U of G Hosts International TransCanada Conference

October 02, 2007 - News Release

Environmentalists, film scholars, political science researchers and literary academics from across the world are coming to the University of Guelph Oct. 11 to 14 for the "TransCanada Two: Literature, Institutions, Citizenship" conference to discuss the influence of globalization over the past two decades on Canadian literature.

The interdisciplinary conference is the brainchild of Prof. Smaro Kamboureli, School of English and Theatre Studies, who also holds a Canada Research Chair and heads the TransCanada Institute.

The University of Guelph is hosting the second of only three conferences that are part of Kamboureli's TransCanada project. The first took place in June 2005 at Simon Fraser University, and the third is slated for the summer of 2009 at Mount Allison University.

"We want to look at Canadian literature not just as a body of text that tells us a story, but also at how it is shaped and formed by the various institutions that influence the production of literature, such as the media, university curricular and the cultural industries," said Kamboureli, who is working with Roy Miki of Simon Fraser University on the conference series. "This can be undertaken only as a collaborative project and in an interdisciplinary fashion."

Kamboureli co-edited a book comprising of a number of the revised papers presented at the first conference and she plans to do the same with the upcoming conference.

This conference includes speakers from as far away as India, Japan, Germany, Brazil and the Czech Republic who will offer a global perspective on Canadian literature. A number of professors from universities across North America, including U of G faculty and graduate students, are also on the roster.

Kamboureli said the focus of the conference is on examining what the production, study and teaching of Canadian literature as an institution entail.

"Canadian literature may have become a major part of Canada's cultural capital and cultural economies, but it has become apparent to many scholars that its study can no longer take place in isolation from the larger forces that shape the nation, global relations and the corporatization of higher education," she said. "The pressures of multiculturalism on Canada put more emphasis on discourses of citizenship and security, and the market-driven factors increasingly shape the publication, dissemination and reception of Canadian writing."

The conference is open to media and the public. To register and for more information on "TransCanada Two: Literature, Institutions, Citizenship".

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338 or Deirdre Healey, 519-824-4120, Ext. 56982.

University of Guelph
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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1