World's Longest Undefended Border: Canadian Literature in the Shadow of America
Established in 1783 by the Treaty of Paris, the border between Canada and the United States is considered the longest international border in the world. What makes this border unique (unlike the border between the United States and Mexico) is the fact that it can be considered the "longest undefended border" due to the rather low level of security that maintains this boundary. Like this undefended border, the border between Canadian and American literature has been historically misunderstood. It is through review and use of the theory of liminality, as defined by Van Gennep in 1909 and Turner in the 1960s, that one must begin to discuss and define the geographical boundaries between Canada and American literature.
This panel will focus on the concept of liminality, identity negotiation, borders and boundaries, the frontier (both literal and physical) and its relation to the work of Northrop Frye and Margaret Atwood, and the concept of collective identity in literature of Canada. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract to Ellen Feig at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 5th, 2016.