ASLE-Canada Newsletter
Issue 2: Spring 2006


Feature: University of Calgary

By featuring students’ projects, The Goose’s “Graduate Network” aims to introduce and interconnect Canadian graduate students by encouraging them to share their current research with one another. This network consists of a listing of calls for submissions to graduate conferences and journals, and a student and faculty directory reflecting the ecocritical strengths of the feature university. We hope that you will use the directory to identify prospective doctoral and post-doctoral advisors and project collaborators.

For our second issue we have chosen to feature the University of Calgary. The U of C is at the forefront of ecocritical studies in English and the Humanities in Canada , largely due to the efforts of Dr. Pamela Banting. The U of C also offers the only PhD in English with a creative thesis option in Canada, which affords graduate students a unique opportunity to explore, to bend, and to blend the boundaries of creative and academic pursuits, as Diane Guichon and Margot Gilligan demonstrate.

Diane Guichon is a second-year Masters student in the University of Calgary’s English Department. She is a recipient of the SSHRCC Graduate Scholarship Award.

“BirchSplit Bark: Deconstructing the Canadian Canoe Through Poetry”

In his essay “Disunity as Unity” Robert Kroetsch remarks that in Canada, “history in its traditional forms, insisted too strongly on a coherent narrative” (24). He refers to critics such as Northrop Frye who tried to “assert the oneness, the unity, of all narrative” (24). In Canadian culture the canoe has traditionally supported this oneness of narrative. The poetic treatment of the canoe surfaced with the nineteenth century lyrical works of the Confederation Poets such as Duncan Campbell Scott, Archibald Lampman, and Isabella Valancy Crawford. In their poems, the canoe lent voice and song to a Canadian landscape striving for an identity separate from England , France , and the United States . Even today, the canoe remains an icon of the “Canadian.” Starbucks Coffee® recently ran an advertising campaign featuring an image of a canoe by artist Andrew Lewis on its gift card: “celebrate our history over coffee.” Images such as Pierre Eliot Trudeau in fringed buckskin paddling his canoe on northern waters support this notion of the canoe as an essential Canadianism. My creative writing poetry thesis involves taking the canoe and returning it to a site of multiplicity. In other words, I wish to deconstruct the historical unifying myth of the canoe in Canadian culture by writing poems that play against the canoe’s traditional representations and return it to a site of desire – split the birch from the bark.

Kroetsch posits “an archaeological sense that every unearthing is problematic, tentative, subject to a story-making act that is itself subject to further change as the ‘dig’ goes on” (24). Poetic representations of the canoe continue to figure in the imagination of Canadian poets. For instance, Earle Birney, in the poem “Hands,” uses the canoe to highlight the difference between hands on a paddle and hands manipulating the tools of war. Marie Annharte Baker in the poem “Geriatric [sic] Canoe Princess” plays off canoe rhythms and representations in E. Pauline Johnson’s work. I propose to participate in this literary tradition of a metaphorical archaeological dig by unearthing my own representations for the canoe.

For my Master’s thesis I will write a collection of canoe poems. I will play against the traditional metaphors of the canoe in my poetry, but the main thrust of the thesis will be an experimental effort to open the canoe as a site for new representation. I will literally break down the construction of the canoe into its composite components and re-signify its parts – the paddle, the cargo, its potential passengers, the streams it navigates, etc. For example, the canoe’s paddle might represent the back of a father’s hand, the canoe’s watercourse the tracks leading a casket into a crematorium’s furnace. By opening the canoe as a site for unlimited representations, I hope to deconstruct the canoe’s myth of unity. Just as Annharte engages in a textual dialogue with Johnson’s myth of Canoe Princess, I wish to explore through poetry the further conditions of possibility for the canoe as signifier and free it from its traditional reductive expressions for the signified.

