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In-Between – Liminal Spaces in Canadian Literature and Cultures


Edited By Stefan L. Brandt

In the past few years, the concept of «liminality» has become a kind of pet theme within the discipline of Cultural Studies, lending itself to phenomena of transgression and systemic demarcation. This anthology employs theories of liminality to discuss Canada’s geographic and symbolic boundaries, taking its point of departure from the observation that «Canada» itself, as a cultural, political, and geographic entity, encapsulates elements of the «liminal.» The essays comprised in this volume deal with fragmented and contradictory practices in Canada, real and imagined borders, as well as contact zones, thresholds, and transitions in Anglo-Canadian and French-Canadian texts, discussing topics such as the U.S./Canadian border, migration, French-English relations, and encounters between First Nations and settlers.

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This book is the result of both a life-long preoccupation with themes of liminality and in-betweenness (articulated in previous writings on ‘astronautic subjects’ and ‘transgendered aesthetics’) and a more recent fascination with Canadian literature and culture (which can be traced back to a 2009 research stay at McGill University, York University, the University of Toronto, and Wilfrid Laurier University, financed by the Canadian Government’s ‘Faculty Enrichment Program’). I am indebted to a number of persons and institutions that have made this anthology possible. I would like to thank, in particular, Kay Armatage, Alan Bewell, Nathalie Cooke, Tamas Dobozy, Klaus-Dieter Ertler, Seth Feldman, Philippa Gates, Marlene Goldman, Sherrill E. Grace, Linda Hutcheon, Penelope Ironstone-Catterall, Ed Jewinski, Kenneth Little, Scott MacKenzie, Roswitha Mayer, Reingard M. Nischik, Will Straw, Eleanor Ty, and Jim Weldon, who have encouraged me, at various stages of the project, to keep going (either through their ideas and writings, their letters of invitation, or their words in personal conversations). Moreover, this book could not have come to life without the commitment and passion of numerous scholars whose enthusiasm has inspired me to become—and remain—involved in Canadian Studies. I am very grateful to a number of people and institutions who have supported the conference that preceded this volume: First of all, the University of Graz bears mentioning, and especially the Dean’s Office, the Office of International Relations, as well as the two Research Core Areas ‘Heterogeneity and Cohesion’ and ‘Cultural History and Interpretation of Europe.’ I...

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