Edited by Smaro Kamboureli
Published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press: 2007-
The study of Canadian literature can no longer take place in isolation from larger external forces. Pressures of multiculturalism put emphasis upon discourses of citizenship and security, while market-driven factors increasingly shape the publication, dissemination, and reception of Canadian writing. The persistent questioning of the Humanities has invited a rethinking of the disciplinary and curricular structures within which the literature is taught, while the development of area and diaspora studies has raised important questions about the tradition. The goal of the TransCanada series is to publish forward-thinking critical interventions that investigate these paradigm shifts in interdisciplinary ways.
For more information, please contact the Series Editor or the Acquisitions Editor:
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
75 University Avenue West
Canada N2L 3C5
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext. 2843
Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s
Written by Larissa Lai
2014, 255 pp.
The 1980s and 1990s are a historically crucial period in the development of Asian Canadian literature. Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s contextualizes and reanimates the urgency of that period, illustrates its historical specificities, and shows how the concerns of that moment—from cultural appropriation to race essentialism to shifting models of the state—continue to resonate for contemporary discussions of race and literature in Canada. Larissa Lai takes up the term “Asian Canadian” as a term of emergence, in the sense that it is constantly produced differently, and always in relation to other terms—often “whiteness” but also Indigeneity, queerness, feminism, African Canadian, and Asian American. In the 1980s and 1990s, “Asian Canadian” erupted in conjunction with the post-structural recognition of the instability of the subject. But paradoxically it also came into being through activist work, and so depended on an imagined stability that never fully materialized. Slanting I, Imagining We interrogates this fraught tension and the relational nature of the term through a range of texts and events, including the Gold Mountain Blues scandal, the conference Writing Thru Race, and the self-writings of Evelyn Lau and Wayson Choy.
Critical Collaborations: Indigeneity, Diaspora, Ecology in Canadian Literary Studies
Edited by Smaro Kamboureli and Christl Verduyn
2014, 296 pp.
Critical Collaborations: Indigeneity, Diaspora, and Ecology in Canadian Literary Studies is the third volume of essays produced as part of the TransCanada conferences project. The essays gathered in Critical Collaborations constitute a call for collaboration and kinship across disciplinary, political, institutional, and community borders. They are tied together through a simultaneous call for resistance—to Eurocentrism, corporatization, rationalism, and the fantasy of total systems of knowledge—and a call for critical collaborations. These collaborations seek to forge connections without perceived identity—linking concepts and communities without violating the differences that constitute them, seeking epistemic kinships while maintaining a willingness to not-know. In this way, they form a critical conversation between seemingly distinct areas and demonstrate fundamental allegiances between diasporic and indigenous scholarship, transnational and local knowledges, legal and eco-critical methodologies. Links are forged between Indigenous knowledge and ecological and social justice, creative critical reading, and ambidextrous epistemologies, unmaking the nation through translocalism and unsettling histories of colonial complicity through a poetics of relation. Together, these essays reveal how the critical methodologies brought to bear on literary studies can both challenge and exceed disciplinary structures, presenting new forms of strategic transdisciplinarity that expand the possibilities of Canadian literary studies while also emphasizing humility, complicity, and the limits of knowledge.
Trans/acting Culture, Writing, and Memory: Essays in Honour of Barbara Godard
Edited by Ray Ellenwood, Jennifer Henderson, Eva C. Karpinski and Ian Sowton
2013, 394 pp.
Trans/acting Culture, Writing, and Memory is a collection of essays written in honour of Barbara Godard, one of the most original and wide-ranging literary critics, theorists, teachers, translators, and public intellectuals Canada has ever produced. The contributors, both established and emerging scholars, extend Godard’s work through engagements with her published texts in the spirit of creative interchange and intergenerational relay of ideas. Their essays resonate with Godard’s innovative scholarship, situated at the intersection of such fields as literary studies, cultural studies, translation studies, feminist theory, arts criticism, social activism, institutional analysis, and public memory. In pursuit of unexpected linkages and connections, the essays venture beyond generic and disciplinary borders, zeroing in on Godard’s transdisciplinary practice which has been extremely influential in the way it framed questions and modelled interventions for the study of Canadian, Québécois, and Acadian literatures and cultures. The authors work with the materials ranging from Canadian government policies and documents to publications concerning white-supremacist organizations in Southern Ontario, online materials from a Toronto-based transgender arts festival, a photographic mural installation commemorating the Montreal Massacre, and the works of such writers and artists as Marie Clements, Nicole Brossard, France Daigle, Nancy Huston, Yvette Nolan, Gail Scott, Denise Desautels, Louise Warren, Rebecca Belmore, Vera Frenkel, Robert Lepage, and Janet Cardiff.
Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace
Edited by Kit Dobson and Smaro Kamboureli
2013, 220 pp.
Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace brings to light the relationship between writers in Canada and the marketplace within which their work circulates. Through a series of conversations with both established and younger writers from across the country, Kit Dobson and Smaro Kamboureli investigate how writers perceive their relationship to the cultural economy—and what that economy means for their creative processes.
The interviews in Producing Canadian Literature focus, in particular, on how writers interact with the cultural institutions and bodies that surround them. Conversations pursue the impacts of arts funding on writers; show how agents, editors, and publishers affect writers’ works; examine the process of actually selling a book, both in Canada and abroad; and contemplate what literary awards mean to writers. Dialogues with Christian Bök, George Elliott Clarke, Daniel Heath Justice, Larissa Lai, Stephen Henighan, Roy Miki, Erín Moure, Ashok Mathur, Lee Maracle, Jane Urquhart, and Aritha van Herk testify to the broad range of experience that writers in Canada have when it comes to the conditions in which their work is produced.
Original in its desire to directly explore the specific circumstances in which writers work—and how those conditions affect their writing itself—Producing Canadian Literature will be of interest to scholars, students, aspiring writers, and readers who have followed these authors and want to know more about how their books come into beingbecome a leitmotif in the book.
Shifting the Ground of Canadian Literary Studies
Edited by Smaro Kamboureli and Robert Zacharias
2012, 310 pp.
Shifting the Ground of Canadian Literary Studies is a collection of interdisciplinary essays that examine the various contexts—political, social, and cultural—that have shaped the study of Canadian literature and the role it plays in our understanding of the Canadian nation-state. The essays are tied together as instances of critical practices that reveal the relations and exchanges that take place between the categories of the literary and the nation, as well as between the disciplinary sites of critical discourses and the porous boundaries of their methods. They are concerned with the material effects of the imperial and colonial logics that have fashioned Canada, as well as with the paradoxes, ironies, and contortions that abound in the general perception that Canada has progressed beyond its colonial construction. Smaro Kamboureli’s introduction demonstrates that these essays engage with the larger realm of human and social practices—throne speeches, book clubs, policies of accommodation of cultural and religious differences, Indigenous thought about justice and ethics—to show that literary and critical work is inextricably related to the Canadian polity in light of transnational and global forces.
Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada
Edited by Melina Baum Singer, Christine Kim and Sophie McCall
2012, 284 pp.
Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada considers how the terms of critical debate in literary and cultural studies in Canada have shifted with respect to race, nation, and difference. In asking how Indigenous and diasporic interventions have remapped these debates, the contributors argue that a new “cultural grammar” is at work and attempt to sketch out some of the ways it operates.
The essays reference pivotal moments in Canadian literary and cultural history and speak to ongoing debates about Canadian nationalism, postcolonalism, migrancy, and transnationalism. Topics covered include the Asian race riots in Vancouver in 1907, the cultural memory of internment and dispersal of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s, the politics of migrant labour and the “domestic labour scheme” in the 1960s, and the trial of Robert Pickton in Vancouver in 2007. The contributors are particularly interested in how diaspora and indigeneity continue to contribute to this critical reconfiguration and in how conversations about diaspora and indigeneity in the Canadian context have themselves been transformed. Cultural Grammars is an attempt to address both the interconnections and the schisms between these multiply fractured critical terms as well as the larger conceptual shifts that have occurred in response to national and postnational arguments.
Transnational Canadas: Anglo-Canadian Literature and Globalization
Written by Kit Dobson
2009, 258 pp.
Transnational Canadas marks the first sustained inquiry into the relationship between globalization and Canadian literature written in English. Tracking developments in the literature and its study from the centennial period to the present, it shows how current work in transnational studies can provide new insights for researchers and students.
Arguing first that the dichotomy of Canadian nationalism and globalization is no longer valid in today’s economic climate, Transnational Canadas explores the legacy of leftist nationalism in Canadian literature. It examines the interventions of multicultural writing in the 1980s and 1990s, investigating the cultural politics of the period and how they increasingly became part of Canada’s state structure. Under globalization, the book concludes, we need to understand new forms of subjectivity and mobility as sites for cultural politics and look beyond received notions of belonging and being.
An original contribution to the study of Canadian literature, Transnational Canadas seeks to invigorate discussion by challenging students and researchers to understand the national and the global simultaneously, to look at the politics of identity beyond the rubric of multiculturalism, and to rethink the slippery notion of the political for the contemporary era.
Trans.Can.Lit: Resituating the Study of Canadian Literature
Edited by Smaro Kamboureli and Roy Miki
2007, 252 pp.
The study of Canadian literature—CanLit—has undergone dramatic changes since it became an area of specialization in the 1960s and ’70s. As new global forces in the 1990s undermined its nation-based critical assumptions, its theoretical focus and research methods lost their immediacy. The contributors to Trans.Can.Lit address cultural policy, citizenship, white civility, and the celebrated status of diasporic writers, unabashedly recognizing the imperative to transfigure the disciplinary and institutional frameworks within which Canadian literature is produced, disseminated, studied, taught, and imagined.