News and events

  • Brock radio series airing in Austria to highlight Canadian Culture

    A Brock Radio-produced series is hitting the airwaves overseas and receiving rave reviews for its efforts to highlight Canada’s rich culture.

    Catherine Parayre, Associate Professor in Studies in Arts and Culture as well as Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, has partnered with the University of Innsbruck and the Canadian Embassy in Austria to create “Kanada: Nouvelles littéraires and more.”

    Read the full story in the Brock News

    Categories: News

  • Issue 12.2 (2015) of Voix plurielles now online

    The December issue of Voix plurielles has just been published:

    Learn more

    For a total of 393 pages, it includes:

    • 4 dossiers – “Hommage à Alexandre Amprimoz” (Ed. S. Viselli) ; “Des animaux dans la littérature” (Ed. N. Lezama, J. Papillon, R. Penate) ; “Francophonie post-soviétique” (Ed. I. Toma) ; “La transgression” (Ed. M-N. Cocton, H. Favreau, S. Roch-Veiras)
    • 2 varia
    • 1interview with author Dany Laferrière
    • 1piece of fiction (Mona Mikael)
    • 18 book reviews (mostly Franco-Canadian fiction and criticism)

    Bonne lecture !

    Categories: News

  • Art-iculating the Aesthetic immanent  interdisciplinarity, critical comparativity, polemic praxis

    Saturday, March 15, 2014
    9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
    Alphies Trough

    Brock University’s Studies in Comparative Literature and Arts MA program presents a graduate student symposium on the art of aesthetic interpretation. The presentations will draw together a variety of theoretical modalities in a generative dialogue with a multitude of artistic mediums: poststructuralism and cultural production, postcolonialism and literature, posthumanism and cinema, psyhcoanalysis and theraputic art, memory studies and photography, and more.

    With special guest speaker: Janelle Blankenship
    A professor at the Theory and Criticism program at Western University, researching the intersections of: literary/critical theory, media histories, phenomenology, theories of temporality, nature and utopia.

    Categories: Other events

  • Em/bodying Human Rights in Testimony — Studies in Comparative Literatures and the Arts Colloquium 2014

    Thursday, 20 February, 2014
    United Nations designated World Day of Social Justice


    • David Fancy, Interim Director MA in Studies in Comparative Literatures & Arts (podcast)
    • Douglas Kneale, Dean, Faculty of Humanities (podcast)

    Introduction, Em/bodying Human Rights in Testimony; Cristina Santos

    Writing After Political Violence and Trauma (podcast)
    Nora S. Strejilevich is an Argentinean writer whose literary production is a means to “work through” the legacy of State Terrorism on the basis of her own experience as a survivor and exile. After her liberation from the concentration camp “Athletic Club” (1977) she was granted political asylum in Canada, where she completed a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature at the University of British Columbia. Between 1991 and 2006, she taught Latin American literature at several universities in North America, focusing on Human Rights and Literature.
    She has published prose, poems and essays. Her most recent book is El arte de no olvidar: literatura testimonial en Chile, Argentina y Uruguay entre los 80 y los 90 [The art of not forgetting: testimonial literature in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay between the ’80s and ’90s] (2006). Una sola muerte numerosa (1997, 2006) has given Strejilevich international recognition. This testimonial novel was awarded the Letras de Oro National Award (US, 1996). It was translated into English (A Single Numberless Death, 2002) and was adapted to theatre (US 2002). In Italy, Strejilevich’s story inspired the movie Nora (2005). This text has been incorporated into the curriculum of graduate studies in universities in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Austria and France.
    Currently she is devoting herself to creative writing and research. Her most recent project is the study of women’s resistance to totalitarian regimes through art.
    — Source:

    Affecting Testimony (podcast)
    Jonathan A. Allan (Gender & Women’s Studies and Dept. of English, Brandon University)

    Testimony as Reflective Transformation (podcast)
    Sharon Abbey (Dept. of Teacher Education, Brock University)

