|Degrees:||B.A. Honours, M.A. (University of Western Ontario), Ph.D. (University of Toronto)|
|Phone:||613-520-2600 x 8907|
|Office:||1903 Dunton Tower.|
- literatures and cultures in Canada
- sociology of literature; print culture studies (reading and reception; publishing; uses of books and book cultures)
- settler-colonial studies
For the past ten years or so, my research has been focused on how the book (and associated ideas about literacy and self-improvement) has helped to elaborate settler colonial identity and logics of domination in Canada.
My most recent book, Home Feelings: Liberal Citizenship and the Canadian Reading Camp Movement, argues that literature and the values attributed to it are central to the history of settler-defined, liberal citizenship in Canada. Through the Frontier College, one of the nation’s earliest citizenship education programs emerged, drawing on literature’s potential to nourish “home feelings”–– ideas of selfhood that were individual and intimate rather than collective.
My current project analyzes Canadian uses of books as foreign aid in the second half of the twentieth century, arguing that books were particularly effective instruments for concealing the contradictory relation of the nation’s externally oriented liberal humanitarianism to the nation’s settler-colonial realities. In this project, I’m thinking not only about the entanglement of international foreign aid and domestic “Indian” policy, but also about the ways that Indigenous communities in Canada appropriated a late twentieth-century international rhetoric of “book famine” in order to organize their own infrastructures of print and literacy.
I’m cross-appointed to the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies. I welcome inquiries about potential supervision from students working in any of the fields I identify under “research interests.”
Recent Honours and Awards
2020 Winner of the Gabrielle Roy Prize (for Home Feelings)
2020-2024 SSHRC Insight Grant
2018-19 SSHRC Explore Development Grant (CORIS)
2017 FASS Research Achievement Award
2013 Shortlisted for the Gabrielle Roy Prize (for Writing Unemployment)
2013 FASS Junior Faculty Research Award
Home Feelings: Liberal Citizenship and the Canadian Reading Camp Movement. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019.
Writing Unemployment: Worklessness, Mobility, and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century Canadian Literatures. University of Toronto Press, 2013.
Recent Articles / Chapters in Books (Since 2015)
(with Sarah Pelletier.) “‘Singular Plurality’: Settler Colonial Transcendence and Canada’s 2021 Guest-of-Honour Campaign at the Frankfurt Book Fair.” Forthcoming in Book History, Fall 2023.
“Canadian Postwar Book Diplomacy and Settler Contradiction.” Canadian Literature, 240, 2020, pp. 107-28.
“‘Capital Intraconversion’ and Canadian Literary Prize Culture.” Book History, vol. 20, 2017, pp. 424-46.
“Creating a ‘Home Feeling’: The Canadian Reading Camp Association and the Uses of Fiction, 1900-1905.” Labour / Le Travail, vol. 76, Fall 2015, pp. 109-32.
Recent Professional Concerns Publications and Journalism
“Decolonizing Pedagogies: Pipelines and Publishers.” Forthcoming in Notes & Opinions section of Canadian Literature.
“The ‘Creative Crusade’: Settler Colonial Antinomies and Books for Development in the Age of Three Worlds.” Canadian Network on Humanitarian History, Jan. 21, 2022, https://aidhistory.ca/topics/blog/.
“A Fair Exchange? Off to Frankfurt We Go.” Literary Review of Canada, October 2021.
“New CanLit ‘Indie’ Book Imprint is Anything But.” The Conversation (Canada Edition), 10 Sept. 2019.
(with Dessa Bayrock). “Ondaatje’s Win of the Golden Man Booker Prize Is Complicated.” The Conversation (Canada Edition), 23 July 2018.
Recent Presentations (Since 2015)
“Developing Africa and Late Twentieth-Century Anglophone Settler Nationalisms.” Canadian Historical Association, York University. 29-31 May 2023.
(with Sarah Pelletier) “‘Singular Plurality’: Settler Colonial Transcendence and Canada’s 2021 Guest-of-Honour Campaign at the Frankfurt Book Fair.” Society for the History of Reading, Authorship, and Publishing, Amsterdam / Online. 11-15 July 2022.
“‘The Creative Crusade: Settler Colonial Antinomies and Books for Development in the Age of Three Worlds.” Canadian Literature Centre, University of Alberta, Invited Lecture. 5 November 2021.
“Radical Literacy, Literature as Moral Culture, and Citizenship’s Contest in Canada’s Depression-Era Unemployment Relief Camps.” Bibliographical Society of Canada, University of British Columbia. 4 June 2019.
“Citizenship, Pedagogy, Institutions.” Mikinaakominis / Transcanadas, University of Toronto. 25 May 2017.
“The Giller Complex and Literacy’s Ambivalent Signification.” Society for Textual Studies. Ottawa. 16 April 2016.
“‘Creating a ‘Home Feeling’: The Canadian Reading Camp Association and the Uses of Popular Fiction and Poetry, 1900-1910.” Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures. University of Ottawa. 1 June 2015.
Dessa Bayrock, “Prizing Dominance: Disruption, Capital, and the Power and Practices of Literary Prize Culture in Canada,” 2023.
Bridgette Brown, “The South African War (1899-1901) and the Transperipheral Production of Canadian Literatures,” 2019.
Christopher Doody, “A Union of the Inkpot: The Canadian Authors Association, 1921-1960,” 2016.
Sarah Dorward, “Erased by Posterity: Popular Literature, Nineteenth-Century Canadian Authorship, and the Transatlantic Print Network,” ongoing.
Sarah Pelletier, “‘Neither boy nor man’: Transnational Dimensions of Gender, Race, and Labour in the Nineteenth-Century North American Typographical Trade and Press,” ongoing.