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Literary Criticism Canadian

Beyond "Understanding Canada"

Transnational Perspectives on Canadian Literature

edited by Melissa Tanti, Jeremy Haynes, Daniel Coleman & Lorraine York

contributions by Michael Bucknor, Anne Collett, Pilar Cuder-Domínguez, Ana María Fraile-Marcos, Cristina Ivanovici, Milena Kalicanin, Smaro Kamboureli, Katalin Kürtösi, Vesna Lopicic, Belén Martín-Lucas, Claire Omhovère, Lucia Otrísalová, Don Sparling, Christl Verduyn & Elizabeth Yeoman

The University of Alberta Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2017
Canadian, Cultural Policy
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The dismantling of “Understanding Canada”—an international program eliminated by Canada’s Conservative government in 2012—posed a tremendous potential setback for Canadianists. Yet Canadian writers continue to be celebrated globally by popular and academic audiences alike. Twenty scholars speak to the government’s diplomatic and economic about-face and its implications for representations of Canadian writing within and outside Canada’s borders. The contributors to this volume remind us of the obstacles facing transnational intellectual exchange, but also salute scholars’ persistence despite these obstacles. Beyond “Understanding Canada” is a timely, trenchant volume for students and scholars of Canadian literature and anyone seeking to understand how Canadian literature circulates in a transnational world.

Contributors: Michael A. Bucknor, Daniel Coleman, Anne Collett, Pilar Cuder-Domínguez, Ana María Fraile-Marcos, Jeremy Haynes, Cristina Ivanovici, Milena Kaličanin, Smaro Kamboureli, Katalin Kürtösi, Vesna Lopičić, Belén Martín-Lucas, Claire Omhovère, Lucia Otrísalová, Don Sparling, Melissa Tanti, Christl Verduyn, Elizabeth Yeoman, Lorraine York

About the authors

Melissa Tanti is a PhD candidate in English at McMaster University. Her area of specialization is contemporary women’s literature and feminist critical theory.

Melissa Tanti's profile page

Jeremy Haynes is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University where he studies Canadian, Indigenous, and diasporic literatures with an interest in Indigenous methodologies.

Jeremy Haynes' profile page

After finishing high school in Ethiopia, Daniel Coleman earned university degrees at the University of Regina and the University of Alberta. He now holds the Canada Research Chair in Critical Ethnicity and Race Study in the English department of McMaster University. Daniel Coleman is a leading researcher in the depiction of immigrant men in Canadian literature. He has won the John Charles Polanyi Prize for his study of how literary texts produce and reinforce categories of cultural identification such as gender, ethnicity and nationality. His critically acclaimed book, Masculine Migrations: Reading the Postcolonial Male in "New Canadian" Narratives, published in 1998 by University of Toronto Press, is considered the foundational Canadian work in the field. While being a bahir-zaff throughout his childhood brought Daniel Coleman the pain of never fully belonging, it also gave him the immeasurable benefits and insights of an intercultural life. Several of his essays on his missionary childhood have appeared in magazines and journals. "The Babies in the Colonial Washtub," included in a revised form in The Scent of the Eucalyptus, won a Silver Medal in the National Magazine Awards. 

Daniel Coleman's profile page

Lorraine York is Senator William McMaster Chair in Canadian Literature and Culture in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Her most recent books are Margaret Atwood and the Labour of Literary Celebrity (2013) and Literary Celebrity in Canada (2007). She is currently at work on a project on reluctant celebrity.

Lorraine York's profile page

Michael Bucknor's profile page

Anne Collett's profile page

Pilar Cuder-Domínguez's profile page

Ana María Fraile-Marcos' profile page

Cristina Ivanovici's profile page

Milena Kalicanin's profile page

Smaro Kamboureli is Canada Research Chair in Critical Studies in Canadian Literature at the University of Guelph. Her publications include Scandalous Bodies: Diasporic Literature in English Canada, which won the Gabrielle Roy Prize, and, with Roy Miki, Trans.Can.Lit: Resituating the Study of Canadian Literature (WLU Press, 2007). She is currently completing a new edition of her anthology Making a Difference: Canadian Multicultural Literature.

Robert Zacharias is a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto. His research interests include migration literature, Canadian literature (with a focus on Mennonite literature), 18th-century studies, and critical pedagogy. His work has been published in Mosaic and Studies in Canadian Literature, as well as in the edited collections Embracing Otherness and Narratives of Citizenship.

