Registration and programme details, BACS Literature Group Symposium, 7 September 2015, University of Leeds. 

Making sense of CanLit:
Critical pedagogies and knowledge-production in the teaching of Canadian literature today 
BACS Literature Group Symposium
7th September 2015, University of Leeds

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Professor Kerstin Knopf (University of Bremen)
Dr. Susan Billingham (University of Nottingham)

          Amidst an ongoing public finance crisis, scholars of Canadian literature often find themselves confronted by the need to work within a new “research capitalism” paradigm (Coleman and Kamboureli 2011). While certainly not unique to the humanities, the current drive to refashion knowledge-production in view of the new socio-economic and political realities has affected the development of critical pedagogies which challenge canonised views while “initiating ethical acts that have social justice and equity as modes of desire” (Miki 2011: 259). Do the revised financial, institutional and disciplinary agendas inevitably doom Canadian literary scholarship to embracing the proverbial “strategy of survival” (Sojka 2013: 16)? Or, could this moment be an opportunity for rethinking the parameters of our pedagogic practice and exploring “the unpredictable resources of the imagination, and the plethora of non-rational tensions and uncertainties that are operative in everyday intellection” (Miki 2011: 254)?

          This one-day symposium of the BACS Literature Group seeks to address the above questions by providing a forum for discussion, analysis and reflection on current practices of teaching Canadian literature in the UK and beyond. This event will give us the opportunity to share and reflect upon our teaching experiences, methodologies and approaches to curriculum design in a cross-institutional and trans-national setting, with a view of making an important contribution to pedagogic discussions taking place in Canada. The symposium is open to BACS members and non-members alike, and we welcome participants from any country, academic or professional background. Postgraduates and those with teaching experience in a non-academic context (e.g., arts organisations, schools, community groups, life-long learning, etc.) are particularly welcome.

Registration now open

Registration for the symposium is now open at the following link.

Attendance for presenters is free. Please let us know if you have specific dietary and accessibility requirements.


Symposium programme

All panels will be held in the Grant Room (3.11), School of History, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds. 

Monday, 7th September, 2015                                                                                                                                                                    

9.00 – 9.30

Coffee and registration (Hamilton Thompson foyer, School of History)

9.30 – 9.45


9.45 – 11.00

Panel 1: Precarious subject? CanLit in the curriculum

Kaley Kramer, York St John University: “The Great Blank North: Canada in ‘(North) American’ Studies”

Felicity Skelton, Sheffield Hallam University: “The Leaky Umbrella: Teaching Canadian Short Fiction Disguised as Postcolonial Literature”


Catherine Bates, University of Leeds: “Sustaining and Sustainable CanLit: Decoyed Pedagogies between Disciplines”

11.00 – 11.30

Coffee break (Hamilton Thompson foyer, School of History)

11.30 – 12.30

Keynote address

Susan Billingham, University of Nottingham: “Leave of Absence: Theatrical Interventions against Bullying and Homophobia”

12.30 – 1.30

Lunch (Hamilton Thompson foyer, School of History)

1.30 – 2.45

Panel 2: Teaching Canada otherwise

Siàn Harris, University of Exeter: “Survival of the Freshers: Teaching Canadian Literature at Stage One”

Dominic Williams, Liverpool John Moores University: “On Not Knowing Canada: Teaching without Mastery and the Ethics of Ignorance”

Laura Pearson, University of Leeds: “Nina Bunjevac’s ‘Alternative’ Catwoman in ‘Bitter Tears of Zorka Petrovic’ (2012)”

2.45 – 3.45

Keynote address

Kerstin Knopf, University of Bremen: “Indigenous Knowledge and Education”

3.45 – 4.15

Coffee break (Hamilton Thompson foyer, School of History)

4.15 – 5.05

Panel 3: Canada and CanLit beyond academia

Martin Kuester and Sylvia Langwald, University of Marburg: “Teaching Canada – Enseigner le Canada: Innovative Approaches to Canlit in High School and University”

Will Smith, Lancaster University: “Critical and Creative Meetings: A Case Study in Knowledge Exchange and Canadian Literature”


Conference close




Further information


For a printable map of Leeds city centre, click here.


For directions to the University of Leeds, click here.


For an interactive version of the campus map of the University of Leeds, click here. (The Michael Sadler Building is number 78 on the map).


For a printable version of the campus map of the University of Leeds, click here. (The Michael Sadler Building is number 78 on the map).


For accommodation options, click here. (You can choose from a list on the left side of the page).


For a selection of places to eat, you can download the Leeds Welcome pack here. (See the food section on page 6 of this downloadable guide compiled by VisitLeeds).



If you have any questions, please get in touch with Dr. Simone Lomartire and Dr. Milena Marinkova at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

British Association for Canadian Studies

Email: [email protected]

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