PAMLA Session: The City and Canadian Literature and Authors

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association
contact email: 

The theme of the 2021 PAMLA conference focuses on ideas and forms of cities, fictive cities, and symbolic cities, and on various representations of urban cultures and peoples. This panel focuses on real and fictional Canadian cities, expressing visions of city types, culture, and the development of identity through cityscapes in Canadian literature and/or by Canadian writers. Given Canada’s great size but small, dispersed population, “city” has divided Canada into the “Big Three” -- Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver -- and the rest, not only from the Canadian perspective, but also from external perspectives. Canada is further divided into distinct geographical zones: Atlantic (Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick), Central (Ontario and Quebec), Prairie (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and parts of Alberta), Mountain/West Coast (Alberta and British Columbia), and North (Northwest Territory, Iqalait, Nunavit). Each of these zones contributes a different perception of what a Canadian city and urban population are. In addition, Canada’s English/French divide, post-colonial status, and position as a British Commonwealth country juxtapositioned with Canadian multiculturalism suggests other aspects of Canadian cities related to historical, cultural, and social considerations. This panel will expose some uniquely Canadian concepts about the city.


This special session “The City and Canadian Literature” calls for proposals for papers on, but not limited to, the following topics related to Canadian literatures/authors:


  • The Big Three: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver

  • Canada’s small cities

  • Cities and regionalism

  • City rivalries

  • Maritime cities

  • Prairie cities

  • Feminisms and cities

  • Dystopian/Utopian cities

  • History and cities

  • Canadian cities and their sister cities

  • Cities and post-colonialism

  • Cities and religion/secularism

  • Haunted cities

  • Multiculturalism and cities

  • Anglophone and Francophone cities

  • Stompin’ Tom’s Toronto

  • Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Charlottetown

  • Margaret Atwood and cities

  • Leonard Cohen and cities

  • Nature in cities

  • Disconnection/isolation of cities

  • Stolen indigenous lands


Panel Organizer: Shawna Guenther

Please submit proposals (max. 300 words) and a brief biography (max. 100 words) for 20 minute papers to PAMLA’s online submission system by April 15, 2021. (login or create an account first)