Category Archives: Humanities

Announcing Some of Our Major Award Winners

Congress 2019 is now nearing the finishing line, and we are proud to announce that our authors are taking home some important book awards. So with that in mind, we thought we would pull together a list of some our major award recipients during Congress, and over the past few months. Scroll down to see some of the recipients, as we send out a big congratulations to our authors for their achievements.


Canadian Historical Association

Winner of the CHA 2019 Clio Prairies Book Award

Prairie Fairies: A History of Queer Communities and People in Western Canada, 1930-1985 by Valerie J. Korinek

Prairie Fairies draws upon a wealth of oral, archival, and cultural histories to recover the experiences of queer urban and rural people in the prairies. Focusing on five major urban centres, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, and Calgary, Prairie Fairies explores the regional experiences and activism of queer men and women by looking at the community centres, newsletters, magazines, and organizations that they created from 1930 to 1985.

Also a winner of the 2019 Jennifer Welsh Scholarly Writing Award on behalf of the Saskatchewan Book Awards.


 Winner of the CHA 2019 Clio Ontario Book Award

One Job Town: Work, Belonging, and Betrayal in Northern Ontario by Steven High

There’s a pervasive sense of betrayal in areas scarred by mine, mill, and factory closures. Steven High’s One Job Town delves into the long history of deindustrialization in the paper-making town of Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, located on Canada’s resource periphery. One Job Town approaches deindustrialization as a long term, economic, political, and cultural process, which did not begin and simply end with the closure of the local mill in 2002.

Also a winner of the 2018 OHS Fred Landon Award.


Winner of the CHA 2019 Best Political History Book Prize Award

Selling Out or Buying In?: Debating Consumerism in Vancouver and Victoria, 1945-1985 by Michael Dawson

Selling Out or Buying In? is the first work to illuminate the process by which consumers’ access to goods and services was liberalized and deregulated in Canada in the second half of the twentieth century. Michael Dawson’s engagingly written and detailed exploration of the debates amongst everyday citizens and politicians regarding the pros and cons of expanding shopping opportunities challenges the assumption of inevitability surrounding Canada’s emergence as a consumer society.


Canadian Sociological Association

Winner of the CSA 2019 John Porter Tradition of Excellence Book Award

Regulating Professions: The Emergence of Professional Self-Regulation in Four Canadian Provinces by Tracey L. Adams

In Regulating Professions, Tracey L. Adams explores the emergence of self-regulating professions in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia from Confederation to 1940. Adams’s in-depth research reveals the backstory of those occupations deemed worthy to regulate, such as medicine, law, dentistry, and land surveying, and how they were regulated.


Canadian Association for Work & Labour Studies

Winner of the CAWLS 2019 Book Prize

Working towards Equity: Disability Rights Activism and Employment in Late Twentieth-Century Canada by Dustin Galer

In Working towards Equity, Dustin Galer argues that paid work significantly shaped the experience of disability during the late twentieth century. Using a critical analysis of disability in archival records, personal collections, government publications, and a series of interviews, Galer demonstrates how demands for greater access among disabled people for paid employment stimulated the development of a new discourse of disability in Canada.


Canadian Political Science Association

Loleen Berdahl, Winner of the 2019 CPSA Prize for Teaching Excellence

Work Your Career: Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD, by Loleen Berdahl and Jonathan Malloy

Work Your Career shows PhD students how to use the unique opportunities of doctoral programs to build successful career outcomes. The authors encourage students to consider both academic and non-academic career options from the outset, and to prepare for both concurrently. The book presents a systematic mentoring program full of practical advice for social sciences and humanities PhD students in Canada.


Other Recent Award Winners

Winner of the 2019 JW Dafoe Book Prize

Power, Politics, and Principles: Mackenzie King and Labour, 1935-1948 by Taylor Hollander

Set against the backdrop of the U.S. experience, Power, Politics, and Principles uses a transnational perspective to understand the passage and long-term implications of a pivotal labour law in Canada. Utilizing a wide array of primary materials and secondary sources, Hollander gets to the root of the policy-making process, revealing how the making of P.C. 1003 in 1944, a wartime order that forced employers to the collective bargaining table, involved real people with conflicting personalities and competing agendas.