The undergraduate and graduate work I have completed within the English Department’s Creative Writing program has provided me with experience in contemporary poetic techniques of dislocation and fragmentation which will help in deconstructing the traditional canoe metaphors. Using existing canoe language found in such textual material as Canoe & Kayak, or canoe manuals and wilderness magazines, I hope to extend such language to other sites of human experience and emotion. If my thesis work is successful, this experimental approach to the canoe might suggest interesting ways to re-textualize other essentialisms in areas such as feminism or colonial studies. Kroetsch’s “dig” continues.

Margot Gilligan has a BA in English from the University of Regina, and is an MA student working with Pamela Banting at the University of Calgary.

Although little scholarship has focused on prairie women’s writing of the past few decades, recent texts depict the attachments that women have to landscape and the positive ways in which these attachments can help to dismantle the binaries of self/other, culture/nature, man/woman. As Judith Plant notes in Healing the Wounds, “Making the connection between feminism and ecology enables us to step outside of the dualistic, separated world” that characterizes contemporary western culture (5). In her thesis, Margot analyzes the relationship between prairie landscape and women as portrayed in The Diviners, Luna, “A Song For Nettie Johnson,” and A Hard Witching and Other Stories. Through the ways in which they depict women and girls interacting with the natural world, these four texts identify and counter the conjoined oppression of women and denigration of nature.

Despite the canonical status of The Diviners within Canadian literature, little has been written on the role of nature within the work. Further, Laurence’s copious musical inclusions within the text resonate in their demonstration of characters’ attachments to the southern Manitoba landscape. In addition to offering the perspectives of multiple women over several generations, Luna highlights some of the debates within ecofeminism regarding the position of women vis-à-vis nature. “A Song For Nettie Johnson” captures the imagination with its evocative language and resonant images – there is little criticism on this rich novella that explores the connections between one woman and the landscape in which she lives. The Sand Hills setting of A Hard Witching and Other Stories provides a unique opportunity to explore and eradicate stereotypes regarding the prairie landscape, and Baker’s stories delve into the issues surrounding gender roles and environmental consciousness.

Margot argues that reading these and similar texts from an ecofeminist perspective may serve to strengthen the reader’s own connection to the landscape and highlight the positive potential that this connection presents for according agency to both women and the natural world.

What follows is a list of the research interests of and contact information for faculty at the University of Calgary.

English Department / Creative Writing Program

Pamela Banting (ASLE member) –
Canadian Literature, nature writing, and ecocriticism

Mountain literature

Rick Davis (ASLE member) –
Biography of R.M. Patterson

Barbara Belyea (ASLE member) –
Parks and explorers in Western Canada and regionalism

Aritha van
Literature of the Canadian and American Wests

Professor Kertzer is a Canadianist working in the field of ethics.

For more information, please consult the faculty directory, listed in the Department’s website (

Sustainability Initiative in the Humanities Program

Environmental Ethics - Dr. Marc Ereshefsky and Dr. Brenda Baker(emeritus)

Energy Discourse Analysis - Dr. Dominique Perron

Dr. Perron has just finished a book on the discourse of Hydro-Quebec entitled Le Nouveau Roman de l'Energie Nationale and is now working on another book, Les Discours de l'Energie en Alberta, which deals with the cultural aspects of energy—identity, discursive strategies, rhetoric on environmental issues, and ecocriticism.

Ecocriticism - Dr.Pamela Banting

Dr. Banting is a poet, anthologist, literary theorist, and writer of creative non-fiction who works in the field of environmental literature and ecocriticism at the University of Calgary, where she also teaches courses on such topics as “Writing the Rural, Literature of Wilderness and Wilder Places,” “Nature Writing and Ecocriticism,” “Representations of Animals,” “Mountain Literature,” and creative writing. Dr. Banting was the first Canadian elected to the Executive Council of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE), on which she served from 2002-2005. Her current research includes articles on representations of aridity and drought in Canadian literature, the politics of location, and the works of naturalist Andy Russell and grizzly-bear expert Charlie Russell.

Other faculty members and organizations of note include:

Tim Rogers
Psychology, ecopsychology

Fine Arts, dancer and choreographer, Professor of dance

Tang Lee -
Environmental studies professor

Faculty of Communication and Culture

Greek, Latin and Ancient History, strong interest in environmental work.

Anthropology, examines local and global environmentalism

Geography, looks at Canadian environmental sustainability

Western Canadian Caucus ( also engages in environmental issues. On campus, many of the members have an interest in the environment, sense of place, environmental history, geography etc.

The U of Calgary Press( is headed up by a former Parks Canada historian (and poet) Walter Hildebrandt, who publishes books by his former colleagues in parks history.


Summer 2006 Fellowship Call for Proposals
Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular

The University of Southern California’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy is pleased to announce a third annual Fellowship program for summer 2006 to foster innovative research for its digital publishing venture, Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular.

First launched in 2005, Vectors is an international electronic journal dedicated to expanding the potentials of academic publication via emergent and transitional media. Moving well beyond the text-with-pictures format of much electronic scholarly publishing, Vectors brings together visionary scholars with cutting-edge designers and technologists to propose a thorough rethinking of the dynamic relationship of form to content in academic research, focusing on the ways technology shapes, transforms and reconfigures social and cultural relations.

Vectors adheres to the highest standards of quality in a strenuously reviewed format. The journal is edited by Tara McPherson and Steve

Anderson, with Creative Directors Erik Loyer and Raegan Kelly and Lead Programmer Craig Dietrich, and is guided by the collective knowledge of a prestigious international board.

About the Fellowships:

Vectors Fellowships will be awarded to up to eight individuals or teams of collaborators in the early to mid- stages of development of a scholarly multimedia project related to the themes of Difference or Memory. Completed projects will be included in Volume 3 of the journal in 2007. Vectors features next-generation multimedia scholarship, publishing work that can only be realized in an online format.

Volume Three, Issue One: “Difference”

From Charles Babbage's 19th century "Difference Engine" to Derrida's 1980s neographism "Différance," the notion of difference has served as a provocative metaphor for thinking about language, culture, politics, technology and identity. This issue of Vectors encourages diverse examinations of the notion of difference as it plays out in a variety of cultural spheres, discourses and practices. We are interested in a broadly-conceived notion of difference, one that engages technology and culture or that might be productively examined through the format of an interactive multimedia journal. In particular, we seek proposals that foreground the cultural or political manifestations of racial, gender, national, religious, ethnic, geographic, technological or economic differences.

Possible areas of investigation include but are not limited to:

  • historical and future conceptions of difference
  • rethinking otherness, multi-culturalism, convergence
  • technologies of difference
  • legacies + limits of 1990s theories and manifestations of difference
  • sounding out difference(s)
  • afro-futurism, speculative differences, future species
  • sameness and/or difference, the logics of both/and
  • rethinking identity; difference/multiplicity/fragmentation
  • post-Katrina, post-9/11, post-racism
  • post-feminist gender differences
  • war and ethnic/religious differences
  • economic disparity and cultural differences

Volume Three, Issue Two: “Memory”

Jean Luc Godard's dictum that "only the hand that erases can write" underscores the ironic and contradictory status of memory in postmodern culture. In an age when both history and memory are routinely characterized as being at an end, it is more important than ever to closely examine the epistemological precepts and rhetorical strategies by which we engage, remember and speak about the past. This issue of Vectors explores a range of possible frameworks for thinking about memory as a phenomenon that is fundamentally entangled with the discourses of competing disciplines, political imperatives and cultural contexts. We are particularly interested in proposals that engage the eccentric, disruptive and dynamic potentials of memory as it relates to history, media, technology, and/or the sciences.

