TransCanada One: Literature, Institutions, Citizenship
The Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Vancouver
June 23-26, 2005
This interdisciplinary conference investigates the study of Canadian literature as a field produced in the context of globalizing processes and critical methodologies, but also in that of institutional structures such as the Humanities, the cultural industries, curricula and anthologies. Innovatively designed, TransCanada intends to bring to light the incommensurable aspects of the production, study and teaching of Canadian literature as praxis in Canada and overseas. Structured as an intensive, critical dialogue, and intended to facilitate future research collaboration, TransCanada responds to the critical juncture we believe the study of Canadian literature is at: beyond the troubled legacy of nationalism, the domestication of the postcolonial, and an acquiescent engagement with globalization.
The TransCanada organising committee would like to thank all the delegates, attendees, volunteers, sponsors, and associates who helped to make TransCanada happen. Stay tuned for updates on this web site’s developing functions (in the interest of sustaining dialogue and momentum) and on next year’s sequel at the University of Guelph.
We believe that Canada has reached now yet another turning point, trying as it is to negotiate its multicultural phase of the last two decades with the pressures of globalization. While the unraveling of the nation’s coherence may have resulted in a loss of purpose, this loss is not to be lamented. Instead, we see this turning point as representing a critical moment that invites a complete rethinking of the disciplinary and institutional frameworks within which Canadian literature is produced, disseminated, studied and taught. Fully acknowledging the importance of what has been accomplished over Canadian literature’s relatively short history, this conference will take the form of a structured forum that will foster rigorous critical dialogue which will hopefully not stop at the level of debate. Instead, it will articulate a loose collective of scholars that will pursue future research plans–collaborative as well as individual–about the production, study and teaching of Canadian literature.
TransCanada, then, is not conceived in revisionist terms, nor is it a rejection of Canadian literature’s institutional history or triggered by anxiety over the loss of the margin. Rather, TransCanada intends to bring to light the incommensurable aspects of the study of Canadian literature as praxis in Canada.