Skip to content

CFP: The Poetics and Ethics of “Living With”

The Poetics and Ethics of “Living With”: Indigenous, Canadian and Quebecois Feminist Production Today

PART I – Banff Centre, Alberta (Canada) October 11-14, 2018

PART II – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim (Norway) Fall 2019

Keynote Addresses:

To see is to enter, to be visited. To cross the threshold. And to be transformed… – Marjorie Beaucage, “Aboriginal Voices: Entitlement through Storytelling”

And so now she owed him things and had to take care of him forever. He did not have to worry about ever being alone again. – Heather O’Neill, Daydreams of Angels

  • Kim Anderson, University of Guelph
  • Alexandre Baril, University of Ottawa
  • Nai?ma Hamrouni, University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres
  • Cheryl Suzack, University of Toronto

    Panel of Writers (TBA)

Political and historical events, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Report, the Idle No More movement, Donald Trump’s immigration ban, Black Lives Matter, the ongoing refugee crises, recent controversies around cultural appropriation, environmental catastrophes, and the recurring display of systemic sexual and racial violence underline the consistent inequalities of perpetuated colonial spaces in this globalized world, as well as the often painful confrontation of different worldviews and perspectives. These are crucial concerns that have been widely discussed by Indigenous, feminist, and anti-racist theorists and cultural practitioners. The various forms of social justice intervention that have emerged in academic, public, and popular cultural spaces have further exposed the persistence of historical patterns of oppression, domination, and complicity. Explorations of the poetics and ethics of “living with” might help revisit, understand, denounce, and resist these fast and slow violences.

Relying on the engaging and loaded phrasal verb, “living with,” this bilingual international conference focuses on notions of embodiment, recognition, and agency that have historically fuelled feminist writing while taking on new forms with the second millennium. Among these new or renewed configurations are the feminist ethics of care pioneered by the psychological research of Carol Gilligan and reworked by scholars such as Joan Tronto and Mari?a Puig de la Bellacasa. Other manifestations include Indigenous new media work by KC Adams and Dana Claxton, the material feminism of Stacy Alaimo and Karen Barad, the posthumanist thought of Rosi Braidotti and Kristen Lillvis, and the re-turn to feminist affects with Dian Million’s “felt theory” and the work of Sara Ahmed and Lauren Berlant. With these broad though interrelated theoretical frameworks in mind, we are interested in the complex weaving of notions of togetherness, alliance, cohabitation, resistance, response-ability, inter/dependency, and community. Our aim is to better understand the social, affective, and material structures, circumstances, and dynamics of relationality – understood in human, nonhuman, ecological, and technological terms – through Indigenous, Canadian, and Quebecois cultural production in English and in French, including literature, film, visual art, music, etc.

The main objective is to investigate representations of “living with” as a radical form of encounter, engagement, and care between self and other. We understand ethics in the terms offered by Karen Barad’s analogy of “touching,” that is to say, as “a matter of response. Each of ‘us’ is constituted in response-ability. Each of ‘us’ is constituted as responsible for the other, as the other” (2012). By firmly positioning ethics at the heart of critical enquiry, we seek to think carefully about the different possible expressions, potentialities, and limits of this relation. Moreover, through the study of literary and artistic productions, we hope to address the instabilities and asymmetries that shape experiences of “living with” by questioning key notions of fragility, vulnerability, intersubjectivity, and belonging in a variety of contexts and spaces where experiences of empowerment and subjugation interact and intra-act (Barad).

Accordingly, we are looking for challenging conversations about the poetics and ethics of the following topics:

“Living with” and

  • –  Feminist Care
  • –  Indigenous Feminisms
  • –  Material and Posthumanist Feminisms
  • –  Feminist Affects
  • –  Pop and Market Feminism; Postfeminism
  • –  Intersectionality and Interdependent Social Constructions
  • –  Conciliation, Reconciliation, Reparation
  • –  Indigenous-Settler Relationships and Alliances
  • –  Testimony and Witnessing
  • –  Limits of Cultural In/visibility and Intelligibility
  • –  Cultural Appropriation and Erasure
  • –  Solidarity, Responsiveness, Accountability
  • –  Community and Hospitality
  • –  Necropolitics and Biopolitics
  • –  Trans- and Queer Subjectivities
  • –  Politics and Ethics of Empathy and Compassion
  • –  Everyday Practices and Ordinary Rituals
  • –  Ecofeminism, Naturecultures
  • –  Nonhuman and More-than-Human Matter and Embodiment

    We encourage comparative, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies.


  • Marie Carrière, Director, Canadian Literature Centre, University of Alberta
  • Dominique Hétu, Postdoctoral Fellow, Canadian Literature Centre, University of Alberta
  • Libe Garci?a Zarranz, Researcher, Department of Teacher Education Norwegian, University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Please send your 300-word proposal (in English or French) along with a short biographical note (100 words) to before February 2, 2018. Panel proposals (of 3 or 4 papers) should include a short introduction to the panel’s topic followed by a 300-word abstract for each paper.



%d bloggers like this: