Recipient of the 2021 Gabrielle Roy Prize

 The Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures (ACQL) is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2021 Gabrielle Roy Prize (English section), which each year honours the best work of scholarship on literature produced in Canada written in English, is Finding Nothing: The Vangardes, 1959-1975, by Gregory Betts. The winner was chosen by a jury composed of Jody Mason (Carleton University), Jenny Kerber (Wilfrid Laurier University), and Kait Pinder (Acadia University). The prize was awarded at a virtual reception held by the Association for Canadian and Quebec literatures on the evening of May 27.

Critically and theoretically innovative, Gregory Betts’s Finding Nothing makes a significant contribution to the field of late-twentieth-century poetry in Canada. Betts’s study of the avant-garde in Vancouver in the 1960s and early 1970s “[f]ind[s] something where nothing had been presumed.” Finding Nothing defamiliarizes and broadens a history that has often focused on Tish and the Vancouver Poetry Conference. In so doing, Betts accounts for “productive tensions” between, for instance, Indigenous-authored petroglyphs and concrete poetry, unsettling the “habitual narrativization of concrete and visual poetry” as originating with Mallarmé and Apollinaire. Drawing on the methods of “microhistory” and the concept of geomodernism, Betts situates the Vancouver avant-garde in a network of global, local, and national movements and histories, reaching across time, borders, and media to illustrate the complexity, energy, and materiality of aesthetic experiment occurring in one place and time. This book is to be commended not only for its meticulous research, but also for its embrace of the creative and interdisciplinary character of the art it studies. On every page Betts balances a rich archive of primary sources and critical histories with his own energetic and engaging prose, creating a work of scholarly collage that, like the art he examines, provokes and illuminates through “a network of evocations, associations, [and] polyvocalisms.” Filled with visual evidence of a vibrant cultural movement, this is a crucial source for those with an interest in late twentieth-century poetry and visual art, the history of small press activity, and the cultural histories of Vancouver.

Call for Mentors and Mentees

Call for Mentors and Mentees

ALCQ/ACQL will be implementing a mentorship program to begin in 2022-23. 

The Association hopes to pair established scholars with graduate students and emerging scholars.

This program seeks to enable scholarly exchange, support emerging scholars, and offer junior and senior scholars safe spaces for advice and self-reflexivity. 

The Association seeks mentors who are motivated to guide and support other scholars.

We are inviting mentors and mentees to express interest in the program.

Mentors should:

  • Hold a permanent position or be retired from a position at a recognized university
  • Have availability to advise, listen to, and communicate with a mentee on a schedule determined by the mentor and mentee
  • Have a willingness to share resources or information with a mentee

The mission of the ALCQ/ACQL mentorship program includes supporting community members from marginalized and underrepresented groups. We invite scholars who are willing to share their experiences of navigating academia from the margins to participate.

The ALCQ/ACQL conference in May 2022 will host a panel on mentorship that will serve as the kick-off event for the mentorship program.

Please email Marie Carrière at if you are interested in serving as a mentor or participating as a mentee for the 2022-23 academic year, or if you would like to learn more about the program. 


The Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures (ACQL) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2021 Gabrielle Roy Prize (English section)which each year honours the best work of Canadian literary criticism published in English. This year’s shortlisted finalists (in alphabetical order) are Gregory Betts for Finding Nothing: The Vangardes, 1959-1975 (University of Toronto Press), Michele Holmgren for Canada to Ireland: Poetry, Politics, and the Shaping of Canadian Nationalism 1788-1900 (McGill- Queen’s University Press), and Sam McKegney for Carrying the Burden of Peace: Reimagining Indigenous Masculinities through Story (University of Regina Press). The shortlist was chosen by a jury composed of Jenny Kerber (Wilfrid Laurier University), Jody Mason (Carleton University), and Kait Pinder (Acadia University). The winner will be announced publicly on May 27, 2022 at the Annual meeting of the ACQL, which will be held online.

For more information:
Kait Pinder
Chair of the Jury, English Section, ACQL/ALCQ Department of English & Theatre
Acadia University

L’Association des littératures canadienne et québécoise (ALCQ) est heureuse d’annoncer la liste des finalistes pour l’obtention du Prix Gabrielle-Roy 2021 (section francophone) qui récompense chaque année le meilleur ouvrage de critique littéraire écrit en français portant sur la littérature canadienne en contexte minoritaire et/ou québécoise. Les finalistes sont (en ordre alphabétique) : Pierre Hébert, pour l’ouvrage Vie(s) d’Eugène Seers / Louis Dantin : une biochronique littéraire (Les Presses de l’Université Laval) ; Dominique Marquis pour l’ouvrage Jules-Paul Tardivel (Leméac Éditeur, coll. « Domaine Histoire ») et Dominique Raymond pour l’ouvrage Échafaudages, squelettes et patrons de couturière. Essai sur la littérature à contraintes au Québec (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, collection « Cavales »). Ces trois finalistes ont été choisi•e•s par un jury formé de l’auteur Nicholas Giguère, Marie- Hélène Jeannotte (Queen’s University) et Dominique Hétu (Brandon University). Le nom du lauréat ou de la lauréate sera annoncé publiquement le 27 mai 2022 lors du colloque annuel de l’Association des littératures canadienne et québécoise, qui se tiendra en mode virtuel.