Possible areas of investigation include but are not limited to:

  • the impact of proliferating technological and prosthetic forms of memory
  • scientific and medical visualization
  • visual memory, media and popular culture memories
  • memorialization, reminiscence, recall
  • the role of nostalgia, desire, psychology and narrative
  • amnesia, displacement, erasure, regeneration
  • the dynamic interplay of remembering and forgetting; "creative forgetting," "active forgetting"
  • memory as practice, process and ritual
  • reconstruction, reenactment, rescripting and remixing of memories
  • counter-memory, chaos and resistance
  • discontinuous, fragmentary or disruptive visions of the past
  • individual vs. social, cultural and popular memory

About the Awards:

All fellowship recipients will participate in a one-week residency June 19-23, 2006 at USC’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy, where they will have access to state of the art production facilities. Fellows work in collaboration with world-class designers and Vectors' technical support and programming team throughout the project’s development, typically during a span of 3-5 months.

The residency will include colloquia and working sessions where participants will have the chance to develop project foundations and collectively engage relevant issues in scholarly multimedia. Applicants need not be proficient with new media authoring, but must demonstrate familiarity with the potentials of digital media forms. Evidence of the capacity for successful collaboration and for scholarly innovation is required. Fellowship awards will include an honorarium of $1500 for each participant or team of collaborators, in addition to travel and accommodation expenses.

About the Proposals:

We are seeking project proposals that creatively address issues related to the themes of Difference and Memory. While the format of the journal is meant to explore innovative modes of multimedia scholarship, we are not necessarily looking for projects that are about new media. Rather, we are interested in the various ways that 'old' and 'new' technologies suggest a transformation of scholarship, art and communication practices and their relevance to everyday life in an unevenly mediated world.

Applicants are encouraged to think beyond the computer screen to consider possibilities created by the proliferation of wireless technology, handheld devices, alternative exhibition venues, etc. Projects may translate existing scholarly work or be entirely conceived for new media. We are particularly interested in projects that re-imagine the role of the user and seek to reach broader publics. Work that creatively explores innovations in interactivity, cross-disciplinary collaboration, or scholarly applications for newly developing scientific or engineering technologies are also encouraged.

Proposals should include the following:

  • Title of project and a one-sentence description
  • a 3-5 page description of the project concept, goals and outcome. This description should address questions of audience, innovative uses of interactivity, address and form. Please also detail the project’s argument and its contribution to multimedia scholarship and, more generally, to contemporary scholarship in your field.
  • Brief biography of each applicant, including relevant qualifications and experience for this fellowship
  • Full CV for each applicant
  • Anticipated required resources (design, technical, hardware, software, exhibition, etc.)
  • Projected timeline for project development
  • Sample media if available (CD, DVD, VHS (any standard), or NTSC Mini-DV); for electronic submissions, URLs are preferred but still images may be sent as e-mail attachments if necessary)

Projects that articulate a clear understanding of the value of multimedia to their execution will be the most successful. Take seriously the questions "Why does this project need to be realized in multimedia? What is to be gained by the use of a rich media format for the argument or experience I aim to present?"

Electronic applications are preferred. Please submit to:

Mailing address:

Vectors Summer Fellowships
Annenberg Center for Communication
746 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90089-7727

Priority will be given to applications received by April 15, 2006.
Fellowship recipients will be notified in May 2006.

Additional Information:
For additional information about Vectors and the Vectors Summer Fellowship Program, please visit

Questions may be directed to Tara McPherson or Steve Anderson

“Medievalism Transformed: Imagining the Medieval World”

An interdisciplinary postgraduate conference
University of Wales, Bangor, 3 June 2006

Submissions due 21 April, 2006.

Your proposal for a 20-minute paper should be no longer than 300 words.words. Please make submissions electronically to Proposals should be accompanied by your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and contact information.

Inviting abstracts for the second annual Medieval Studies conference, a one-day interdisciplinary event, at the University of Wales, Bangor. We will be convening to explore the medieval world and its sustained impact on subsequent culture and thought.

