Call for proposals - Beyond Munro and Atwood: Other Voices in Canadian Women’s Writing

Call for proposals - Beyond Munro and Atwood: Other Voices in Canadian Women’s Writing

With the recent critical and commercial success of the TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, and the newly released adaptation of Alias Grace, myriad audiences are (re)discovering Canadian Margaret Atwood. This rediscovery follows on the heels of Alice Munro’s 2013 Nobel prize for literature and suggests that conditions are favourable for reinvigorating an interest in Canadian women’s writing that goes beyond the established, now-canonical writers like Atwood and Munro. Canadian women’s writing is indeed a flourishing field and the impressive number of women writing in Canada at the present time and the diversity of their backgrounds reflect the multicultural mosaic that makes up the country today and underscores the need for these other women’s voices to be heard and explored (McPherson xviii).

The collective volume we are proposing is intended to be a critical examination of contemporary Canadian women’s writing and will therefore fill a gap in Canadian literature studies by giving space to scholarly analysis on both established and emerging authors as well as unknown and/or overlooked voices. Our aim is to explore the richness of women’s writing in Canada and contribute to the establishment of a deeper research field in Canadian women’s writing by building on work already begun in Shirley Neuman and Smaro Kamboureli’s A Mazing Space: Writing Canadian Women Writing (1987), Barbara Godard’s Gynocritics/Gynocritiques (1988), Coral Ann Howells’ Contemporary Canadian Women’s Fiction (2003), Karen S. McPherson’s Archeologies of an Uncertain Future. Recent Generations of Canadian Women Writing (2006) as well as work currently being done at the University of Alberta’s Canadian Literary Centre / Centre de Littérature Canadienne which has produced Marie Carrière and Patricia Demers’ edited volume entitled Regenerations: Canadian Women’s Writing / Régénérations: Écriture des femmes au Canada (2014), and more recently, Ten Canadian Writers in Context (2016) - seven of whom are women - edited by Marie Carrière, Curtis Gillespie and Jason Purcell.

The focus of this collection is broad and aims to include not only the “traditional” Anglophone and Francophone authors of European origin, but to also shine a light on minority writers including, but not limited to, Indigenous and Métis, writers of colour, migrant as well as LGBTQ2 authors. Some writers to consider are Nelly Arcan, Lee Maracle, Judy Fong Bates, Dionne Brand, Bev Sellars, Esi Edugyan, Elise Turcotte, Carmen Aguirre, Cherie Demaline, Nancy Huston, Amy MacKay, Kim Thúy, Farzana Doctor, Miriam Toews, Ishara Deen, Eden Robinson, Erika de Vasconcelos, Ying Chen, Zoe Whittall, Madeleine Thien, Joy Kogawa, Carmen Rodriguez, among many others.

Possible topics include, though are by no means limited to the following suggestions:

-      Women and politics

-      Women and society

-      Indigenous and Metis voices

-      Refugee and migrant female voices

-      Women and violence

-      Motherhood

-      Womanhood

-      Feminisms

-      Intersectional marginalization

-      LGBTQ2 communities

-      Conflict with authority (church, family, culture, more, government)

-      Multiculturalism and hybridity: ethnic, linguistic, religious, gender, identity

-      Language and the self

-      Experiences of new Canadians

-      Testimony

-      Exile

Please submit a 300-word abstract (including title, institutional affiliation, and brief biography – maximum 100 words) by July 15, 2018. We welcome abstracts in English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese, but final contributions will be in English. Acceptance of abstracts will be communicated by August 31, 2018. Once abstracts have been selected, a proposal will be submitted to a scholarly press. Completed articles will be expected by January 31, 2019 and will be peer-reviewed before the final selection. Articles should not have been previously published.

Please send your proposals to:

Dr. Cristina Ruiz Serrano (MacEwan University):

Dr. Suzanne Hayman (MacEwan University):


McPherson, Karen S. Archaeologies of an Uncertain Future. Recent Generations of Canadian

Women Writing. Montreal: McGill-Queen´s University Press, 2006.