Editing Modernism in Canada


February 19, 2014

Call for Papers: Two Days of Canada Conference and bpNichol Symposium








5th-7th November 2014 “Avant Canada: Artists, Prophets, Revolutionaries”


Since the 1920s, when Canadian avant-gardist Bertram Brooker announced art’s imminent triumph over business, the discourse of avant-gardism in Canada has frequently combined revolution, aesthetics, and ecstatic projections of the future. The 28th annual “Two Days of Canada” conference at Brock University, the oldest Canadian Studies conference of its kind in Canada, invites scholars and graduate students in all disciplines who research any aspect of the Humanities or Social Sciences in the Canadian context to a conference centred broadly on the idea of what lies ahead for Canada and the arts in Canada.

This conference represents an opportunity to reflect on the state of the future in Canada as well as the role that forward thinking artists, philosophers, and revolutionaries have played and might yet play in shaping what lies ahead. Many possible topics comprise the broad theme of this conference, such as:

  • dissent, disruption, and revolution: from early rights-based activisms to contemporary movements like Idle No More and Occupy
  • future gardes in Canada and the future of the modernist avant-garde
  • editing, publishing, and archiving the avant-garde
  • teaching, mentoring, and inventing the avant-garde
  • politics, political agency (especially including decolonization), and the arts
  • equity, inclusiveness, and ideas/models of community
  • movements, networks, nodes, and manifestations
  • the impact of digital methodologies
  • race, gender, and class in avant-garde production, dissemination, and recognition
  • border crossing, transnationalism, and globalization
  • futurist representations and the mediated future
  • the theory of avant-gardism and modernism in Canada vis-à-vis international models
  • the history, historiography, and boundaries of Canadian avant-gardism

Proposals for individual papers, presentations, or panels from all disciplines, covering any aspect of Canada’s future or the role of the avant-garde in Canada, are welcomed. Papers intended for the bpNichol symposium should be marked as such (see the next page). Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and may be sent to Gregory Betts, Department of English Language & Literature (gbetts@brocku.ca) before 3 March 2014. Please attach a 50 word biography to your submission.



At the corner of mundane and sacred: A bpNichol Symposium

Friday 7 November 2014 9am – 9pm

This collaborative symposium of scholars, writers, visual artists, musicians, and those interested and invested represents a cogent network of energies focused on the award-winning work of Canadian poet bpNichol (1944-1988). Nichol was an enormously prominent literary figure, with substantial influence on small press and experimental writing communities in Canada, the United States, and beyond. He has been the subject of countless books and essays by writers in both countries, and is the subject of a current outpouring of academic interest that has given rise to the republication of many of his books.

This one-day symposium on Nichol’s life and works will be held at the Niagara Artists Centre in downtown St. Catharines, in collaboration with Brock University’s Centre for Canadian Studies and the Editing Modernism in Canada Project. It will include plenary speakers, roundtable discussions, special topics panels, workshops on avant-garde pedagogies and production, a poetry reading, and a Fraggle Rock-themed dance party. Papers exploring any aspect of Nichol’s production or the scholarship on Nichol are welcome. Proposals for individual papers, presentations, or panels are encouraged. Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and may be sent to Gregory Betts, Department of English Language & Literature (gbetts@brocku.ca) before 3 March 2014. Please attach a 50-word biography to your submission.


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