Research Seminars / Séminaires de recherche


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

CLC Research Seminar: "Feminist Ecologies and Poetics in Canada"



Time: 11:00 AM

Place: Digital Scholarship Centre, 2-20 A Cameron Library 

With Natalie Loveless and Heather Milne

The 2020 CLC Research Seminar brings together scholars to give online talks that address urgent issues relating to sustainability, ecology, feminism, and poetics. With this e-conference, we seek to respond differently and responsibly to the climate change crisis, as our own research at the Canadian Literature Centre is interested in anthropocenic, posthuman, and ecofeminist issues.

The e-format also allows us to reduce our carbon footprint with a more sustainable model of academic dialogue, and we also plan to gather a live audience in Edmonton and moderate an engaging Q & A session to contribute to making this video-conference an even more engaging option for the community.


Natalie Loveless: "Art, Ecology, and Resilience in Troubling Times"

In a time of unprecedented climate catastrophe and ecological genocide, we are in desperate need of robust and creative responses to global warming. In addition to technological innovation and political and economic reorganization, social and cultural shifts are needed that help us move beyond our toxic ways of doing life under petro-capitalism. Artistic practices and forms have a role to play in achieving this goal. Art seeds the critical and speculative imaginations needed to trouble our current ways of living and dying. Centering feminist theorypractice and research-creational perspectives, this talk argues for the need for artistic methods and approaches that not only intervene into and produce research relevant to climate change action but that work to generate sites of situated, collaborative, affective resilience adequate to the scale of ecological devastation we face, as mutli-species assemblages huddling together on planet earth, today.

Heather Milne: "Some notes toward a feminist poetics of sustainability in troubling times"

This talk considers what a feminist poetics of sustainability can offer as we work to “stay with the trouble” (Haraway) and make kin as feminists committed to decolonization and a sustainable future for the planet. By outlining how poetry can function as an archive, a space of witnessing, a space of community formation and companionship, as a tool that makes thinking visible and renders things thinkable, and as an ecological form of writing, I consider why we might pay attention to poetry and what we can learn from it.  I then consider what a feminist poetics of sustainability might entail and conclude by looking very briefly at Rita Wong’s undercurrent as an example of a feminist poetics of sustainability that is deeply committed to ecological and decolonial thought and action.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

CLC Research Seminar: "Re/Placing Language/Re/placer le langage"


Time: 3:30 - 5:30 PM

Place: Salter Reading Room (HC 3-95)

Join us for this year’s CLC Research Seminar, where three EFS scholars will gather to discuss their work in relation to our theme “Re/Placing Language.”  Jordan Abel (Assistant Lecturer, EFS), Matthew Cormier (Graduate Student, EFS), and Kristine Smitka (Instructor, EFS) will each deliver a paper on this theme.

All are welcome, and refreshments will be served


Jordan Abel: “Unsettled Territory” 

In this short artist talk, Jordan Abel will discuss his concrete work “Cartography (12)”—a piece that was recently commissioned by the Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver that continues work that started in his second book Un/inhabited (Project Space Press/Talonbooks)—in relation to questions about land, Indigenous knowledges, and the imaginative space of poetry. 

Matthew Cormier: Aca-data Linguistics: A Digital Study of Chiac in Acadian France Daigle’s Pour sûr

In studying representations of Acadian identity in France Daigle’s Pour sûr (2011) by using digital methods and visualizations, I must consider how to engage with the novel’s treatment of Chiac, the Acadian, Francophone dialect that includes English and remnants of archaic French. Chiac’s fluidity, in both practicality and definition, makes it difficult to quantify and analyze, begging a question that, historically, troubles digital humanists and linguists alike: data or capta? Data—what is given as fact—and capta—what is taken as fact— in studies complicate the integrity of both linguistic and digital analysis. My talk will chronicle my work through the issue of “data or capta” in attempting to digitize Chiac’s representation in Daigle’s Pour sûr as an integral constituent of Acadie’s cultural fabric.

Kristine Smitka: “Re/Placing Tenure”

The concept of tenure originated in the twelfth-century, where it was associated with mobility: a scholar’s right to travel throughout the Holy Roman Empire without fear of attack. My talk, “Re/Placing Tenure,” traces the etymological permutations of the word ‘tenure’ from its roots in guild culture, the precursor of modern-day unions, to its purchase within popular culture as a symbol of privileged entrenchment. This shifting term will be placed within the context of current labour conditions in Canadian—publicly-funded—universities, where more and more employees work outside of a tenure-track system. Central to the presentation will be the disambiguation of the terms academic freedom, job security, and tenure. In so doing, this talk aims to address the research seminar’s goal of addressing “language relating to place, space, or location” by opening a conversation regarding the language that frames not only academic work, but also the relational experience of colleagues who are described using different terminology.


