Canadian Precarities (May 30-June 2 2015, Ottawa, Canada)

full name / name of organization: 
Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English

What does it mean to feel precarious? Which bodies, subjects, and communities are more precarious than others? Is precarity a political-economic condition (the "precariat") and/or an affective, ethical, and psychoanalytical condition? Is there a social identity to "the precarious" in Canadian literature and culture, and is this identity entirely new or the renaming of an older category? To what extent does recent theoretical interest in precarity by European and U.S.-American scholars (Berardi, Berlant, Butler, Harvey, Lorey, Power, Puar, Standing) hold promise for Canadian cultural critics? How does precarity––which is at least partly produced by emphatic distinctions between the waged and the chronically non-waged and those with citizenship and those without–– intersect with other forms of individual and collective disempowerment and resistance? How do concerns about the environment and the interconnections between human and other networks of life shape Canadian cultural representations of precarity? How might precarity allow us to rethink Canadian social relations, cultural representations, and possibilities for (trans)national social transformation?

We invite proposals that explore precarity in twentieth- and twenty-first century Canadian cultural forms, such as film, television, theatre, poetry, manifestos, fiction, picture books, comics and graphic narratives, spoken word, music, photography, life-writing and social media, performance and visual art. We encourage papers that consider how specific genres, forms, modes, and media have emerged to represent old and new Canadian precarities, from reportage, realism, and street theatre to spoken word, blogs, and web comics.

Please send the following by November 1st to both organizers listed below: a file containing a 300-500 word proposal, without personal identifying marks; a file containing a 100 word abstract and a 50 word biographical statement; the 2015 Proposal Submissions Information Sheet available on the ACCUTE website ( Presenters must be ACCUTE members by March 1, 2015.

Jody Mason
Associate Professor
Dept. of English, Carleton University


Candida Rifkind
Associate Professor
Dept. of English, University of Winnipeg