Winner of the 2019 Pierre Savard Award for Outstanding Scholarly Monograph in French or English on a Canadian Topic

A Culture of Rights: Law, Literature, and Canada by Benjamin Authers

In A Culture of Rights, Benjamin Authers reads novels by authors including Joy Kogawa, Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, and Jeanette Armstrong alongside legal texts and key constitutional rights cases, arguing for the need for a more complex, interdisciplinary understanding of the sources of rights in Canada and elsewhere. He suggests that, at present, even when rights are violated, popular insistence on Canada’s rights-driven society remains.


Winner of the 2018 Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize awarded on behalf of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts

Measured Words: Computation and Writing in Renaissance Italy by Arielle Saiber

Measured Words investigates the rich commerce between computation and writing that proliferated in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy. Arielle Saiber explores the relationship between number, shape, and the written word in the works of four exceptional thinkers: Leon Battista Alberti’s treatise on cryptography, Luca Pacioli’s ideal proportions for designing Roman capital letters, Niccolò Tartaglia’s poem embedding his solution to solving cubic equations, and Giambattista Della Porta’s curious study on the elements of geometric curves.


Winner of the 2018 American Association for Ukrainian Studies Book Prize

Imperial Urbanism in the Borderlands: Kyiv, 1800-1905 by Serhiy Bilenky

In Imperial Urbanism in the Borderlands, Serhiy Bilenky examines issues of space, urban planning, socio-spatial form, and the perceptions of change in imperial Kyiv. Combining cultural and social history with urban studies, Bilenky unearths a wide range of unpublished archival materials and argues that the changes experienced by the city prior to the revolution of 1917 were no less dramatic and traumatic than those of the Communist and post-Communist era.


Winner of the 2018 American Association for Ukrainian Studies Book Prize for Translation

My Final Territory: Selected Essays by Yuri Andrukhovych, edited by Michael M. Naydan, and translated by Mark Andryczyk and Michael M. Naydan

My Final Territory is a collection of Andrukhovych’s philosophical, autobiographical, political, and literary essays, which demonstrate his enormous talent as an essayist to the English-speaking world. This volume broadens Andrukhovych’s international audience and will create a dialogue with Anglophone readers throughout the world in a number of fields including philosophy, history, journalism, political science, sociology, and anthropology.


Winner of the 2018 Research Society for American Periodicals Book Prize

American Little Magazines of the Fin de Siecle: Art, Protest, and Cultural Transformation by Kirsten MacLeod

In American Little Magazines of the Fin de Siecle, Kirsten MacLeod examines the rise of a new print media form – the little magazine – and its relationship to the transformation of American cultural life at the turn of the twentieth century. MacLeod’s study challenges conventional understandings of the little magazine as a genre and emphasizes the power of “little” media in a mass-market context.

 

UTP Goes to Congress: Enter Our Twitter Contest!

Our team is on its way to the beautiful University of British Columbia for Congress! Heading to BC? Plan to drop by the UTP display to meet with editors, grab some swag, and enter our contests – and, of course, add a book or two to your reading list.

First up: we’ll be kicking off the week with a Twitter contest. It’s easy: during Congress, follow us @utpress and send out a tweet using the hashtag #UTPGoesToCongress. You’ll be entered to win a prize pack of our top titles in higher ed. Hanging out at Congress and aren’t on Twitter? Stop by the UTP booth and sign up for our newsletter for another chance to win. Never miss an update and you may have some great reads heading your way…

Learn more about our higher ed prize pack:

Work Your Career: Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD

How do you choose between a non-academic and an academic career? Prepare for both from your first day on campus! Authors Jonathan Malloy and Loleen Berdahl show how your PhD can take you down any number of paths. Filled with practical, no-nonsense advice tailored to you, you’ll want this handy guide beside you every step of the way.


The Craft of University Teaching

How does university instruction look when it’s approached as a craft? In an era of bureaucratic oversight, diminishing budgets, and technological distraction, Peter Lindsay seeks to reclaim teaching as the rewarding endeavor it is.

 


The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy

A must-read for anyone in academia concerned about the frantic pace of contemporary university life. Focusing on individual faculty members and their own professional practice, Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber present both an analysis of the culture of speed in the academy and ways of alleviating stress while improving teaching, research, and collegiality.