Monday, January 15, 2018

CLC Research Seminar: "Transactions and Exchange Values/Transactions et valeurs d’échange"

Recent events such as the Equal Pay Law in Iceland, the resignation of a BBC China editor in protest over gender pay gap, reports of African migrants being forced into slavery in Libya, and the legal and socio-political protests in reaction to the building of pipeline projects from Indigenous groups and climate justice activists have drawn attention to the ongoing effects of sexism, racism, and colonial economies in global markets. Moreover, the related problematic significance and implications of caring labour, ongoing refugee crises, mass consumerism, and the geopolitical pressures of globalization have further highlighted historical patterns of oppression that rely on and produce different forms of transaction and exchange values.

Inspired by the cluster of meanings and contexts that these two words summon, we invite proposals that explore the role of literature in understanding and challenging the asymmetries and limits that affect relational experiences pertaining to the following topics:

  • Racial, Gender, and Economic Justice
  • Restoring Indigenous Economies
  • Property, Ownership, and Obligations
  • Land, Space, and Borders
  • Cosmopolitanism, Mobility, and Transnationalism
  • Traffic, Theft, Dispossession, and Exploitation
  • Complicity, Resistance, and Power
  • Barter and Trade Systems and Alternative Economic Forms
  • Labour and Precarity
  • Poverty Narratives and Aesthetics of Culture-from-Below
  • The Politics and Ethics of Account-ability and Response-ability
  • Solidarity, Empathy, and Compassion
  • Gift Giving and Reciprocity
  • Debt and Credit
  • Scarcity and Excess
  • Commodification and Objectification
  • Geographies of Consumerism
  • The Ethics of Tourism
  • More-than-human and Posthuman Negotiations

We encourage comparative, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies. Please send your 200-word proposal (in English or French) along with a short biographical note (100 words) to before February 10th, 2018. Panel proposals (of 3 or 4 papers) should include a short introduction to the panel’s topic followed by a 200-word abstract for each paper.

Organisé par Dr. Dominique Hétu, chercheure postdoctorale (CRSH, CLC)

 Des événements récents, tels que la loi sur l’égalité salariale en Islande, la démission de la rédactrice en chef de la BBC Chine pour protester contre l’écart salarial entre les femmes et les hommes, les reportages sur les migrants africains vendus comme esclaves en Libye, et les recours légaux et manifestations organisées par des groupes autochtones et des activistes environnementalistes pour résister à la construction de pipelines, ont souligné la persistance du sexisme, du racisme et des économies coloniales dans les marchés mondialisés. Ces événements, en plus des enjeux liés au travail du care, aux crises des réfugiés, à la consommation de masse, et aux pressions géopolitiques de la mondialisation, exposent d’autant plus ces motifs historiques d’oppression qui produisent et s’appuient sur différentes formes de transactions et de valeurs d’échanges.

Motivées par les nombreuses expressions et contextes que ces deux notions convoquent, nous invitons des propositions qui explorent le rôle de la littérature dans la compréhension et la contestation des asymétries et des limites qui affectent les expériences relationnelles se rattachant aux thèmes suivants :

  • La justice raciale, économique et de genre
  • Restauration des économies autochtones
  • Propriété, possession et obligations
  • Territoire, espace et frontières
  • Cosmopolitisme, mobilité et transnationalisme
  • Trafic, vol, dépossession et exploitation
  • Complicité, résistance et pouvoir
  • Troc, système d’échange et formes alternatives d’économie
  • Travail et précarité
  • Récits de pauvreté et esthétiques de la culture-d’en-bas
  • Politiques et éthiques de l’account-ability et de la response-ability
  • Solidarité, empathie et compassion
  • Don et réciprocité
  • Dette et crédit
  • Rareté et abondance
  • Marchandisation et objectification
  • Géographies de la consommation
  • Éthiques du tourisme
  • Négociations plus-qu’humaines et posthumaines

Nous encourageons les approches comparatives, multi- et interdisciplinaires. Veuillez envoyer votre proposition de 200 mots ainsi qu’une notice biographique de 50 mots à Dominique Hétu ( d’ici le 10 février 2018. Les propositions de panels (de 3 ou 4 communications) devront inclure une brève présentation du panel, suivie d’un résumé de 200 mots pour chaque communication.