This year’s theme is Imagining the Medieval World.World. All topics within the general scope of the conference will be considered, including:

  • Mapping the Medieval: Buildings, Boundaries, and Peripheries
  • Structured Worlds: Guilds, Religious Orders, Orders of Knighthood
  • Imaginary Worlds: Utopias, Fairylands, Forests of Romance
  • The Past Perfect: The Construction of the Past in the Medieval World
  • The Past Present: The (Re)Construction of the Medieval World in Subsequent Ages
  • Journeys: Pilgrimages, Crusades, Explorations
  • Providence: Apocalypse, Prophecy, Reason, Faith
  • Creative Enterprise: Language, Music, Performance

Medievalism Transformed
Department of English
Department of History and Welsh History
University of Wales, Bangor
College Road, Bangor
Gwynedd, LL57 2DG
United Kingdom

Irish Feminist Futures Postgraduate Conference

27th May 2006
University College Cork

Who will shape the future of Irish women’s studies? What possibilities does this future hold?

This one-day conference, organised jointly by the Irish Postgraduate Network of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Board of Women’s Studies in University College Cork, seeks to foreground the issue of Irish feminist futurity and to consider what is at stake in feminist transformation and change. We hope to explore the issues that emerge when one considers the academic institutionalisation of Irish Women’s and Gender Studies in recent years.

In what ways are the established paradigms of Irish feminist critical work being engaged with and transformed by new scholarship and how vital are such dialogues for the futurity of Irish feminism? How is the changing face of Irish society and culture compelling us to rethink feminist thought intersectionally, as inflected by axes of gender, race, class, ethnicity and sexuality? How can we theorise the future in a non-prescriptive way so as to allow emerging voices to be heard? What are the implications of transnationality for Irish feminism and what possibilities do dialogues between Ireland and Europe hold?

The conference hopes to explore these ideas in an interdisciplinary context through a range of subject areas such as literature, social science, film studies, political science, philosophy, psychology, history and law.

Abstracts for papers from across the spectrum of the humanities and social sciences are being called for, which address, but need not be limited to, the following topics:

  • Incorporating Feminist Theory and Practice
  • Globalisation
  • Immigration
  • Memory
  • Issues of Embodiment
  • Sexualities
  • Nomadic Concepts
  • Technology
  • Intersectionality
  • Popular Representations of Feminism
  • Celtic Tiger Ireland and Consumerism

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words plus brief biographical details to and by 28th April 2006. Deadline for conference registration, whether presenting a paper or attending, is 22nd May 2006. Deadline for conference registration, whether presenting a paper or attending, is 22nd May 2006.

Irish Postgraduate Gender and Women’s Studies Network (IPGWN) Women’s Studies academic centres throughout Ireland co-operatively work to establish interaction in this multidisciplinary field. However, such networking is absent at a postgraduate level and important dialogues concerning Irish feminist futures are being lost. The IPGWN is an initiative which aims to create connections and facilitate exchange among gender studies students in Ireland . Following the 1st Irish Postgraduate Women’s Studies Conference held in University College Cork, May 2005, Claire Bracken and Susan Cahill (UCD School of English and Drama PhD candidates) compiled a network list of all participants so as to facilitate communication between members. A website is currently under construction.

There will be no conference fee.

Closing date for registration: Monday 22nd May, 2006.

We will be happy to accommodate post-grad students or others who register on the day of the conference but we will have to indicate how many people will need lunch a few days beforehand and can only guarantee to provide lunch to those who have registered before the deadline.

Unfortunately childcare facilities will not be available on the day. The conference and workshop venues are wheelchair accessible.

“Sub/Versions: Cultural Status, Genre and Critique”

4th Annual Postgraduate Conference, Department of English, University of Dundee
Friday 30th June 2006

The Fourth Annual Department of English Postgraduate Conference will be held this year at the University of Dundee on Friday June 30th. This interdisciplinary postgraduate conference invites proposals for papers under the heading 'Sub/Versions: Cultural Status, Genre and Critique', and will explore texts that exist in various forms, and in different media, and the changes that are made between versions, and how some of those changes might subvert the original. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to): subversion, translation, surrealism, parody and satire, the "re-imagined" text, disguise, the carnivalesque, performance, gender, escapism, narration, modes of perception and reception. A range of texts and media may be considered, from literature, to artwork, films, animation, and comics. We would also like to encourage papers that focus on certain genres, including fantasy, horror, science-fiction, romance, and children's literature.

