TransCanada Institute has been established by Smaro Kamboureli, with the support of her Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Critical Studies in Canadian Literature and a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant. It is an interdisciplinary, media-enhanced research environment whose primary goal is to initiate, foster, facilitate, and produce collaborative research on the methodologies, pedagogies, institutional structures, and contexts that inform and shape the production, dissemination, teaching, and study of Canadian literature and culture in Canada, as well as globally.
The Contexts of the Institute and its Benefits
The study of Canadian literature and culture is a complex and vast area of research that goes beyond the study of literary texts. Because Canadian literature includes authors from a wide range of ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds, and because its tradition cannot be adequately examined without paying critical attention to such historical and political factors as colonialism, Aboriginality, immigration, multiculturalism, and cultural policies and economies, its study is inevitably inflected by the political, institutional, social, and cultural contexts that impact on its production, dissemination, and teaching, hence the interdisciplinary research focus of The TransCanada Institute. The “Trans” in TransCanada, then echoes the various processes—historical, political, national, economic, global—that impact on Canadian literature as an institution that has gone through various stages of development: from being ignored as a colonial product, and thus seen as inferior to the British and American literary traditions, to being reified as a national, read “white,” literature, from encompassing, under the aegis of multiculturalism, diasporic authors to becoming indigenized and reaching international acclaim to being studied in the context of the humanities.
The Institute’s Objectives
TransCanada Institute’s primary goal is to initiate a renewal of purpose and vision both of the study of Canadian literature and culture and of the role of Canadianists as humanists and citizens. To achieve this mission, it fosters research that:
- Investigates the postcolonial and diaspora theories employed by Canadian critics;
- Examines the study and teaching of indigenous and diaspora literatures in Canada;
- Focuses on method and interdisciplinarity and the development of new analytic tools in the field of Canadian literature;
- Directly addresses the various institutional structures (e.g., disciplinary formations, curricula, and SSHRC) that inform research in the areas of Canadian literature; and
- Seeks to establish collaborative relations among local, regional, national, and International scholars.
To facilitate these kinds of research the Institute offers support and training to doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows; sponsors visiting scholars specializing in Canadian literature and /or theoretical fields of interest to the Institute’s mandate; and organizes workshops, colloquia, conferences, and other cultural activities that promote dialogue and enhance the study of Canadian literature.
Daniel Coleman, Professor of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University
Julia Emberley, Professor, Women’s Literature and Gender Studies, University of Western Ontario
Robert Enright, University Professor, School of Fine Arts and Music, University of Guelph; Founding Editor of Border Crossings
Jade Ferguson, Assistant Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph
Len Findlay, Professor, Director, Humanities Centre, University of Saskatchewan
Heike Härting, Associate Professor and Head of Graduate Studies, Department of English, Université de Montréal
Ashok Mathur, Director, Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada, Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry, Thompson Rivers University
Roy Miki, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, Simon Fraser University; poet and cultural critic
Daniel O’Quinn, Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies
Donna Palmateer Pennee, Professor, Department of English; University of Western Ontario
Eleanor Wachtel, Writer, Broadcaster, Host of Writers & Company, CBC Radio