Friday, October 27, 2017

CLC Research Seminar: "Relational Poetics, Canadian Writings/Poétique du relationnel, Écrits du Canada"


Time: 8:30 AM

Place: Senate Chamber, Old Arts Building

The Research Seminar will be followed by the 2017 CLC Scholarly Lecture with Erin Wunker at 4:00 PM in the Student Lounge of the Old Arts Building.

Organized by Dominique Hétu, Postdoctoral fellow (CRSH, CLC)

The CLC research seminar is an interdisciplinary means for stimulating discussions among emerging and established scholars, writers, and artists. It provides a local space for interactions that we hope will promote the advancement of research and critical work in Canadian literatures as well as produce lively, thought-provoking exchanges.

The objectives of this research seminar are:

  • to pay critical attention to relational encounters as spaces of care and shared vulnerability, but also – and at times simultaneously – as spaces of dispossession and harmful responses;
  • to examine how writing and reading relationality and related experiences can serve to resist persistent dichotomies and systems of cultural and political oppression;
  • to investigate creative forms/expressions of relationality as sites of ethico-political implications that undermine the myth of independence and “that challenge the very notion of ourselves as autonomous and in control” (Butler 23);
  • to question relationality as a strictly human set of affects, actions, and processes, and explore the notion of relationality with nonhuman and posthuman bodies.

We welcome critical approaches both in terms of cultural and creative productions or in terms of our discipline (discourses, pedagogy, CanLit, etc.). We thus invite proposals for panels, roundtables, papers, and dynamic discussions around, but not limited to, the following issues:

  • Care Relations and Care Work
  • Indigenous Relational Traditions and Methodologies
  • Solidarity and Intersectionality
  • The Ethicalities of Kinship/Friendship
  • Responsibility and Hospitality
  • Relationality and Race
  • Community, Citizenship, and Justice
  • Relationality and Embodiment/Corporeality/Materiality
  • Solitudes, Exclusions, and Margins
  • Relationality and Class/Poverty/Precarity
  • Relationality, the Nonhuman, the Posthuman
  • Ecology, Environment and Naturecultures
  • Queer Relationalities
  • Relationality and Diasporas
  • Global/Local Interdependencies

Séminaire de recherche du Centre de Littérature Canadienne 2017

Organisé par Dominique Hétu, Boursière postdoctorale (CRSH, CLC)

Le séminaire de recherche du CLC vise à stimuler les discussions entre, artistes et é é et é Le séminaire crée un espace propice à l’avancement de la recherche et du travail critique en littératures canadiennes, en plus de permettre des échanges aptes à susciter la réflexion.

Les objectifs de ce séminaire sont les suivants :

  • Porter une attention critique aux rencontres relationnelles en tant qu’espaces de care et de vulnérabilité partagée, mais aussi – et parfois simultanément – en tant qu’espaces de dépossession et de réponses dangereuses ;
  • Examiner comment l’écriture et la lecture de la relationnalité et de ses expériences connexes peuvent servir à résister à la persistance des binarismes et des systèmes d’exclusions politiques et culturels ;
  • Montrer les formes d’expressions de la relationnalité comme des lieux d’engagement éthico-politiques qui ébranlent le mythe de l’indépendance et qui remettent en question la notion du sujet autonome et en contrôle (Butler 23) ;
  • Questionner la relationnalité en tant qu’un ensemble d’affects, d’actions et de processus strictement humains et ainsi explorer ses possibles ancrages nonhumains et posthumains.

Nous sommes intéressé.es par des travaux critiques portant sur des œuvres littéraires ainsi que sur la discipline (discours, pédagogie, CanLit, etc.). Des propositions de plénières, de tables-rondes et d’autres formes de collaboration seront particulièrement les bienvenues. Elles pourront porter sur les sujets suivants, sans toutefois y être limitées :

  • Relations et travail de care
  • Traditions et méthodologies relationnelles autochtones
  • Solidarité et intersectionalité
  • Éthiques de l’amitié et de la parenté/filiation
  • Communauté, citoyenneté et justice
  • Responsabilité et hospitalité
  • Relationnalité et race
  • Relationnalité, corporéité, matérialité
  • Solitudes, exclusions et marges
  • Relationnalité et classe/pauvreté/précarité
  • Relationnalité, le nonhumain, le posthumain
  • Ecologie, environnement et naturecultures
  • Relationnalités queer
  • Enjeux relationnels et diasporas
  • Interdépendances globales et locales 


Monday, February 27, 2017

CLC Research Seminar: "Figures of Care and of the Ordinary in Contemporary Canadian Literatures/Figures du care et de l’ordinaire dans les littératures canadiennes"



Time: 3:55 PM

Place: Salter Reading Room (HC 3-95)

Reception to follow.