Course Correction: A Map for the Distracted University

The university’s business, Paul Gooch writes, is to generate and critique knowledge claims, and to transmit and certify the acquisition of knowledge. Course Correction engages in deliberation about what the twenty-first-century university needs to do in order to re-find its focus as a protected place for unfettered commitment to knowledge, not just as a space for creating employment or economic prosperity.


Kickstarting Your Academic Career: Skills to Succeed in the Social Sciences

An essential primer on the common scholastic demands that social sciences students face upon entering college or university. Based on the challenges that instructors most often find students need help with, Robert Ostergard Jr. and Stacy Fisher offer practical advice and tips on topics such as how to communicate with instructors, take notes, read a textbook, research and write papers, and write successful exams.

 


Contest Rules and Regulations – University of Toronto Press
Open to residents of Canada (excluding the Province of Quebec)

1. CONTEST PERIOD: The 2019 University of Toronto Press Twitter contest commences at 12:00 AM Eastern Time (“ET”) on June 1, 2019, and will end at June 8, 2019 (the “Contest Period”). All times are Eastern Times.

2. RULES: By entering this Contest, entrants agree to abide by these Contest rules and regulations (the “Official Rules”). The decisions of the independent contest organization with respect to all aspects of the Contest are final. These rules are posted at http://blog.utorontopress.com/2019/05/30/utp-congress-twitter-contest

3. ELIGIBILITY: To enter the win the Contest and be eligible to win a Prize (see rule 6), a person (“Entrant”) must, at the time of entry, be a legal resident of Canada (excluding the Province of Quebec) who has reached the age of majority in his/her province or territory of residence. The following individuals and members of such person’s immediate family (including mother, father, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, partner or spouse regardless of where they live) or persons with whom they are domiciled (whether related to the person or not) are not eligible to enter the Contest: employees, officers, directors, shareholders, owners, general and limited partners, agents, representatives, successors.

4. HOW TO ENTER: During the Contest period, follow @utpress on Twitter, and tweet using the hashtag #UTPGoesToCongress that pertains to the Contest. Limit one (1) entry per person per day during the contest Period regardless of method of entry. Any person who is found to have entered in a fashion not sanctioned by these Official Rules will be disqualified.

5. PRIZE: The winner will receive one (1) print copy of each of the following: Course Correction, The Slow Professor, Work Your Career, Kickstarting Your Academic Career, and The Craft of University Teaching.

6. DRAW:

i. The random draw will include all eligible entries, and will take place on June 9, 2019 at 12:00 PM at the University of Toronto Press offices, located at 800 Bay St. Mezzanine, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3A9.

ii. The winner will be contacted via social media, and will be included in the announcement on Twitter. If a selected Entrant cannot be reached via social media within 7 days of the draw, then he/she will be disqualified and another Entrant will be randomly selected until such time as contact is made via social media with a selected Entrant that satisfies the foregoing requirements or there are no more eligible entries, whichever comes first. University of Toronto Press will not be responsible for failed attempts to contact a selected Entrant.

7. CONDITIONS OF ENTRY: By entering the Contest, Entrants (i) confirm compliance with these Official Rules including all eligibility requirements, and (ii) agree to be bound by these Official Rules and by the decisions of University of Toronto Press, made in its sole discretion, which shall be final and binding in all matters relating to this Contest. Entrants who have not complied with these Official Rules are subject to disqualification.

8. CONSENT TO USE PERSONAL INFORMATION: University of Toronto Press respects your right to privacy. The information you provided will only be used for the purpose of administering this Contest and prize fulfillment. For more information regarding University of Toronto Press’s privacy statement, please visit https://utorontopress.com/ca/privacy-policy.

UTP Goes to Congress 2019

With summer fast approaching, that can only mean one thing here at UTP. Yes, we’re packing our bags and heading to Congress 2019 in gorgeous Vancouver, BC. We will be mounting our largest ever display of books in Vancouver, and we’ll be teaming up with our Journals and Distribution divisions to showcase an even wider range of publications.

Whether you are attending your association’s conference or are a member of the Vancouver community, we would love to see you. Don’t miss this opportunity to develop your social network, or maybe add some fabulous UTP books to your home or office library. You can find us at the Congress Expo, located in the Congress Hub. You can also follow us on Twitter throughout the conference for regular updates.

In this blog post, we’ve listed a number of key events throughout the week of Congress that you should mark in your calendars. We hope to see you in Vancouver!


Key Events at Congress

Sunday, June 2, 2019: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM (AMS Nest – NEST 2301 Expo Event Space)

Book Launch: Amplify

Join us for the book launch of Amplify, where author Norah Bowman will discuss this latest addition in graphic storytelling.

In this highly original text – a collaboration between a college professor, a playwright, and an artist – graphic storytelling offers a unique way for readers to understand and engage with feminism and resistance in a more emotionally resonant way.


Sunday, June 2, 2019: 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Laserre 102)

CAS Book Celebration

Come and learn about the books that have been published in 2018-19 and meet their authors. Some copies will be available for purchase and/or author signing. Natalie Kononenko will be in attendance to launch her new book Ukrainian Epic and Historical Song, and Erica L. Fraser will be there to celebrate her book Military Masculinity and Postwar Recovery in the Soviet Union.


Monday, June 3, 2019: 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM (Ideas Lounge and Patio)

Reception of the Canadian Committee on Women’s History

Featuring Reading Canadian Women’s and Gender Historyedited by Nancy Janovicek and Carmen Nielson.

Inspired by the question of “what’s next?” in the field of Canadian women’s and gender history, this broadly historiographical volume represents a conversation among established and emerging scholars who share a commitment to understanding the past from intersectional feminist perspectives.


Monday, June 3, 2019: 6:00 PM – 8:25 PM (Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver, BC, V5L 2E2)

Marvellous Grounds: Queering Urban Justice

A discussion with the editors of the Marvellous Grounds Collective on queering urban justice and challenging racialized state formations and geographies.

Speakers:
  • Ghaida Moussa, PHD Student York University, PhD Student York University
  • Jin Haritaworn, Professor, York University, Professor, York University
  • Syrus Marcus Ware, PhD Student York University

Tuesday, June 4, 2019: 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Book Launch for A Violent History of Benevolence

Following on from the Queer Caucus meeting at noon, The Canadian Association for Social Work Education will be hosting the launch for A Violent History of Benevolence by Chris Chapman and A.J. Withers.

The book traces how normative histories of liberalism, progress, and social work enact and obscure systemic violences.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019: 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM (Dorothy Somerset Studio – Room 101)

Coffee Break and Book Launch: Insecurity

The Canadian Association for Theatre Research will be hosting a book launch for Dr. Jenn Stephenson’s new book Insecurity: Perils and Products of Theatres of the Real.

“This book offers a compelling and timely investigation of the ‘real’, ably and amply illustrated by a diversity of case studies. A must-read addition to scholarship on Canadian theatre and performance.”

Susan Bennett, Department of English, University of Calgary


Wednesday, June 5, 2019: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (Buchanan Tower 1197)

Book Launch for Violence, Order, and Unrest

The Canadian Historical Association will be hosting a book launch for Violence, Order, and Unrest edited by Elizabeth Mancke, Jerry Bannister, Denis McKim, and Scott W. See.

This edited collection offers a broad reinterpretation of the origins of Canada. Drawing on cutting-edge research in a number of fields, Violence, Order, and Unrest explores the development of British North America from the mid-eighteenth century through the aftermath of Confederation.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019: 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM (AMS Nest – NEST 2301 Expo Event Space)

Peter Lindsay on The Craft of University Teaching

What does university teaching – as a craft – look like? What changes does a craft perspective suggest for higher education? These questions will be addressed in both a general sense – What does the act of teaching become when treated as a craft? What changes to a professor’s educational philosophy does it require? – and with respect to the practical, everyday tasks of university professors, such as the use and misuse of technology, the handling of academic dishonesty, the assignment of course reading, and the instilling of enthusiasm for learning. Join author Peter Lindsay as he addresses these questions, outlined in his book, The Craft of University Teaching.


Thursday, June 6, 2019: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM (AMS Nest – NEST 2306)

Work Your Career: How to Strategically Position Yourself for Career Success

How can prospective and recent PhD students best position themselves for rewarding careers? Do you have to choose between preparing for an academic or non-academic career path? Drawing on research and their personal career histories in the nonprofit, government and academic sectors, the speakers will outline tools to: identify current career competencies and networks; create an action plan to increase competitiveness for both academic and non-academic careers simultaneously; and articulate competencies to potential employers. Current and recent PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate supervisors and chairs in the social sciences and humanities should plan to attend.

Speakers:
  • Loleen Berdahl, Professor and Head, Department of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan
  • Jonathan Malloy, Professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University

Thursday, June 6, 2019: 6:00 Pm – 8:00 PM (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre – IRSHDC Main Room)

Genocide, Residential Schools, and the Challenge of [Re]Conciliation: Dialogue and Panel Discussion

Join in a panel discussion and dialogue with Professor David MacDonald (Guelph University) and Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot (University of British Columbia). as they discuss MacDonald’s new book, The Sleeping Giant Awakes: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools and the Challenge of Conciliation.

Speakers:
  • David MacDonald, Guelph University
  • Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot, UBC

Retracing the Steps of Mackenzie King in Nazi-Era Berlin

Mackenzie King reviewing participants in the women’s and men’s tennis events at the German All-German Sports Competitions, 27 July 1937. Front row, left to right: Robert Ley, head of the German Labour Front, Prime Minister King, King’s personal secretary Edward Pickering, and Hans von Tschammer und Osten, Reich Sports Leader.

In 1937, Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King travelled to Nazi Germany in an attempt to prevent a war that, to many observers, seemed inevitable. The men King communed with, including Adolf Hitler, had assured him of the Nazi regime’s peaceful intentions, and King not only found their pledges sincere, but even hoped for personal friendships with many of the regime officials. 

Four Days in Hitler’s Germany addresses how King truly believed that any threat to peace would come only from those individuals who intended to thwart the Nazi agenda, which as King saw it, was concerned primarily with justifiable German territorial and diplomatic readjustments. In this post, author Robert Teigrob shares how walking the city streets of Berlin led him to write his new book.


For the last decade I have taught a summer course in Berlin. For a historian, the city is an endless trove of commemorative spaces, architectural motifs, and museum collections that attest to some of humanity’s darkest, as well as noblest, impulses. It is a built environment perpetually under revision and renewal, a testament to both the destruction and political dismemberment wrought by Hitler’s war, and to a deeply-engaged and increasingly diverse population’s struggle to properly represent and confront the past. This struggle has many outcomes: the demolition of what Germans call “historically burdened buildings,” the preservation of others as historic sites, the repurposing of still others toward more life-affirmative ends, and seemingly on every block, a memorial to the events and people that make up Berlin’s tumultuous history.

Walking the city a few years ago sparked a couple of ideas that became the genesis of my new book, Four Days in Hitler’s Germany: Mackenzie King’s Mission to Avert a Second World War. I recalled a picture from my high school history textbook showing a very jovial Prime Minister Mackenzie King touring a Berlin factory complex in 1937 – the same one I was now passing – escorted by top Nazi officials. I was struck by the contrast between modern Germans’ evident willingness to own up to the mistakes of the past and, on this count, the comparative reticence among Canadians to do the same. For in that same textbook (and as I was to learn, in many other historical accounts), King’s visit was portrayed as a stern warning to the Hitler regime that any Nazi aggression would stimulate a powerful and unified response from the Western powers. I knew this to be something of an oversimplification – King was in fact one of the globe’s foremost advocates of appeasement, and had enthusiastically shepherded a trade agreement with Germany through Parliament just before his visit – but the more I dug into the records, the more stunning the prime minister’s interactions with Nazi officials became. I came to the conclusion that the 1937 visit deserved a sustained, critical analysis.

Roaming Berlin also led me to wonder how future generations of Canadians will judge our relationships with today’s global community. We see intense debates in the House of Commons and the media over how to balance our economic interests with our stated commitment to human rights and international laws and norms: how to square principles with profit-making in the proposed sale of weapons to authoritarian regimes; whether to “constructively engage” or shun potential trading partners that flout the rule of law (and for that matter, how to respond to some of our own companies’ controversial activities abroad – in the mining sector, for instance). Canada and the world wrestled with similar issues in the 1930s, and the recent ascent of regimes and political movements built on ethnic nationalism, militarism, and regressive attitudes toward the multinational international order painstakingly constructed since 1945 gives the story of King’s visit to Germany a decidedly contemporary aura.


Robert Teigrob is a professor in the Department of History at Ryerson University and the author of Four Days in Hitler’s Germany.

