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CALL FOR PAPERS CWRC 1: Canadian Women Writers Conference: Connecting Texts and Generation

An Interdisciplinary, International Conference
Canadian Literature Centre, University of Alberta

30 September – 3 October 2010

The Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC, pronounced “quirk”) will provide a digital platform for new collaborations in humanities research. Supporting team-based scholarship, digitization and editing, and embedding its material in political, commercial and cultural contexts, CWRC brings digital arts into dialogue with other artistic practices that are part of a contemporary landscape of imaginative and creative work and critical research. CWRC has been successful in securing, under the leadership of Dr. Susan Brown (University of Alberta / University of Guelph), substantial funding from both the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and provincial funding bodies.

CWRC’s centerpiece is a Canadian Women Writers project, a radically interdisciplinary, collaborative and bilingual research initiative that will be developed across three primary modules: 1) a virtual archive of textual, visual, and audiovisual materials relevant to research in women’s writing in Canada; 2) a searchable, expandable, user-producer textbase of historical, bio-critical data on women’s writing in Canada; 3) an interactive forum/salon for the circulation of discussion, new textual, audio and visual material, and readers’ and writers’ communities.

This gathering will be the first of up to three conferences planned around this flagship project of CWRC.

This venture with multilingual, multi-genre, and multi-media content is anchored in the premise that digital and electronic instruments are key to enabling and producing new meanings in embodied, experiential, participatory ways. In coordinated collaboration with related major projects partnered with CWRC (TransCanada Institute; Editing Modernism in Canada;, among others), this Canadian Women Writers initiative aims to bring into alignment established and emergent histories, to integrate divergent perspectives on history, and to engage users as producers in a variety of textual, visual, and audio formats.

The conference will bring together scholars, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, and software designers, along with invited keynote speakers, to catalyze discussion — particularly on women’s writing in Canada, literary history, historiography, collaborative methods, and digital and feminist scholarship — through papers, panels, readings, and online hook-ups and demonstrations.

Plenary Speakers:

  • Nicole Brossard (Author, Montréal)
  • Louise Dennys (Executive Publisher and Vice-President, Knopf Canada, Random House Canada, Vintage Canada)
  • Lucie Hotte, (Research Chair on the Literatures and Cultures of Francophone Canada, University of Ottawa)
  • Rosemary Sullivan (Author and Canada Research Chair, Department of English, University of Toronto)

We invite papers that illuminate the vast diversity of Canadian women’s writing, past and present, in all genres and formats (printed text, manuscripts, journalism, screenwriting,  graphic novels, songs, music, performance art, artists’ books), of all cultures, regions, and linguistic groups. Papers should be relevant to CWRC’s emphasis on collaboration and digital scholarship. They may:

  • comment on the critical reception of Aboriginal, minority and/or multilingual writing;
  • explore the potential for comparative study and analysis through an integrated online history and/or its implications for Canadian Comparative Literature;
  • pursue both historical specificity and trans-historical connections;
  • consider the plurality of Canadian women’s literary histories;
  • examine these histories in relation to various versions of the nation or a transnational perspective;
  • address the practicalities of the marketplace;
  • interrogate distinctions between popular and elite, subversive and insider writing;
  • investigate platforms necessary to make Wikipedia-like resources literary, creative, scholarly and extensible;
  • address the limitations of current available sites (e.g.,. lone databases) and the potentials of interlinked or integrated knowledge systems;
  • explore modes of circulating, disseminating and expanding an integrated history;
  • offer frames for reading digital works as media systems, social practices, or cultural networks;
  • offer examples of using digital tools to produce new kinds of cultural or historical analysis;
  • illustrate the emergence of new forms of technological infrastructure and media.

Forward abstract (500 words), along with a one-page CV, in English or in French, to:

Deadline for submission:  29 March 2010

Members of the conference committee:

Dr. Susan Brown, University of Alberta/Guelph University
Dr. Marie Carrière, University of Alberta
Dr. Patricia Demers, University of Alberta
Dr. Cecily Devereux, University of Alberta
Dr. Carole Gerson, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Christl Verduyn, Mount Allison University

Address all mail inquiries to:

Canadian Women Writers Conference/Colloque écritures des femmes du Canada
Canadian Literature Centre/ Centre de littérature canadienne
Humanities Building 4-115
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 2E5

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