Organized by Dominique Hétu, Postdoctoral Fellow (SSHRC, CLC)

This research seminar sets out to explore how Canadian literatures revisit and reimagine the concepts of “care” and of the “ordinary” beyond the default position that tends to reduce them to the residual, routine, and repetition (Das). We wish to better understand how contemporary literary texts address the dilemmas, rituals, tensions, expectations, and responsibilities that stir and mark vulnerable ordinary life, how they imagine this idea of an “everyday” where the conditions for a good and habitable life “that is worth living” operate (Stiegler, translation mine). The large theme of this seminar is thus rooted in the porous frontiers between care (Laugier, Held, Tronto) and ordinary ethics (Lovell, Das, Cavell). The latter interrogates and complicates certain dimensions of care in its investigation of the expression “tending to” – “which contains both the idea of ‘taking care of’ and of ‘paying attention to,’ but also means ‘going in a direction’ as well as ‘taking particular action’” (Lovell, Pandolfo, Das, Laugier 7). 

With what kind of knowledge and new perspectives does the literary text address this particular form of attention and sensibility? How does literature show the imbrication of care ethics, understood as a set of modalities “through which life is rendered a little more liveable” (Lovell, Pandolfo, Das, Laugier 31), in an ordinary ethics that directs our “attention to unseen ordinary phenomena, but right before our eyes?” (163)?

We invite fellow writers and scholars (emerging and established) to submit proposals in which they examine and challenge care and the ordinary from a variety of perspectives related but not limited to the following questions:

  • How do literary texts imagine everyday caring situations, habits and rituals that, once rendered visible by narrative or textual strategies, show this “ordinary fragility” (Lovell, Pandolfo, Das, Laugier 25)? Is it even possible to grasp or take hold of the ordinary, often configured as scattered, intangible weaving, always giving way?
  • How do writers fictionalize daily experiences – at times trivialized and naturalized – not only of oppression, exclusion, and precariousness, but also of rehabilitation, resistance, creativity, and second chances (Das) that may occur simultaneously?
  • More largely, how does literature allow answering and reacting to pain, trauma, and vulnerability in the fabric of everyday life? In what ways can the work of literature participate in a healing process and in the inception of dialogues between contrasting experiences that are nevertheless interrelated by history, territory, memory, language, filiation, etc.?
  • Does literary activity (writing, reading, criticism), from different points of view (migrant, transnational, Indigenous, feminist, Francophone, etc.), allow breaking with a certain tradition of indifference and carelessness towards the vulnerability of minoritized and marginalized subjects? In these singular contexts, what does literature show about the ordinary and, consequently, in what ways does it illuminate everyday life?
  • What does a transcultural approach of the ordinary and its fragility render in terms of ethical and political development? Do writers and scholars actively contribute to this complex interplay between ethics and politics that never ceases to remind us of our intersubjective relationship to the other, whatever it may be?
  • And in what ways do writers relate ordinary lives that are shaped by the virtual, the digital and the medical, that are inhabited by new vulnerable bodies, and in which human and nonhuman interact? How do these perspectives impact, if not trouble, our relationship to the ordinary, to difference, to the uncanny in everyday life?

Stemming from care ethics, ordinary ethics, critical posthumanism, and literary studies, the threads with which we will weave our conversations between scholars and creators will allow us to define and decode, in Canadian literatures, what threatens and maintains a liveable and habitable life.

Presentations in the form of regular conference papers, readings of creative writing accompanied by a critical discussion of the work, and one-on-one interviews will be considered favourably. Presentations are restricted to 20 minutes to enable sufficient time for questions and discussion.

