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Postcolonialism, Pedagogy, and Canadian Literature
Canadian literature, and specifically the teaching of Canadian literature, has emerged from a colonial duty to a nationalist enterprise and into the current territory of postcolonialism. From practical discussions related to specific texts, to more theoretical discussions about pedagogical practice regarding issues of nationalism and identity, Home-Work constitutes a major investigation and reassessment of the influence of postcolonial theory on Canadian literary pedagogy from some of the top scholars in the field.
Letters from Rural Children, 1900-1920
“I am a girl, 13 years old, and a proper broncho buster. I can cook and do housework, but I just love to ride.”
In letters written to the children’s pages of newspapers, we hear the clear and authentic voices of real children who lived in rural Canada and Newfoundland between 1900 and 1920. Children tell us about their families, their schools, jobs and communities and the suffering caused by the terrible costs of World War I.
We read of shared common experiences of isolation, hard work, few amenities, limited educational opportunities, restricted social life and heavy responsibilities, but also of satisfaction over skills mastered and work performed. Though often hard, children’s lives reflected a hopeful and expanding future, and their letters recount their skills and determination as well as family lore and community histories.
Children both make and participate in history, but until recently their role has been largely ignored. In “I Want to Join Your Club,” Lewis provides direct evidence that children’s lives, like adults’, have both continuity and change and form part of the warp and woof of the social fabric.
Visions on Canada's Politics, Culture, and Economics
Lowry’s longest and most ambitious project of the mid-1930s was the autobiographical novel, In Ballast to the White Sea, about a Cambridge undergraduate who wants to be a novelist but has come to believe that both his book and, in a sense, his life have already been “written” by a Norwegian novelist.
Only decades after Lowry’s death in 1957 did it become known that his first wife, Jan Gabrial, still had a typescript of the book. In Ballast to the White Sea—which Lowry once imagined would be the Paradiso of his trilogy, with Under the Volcano as the Infernoand Swinging the Maelstrom (or Lunar Caustic) as the Purgatorio—is one of Lowry’s most intensely personal works.
The introduction places the narrative in relation to Lowry’s sense of himself in the mid-1930s and draws parallels with his post-Volcano writings such as Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend Is Laid, La Mordida, and Through the Panama. The text of the novel, as well as Chris Ackerley’s extensive annotations provide crucial evidence about Lowry’s life and art during the 14 years between the publication of Ultramarine (1933) and Under the Volcano (1947), the only novels he completed and published during his lifetime.
Indigenous Poetics in Canada broadens the way in which Indigenous poetry is examined, studied, and discussed in Canada. Breaking from the parameters of traditional English literature studies, this volume embraces a wider sense of poetics, including Indigenous oralities, languages, and understandings of place.
Featuring work by academics and poets, the book examines four elements of Indigenous poetics. First, it explores the poetics of memory: collective memory, the persistence of Indigenous poetic consciousness, and the relationships that enable the Indigenous storytelling process. The book then explores the poetics of performance: Indigenous poetics exist both in written form and in relation to an audience. Third, in an examination of the poetics of place and space, the book considers contemporary Indigenous poetry and classical Indigenous narratives. Finally, in a section on the poetics of medicine, contributors articulate the healing and restorative power of Indigenous poetry and narratives.
Vol. 47 (2013) through current issue
The International Journal of Canadian Studies is a bilingual, multidisciplinary, and peer-reviewed journal publishing the latest research in Canadian Studies from around the world. IJCS prides itself in being the only scholarly journal to bring together academic research conducted both by Canadians and academics studying Canada from abroad. IJCS provides Canadianists from across the globe a space to share a common pursuit of scholarly questions pertaining to Canada.
Histoires, identités, cultures
Dans un pays où la géographie culturelle est en perpétuelle évolution, il est souvent difficile d’identifier et de caractériser les attributs spécifiques qui distinguent le Canada. Ce recueil a pour objectif d’aborder trois thèmes facilitant cette tâche : l’histoire, les identités sociales et nationales, et les cultures multiples du pays. S’appuyant sur plusieurs textes portant sur le Canada dans toute sa diversité, les auteurs visent à traiter des diverses identités nationales minoritaires, en portant une attention particulière aux études autochtones, aux immigrants et aux francophones hors Québec. Écrit par des experts dans plusieurs domaines, ce livre présente les principaux fondements des études canadiennes pour les étudiants de premier cycle.
Unsettling Canadian Literature
How can postcolonialism be applied to Canadian literature?
In all that has been written about postcolonialism, surprisingly little has specifically addressed the position of Canada, Canadian literature, or Canadian culture.
Postcolonialism is a theory that has gained credence throughout the world; it is be productive to ask if and how we, as Canadians, participate in postcolonial debates. It is also vital to examine the ways in which Canada and Canadian culture fit into global discussions as our culture reflects how we interact with our neighbours, allies, and adversaries.
This collection wrestles with the problems of situating Canadian literature in the ongoing debates about culture, identity, and globalization, and of applying the slippery term of postcolonialism to Canadian literature. The topics range in focus from discussions of specific literary works to general theoretical contemplations. The twenty-three articles in this collection grapple with the recurrent issues of postcolonialism — including hybridity, collaboration, marginality, power, resistance, and historical revisionism — from the vantage point of those working within Canada as writers and critics. While some seek to confirm the legitimacy of including Canadian literature in the discussions of postcolonialism, others challenge this very notion.
Essays on Al Purdy
If one poet can be said to be the Canadian poet, that poet is Al Purdy (1918–2000). Numerous eminent scholars and writers have attested to this pre-eminent status. George Bowering described him as “the world’s most Canadian poet” (1970), while Sam Solecki titled his book-length study of Purdy The Last Canadian Poet (1999). In The Ivory Thought: Essays on Al Purdy, a group of seventeen scholars, critics, writers, and educators appraise and reappraise Purdy’s contribution to English literature. They explore Purdy’s continuing significance to contemporary writers; the life he dedicated to literature and the persona he crafted; the influences acting on his development as a poet; the ongoing scholarly projects of editing and publishing his writing; particular poems and individual books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction; and the larger themes in his work, such as the Canadian North and the predominant importance of place. In addition, two contemporary poets pay tribute with original poems.