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 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 multitude of voices.
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.
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.