    The Aestheticization of Testimony: Alfredo Jaar, Isabel Allende, and the 1973 Chilean Coup D’etat (podcast)
    Steven Rita Procter (Dept. of English, York University)

    Voices in the Wind: Latina Testimonies from the Prairie (podcast)
    Patricia Harms (Dept. of History and Gender & Women’s Studies, Brandon University)

    The Challenge of Testimony: The Argentinean Case (podcast)
    Hugo De Marinis (Dept. of Languages & Literatures, Wilfrid Laurier University) and Adriana Spahr (Dept. of Humanities, MacEwan University)

    Invitational Roundtable
    Tracy Crowe Morey, moderator
    • Presenters: Claire Masswohl, CEO of Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre (podcast); Deyanira Benavides, Community Legal Worker, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic (podcast)

    Categories: Colloquia

  • The Novels of Umberto Eco as Historiographic Metafiction — Studies in Comparative Literatures and the Arts Colloquium 2013

    April 2, 2013

    Introductory Remarks (podcast – part1) (podcast – part2)

    • Cristina Santos, SCLA Graduate Program Coordinator
    • Douglas Kneale, Dean of Humanities

    Umberto Eco’s Semiotic Imagination and the Writing of the Historical Novel (podcast)
    Norma Bouchard is associate professor of Italian Studies and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut. Among her most recent booklength publications are: Risorgimento in Modern Italian Culture: Revisiting the 19th century Past in History, Narrative, and Cinema (Farleigh Dickinson UP, 2005), Reading and Writing the Mediterranean: Essays by Consolo (Toronto UP, 2006), Italian Cultural Studies: Negotiating Regional, National and Global Identities, Annali d’Italianistica 24 (2006), Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean (Fordham UP, 2011, Race and Ethnic Studies series) as well as critical essays and translations. She is Vice-President-elect of the American Association of Italian Studies and has served as associate editor of Italica. She is currently book review editor for Italian Culture and associate editor of Annali d’Italianistica.

    Revisiting History: Conspiracies in Eco’s The Prague Cemetery (podcast)
    Rocco Capozzi is professor emeritus of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto where he teaches contemporary Italian novel and modern literary theories. He is author of Carlo Bernari: Tra fantasia e realtà (1984), Scrittori e industria culturale (1992) and Commento, interpretazione e intertestualità ne Il Nome della Rosa di Eco (2001). He has edited Homage to Moravia (1993) and Reading Eco: an Anthology (1997), Italo Calvino: Lightness and Multiplicity (2007), and co-edited, with Massimo Ciavolella, Scrittori, tendenze letterarie e conflitto delle poetiche in Italia 1960-1990 and, with Maria Calvo Montomero, Borges Y Eco (1999). He has also co-edited Eco e Calvino. Due autori a confronto to appear in spring 2013. He is the author of several articles on Bernari, Berto, Ottieri, Volponi, Gramigna, Eco, Morante, Malerba, Nori, Calvino, Covito and Tabucchi.

    Between Story and History: Umberto Eco in Text and Context (podcast)
    Jonathan Hart teaches at the University of Alberta and is the author of 15 academic books on theory, history, literature and criticism and five books of poetry. His work has been translated into Estonian, Slovenian, Chinese, French, Italian, Polish and other languages. He has been Northrop Frye professor at the University of Toronto and has held visiting appointments at Harvard, Cambridge, Princeton, the Sorbonne Nouvelle and elsewhere.

    Looking Back: Umberto Eco and Narrative Memory (podcast)
    Annarita Primier teaches English and French at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto. She has a background in languages and literature, having completed an MA at the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. She is completing work on her PhD thesis on “The Concept of a Self-Reflexive Intertextuality in the Works of Umberto Eco.” Primier also has a background in editing, having founded Transverse: a Comparative Studies Journal, where she served as chief editor and designer. She has contributed her time as Vice-President and social representative of the Comparative Literature Student Union, and has developed chaired and lectured at various conferences.