Séminaire de recherche du CLC 2017

Figures du care et de l’ordinaire dans les littératures canadiennes contemporaines

Organisé par Dominique Hétu, Boursière postdoctorale (CRSH, CLC)

Ce séminaire souhaite explorer comment les littératures canadiennes revisitent et imaginent les concepts de « care » et d’« ordinaire », au-delà de la position par défaut qui tend à réduire ces termes au routinier, au répétitif et au résiduel (Das). Nous visons ainsi à mieux comprendre comment, dans les textes littéraires contemporains, sont racontés les dilemmes, les rituels, les tensions, les attentes et les responsabilités qui animent et qui marquent la vie ordinaire vulnérable, cette idée d’un « tous les jours » où se déploient ce qui à la fois menace et maintien les conditions d’une vie bonne, d’une vie habitable : une vie « qui vaut la peine d’être vécue » (Stiegler). Le large thème de ce séminaire trouve donc ancrage dans la porosité des frontières entre les éthiques du care (Laugier, Held, Tronto) et les éthiques de l’ordinaire (Lovell, Das, Cavell), qui interrogent et complexifient certaines dimensions du care dans la mesure où elles investiguent l’expression  « aller vers », de l’anglais tending to, « qui contient à la fois l’idée de ‘prendre soin de’ et de ‘prêter son attention à’, mais signifie aussi ‘aller dans une direction’ ou encore ‘entreprendre une action particulière’ » (Lovell, Pandolfo, Das, Laugier 7).

Quels savoirs, quels regards nous offre le texte littéraire sur cette forme d’attention et sur ce sensible ? Comment, par la littérature, le care, compris comme un ensemble de modalités « par lesquelles la vie est rendue un peu plus vivable », s’enchevêtre ainsi avec une éthique de l’ordinaire qui dirige notre « attention sur des phénomènes ordinairement non vus, mais juste devant nos yeux » (163) ?

Nous invitons les propositions de communication à s’inspirer des considérations suivantes, sans toutefois y être limitées :

  • Comment les esracontent-ils et racontent-elles les expériences quotidiennes, parfois banalisées et naturalisées, non seulement d’oppression, d’exclusion et de précarité, mais aussi, et parfois en même temps, celles de réhabilitation, de résistance, de créativité et de deuxième chance (Das) ?
  • Comment les textes littéraires imaginent-ils les situations quotidiennes de care, les habitudes et les rituels de tous les jours qui, lorsque rendues visibles par des stratégies narratives et textuelles, montrent cette « fragilité de l’ordinaire » (Lovell, Pandolfo, Das, Laugier 25) ? Peut-on même se saisir de l’ordinaire, souvent pensé comme un tissage diffus et intangible, qui constamment se dérobe ?
  • Plus largement, comment la littérature permet-elle de répondre, de réagir à la souffrance, au trauma, à la vulnérabilité dans le tissu quotidien ? En quoi le travail de la littérature peut-il participer à un certain processus de guérison et à la mise en dialogue d’expériences différentes mais interreliées par l’histoire, le territoire, la mémoire, la filiation, etc. ?
  • Est-ce que le geste littéraire (écriture, lecture, critique), et ce de différents points de vue (migrants, autochtones, féministes, francophones, transnationale, etc.), permet de rompre avec une certaine tradition d’indifférence et d’insouciance devant la vulnérabilité des sujets minorisés et marginalisés ? Dans ces contextes singuliers, que nous montre la littérature à propos de l’ordinaire et, conséquemment, de quelles manières inédites souligne-t-elle la vie de tous les jours ?
  • Qu’est-ce qu’une approche transculturelle de l’ordinaire et de sa fragilité peut entraîner comme développements éthiques et politiques ? Les eset contribuent-ils activement à ces jeux complexes entre éthique et politique qui nous ramènent sans cesse à notre rapport à l’autre, quel qu’il soit ?
  • Et de quelles manières sont racontées les vies ordinaires façonnées par le virtuel, le numérique et par le médical, habitées par de nouvelles corporéités vulnérables, et où l’humain et le non-humain interagissent ? Comment ces perspectives ont-elles un impact sur, ou troublent-elles notre rapport à l’ordinaire et à la différence, à l’étrangeté au quotidien ?

Issus de la pensée du care, des éthiques de l’ordinaire, de la pensée critique posthumaniste, et des études littéraires, les fils grâce auxquels, nous l’espérons, se tisseront cette conversation entre et créateur.trices nous permettront de circonscrire ce qui, dans les littératures canadiennes, menace et maintient une vie vivable et habitable.


Monday, February 29, 2016

CLC Research Seminar: "The CLC's Ten Year Anniversary - A Literary Celebration!"

