CFP - "Nation/hood and Narratives of Place", International Canadian Studies Conference, Nova Scotia, Sept. 18-21, 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Kathy-Ann Tan, University of Tuebingen

This is a proposed panel for the International Canadian Studies conference "Meeting Places/Lieux de rencontre" organized by Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia & Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, September 18-21, 2013. More information on the conference can be found here:

Panel: "Nation/hood and Narratives of Place"

In this panel, we will explore the ways in which notions of nation/hood, community, and place have been defined and understood, but also contested and reformulated, within (and without) a Canadian framework. While critiques of a Canadian national imaginary abound, anti-colonial, place- and community-based narratives and Indigenous nationalisms have not received the same attention in the academy. That is, conventional studies of the national, especially in the Canadian context, tend to remain within the paradigms of the industrialized nation-state. Different understandings of the "nation", however, have been advanced by Indigenous scholars, writers & activists. Daniel Heath Justice, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, for example, contends that "Indigenous nationhood is more than simple political independence or the exercise of a distinctive cultural identity; it's also an understanding of a common social interdependence within the community, the tribal web of kinship rights and responsibilities that link the People, the land, and the cosmos together in an ongoing and dynamic system of mutually affecting relationships." ("''Go away water!': Kinship Criticism and the Decolonization Imperative")

How do notions of the nation, kinship, and community in Indigenous and other place- and community-based writing differ from, challenge, expand, explode or simply ignore the ideas of nationalism and nationhood posited by, for example, a theorist like Benedict Anderson, who speaks of the nation as a socially-constructed and mediated "imagined" political community? What about Indigenous nations that understand their political and cultural sovereignty as derived from Creator? There are new "urban citizenships" emerging in Canada's cities, especially within Indigenous, diasporic, and migrant communities. How do these communities invoke and critique notions of the nation and citizenship? How does the push and pull of forced migration, re-settlement and colonization, factor into these discussions? How might we talk about the ways in which urban citizens occupy and negotiate the contested space(s) where they live? How are notions of nation and diaspora informed by conceptions of home, land, migration and exile? How does bio-regionalism/eco-regionalism contest and go beyond notions of geopolitical national boundaries?

Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief biographic note by March 28rd, 2012 to both Dr. Kathy-Ann Tan at and Daniel Johnson at