Wendy Roy, professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Saskatchewan, will be one of the Keynote Speakers featured in the 2018 ACQL Conference Program.

Women of the Apocalypse: Writing the End of the World in Canada

Dystopian and apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction is a commentary on the present. It asks readers to consider environmental, technological, and political events, developments, and policies in the world today, and the impact that these might have on the world of the future. Apocalyptic fiction by Canadian women writers often connects these discussions with other important topics, including the nature of understanding and of expressing humanity through the spoken and written word. Much of the current analysis of literary examples of such fiction in Canada has focused on the writings of Margaret Atwood, and while these are essential, other Canadians have made significant contributions to this body of speculative fiction, including Nalo Hopkinson (Brown Girl in the Ring), Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven), Margaret Laurence (“A Queen in Thebes” ), P.K. Page (“Unless the Eye Catch Fire”), Carol Shields (“Words”), and Lee Maracle (“The Void”). This talk will consider how such novels and short stories interrogate the way that, rather than writing about interstellar travel or alien life forms, literary speculative fiction by diverse women in Canada instead explores the importance of language to being human or questions whether the end of humanity could in fact be full of beauty and increased communication and understanding.

About Wendy Roy

Dr. Wendy Roy is professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Saskatchewan. Her current research project is on dystopian and apocalyptic fiction by Canadian women writers. She has published essays on Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, and Margaret Laurence, as well as Maps of Difference: Canada, Women, and Travel and the coedited Listening Up, Writing Down, and Looking Beyond: Interfaces of the Oral, Written, and Visual. Her study The Next Instalment: Serials, Sequels, and Adaptations of Nellie McClung, L.M. Montgomery, and Mazo de la Roche is currently in publication review. Wendy is past-president of the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures / l’Association des littératures canadiennes et québécoises.