Canadian Writings in Conversation

An Event Chaired by Evelyne Gagnon and Orly Lael Netzer

The 2015-2016 academic year marks a unique moment for the literary community at the University of Alberta. With the Canadian Literature Centre celebrating a decade of work, and the Writer in Residence program at the Department of English and Film Studies celebrating 40 years, the 2016 research seminar is a wonderful opportunity to partake in the celebrations. This year’s event emerges from the Centre’s mandate as an organization committed to Canadian Literature as a creative body, a scholarly discourse and literary community, and follows a decade of fostering and nurturing diverse communities through research and dialogue. Our 2016 theme, Canadian Writings in Conversation, sets out to explore how we nurture new paths that bring into conversation artistic and scholarly perspectives through a shared interest and commitment to what are truly multiple Canadian literatures. Now that “CanLit has become CanLits” (Smaro Kamboureli; 2014)[1], we wish to focus on the ways in which our work opens up and engages in conversations across positions (cultural, linguistic, artistic, pedagogical, scholarly or multidisciplinary, and political). We ask whether we have indeed moved away from acknowledgements of cross‑cultural diversity to critically engage in what Diana Brydon and Marta Dvořák define as “crosstalk” (i.e. “forms of discussion that can respect and learn from diversity”; 2012). We invite fellow writers and scholars (emerging and established) to explore, unpack, and challenge this idea from a variety of perspectives, related but not limited to the following questions:

  • The current surge in translations of Canadian literary works from English to French (and vice versa) seems to suggest a rise in circulation not only of texts but also of conversations within and between reading and writing communities in Canada. Daniel Laforest and Maïté Snauwaert have stressed the currently growing interest of Francophone critics for English Canadian literature, and the numerous intersections between the two corpuses. Laforest and Snauwaert claim that now, new ways of encountering strangeness are the focus of reflection, rather than the geographical divisions and strict national and symbolic boundaries (2014). In those new spaces of dialogues, Leclerc and Simon think that we should therefore consider the dynamics created by those multiple areas of contacts between dislocated cultural and linguistic points of view and literary discourses (2005)[4]. In other words, can contemporary Canadian writings recreate in their own ways what Édouard Glissant called “a poetics of the Diverse”[5]?
  • Can we identify emerging dialogues between Indigenous, diasporic, immigrant, Francophone, feminist, queer, national or transnational perspectives? For example, a renewed interest in intergenerational dialogues between Canadian women’s writings and the critiques of their works are building a new tradition in a multicultural and bilingual scope (Carrière and Demers; 2014). How are those new dialogues different from previous ones and in what ways are they committed to varied ideas of fostering communities (literary and other)?
  • Do contemporary Canadian literary works revisit older tropes of CanLit? Are we ‘haunted’ by certain literary and political histories and legacies, and in which ways? What are we willfully forgetting, and why?
  • Are considerations of (re)conciliation limited to the relationship between Indigenous nations and the Canadian state, or do Canadian writers (and writings) suggest other potential avenues of cross-cultural relationships that can foster and nurture other kind of (re)conciliation? What about works that reject the idea altogether?
  • Are current manifestations of hybrid forms, genres, methods and practices — in terms of both creative and scholarly work — engaging with ideas of community or relationship building in novel ways?
  • Brydon and Dvořák call us to engage with “questions of audience, community and the shifting forms of collective imaginaries… [and] seek to capture the dynamic potential of this situation for reimagining the public spheres of engagement for creative work today” (2012). How do we (readers, writers, scholars) reimagine our ‘public spheres of engagement’? How do we imagine and engage with our literary communities, and how do we mobilize our communities to do work beyond the literary?


Please consider the following guidelines when submitting your abstracts:

  • 20-minute presentations, interlacing readings of creative works and a critical reflection on the writing process, or the relationship between creative and scholarly work — putting our practices in conversation.
  • Roundtables, including 8-minute presentations (3 or 4 participants) followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. Participants are welcome to send abstracts for individual presentation, partial or entire roundtable proposals. If proposing a complete topic-based roundtable, please send a proposal that includes the names, abstracts and biographies of all panel members. The committee will also accept individual proposals and will undertake thereafter to match individuals with common interests. To foster a fruitful discussion, panel members will be asked to read one another’s papers in advance.
  • Interview or tête-à-tête conversation — either between scholar and artist/author, among colleagues, or a student and mentor — should include a title and detailed (250 word) abstract of the topic and approach the conversation will take, as well as a list of questions which their conversation or interview will address. Please include both participants’ names and short biographies. The committee will also accept individual proposals and will undertake thereafter to match individuals with common interests.
  • Conference paper presentations are restricted to 20-minutes to enable sufficient time for questions and discussion.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

