Call for papers for the Canadian Literature Discussion Group session at the MLA Convention in Vancouver (January 8-11, 2015)
Ecozones, shipping terminals, ports of entry, and real estate gems, Canada’s coasts are sites of desire and contest, exploitation and stewardship, abandonment and creative inhabitation, and they feature regularly in literary and cultural texts. The coasts are significant as locations in their own right—they are celebrated for their beauty and unique ecological diversity—but they are also thresholds that mark the transfer of people and materials to other places, such that critical analyses of coastlines explore trans-oceanic relationships perhaps as much as they do continental or national ones.
Can it be said that there is a coastal literature, perhaps a coastal aesthetic, and/or a coastal critique in Canada? How are Canada’s coastlines changing (physically, conceptually, ecologically), and how might these changes be addressed by critical reflection and analysis? What is the unique nature and significance of relationships that are engendered in some way by coastlines—relationships between different nations, groups of people, species, corporations, etc.?
We invite conference paper proposals that address these questions through the study of contemporary and historical Canadian literary works. Please send abstracts of 250 words to Jennifer Blair (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 15, 2014.
Possible areas of analysis include:
• coastal habitats (human and otherwise)
• environmental stresses at the coast
• First Nations and the coast
• cross-border coastal issues
• Pacific Rim, Transatlantic, and Trans-Arctic relations
• coastal flows and stoppages
• coastal communities
• rights to the coast
• coastal cities
• coastal exploration
• climate at the coast
• coastal resources
• coastal temporalities
• coastal labour