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Literary Criticism Canadian

Harriet's Legacies

Race, Historical Memory, and Futures in Canada

edited by Ronald Cummings & Natalee Caple

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
May 2022
Canadian, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price

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Historic freedom fighter and conductor of the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman risked her life to ferry enslaved people from America to freedom in Canada. Her legacy instigates and orients this exploration of the history of Black lives and the future of collective struggle in Canada.

Harriet’s Legacies recuperates the significance of Tubman’s time in Canada as more than just an interlude in her American narrative: it is a new point from which to think about Black diasporic mobilities, possibilities, and histories. Through essays and creative works this collection articulates new territory for Tubman in relation to the Black Atlantic archive, connecting her legacies of survival, freedom, and cultural expression within a transnational framework. Contributors take up the question of legacy in ways that remap discourses of genealogy and belonging, positioning Tubman as an important part of today’s freedom struggles. Integrating scholarship with creative and curatorial practices, the volume expands conversations about culture and expression in African Canadian life across art, literature, performance, politics, and public pedagogy.

Considering questions of culture, community, and futures, Harriet’s Legacies explores what happened in the wake of Tubman’s legacy and situates Canada as a key part of that dialogue.

About the authors

Ronald Cummings is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literatures at Brock University, Canada. His work focuses on Postcolonial Literature and Black diaspora studies. He is co-editor (with Alison Donnell) of Caribbean Literature in Transition, 1970-2020 (2021).


Ronald Cummings' profile page

NATALEE CAPLE is the author of four books of fiction and two books of poetry, including the novel The Plight of Happy People in an Ordinary World; the short story collection The Heart is its own Reason, which has been optioned for film; the poetry collection A More Tender Ocean, which was nominated for a Gerald Lampert Award; and the novel Mackerel Sky. She lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, where she is a professor at Brock University.


Natalee Caple's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“This book extends Harriet Tubman’s legacy in Black intellectual, political, and artistic life. In its impressive range across disciplines and fields, Harriet's Legacies asserts Tubman as a still-living presence and inspiration for the work of artists and scholars alike, and it demonstrates how a uniquely Canadian reading of Tubman produces new intellectual paths for our time.” Rinaldo Walcott, University of Toronto and author of The Long Emancipation: Moving toward Black Freedom

Other titles by Ronald Cummings

Other titles by Natalee Caple