CanLit—the commonly used short form for English Canadian Literature as a cultural formation and industry—has been at the heart of several recent public controversies. Why? Because CanLit is breaking open to reveal the accepted injustices at its heart. It is imperative that these public controversies and the issues that sparked them be subject to careful and thorough discussion and critique.
Refuse: CanLit in Ruins provides a critical and historical context to help readers understand conversations happening about CanLit presently. One of its goals is to foreground the perspectives of those who have been changing the conversation about what CanLit is and what it could be. Topics such as literary celebrity, white power, appropriation, class, rape culture, and the ongoing impact of settler colonialism are addressed by a diverse gathering of writers from across Canada. This volume works to avoid a single metanarrative response to these issues, but rather brings together a cacophonous and ruinous multitude of voices.
With contributions by: Zoe Todd, Keith Maillard, Jane Eaton Hamilton, kim goldberg, Tanis MacDonald, Gwen Benaway, Lucia Lorenzi, Alicia Elliott, Sonnet l’Abbé, Marie Carrière, Kai Cheng Thom, Dorothy Ellen Palmer, Natalee Caple & Nikki Reimer, Lorraine York, Chelsea Vowel, Laura Moss, Phoebe Wang, A.H. Reaume, Jennifer Andrews, Kristen Darch & Fazeela Jiwa, Erika Thorkelson and Joshua Whitehead.
Press Coverge for Refuse:
Fall Preview 2018 Selection: Nonfiction —Quill and Quire
25 books that are going to make a splash this fall —Toronto Star
Fall Preview 2018: Staff Picks —All Lit Up
Writing on the Wall: Andre Forget reads Refuse: CanLit in Ruins —Maisonneuve
Powerful, diverse writers strike a literary reckoning in Refuse: CanLit in Ruins —Quill and Quire
“Whether you agree or disagree, Refuse is an important collection of immediate responses to this fracturing. Important because, whether it’s being taught in the classroom or making news headlines, the debate over these matters is now so loud it’s no longer possible to ignore the calls for change.” —Alex Good, The Toronto Star
“In this collaborative project we learn that what is uncomfortable, even painful, for many people to consider is that we may need to destroy CanLit as it is currently structured to rebuild a literary tradition that keeps us accountable to each other. We cannot merely hope that we will be able to fix CanLit, but we may be able to create something new, something transformative, from its ruins.” —Stephanie Milliken, This Magazine
On Re-Fusing CanLit–Or Why We Need Integrity, Community, and Roses —Amanda Reaume, Open Book
Staying with the Trouble: Brecken Hancock and Sarah Neville Discuss Refuse: CanLit in Ruins —The Puritan
Hannah McGregor is an Assistant Professor of Publishing at Simon Fraser University, a feminist podcaster, and a CanLit killjoy. She co-hosts the popular Harry Potter podcast Witch, Please, and hosts the slightly-less-popular podcast Secret Feminist Agenda, a weekly discussion of the insidious, nefarious, insurgent, and mundane ways we enact our feminism in our daily lives. She lives in Vancouver on the territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh, and has two cats; one is named after a poet, and the other is named after a breakfast.
Julie Rak is a Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She holds an Eccles Fellowship at the British Library for 2017-2018 and is also a Killam Professor at the University of Alberta for 2017-18. Julie was born on traditional Haudenosaunee territory in New York State, and grew up in Delmar, NY, the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehaken (Mohawk). She currently lives and works on Treaty 6 and Metis territory in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Erin Wunker is a teacher and a writer. She teaches courses in Canadian literature and cultural production. She is the author of the multiple award-winning book Notes from a Feminist Killjoy. She lives and works in K’jipuktuk/Halifax.