The Plenary speaker will be Roger Sabin (Central St Martin's College of Art and Design).

Proposals for papers (250-300 words) of twenty minutes in length should be sent to:

Pauline McPherson
Postgraduate Representative
Dept. of English
University of Dundee
Perth Road
or E-mail:

Deadline for proposals: 1st May 2006
Confirmation of Acceptance by: 8th May 2006

“Déjà Vu: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Symposium”

Graduate Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia
Friday July 7, 2006

‘Déjà Vu’ is a one-day symposium organised by the editorial collective of antiTHESIS and postgraduates in the Department of English with Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne.

The symposium will bring together postgraduate scholars and creative writers from across Australia for a day of interdisciplinary debate and academic exchange.

“What lies before me is my past” — Oscar Wilde.

Defined as a form of paramnesia, déjà vu is a unique sensation of the already known; a moment determined at once by both remembrance and forgetting. Originating in the nineteenth century, the concept resonates with the philosophical treatment of memory by such notable thinkers as Nietzsche, Freud, Walter Benjamin and Henri Bergson. More recently, from the perspective of late capitalism, postmodern theory has examined the waning of historicity and the emergence of a permanent present under globalisation. Other branches of thought have also considered the development of new media technologies and the disorientation of information overload in ‘real time.’

This conference offers a timely opportunity to revisit the past, to collapse past and present, and to reconsider our responses.

antiTHESIS invites papers which theorise, contemplate or analyse déjà vu. Proposals are encouraged in (though not restricted to) the following themes:

  • commodity fetishism, cycles of commodities
  • spectres of history in repetition and nostalgia
  • transcending epistemological limits
  • parody and pastiche
  • reconstructions and reinventions of the past
  • banality, monotony and the already known
  • psychological and neural seizure
  • resurrections and afterlives
  • amnesia: gaps and margins
  • technologies of reproduction and mass distraction
  • rituals and liminal time

Proposals of no more than 250 words are sought for twenty-minute papers addressing the theme of ‘Déjà Vu.’ Please send abstracts in the text of an email (not as an attachment) to by May 5, 2006. All proposals will be considered and responded to by May 19, 2006.

‘Déjà Vu’ is the theme of volume 17 of antiTHESIS, Australia ’s longest-running interdisciplinary postgraduate journal. Presenters at the symposium will be encouraged to submit their work for publication in the fully refereed 2007 edition of the journal.

‘The Event’ is the theme of the recently published 2006 volume of antiTHESIS. Please see for more information.

UK Network London Summer 2006 Research Seminar Series

This series is co-convened for UKNMFS by Dr. Fiona Tolan (University of Northampton), Steven Barfield (University of Westminster), and Prof. Philip Tew (Brunel University). The UK Network for Modern Fiction Studies Summer Seminar Series 2006 is to be held at 309 Regent Street, the University of Westminster, London, UK.

These research seminars are for Visiting Scholars to London who wish to present their work in the summer months, and it follows on from the first two successful series that ran in London in 2004 and 2005. A whole variety of topics were the subject of papers, but we welcome those from a broad range of relevant fields beyond simply a narrow conception of fiction, including literary and cultural studies after 1890, critical theory and philosophy, narratology and narrative theories, the sociology of literature, biography and autobiography, travel writing, and gender studies.

The papers from the 2004 and 2005 sessions are to be published in the first issues of the UKNMFS Journal, Critical Engagements: A Journal of Literature and Theory. Editors: Prof. Philip Tew (Brunel University), Steven Barfield (University of Westminster), Dr. Lawrence Phillips (Liverpool Hope University College) and Special Guest Editor for 2005: Dr. Caryn Maureen Voiskul (Beijing International University).

All papers presented in the 2006 series will be considered for inclusion in the second issue of the journal (which will be published in 2007/2008).

