The dynamics of place and space as they relate to Canadian studies will be the focus of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies’ first interdisciplinary graduate student conference Friday, followed by a comedy night.
The aim of the conference is to investigate the dynamics, relations and tensions between local, national and global understandings of place and Canadian identity formation.
The Canada: Place, Space and the Politics of Identity conference will take place April 4, from 8:30am to 4:50pm, on the 7th floor, Kaneff Tower, Keele campus. Everyone is welcome to attend. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday. The comedy night will be at The Underground Restaurant.
An interdisciplinary keynote panel of York University professors, whose work crosses disciplinary divides, will discuss the politics of Canadian identity in their own scholarship and how collaborative endeavours are important to graduate work. The keynote speakers will be Professors Leslie Sanders of the Department of Humanities, David T. McNab of the Department of Equity Studies and Lily Cho of the Department of English, with panel chair Mario A. D’Agostino, a PhD candidate in English and member of the Robarts executive. D’Agostino organized the conference.
In addition to York, graduate students from the University of Calgary, Carleton University, University of Guelph, Queen’s University, University of Waterloo, Western University and Wilfrid Laurier University will join the conversation.
The first session will look at Unspoiled Identity Formation in Canadian Fiction and Documentation, chaired by Janine Morris of the University of Cincinnati. Hollie Adams of the University of Calgary will discuss “Anything but Bloody Loons: A Discussion of Recent Fiction About Toronto”, Jess Nicol of the University of Calgary will look at “Freed by the Fish: Absurdity and the Mundane in Carol Shields’ The Orange Fish” and Renée Jackson-Harper of York University will explore “From Charred Stumps and Rude Clearings: An Ecocritical Reading of Configurations of Canadian Identity in 19th Century Essays, Editorials and Manifestos”.
Colin Coates, director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, will chair the second session – Competing Narratives & Symbols of Place: Investigating Spaces for Minority Representation & Re-Presentation. Jessica Woodman of Carleton University will examine “The Spatial Politics of the Jehovah’s Witness Community in Canada”, Ronald J. Roy of Queen’s University will look at “Francophone Places of Inclusion and the Politics of French-Canadian Identity” and Thomas Russell Freure of the University of Waterloo will review “‘Us and Them’: Pearl Harbor, the Ontario Press, and ‘the Japanese Problem’”.
Some of the other sessions will tackle the following: History, Geography, Heritage: The Particularity of Place in Cultural Production; Memory and Testimony: Public Spaces as Sites of Difference and Diversity; Sonic Spaces and Graphic Encounters: The “Canadian” in Music and Popular Culture; Provisional Histories and Identity (re)Construction in Recent Canadian Literature; and Contesting the Visual: Ethnicity, Nationalism and Identity-Formation in Canadian Art.
As for the Canadian Studies Comedy Night, researchers will take their scholarly work and turn it into a stand-up comedy sketch. Professors Jessica van Horssen (history), Kym Bird (humanities), Priscila Uppal (English) and Sean Kheraj (history) will plunge into presenting their work in a stand-up routine from 7 to 8:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. Pre-register at email@example.com.
For more information, visit the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies website.