that they perceive themselves as less precarious?

The main goal of this workshop will be to study the space-time representations in peripheral literatures of Canada. The following sub-themes may also be analysed:

• The relations between chronotopes and literary genres; chronotopes and gender; chronotopes and linguistic varieties (sociolects, geolects and chronolects) used in texts; etc.
• The multiple assimilation, transformation and imitation connections between “real” space-time and “literary” space-time.
• The different types of space-time representations in Franco-Canadian literatures and in regional literatures of Quebec.
• The possible resurgence of a “sacred” space-time in contemporary texts.
• The way some spaces bring a particular representation of time: for example, the North, the desert, the city, etc.

Please send paper proposals (300 words, maximum) with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Ariane Brun del Re (abrun103@uottawa.ca), Isabelle Kirouac-Massicotte (ikiro045@uottawa.ca) and Mathieu Simard (msima050@uottawa.ca) by 15 December 2015.

Cited texts :

Mikhaïl Bakhtine, Esthétique et théorie du roman, traduit du russe par Daria Olivier, Paris, Gallimard, 1978, 488 p.
Emir Delic, Narrations de soi aux confins du temps : essai d’une herméneutique de la minorité, thèse de doctorat, Université d’Ottawa, 2013, 370 f.
François Paré, Les littératures de l’exiguïté, Ottawa, Le Nordir, collection « Bibliothèque canadienne-française », 2001 [1992], 224 p.
Robert Yergeau, « Questions de temps : regards sur un recueil de poèmes de Gilles Lacombe », Francophonies d’Amérique, no 29, 2010, p. 139-157.

Women’s Authorship in Early Canada: Member-Proposed Session

Organizer: Andrea Cabajsky, Université de Moncton

The recent publication of book-length studies on women’s authorship in Canada from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries (Henderson 2003; Chambers 2008; Fiamengo 2008; Gerson 2010) attests to an increasing scholarly interest in investigating the aesthetic, historical, material, and ideological factors that literally shaped the form, style, and content of women’s writing. Nevertheless, more work remains to be done to deepen our understanding of women’s authorship, especially in early Canada where conditions of authorship overall were profoundly marked by larger phenomena, such as imperial copyright laws, mass emigration of culture-workers to the U.S. and Britain, and an absence of literary institutional autonomy.

This panel seeks to gather together papers that variously investigate conditions of female authorship, reconsider terms of reception for women writers (individually or as a group), or push beyond the boundaries of traditional scholarship on women’s authorship in Canada from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries.

Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) in French or English, with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Andrea Cabajsky (andrea.cabajsky@umoncton.ca) by 1 February 2015.

Teaching and Learning Literatures in Canada and Québec: Member Proposed Session

Organizer: Kathryn Grafton, University of British Columbia

Paul Martin, in Sanctioned Ignorance: The Politics of Knowledge Production and the Teaching of Literatures in Canada, observes that while scholars share research at conferences, “we rarely share syllabi or discuss in detail how and why we choose to teach some texts over others” (xxi). This panel aims to foster a discussion about teaching and learning the literatures of Canada and Québec. How can sharing case studies of particular texts, activities, and assignments offer
us insights into best pedagogical practices? What happens when we teach a writer or text in a national as compared to a regional, Aboriginal, postcolonial, or world literature context? Is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) influencing how we teach literary texts? What, if any, learning outcomes appear on our syllabi, and how do we assess student learning?

This panel invites papers that consider questions such as these across a range of courses and units on historical and contemporary texts in Canada. A variety of theoretical and pedagogical approaches are welcomed, providing that the focus is on teaching and learning. This panel is part of a larger project that includes further development of CanLitGuides.ca, a workshop at UBC (2016), and a special issue of Canadian Literature (2017) on teaching and learning literatures 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 Kathryn Grafton at kathryn.grafton@ubc.ca by 1 February 2015.

The Posthuman and 21st Century Women’s Writing in Canada: Member-Proposed Session

Organizer: Libe García Zarranz, University of Alberta

The first decade of the 21st century has witnessed the “slow death” (Berlant 2007) of several manifestations of “humanism” and “the human” and its replacement by novel conceptualizations of “the posthuman” (Braidotti 2013; Wolfe 2009; Bart, Didur, and Heffernan 2003). Out of a mixture of deception and anger towards the conduct of human beings as active contributors to the structural violences that dominate today’s world, the posthuman framework has been welcomed as an alternative paradigm where the ethical, the material, and the social meet. As feminist philosopher Rosi Braidotti convincingly puts it, “A posthuman ethics for a non-unitary subject proposes an enlarged sense of inter-connection between self and others, including the non-human or ‘earth’ others, by removing the obstacle of self-centred individualism” (49-50). At the roots of this critical posthumanism, then, we find alternative theorizations of difference and agency that complement earlier and current feminist, anti-racist, postcolonial, and environmental discourses (Nixon 2011; Ahmed 2004; Said 1993).

This panel seeks contributions that propose a careful consideration of the posthuman predicament as an analytical framework from which to reimagine the field of Canadian women’s writing today. How do recent articulations of the posthuman condition, in their critique of exclusionary policies and systemic violence, allow for a reconfiguration of ethico-political boundaries? How do contemporary Canadian women writers contribute to a formulation of a posthuman ethic by problematizing and redefining multiple boundaries beyond negative critique?

Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) in French or English, with a short biography and a 50-word abstract in Word or RTF to Libe García Zarranz (garcazar@ualberta.ca) by 1 February 2015.