CFP: TransCanada Two: Literature, Institutions, Citizenship (11/20/06; 10/11/07-10/14/07)

full name / name of organization: 
TransCanada Institute
contact email:


Interdisciplinary Conference on the Study of Canadian Literature

TransCanada Two: Literature, Institutions, Citizenship

University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
October 11-14, 2007

Keynote Speakers



Plenary Speakers


The context: “We believe that Canada has reached yet another turning
point, trying as it is to negotiate its multicultural phase of the
last two decades with the pressures of globalization. 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.” TransCanada Conference Committee (2005)

The goal: The TransCanada project has been conceived to undertake a
major reconsideration of Canadian literary studies through
collaborative and interdisciplinary research activities and the
formation of a collective site—the TransCanada conference, but also
The TransCanada Institute (the University of Guelph)—for scholars and

The projects: The project’s inaugural phase consisted of a national
conference, “TransCanada: Literature, Institutions, Citizenship,” held
in Vancouver (June 23-26, 2005), co-sponsored by Simon Fraser
University and the University of Guelph, which brought together some
150 scholars, writers, artists, and graduate students. Through keynote
speeches, plenary discussions that were guided by position papers on
the conference themes—literature, institutions, and citizenship—and
small research cell sessions, the participants addressed a host of
critical questions that are central to Canadian literary studies.

The TransCanada project has, to date, initiated several collaborative
projects: two special issues of journals, “Citizenship and Belonging
in Canadian Literature,” eds. David Chariandy and Sophie McCall,
Essays in Canadian Writing (2007) and “Discourses of Security,
‘Peacekeeping’ Narratives and the Cultural Imagination in Canada,”
eds. Heike Harting and Smaro Kamboureli, University of Toronto
Quarterly (2008); a double session at Congress 2006, “Ethics:
Research, Pedagogy, Academic Citizenship,” organized by Smaro
Kamboureli (ACCUTE, CACLALS, ACQL); a research workshop at the
University of Guelph, “The Culture of Research: Retooling the
Humanities,” co-organized by Daniel Coleman and Smaro Kamboureli
(University of Guelph, October 20-22, 2006), which will result in a
book; and “Literary Knowledges and the Canadian Marketplace,” an
ACCUTE 2007 session that is being co-organized by Kit Dobson and Smaro
Kamboureli. As well, revised forms of the keynote addresses and
position papers for the Vancouver conference will soon be available in
Trans.Can.Lit: Resituating the Study of Canadian Literature, edited by
Smaro Kamboureli and Roy Miki, forthcoming in 2007 from Wilfrid
Laurier University Press.

TransCanada Two: Literature, Institutions, Citizenship is intended to
be the second gathering of scholars and students to pursue what the
production, study and teaching of Canadian literature as an
institution entail. CanLit may have become a major part of Canada’s
cultural capital and cultural economies, but it has become apparent to
many scholars that its study can no longer take place in isolation
from the larger forces that shape the nation, global relations, and
the corporatization of higher education. The pressures of
multiculturalism on the Canadian state—witness, for example, the
recent debates on the rescue of Lebanese Canadians from a war zone and
the Maher Arar case— puts more emphasis upon discourses of citizenship
and security. At the same time, market-driven factors increasingly
shape the publication, dissemination, and reception of Canadian
writing. These are just some of the factors that have caused a subtle
yet palpable shift in the critical and cultural paradigms that inform
the study and teaching of Canadian literature. The task of identifying
the implications of these shifts and, above all, of devising
constructive ways of responding to them involves a long-term and
multilateral project that can only be a shared endeavour, undertaken
in interdisciplinary and collaborative terms.

TransCanada Two will be held at the University of Guelph, October
11-14, 2007. We will once again feature keynote addresses and position
papers at plenary discussions (as speakers are confirmed, their names
will appear on the conference website), but our critical framework
will be much more broadly interdisciplinary in scope. Invited
presenters will come from disciplines that complement Canadian
literary studies. In preparation for TransCanada Three, which, we
hope, will take the project to Europe where similar social and
political issues are under debate, the conference will feature a
plenary session on Canadian literary studies outside of Canada,
featuring scholars from several countries. Two afternoons of the
conference will be devoted to concurrent research sessions for papers
on Canadian literature.

We invite proposals (300 words) for 20-minute presentations that
address the themes of the conference—literature, institutions,
citizenship—for the concurrent research sessions. We encourage
interdisciplinary papers that critique the limits of institutional
framings of Canadian literature, that offer innovative critical
approaches, and that point to future directions through which the
study of Canadian literature and the contexts that inform it can be
renewed through a collective endeavour.

Here is a list of some of the central issues this conference will address:
• CanLit and Aboriginal Literatures
• Transnationalism, Humanitarianism, and Cultural Production
• Diasporas in Canada and Alternate Geographies
• Territoriality / Citizenship / Culture
• CanLit and Critical Methodologies
• CanLit and institutional structures

We wish to extend a special invitation to Ph.D. students for the
Plenary Session especially designed for the presentation of doctoral
research projects in the field. We are interested in proposals by
doctoral students who are nearing completion of their program and
pursuing interdisciplinary studies of Canadian literature and/or
culture that relate to the mandate of the conference. Three to five
such projects will be featured in this plenary session, while other
projects will be vetted for inclusion in the concurrent paper
sessions. All these proposals will also be featured online.

To be considered for inclusion in this plenary session, please submit
the following: a 500-word summary of your dissertation project; a
100-word paragraph stating how you expect your participation in
TransCanada to benefit your work and professional development; and a
request for financial support to participate in TransCanada, if you
have no other source of funding (limited financial support is

All submissions should be accompanied by a brief bio note. Please make
sure that your name and institutional affiliation do not appear on the
abstract page.

Deadline for all submissions: November 20, 2006.
Notification of acceptance: Late January 2007.
Submission address: or TransCanada Two, c/o Paul
Danyluk, SETS, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1.

Smaro Kamboureli (Guelph) and Roy Miki (Simon Fraser)

Lily Cho (Western)
Paul Danyluk (Guelph)
Kit Dobson (Guelph)
Sophie McCall (Simon Fraser)
Donna Pennee (Guelph)
Christl Verduyn (Mount Allison)
Robert Zacharias (Guelph)

Alessandra Capperdoni
David Chariandy
Jeff Derksen
Sophie McCall
Mark McCutcheon
Kathy Mezei

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Received on Fri Nov 03 2006 - 18:07:16 EST

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