CLC Research Seminar: "New Voices, Emerging Paths in Contemporary Canadian Writings"

An event chaired by Evelyne Gagnon, Adrien Guyot and Orly Lael Netzer

In the footsteps of the 2014 Seminar, which revolved around Canadian literature in the throes of the 21st century, the 2015 Seminar will attempt to build on last year’s fertile reflections, to shed light on new and emerging paths proposed by current literary works. As a result, one may ask, to what extent does contemporary Canadian literature allow us to rethink the precarious bond that every individual may share with alterity, with diverse communities (local, national, virtual) to which he or she feels attached, with a world struck by a series of unprecedented disruptions and changes (political, ecological and technological)? What new or alternative forms of subjectivity and representation manifest themselves, leading to new modes and methods of expression? How do these changes translate into new forms of writing and how do they transform modes of enunciation, genres, techniques and other ways of disseminating literary expression? Although expressions such as “end of literature” (Alexandre Gefen) and “post history” (Sylvain David) have entered on the literary scene, doesn’t recent cultural production offer an alternative to this period marked by pessimism? Thus to what extent do contemporary works allow us to venture on more optimistic routes, by not only suggesting, here and there, that the current discourse of exhaustion be transcended and left behind, but also by proposing a poetics of renewal?

Can the emergence of new discursive strategies or narrative modes be considered a characteristic of recent production? What could be said about the representation of North-American spaces (geographical or imaginary)? In what ways do contemporary texts suggest a re-visioning or critical reading of Canadian history?  What futuristic images do current texts provide to Canadian readership? Where do they position Canada in a global perspective? How does literature deal with concepts of subjectivity, community and citizenship of various sorts (national, continental, global, virtual) in the context of the 21st century? How does Canadian literature recreate the nation, and does it render questions of national belonging (in terms of literary tradition, as well as cultural and political citizenship) obsolete? How does contemporary Canadian literature allow us to rethink concepts of community building? Are there clues as to the re-emergence of old literary trends (pan‑americanism, baroquism, transculturalism, transnationalism, exoticism…) in recent literary production or research activity?


We encourage participants to explore, challenge, and discuss these topics from a variety of perspectives (such as indigenous, immigration, diaspora narratives, women’s writing) as well as a range of literary forms and genres (including oral narratives, life writing, non-fiction, etc.). Since the CLC defines this event as a Research Seminar, we’d like the day to highlight collegiality and collaboration. This will be reflected in the seminar form, seeking to raise, address, and discuss theme-related questions through roundtables and tête-à-tête conversations. We also welcome abstracts for traditional conference presentations related to the theme and linked to some current individual research. Furthermore, in the spirit of nurturing scholarly interaction, we would like the seminar to be an opportunity for the CLC to welcome emerging scholars in our research community. We ask that faculty encourage graduate students who are working on projects that are relevant to this year’s theme to send proposals, attend the seminar, and engage in the conversation.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

CLC Research Seminar: "Canadian Literature in the Throes of the 21stcentury"

General Description

The CLC Research Seminars aim to provide an ongoing public and research forum for the discussion of and study into a wide range of issues relevant to Canadian writing, in English and in French, of all forms, genres and practices. The seminars are open to everyone; participation is solicited from graduate students, university instructors, staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows. The seminars seek to create an interdisciplinary and thoughtful atmosphere for the presenting, sharing and fine-tuning of research in progress. They provide opportunities for researchers of different walks of life and at different stages of their scholarly careers to engage with one another as well as with a general audience, in an informal, supportive and productive setting.

