Seed Politics in 21st Century Canadian Literature (U. of Ottawa, May 30-June 2, 2015) - Deadline Nov. 1

full name / name of organization: 
ACCUTE (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English) Member-Organized Panel
contact email: 

Title: Seed Politics in 21st Century Canadian Literature

Organizers: Stephanie Oliver (Western University) and Tania Aguila-Way (University of Ottawa)

Canada has a long and complex relationship to what Devlin Kuyek calls "seed politics." Plant agriculture played a central role in settler colonialism and the appropriation of land from Indigenous peoples; the seed was thus a nation-building tool. The process of cultivating seeds and land also evokes metaphors of reproduction, rebirth, heredity, purity, and breeding, all of which are bound up in the nation-building project as well as discourses of race, gender, sexuality, and class. While much has been written on plant agriculture in canonical Canadian literary works, less has been done on plant agriculture in 21st-century Canadian literature. This panel asks: how do Canadian writers grapple with seed politics in the 21st century, an age characterized by GMOs, Monsanto, "seed activism," farm-to-table movements, Canadian urbanization, urban farming, migrant labour, global capitalism, and climate change? Papers might explore, but are not limited to, the following topics:

-seeds politics 'now' and 'then'
-seeds as metaphors of rebirth, fertility, reproduction, heredity, purity, breeding, etc
-seed politics and gender, sexuality, race, class, and ability
-seed politics and nationhood in the 21st century
-plant agriculture and globalization/global capitalism
-plant agriculture and neo-colonialism
-Indigenous peoples' relationships to seeds/plant agriculture
-the seed politics of diaspora and indigeneity
-plant agriculture and labour
-seeds/plant agriculture and food movements
-seeds/plant agriculture and the environment
-plant reproduction and "queer ecologies"
-seed activism
-seed politics and scientific discourses (genetics/genomics, biodiversity, cloning, etc)
-representations of seeds/plant agriculture in science fiction

To propose a paper, please send the following (in PDF form if possible) to seedpolitics@gmail.com by Nov. 1, 2014:

-A 300- to 500-word proposal (with NO identifying marks of any kind)
-A 100-word abstract
-A 50-word bio
-A 2015 Proposal Submissions Information Sheet (available on the ACCUTE website: http://accute.ca/accute-conference/accute-cfp-member-organized-sessions/)

ACCUTE 2015 will be held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada from May 30 -June 2, 2014 as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the organization and the conference, please visit http://accute.ca/.