Submissions by e-mail only: please send your email with your name, the title of the proposed paper and a short abstract of the proposed paper (no more than 100 words) that you would like to read (delivery length no more than 30 minutes) and add your institutional affiliation and contact details. Direct all communication to both Dr. Fiona Tolan (University of Northampton) and Prof. Philip Tew (Brunel University) at:

All such messages should include in the e-mail's subject line the following: “UKNMFS Summer Seminar Series 2006.” This is essential because all so much messages will be retrieved and sorted automatically. If this identification is not included, any proposal, query or correspondence may be lost.


Wednesday 14th June 2006: 5 - 8 PM

Wednesday 28th June 2006: 5 - 8 PM

Wednesday 12th July 2006: 5 - 8 PM (proximate to Literary London Conference; see:

Wednesday 26th July 2006:2006: 5 - 8 PM

An August event may be organized if there is sufficient interest (please suggest convenient dates) Monday 4th September 2006: 5 - 8 PM (proximate to ESSE-8 London Conference 2006; see:

Deadline: The final deadline is 14 days prior to each event, unless of course the evening's schedule is already full. Please check, although clearly early submission is advised.

Venue & Travel: University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW, +44 (0)20 7911 5000. (walking distance from Oxford Circus and Goodge Street underground stations - go to and insert postcode)

In an emergency you may contact the organizers on the following mobile number: +44 (0)7956 951930.

Prof. Philip Tew
Professor of English, University of Northampton
Director, UK Network for Modern Fiction Studies
07956 951930

SecondAnnualUniversity ofOttawa English Graduate Conference
“Propaganda and its Discontents”

University of Ottawa
September 22 and 23, 2006

Power, according to Michel Foucault, is productive, simultaneously producing and produced by discourse. This may, in fact, be one way of understanding propaganda: a discursive promotion of the interests and agenda of an overarching or specific power regime. If, as Foucault and many other theorists argue, power always already resides in every discourse via language, can propaganda only be seen as a site of expressive power? Or is there room for a propaganda of resistance? From the state propaganda of Virgil’s writings to the pamphleteers of the Puritan Revolution to the Soviet cultural project to the current ‘War on Terror,’ propaganda has long been an important motive and motivator in the production of cultural texts. Likewise, culture has been equally integral to the dissemination of propaganda. We would like to consider texts (film, music, art, literature) as propaganda both for and against political, religious and social power. How is power expressed in these texts? How does resistance make itself heard? How do we re-read, recuperate and revise the propaganda of previous historical periods? Is there an outside of propaganda? How do we evaluate propaganda – through causes, motives, and effects, or is it possible to examine these texts as autonomous aesthetic artifacts?

Possible topics for consideration include:

  • literary genres and their adaptability for propaganda (for example, Lukàcs’ touting of realism over naturalism)
  • library and museum collections: archiving and curatorial selection, cataloguing and ordering as discursive acts
  • religion and the Medieval pageant play
  • Tory and Whig literature of the 18th-century
  • fascist film making
  • Brecht’s alienation effect
  • the war poster
  • news media, the ‘War on Terror,’ and other contemporary socio-political issues
  • Abolitionist literature (for example, Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin)

Send 250-300-word abstracts to by June 9, 2006.

The University of Salford
“Authenticity”: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference

14-15 September 2006

A two-day conference at the University of Salford for postgraduate students of the arts, media and social sciences to consider current and changing perspectives on authenticity. The intention is to stimulate debate and generate fresh understandings through interdisciplinary exchange. We welcome papers in fields such as politics, philosophy, religions and theology, sociology, psychology, literature, history, classics, visual and screen studies, and the performing arts.

Possible themes include, but are not restricted to

  • Agencies and Bodies of authenticity
  • Models and Creations of authenticity
  • Practices and Enactments of authenticity
  • Mediations and Subversions of authenticity
  • Images and Representations of authenticity
  • Concepts and Theories of authenticity

Abstracts of 250 words are invited for contributions of 20 minutes. We aim to provide a supportive and friendly environment where postgraduates can gain experience in presenting their work and meet fellow researchers. The conference also welcomes participants who do not wish to present.