Smaro Kamboureli's profile page

Katalin Kürtösi's profile page

Vesna Lopicic's profile page

Belén Martín-Lucas' profile page

Claire Omhovère's profile page

Lucia Otrísalová's profile page

Don Sparling's profile page

Christl Verduyn is a professor of English and Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University, where she holds the Davidson Chair in Canadian Studies and is the director of the Centre for Canadian Studies. Publications include Asian Canadian Writing Beyond Autoethnography, co-edited with Eleanor Ty (WLU Press, 2008), Archival Narratives for Canada: Re-Telling Stories in a Changing Landscape, co-edited with Kathleen Garay (2011), and Canadian Studies: Past, Present, Praxis, co-edited with Jane Koustas (2012).

Christl Verduyn's profile page

Translator, editor and educator Elizabeth Yeoman is the author of books, articles and documentaries about language, culture, translation, walking, land and memory. Most recently, she co-translated and co-edited Nitinikiau Innusi: I Keep the Land Alive (University of Manitoba Press) with its author, Innu elder and environmental activist Tshaukuesh Elizabeth Penashue. She lives in St. John’s NL. 


Elizabeth Yeoman's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The editors draw a number of important conclusions from the collection: that the popularity of Canadian women writers abroad must be linked to their power politics; that Canada has a set of ‘less laudable links’ (Collett) that need to be examined too; that indigenous writing needs to be more visibly worked into transnational contexts, that ‘transing [as in ‘transnational’] provides an opportunity to unsettle the profitability of any singular notion of national identity’."

Oxford University Press Journals, Volume 98, Issue 1

"Beyond 'Understanding Canada' takes its name and impetus from the Canadian government’s 2012 cancellation of the “Understanding Canada” program, which ended nearly forty years of financial support for interdisciplinary studies of Canada around the world. As the title suggests, the collection quickly moves beyond the Understanding Canada program to examine a broader range of questions regarding the transnational circulation of Canadian literature.... [The collection] succeeds admirably, overcoming the 'material challenges' of international scholarship not only to argue for but also to demonstrate convincingly the transnational nature of Canadian literary studies." Canadian Literature 235, Winter 2017 [Full article at]

Robert Zacharias

Other titles by Daniel Coleman

Other titles by Lorraine York

Other titles by Pilar Cuder-Domínguez

Other titles by Ana María Fraile-Marcos

Other titles by Smaro Kamboureli


Possibilities of Justice in Canadian Literatures

by (author) Smaro Kamboureli & Larissa Lai

All the Feels / Tous les sens

Affect and Writing in Canada / Affect et écriture au Canada

edited by Marie Carrière, Ursula Mathis-Moser & Kit Dobson
contributions by Nicole Brossard, Matthew Cormier, Nicoletta Dolce, Louise Dupré, Margery Fee, Ana María Fraile-Marcos, Smaro Kamboureli, Aaron Kreuter, Daniel Laforest, Carmen Mata Barreiro, Heather Milne, Eric Schmaltz, Maïté Snauwaert & Jeanette Toonder

Inhabiting Memory in Canadian Literature / Habiter la mémoire dans la littérature canadienne

edited by Benjamin Authers, Maïté Snauwaert & Daniel Laforest
contributions by Albert Braz, Jennifer Bowering Delisle, Lise Gaboury-Diallo, Smaro Kamboureli, Janne Korkka, André Lamontagne, Margaret Mackey, Pamela Sing & Erin Wunker

Editing as Cultural Practice in Canada

edited by Dean Irvine & Smaro Kamboureli

Critical Collaborations

Indigeneity, Diaspora, and Ecology in Canadian Literary Studies

edited by Smaro Kamboureli & Christl Verduyn

Producing Canadian Literature

Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace

by (author) Kit Dobson & Smaro Kamboureli

Shifting the Ground of Canadian Literary Studies

Nation-State, Indigeneity, Culture

edited by Smaro Kamboureli & Robert Zacharias

Retooling the Humanities

The Culture of Research in Canadian Universities

edited by Daniel Coleman & Smaro Kamboureli

My Beloved Wager

Essays from a Writing Practice

photographs by Erín Moure
edited by Smaro Kamboureli

Scandalous Bodies

Diasporic Literature in English Canada

by (author) Smaro Kamboureli

Other titles by Belén Martín-Lucas

Other titles by Christl Verduyn

Other titles by Elizabeth Yeoman