Pour plus de renseignements :
Dominique Hétu
Présidente du Jury, section francophone, ALCQ Department of Francophone Studies and Languages Brandon U


ACQL mourns the loss of the 215 children whose remains were recently discovered in a mass grave at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, as well as countless more who perished in residential schools across the country as part of Canada’s program of genocide against Indigenous peoples. Moreover, we acknowledge that the harms of the residential school system are ongoing. We call upon the Government of Canada to fully and immediately fund the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action numbers 71 through 76 regarding missing children and burial information at residential schools across Canada. ACQL has made a donation in honour of all of the victims of the residential school system to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

Recipient of the 2020 Gabrielle Roy Prize

The Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures (ACQL) is pleased to announce the winner for the 2020 Gabrielle Roy Prize (English section), which each year honours the best work of Canadian literary criticism published in English. This year’s winner is Linda Morra’s edited collection Moving Archives (Wilfrid Laurier University Press). The winner was chosen by a jury composed of Neta Gordon (Brock University), Rob Zacharias (York University), and Veronica Austen (St. Jerome’s University).

Linda Morra’s edited collection Moving Archives brings together a wonderful array of chapters that establish the vital role of affect in archival studies. Playing with the multiple meanings of “moving” – to shift, to travel, and to be moved by – this collection both showcases changes in the field of archival studies and demonstrates that research is a subjective process that requires negotiation between subjects and awareness of the affective economies that shape scholarship. The individual contributions to this collection are noteworthy for their depth and ability to expand our knowledge of Canadian literary and textual studies, and the collection as a whole achieves excellence for the breadth of its focus and ability to unify this focus. In centering itself on the labour of scholarship, Moving Archives reaches across and will impact a wide range of Canadian literary and textual studies.

Recipient of the 2021 Barbara Godard Prize

ACQL is pleased to announce that the 2021 Barbara Godard Prize has been awarded to Marta Croll-Baehre for their paper “‘Imitation of Empire Cuisine’: An Auto-ethnographic Exploration of the Canadian Artisanal Menu in Conversation with Fred Wah’s Diamond Grill.”

Marta is a Ph.D. student in the English and Cultural Studies program at McMaster University. Inspired by questions that Sara Ahmed poses in Strange Encounters, the presentation compares the author’s experience of eating “innovative Canadian cuisine” at the Aberdeen Tavern, a special occasions restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, with select descriptions of food preparation and consumption in Fred Wah’s semi-fictional memoir Diamond Grill (1996). The jury admired this paper for its innovative approach that combined literary analysis with cultural studies, supported by a detailed and nuanced discussion of methodology, as well as an effective integration of relevant theoretical frameworks.

Program for 2021 conference

This year’s conference will take place from May 29 – May 31 and will be free and accessible to all of our members. The preliminary program is available here. A program with virtual links will be sent later by email.

Withdrawal from Congress 2021 in Support of the Black Canadian Studies Association

Having a bilingual mission as the cornerstone of its identity, the Association of Canadian and Québécois Literatures is an association founded on the principle of relationship-building across a diversity of perspectives and cultural experiences. Given this ideal and given the concerns brought forward by the Black Canadian Studies Association, the Executive Committee of ACQL does not feel that Congress 2021 can provide the space of inclusivity that we would hope to offer our members. As such, the Executive Committee of ACQL has decided to withdraw from participating in Congress 2021 and hold its 2021 conference independently in a virtual format.

Although cognizant of some measures taken by the Federation to address the concerns brought forward, we have made the decision to withdraw from Congress 2021 as an expression of support for our colleagues at the Black Canadian Studies Association whose voices have brought attention to experiences of racism and exclusion that we need to do a better job of confronting and working to eliminate. We also take this action in support of other associations who, like BCSA, have made the difficult decision to withdraw from this year’s Congress. ACQL traditionally looks to Congress as an important site of the exchange of ideas and relationship-building, but with the absence of so many voices, the ACQL Executive does not see that Congress can offer this ideal this year. Furthermore, we recognize that there is work to do to ensure that Congress can be experienced as a more inclusive and safe space in the future and commit to enacting that change.

In voting to hold an independent virtual ACQL conference for 2021, the Executive Committee seeks not only to support those of you who have begun to prepare your presentations, but also to include participants who would otherwise remain absent. In moving to an independent venue, ACQL will honour the commitment originally made by the Federation to waive the conference fees for all conference participants who self-identify as Black or Indigenous.

The Executive has begun to envision ways in which we can effect change, but also recognizes that our association has much work to do. To this end, we offer two immediate starting points. Firstly, we have added to our program a session in which we invite all of you to contribute to a discussion on decolonization and anti-racism in academia. Secondly, at the 2021 annual general meeting, we wish to hold a discussion with our members on more long-term measures that we can enact to make our association more equitable, inclusive, and diverse.

In the weeks to come, we will publish the conference program and provide you with more details regarding our online venue and registration.