Website for details and registration forms

Email for abstracts and information

Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2006

University of Alberta Graduate Student Conference
“Declensions of the Self: A Bestiary of Modernity”

September 28th-29th 2006

The Graduate Students of the Departments of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, Comparative Literature, and Political Science at the

University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada invite proposals for their 5th Graduate Student Conference on “Declensions of the Self: A Bestiary of Modernity.”

Is it possible to revitalize our thought and praxis as, and about, modern human subjects?

Declensions of the word reflect not only the role it plays within a sentence but also its status as an element acted upon by the sentence. Declensions of the self reflect not only the role the self plays as one who uses a myriad of modes of representation to construct his or her world, but also the extent to which s/he is subject to, and constructed by, those codes, languages, symbols, metaphors and modes of representation.

A bestiary is a carefully staged spectacle consisting of these modern dichotomies: the real and the ideal; the said and the unsaid; the rational and the irrational; the bound and the free; the familiar and the exotic; word and language; self and world. It makes the self at once the beast within the cage—the spectacle—and the spectator: the one who gazes through the bars, the one who is subject to that gaze and the architect of their predicament. The dearth of frank discussion about the fears, desires and anxieties of the modern subject is of urgent concern to us.

The abundance of writing about these matters, and the lack of current, public discussion of them calls for action. As Graduate Students in Philosophy, Political Science, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, we invite reasoning about the irrational, speech about the unspeakable, thought concerning the modern human beast in all of its forms and follies, in theory and practice.

We welcome submissions from graduate students in Film Studies, Gender Studies, Fine Arts, Anthropology, Psychology, History, Economics, Social Sciences, Literature, and Religious Studies. Given the broad scope of the conference, we will also consider submissions from any other relevant realm of scholarly inquiry.

200-300 word abstracts ought to be submitted to the Organizing Committee by July 15th, 2006.

Please send abstracts to

Presentations ought to be approximately 20 minutes in duration.duration. Submissions in English, French, Spanish and German are welcome. It is our intention to publish a selection of articles (20-30 pages) from the presentations that address the theme of the conference in a particularly relevant fashion.

Literature Compass Graduate Essay Prize!

Literature Compass publishes peer reviewed survey articles from across the entire discipline. Experienced researchers, teaching faculty, and advanced students will all benefit from the accessible, informative articles that provide overviews of current research.

Entries for the 2006 Graduate Essay Prize should contain a survey element which ensures the essay remains accessible to the non-specialist. The incorporation of advanced graduate work is strongly encouraged.

There will be a prize awarded for each of the 9 sections on Literature Compass:

  • Medieval
  • Renaissance
  • Shakespeare
  • Seventeenth Century
  • Eighteenth Century
  • Romanticism
  • The Victorians
  • Twentieth Century & Contemporary
  • American


Each section winner will receive $200/£100 of free Blackwell books and have their article published on Literature Compass (


Those entering can choose their own topic; however, as with Compass articles already published on Literature Compass, submitted essays should have a survey element, putting the chosen topic in context for the non-specialist.


The upper word limit is 5000 words, including endnotes and bibliography.


September 1st 2006.


Essays should be submitted by email as a Word document to Graduates must specify which section they are entering their essay for, and give details of their affiliation, and their supervisor's name and email address.


The Review Panel for each section will comprise the relevant Section Editor(s) and three Editorial Board members. All submissions will be read 'blind'.


The winners will be announced at the 2006 MLA Convention.


Kivmars Bowling
Associate Managing Editor
Literature Compass and Philosophy Compass
9600 Garsington Rd Oxford

Web: /


Ireland-CanadaUniversity Foundation Scholarships

Since 2004, Ireland-Canada University Foundation Scholarships, valued at CAD$8,000, are being offered to assist young Canadian scholars make short term visits to Ireland in support of their research in a topic with relevance to both Canada and Ireland. Details on the program, including eligibility, application forms, and contact information, are available at:

Note: The Application Deadline for this award is the 30th of April, 2006,5:30PM (via email)