Nadine Fladd, an EMiC doctoral fellow at the University of Western Ontario, is in the midst of writing her dissertation. Her project, “Transnational Conversations: The New Yorker and Canadian Short Story Writers,” explores Canadian short-story writers’ relationships with their editors at The New Yorker magazine. Nadine focusses on the publication histories of stories by Morley Callaghan, Mavis Gallant, and Alice Munro in the esteemed American institution.
In delineating these authors’ relationships to editors, publishing institutions, and discourses of nationalism, Nadine hopes to reveal the implications of the changing relations of literary production between Canada and the United States throughout the twentieth century. In particular, she is interested in examining the development of the Canadian short story, and the influence Callaghan, Gallant, and Munro had both on the celebrated and geographically specific publication The New Yorker, and on American letters more generally.
The most difficult challenge Nadine has faced so far has been tracking down and accessing the archival materials necessary for the completion of her project. In order to complete her research, Nadine consulted archives in Toronto, Ottawa, New York, and Calgary. While she has enjoyed travelling to the various cities, her project would have moved more quickly — and been less expensive to complete — if she had been able to access the archival materials digitally from her home institution.
Having completed rough drafts of all of the chapters in her dissertation, Nadine is currently working on revisions so that she can submit her dissertation. Time seems to be her biggest obstacle at this point: right now, Nadine must schedule her revision work around her full teaching load and commuting between Laurentian University’s Barrie campus and Humber College in Toronto.
Over its development, and thanks in part to the influence of EMiC events such as the Exile’s Return Colloquium in Paris this past summer, Nadine has shifted the focus of her project. Originally, she envisioned her project as being concerned primarily with issues of nation and national identity in both Canada and the United States. As her archival research progressed, however, Nadine’s project became much more focussed on textual studies. Both her Munro and Callaghan chapters focus on issues of collaboration, reception, and revision more than they focus on nation and nationalism, which were her planned foci. Instead, Nadine provides close readings for various versions of the same stories and their (different) intended audiences. In the future, Nadine would like to see the various versions of these stories available side-by-side — perhaps in a digital format — so that other scholars and students can appreciate and interpret the differences between the iterations.
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