Before the Country: The Native Renaissance and Our Search for a National Mythology

With the recent reprinting of Before the Country, published over a decade ago now, we asked author Stephanie McKenzie to share how her book is still resonating with scholars interested in the study of the Native Renaissance in Canada.


I’m not sure how others might understand what I hope is the continued significance of Before the Country, a study of the literary, political, and social context of the Native Renaissance of the late 1960s and 1970s and non-Indigenous mythologizing that followed on the heels of this movement. I hope my monograph has increased interest in this body of literature.

The study is still very relevant to me and has spurred on further scholarship. Building on theories surrounding the study of oral literatures, I have now immersed myself in a consideration of the aesthetic markers in written literatures that grow out of oral traditions. This focus was at the heart of Before the Country when I turned to the theories of Milman Parry and Albert Lord to help make sense of writing produced by mature Indigenous voices during this Native Renaissance.

There was little-to-no criticism during the time I was writing to help understand why the poetry of Chief Dan George, to offer one noteworthy example, carried such distinct markings of an aesthetic that was fresh in Canadian poetry when post-modernism was beginning to take hold. Recently, I have turned to Parry and Lord’s fieldwork in former Yugoslavia where they studied the gusle and guslar traditions and tried to define the formulaic characteristics of oral literatures. Living in Serbia for three months in 2017, I took gusle lessons and also produced my fourth book of poetry, Bow’s Haunt: The Gusle’s Lessons. I thought that, perhaps, pragmatic study of this instrument and immersion in a culture might grow my theoretical insights.

I am belabouring an explanation of my own scholarly growth to highlight how Before the Country is still relevant to me and how I hope its assertions might still be examined by others. When I was writing Before the Country I was largely digging through boxes in the library of Victoria College at the University of Toronto. Many Indigenous texts of the late 1960s and 1970s lay buried in boxes with the exception of seminal works like Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed and Lee Maracle’s Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel.

I believe that when Indigenous literature could no longer be ignored in the late 1980s and early 1990s and when academic units in Canada were scrambling to create courses and programmes for the study of Indigenous literatures, they immediately embraced what was before them – the writings of Tomson Highway, Jeannette Armstong, and Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, for example. They did not turn back to what I think is the most important body of Indigenous literature in Canada: the building blocks of what has become the most exciting creative writing in this country today.

Perhaps the academy’s omissions were due to a lack of time. Most certainly, the omissions had to have a lot to do with the fact that a significant amount of Indigenous writing of the 1960s/1970s was out of print. This is still true today.

I hope that a belief in the continued relevance of Before the Country leads to the following: the re-issuing of Indigenous texts from this time period; a serious revisioning of the Canadian literary canon, which needs to include these voices; a continued challenging of greatness in the study of poetry that still does not really account for notable aesthetics of Indigenous literatures during a foundational stage.

I also hope that the greatest fault of Before the Country – the lack of fieldwork – will prompt scholars to reconsider the essential role of ethnography and anthropology in literary analysis. When I was writing this study, I simply spread books in front of me, read and critically responded to texts in isolation. On the one hand, I think this was healthy as it solidified the fact that Indigenous literatures do not have to be handled with kid gloves. They grow from ancient traditions (albeit arrested during the residential school period) which can hold their own. They deserve intricate criticism.

On the other hand, though an understandable, if not virulent, avoidance of ethnographical research during the 1980s and 1990s, commensurate with the desire to efface a longstanding objectification of “the Indigenous,” is explicable, I don’t think this is healthy. It is important to understand what shapes voices and from where voices emerge. This is what the gusle has taught me and what Before the Country inevitably pointed to.

With the reprinting of Before the Country, published over a decade ago now, I would hope that people would still consider this scholarship relevant, even if that means to challenge, refute, or reveal weaknesses in the book. There are many. However, I would hope that the book’s existence underscores the relevance of Indigenous literature of the late 1960s and 1970s and the reason behind my commitments.

 

Stephanie McKenzie teaches in the Department of English at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Corner Brook. Listen in on Dr. McKenzie’s recent podcast, Poetry and the Gusle, in which she discusses her recent book and shares her research on the gusle, a musical instrument that accompanies epic poetry in Southeastern Europe. For more information see www.stephaniemaymckenzie.com.


Looking for more on the subject? You might also be interested in Cheryl Suzack’s Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law.