The Symposium gratefully acknowledges the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the University of Ottawa, its Faculty of Arts
and Department of English.

Banner photo image credit:
Ottawa Tourism

Web design credit:
Suzanne Bowness

Previous Symposia and Archives


The Alice Munro Symposium

The Alice Munro Symposium
May 9-11, 2014

he Alice Munro Symposium was held from May 9-11, 2014. The conference program included keynote addresses by Robert Thacker and Charles E. May. There was a writers' appreciations panel featuring Steven Heighton, Robert McGill, Lisa Moore, and Aritha van Herk and a career panel featuring Virginia Barber, Ann Close, Douglas Gibson, and Daniel Menaker. A book of essays related to the conference is forthcoming in the Reappraisals Series from the University of Ottawa Press..

2014 Symposium Archives


Whatever Else: An Irving Layton Symposium
Whatever Else: An Irving Layton Symposium
May 3-5, 2013.

Whatever Else: An Irving Layton Symposium was held from May 3-5, 2013. The conference program included a keynote address by Brian Trehearne, a roundtable featuring Seymour Mayne, George Elliott Clarke, and Irving Wolfe, and a screening of Donald Winkler’s documentary film, A Red Carpet for the Sun: The Life of Irving Layton. There was also a poetry reading featuring Amanda Earl, Amatoritsero Ede, Phil Hall, Seymour Mayne, Sandra Ridley and David Solway. Canadian Poetry: Studies Documents, Reviews published a special issue on Irving Layton (No. 73, Fall/Winter 2013) edited by Robert David Stacey and Cameron Anstee collecting work that was prompted by the Symposium.

2013 Symposium Archives


The Worlds of Carol Shields
The Worlds of Carol Shields
April 27-29, 2012.

The Worlds of Carol Shields was held from April 27-29, 2012. The conference program included keynote addresses by Eleanor Wachtel, Anne Giardini, Joseph Giardini, Coral Ann Howells, and Aritha Van Herk. There was a plenary panel featuring Wayson Choy, Joan Clark, Martin Levin, and Jane Urquhart. A book of essays related to the conference is forthcoming in the Reappraisals Series from University of Ottawa Press.

2012 Symposium Archives


Material Cultures
Material Cultures
May 6-8, 2011.

Material Cultures in Canadian and Transnational Contexts was held from May 6-8, 2011. The conference program included keynote addresses by Bill Brown and Jeff Derksen. There was also a Plenary Panel featuring Jody Berland, Adriana Craciun, Michael Epp, and Rhona Richman Kenneally. During the opening night reception, which was held at the Ottawa Art Gallery, readings were given by authors Warren Cariou and Rita Wong.

2011 Symposium Archives


Rediscovering Early Canadian Literature
Rediscovering Early Canadian Literature
May 7-9, 2010.

Marking the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Lorraine McMullen’s Re(dis)covering Our Foremothers (1990), a volume of essays based on an earlier University of Ottawa symposium, the 2010 “Rediscovering Early Canadian Literature” aimed to reassess the literary culture of early Canada and related scholarly achievements. Featured keynote speakers were D.M.R. Bentley, Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario, Carole Gerson, Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, and Charlotte Gray, historian and biographer.

2010 Symposium Archives


Double-Takes: Intersections Between Canadian Literature and Film
Double-Takes: Intersections Between Canadian Literature and Film
May 1-3, 2009.

Featured keynote speaker was novelist and screenwriter Paul Quarrington (Whale Music, The Ravine), and other guest keynote presenters included Peter Dickinson (Screening Gender, Framing Genre), Katherine Monk (Weird Sex and Snowshoes), and Jim Lynch (Canadian Film).

2009 Symposium Archives


Re: Reading the Postmodern” took place from May 9-11, 2008. Featuring keynote addresses by Linda Hutcheon, Pauline Butling and Susan Rudy, Frank Davey and Robert Kroetsch, the symposium brought together scholars and cultural producers from across the country interested in discussing the history and theory of the postmodern in Canada. The weekend also featured readings and performances by a stellar group of poets including Fred Wah, Gregory Betts, Christian Bök, Louis Cabri, Stephen Cain, Wanda Campbell, Dennis Cooley, Frank Davey, Robert Kroetsch, Christine Stewart, Andy Weaver and The Max Middle Sound Project. See our archives section for recordings, author interviews, photos, and other materials related to the 2008 symposium.

2008 Symposium Archives


"Northrop Frye: New Directions from Old" took place from May 4-6th 2007. The symposium brought together a number of the most important literary theorists and Frye scholars, including many from a new generation. The 50th anniversary of the publication of Anatomy of Criticism and the ongoing work on the 31-volume edition of Frye's Complete Works made 2007 a particularly interesting time to reassess his achievement and plot the new directions it will take. The conference featured sessions dedicated to a range of Frye's interests, including theory, religion, Canadian studies, and education. Robert Denham and Alvin Lee gave the keynote addresses. The conference should produce a set of papers that will help explain why Frye's visionary account of the centrality of the imagination as it manifests itself in literature is as important as ever.