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Canadian and Global Imaginaries in Dialogue

Diana Brydon and Marta Dvořák, editors

Hardcover 330 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-264-8

Release Date: April 2012

Online discount: 25%

$85.00  $63.75


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What are the fictions that shape Canadian engagements with the global? What frictions emerge from these encounters? In negotiating aesthetic and political approaches to Canadian cultural production within contexts of global circulation, this collection argues for the value of attending to narratorial, lyric, and theatrical conventions in dialogue with questions of epistemological and social justice. Using the twinned framing devices of crosstalk and cross-sighting, the contributing authors attend to how the interplay of the verbal and the visual maps public spheres of creative engagement today.

Individual chapters present a range of methodological approaches to understanding national culture and creative labour in global contexts. Through their collective enactment of methodological crosstalk, they demonstrate the productivity of scholarly debate across differences of outlook, culture, and training. In highlighting convergences and disagreements, the book sharpens our understanding of how literary and critical conventions and theories operate within and across cultures.

Diana Brydon is Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for Globalization and Cultural Studies at the University of Manitoba. She has published books on Christina Stead and Timothy Findley, edited Postcolonialism: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies, and co-edited Shakespeare in Canada and Renegotiating Community: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Global Contexts

Marta Dvořák is professor of Canadian and postcolonial literatures in English at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, former associate editor of The International Journal of Canadian Studies, and editor of Commonwealth Essays and Studies. Focusing her research on (post)modernism and cross-culturalism, she has authored and edited books ranging from Ernest Buckler: Rediscovery and Reassessment (WLU Press, 2001) to Tropes and Territories: Short Fiction, Postcolonial Readings, and Canadian Writings in Context (co-ed. W.H. New) and The Faces of Carnival in Anita Desai’s In Custody.


“This stimulating collection of essays had its origins in a workshop entitled ‘Voice and Vision: Situating Canadian Culture Globally,’ held at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in 2008.... Thankfully...ample cross-references have made Crosstalk a far more unified collection than most conference-generated volumes. In the spirit of the book’s title, the contributors have clearly engaged in a considerable amount of post-workshop dialogue and, thanks to this and the careful introduction, the collection does a fine job of answering the questions posed by the editors at the outset.... The success of this timely collection owes much to the work of the two editors.... Both have clearly put in long hours to ensure that the book’s attempt to broaden the models used to debate Canadian imaginaries has become a significant intervention. The net result is impressive and one comes away from Crosstalk feeling that the multiple directions taken by the individual authors...have been long routes that have converged at a common crossroads.”

— John Thieme, Commonwealth Essays and Studies

Crosstalk is a challenging intervention that demonstrates the impact of globalization on debates about Canadian culture by highlighting the transformative role that various forms of creative dissonance and collaboration can play. The essays challenge accepted forms of national intelligibility by invoking the productive pedagogical disruption of transnational ‘cross-talk.’ The global context that underscores this collection privileges circulation over emplacement, dialogue over the illusion of creative autonomy, and friction over the stultifying appeal of consensus within entrenched disciplinary frameworks. The international contributors produce an essay collection that is distinguished as much by its range as by its important treatment of emergent spheres of political engagement.”

— Cynthia Sugars, University of Ottawa, editor (with Gerry Turcotte) of Unsettled Remains: Canadian Literature and the Postcolonial Gothic (WLU Press, 2009)

“The sixteen essays in Crosstalk admirably enact the tensions so strikingly suggested in this collection’s title. This is writing that bristles and brims, riffs and improvises upon the engagements of Canadian, Brazilian, Spanish, and French critics who not only read each others’ discussions of Canadian texts passionately, attentively, and creatively—and from cultural, political, and ideological stances that are often openly and richly at odds—but who also write collectively toward re-situating our local and global, Canadian, diasporic, and polyphonic debates in the twenty-first century. This is a superbly provocative and most ably co-edited collection—and will be required reading and rereading.”

— Neil Besner, Professor of English, Vice-President, Research and International, University of Winnipeg