An event chaired by Evelyne Gagnon, Postdoctoral Fellow at the CLC

This year’s gathering will bring together researchers reflecting on contemporary Canadian literature. The seminar will address diverse representations of the 21st century and how Canadian literature proposes different visions (historical, symbolic, topological) of the early years of this new era. How can literature feature, directly or indirectly, the turn of a new century? As the conclusion of a challenging era marked by a “sense of the end” (Paul Chamberland, 2004)? Or as the beginning of an uncertain period where the very possibility of meaning seems exhausted or expanded (for example, David Sylvain speaks of “post-history”; 2012, while Rosi Bradotti sees a new  “post‑humanity”; 2013)? How does literature represent the transition between a constant projection into the technological future and an often forgetful attitude towards history? How can we rethink this vulnerable world, marked by the collapse of numerous epistemes and ideologies, threatened by global instability and ecological challenges? How can the current cultural productions reconfigure the possibilities of living and acting in the 21st century? What new forms of subjectivity are brought forth? French scholar Dominique Viart defines the current literary landscape as producing writers of contemporary vulnerability who are aware of the fragility of our times and of the crisis of legitimacy faced by language and literature (Viart, 2011). What is the specificity of Canada’s literature and its North‑American perspective on that matter? Those are the questions that will be raised, addressed, and discussed at this seminar which will welcome research presentations of various kind (conference papers, round tables, summaries of current research), on all writing genres.

Invited Speaker:

Christine Wiesenthal, Author, Professor and Associate Chair (Academic), Department of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta

“History’s Absent Hand: Lessons in Modes of (Textual) Production From Gaétan Soucy’s The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches


Friday, February 10, 2012

CLC Research Seminar: “Canadian Writing and the Digital Turn”


Time: 12:30pm

Place: Senate Chamber (Room 326), Arts & Convocation Hall, University of Alberta

This year’s gathering will bring together researchers presently engaging in digital humanities research and Canadian writing, and in relation to the “CWRC” online infrastructure project, or Canadian Research Writing Collaboratory.

As CWRC devises new tools and methods of study to meet the digital turn, its scholarship shifts towards fertile cross-disciplinary and collaborative energies. CWRC seeks to investigate links between writers, readers, texts, places, communities, critical traditions, and intellectual movements; to advance understanding of past and present cultural production, change, and social transformation; and produce crucial open-access knowledge accessible to Canadians and the world.

Participants in the seminar will present pilot projects intended to “seed” the CWRC database (ORCA) as well as affiliated projects that will contribute to the enrichment of the online environment. Topics covered by seminar participants include urban mapping, community and memory, literary history, intellectual movements, digital archives, spatial relations and literature, and the locality of reading.

General Description:

The CLC Research Seminars aim to provide an ongoing public and research forum for the discussion of and study into a wide range of issues relevant to Canadian writing, in English and in French, of all forms, genres and practices. The seminars are open to everyone; participation is solicited from graduate students, university instructors, staff, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows. The seminars seek to create an interdisciplinary and thoughtful atmosphere for the presenting, sharing and fine-tuning of research in progress. They provide opportunities for researchers of different walks of life and at different stages of their scholarly careers to engage with one another as well as with a general audience, in an informal, supportive and productive setting.


Friday, February 4, 2011

CLC Research Seminar: “Urban Spaces in/and Canada’s Literatures”

Time: 2:00 - 5:00 PM

Place: University of Alberta

Wine and cheese reception to follow, with a literary reading by a special guest author.

What is it?

The CLC Research Seminars aim to provide an ongoing public research forum for the discussion of and study into a wide range of issues relevant to Canadian literature of all forms, languages, genres and practices. The seminars are open to everyone; participation is especially solicited from graduate students; university instructors, staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows are also strongly encouraged to participate. The seminars seek to create an interdisciplinary and thoughtful atmosphere for the presenting, sharing and fine tuning of research in progress. They will provide opportunities for researchers of different walks of life and at different stages of their scholarly careers to engage with one another as well as with a general audience, in an informal, supportive and productive setting.

What’s it About?

The main focus of this year’s seminar is Urban Spaces in/and Canada’s Literatures. In the form of 10-minute position papers, participants will present research projects, problems, results, themes, challenges, questions, theories or methodologies pertaining to the seminar’s focus and their own research fields of inquiry or interests. Questions for reflection might include:

  • How are Canadian urban spaces portrayed, defined or re-defined by literature?
  • How do urban spaces produce gender, race, class, and ethnicity?
  • How are urban spaces in turn produced by these categories?
  • How is public or political discourse (in)formed by our cities, and how are cities (in)formed by these discourses?
  • Is there a specifically Canadian, Québécois, Francophone, or immigrant urbanity?
  • What are the connections between urban space and personal memory, collective memory, migration, mobility, language or citizenry?
  • What are the connections between urbanity and cultural production in Canada?
  • Are there new forms of Canadian writing, performance or publishing that reflect contemporary urban realities?