    Categories: Colloquia

  • Music, Image and Silence — Studies in Comparative Literatures and the Arts Colloquium 2012

    March 2, 2012

    ’Stirring’ Rests: Musico-Philosophical Silence in Henry and William James and Elizabeth Bishop (podcast)
    May Peckham is a Ph. D. candidate in English at Washington University in St. Louis, working in the field of transatlantic modernism. She is interested in the ways music of the modernist era encourages productive techniques of auditory attunement, and locates similar sonic insistences in the texts of William and Henry James, Gertrude Stein, and a constellation of Harlem Renaissance authors.

    How to Write Silence (podcast)
    David Griffin is an Instructor at the Ontario College of Art and Design where his areas of expertise are Painting, Drawing and Sound. He received his Ph. D. at The Glasgow School of Art, his MFA at The Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY and his BFA at the Parsons School of Design in NYC. He has also received numerous awards: First Prize, Archives of the Government of Ontario (2003); Celebration of Ontario Artists, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto ON.

    Introducing the Painter/Composer M.K Ciurlionis (podcast)
    Greta Berman was a Chester Dale Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.C., from 1979-80. Author of The Lost Years: Mural Painting in New York City Under the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project, 1935-1943 (1978), she has co-organized exhibitions of American Realist art in West Berlin, 1980-81. She is a specialist in 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings and in interrelationship between music and the visual arts. She taught art history at SUNY-Stony Brook from 1970-79 and has been a faculty member at the Juilliard School since 1979.

    Painted Sounds: Charles E. Burchfield’s Synesthetic Sensibilities (podcast)
    Nancy Weekly is Head of Collections for the Burchfield Penney Art Centre at Buffalo State College, where she is also the Charles Carey Rumsey Curator. Three of her publications include: Charles E. Burchfield: The Sacred Woods (2010); Sensory Crossovers: Synesthesia in American Art Sharyn R. Udall (Author), Nancy Weekly (Contributor) (2010); Anne Currier: Sculptures. Nancy Weekly, Mary McInnes and Helen W. Drutt English (2006).

    Categories: Colloquia

  • SCLA Students Travel to Oxford University to present at 9th Global Conference on Monsters and Monstrosity

    Through the interdisciplinary nature of the Studies in Comparative Literatures and the Arts MA program at Brock University, Dr. Cristina Santos mentored our cohort to reach out to a wider academic community, and encouraged us to foster multi-perspectival approaches to our own research and various fields of study. Through her outstanding mentorship and guidance, Dr. Santos and the SCLA program provided us with opportunities to work with materials from varying disciplines and to subsequently prepare and present this research in a number of academic settings and platforms.

    Aside from her duties as the director of the SCLA program, Dr. Santos also taught a course on Crossover-Literature in which one of the requirements included writing an abstract for a research paper, which she then encouraged us to submit to the 9th Global Conference on Monsters and the Monstrous (held September 10 to September 13, 2011 at Oxford University, UK). Through her guidance within the classroom and her continued mentorship beyond, Dr. Santos not only helped us cultivate the necessary skills to succeed in an academic career, but she also made possible the exciting and invaluable experience of presenting our original research at Oxford. This conference seemed a natural progression from our work in SCLA, as it encourages a wide range of scholars from varied academic and geographical backgrounds to come together and engage in stimulating conversation.

    ~~ Monica Dufault & Steven Rita-Procter ~~

    9th Global Conference on Monsters and the Monstrous SCLA presenters:

    Monica Dufault SCLA 2011
    Nasty Old Things: The True Monsters of the Twilight Saga

    Heidi Horvath
    Bella and the Beast: A Transformative Tale

    Sarah Rangaratnam SCLA 2010
    The “Monstrous Widow” in Early 20th Century India

    Steven Rita-Procter SCLA 2011
    Monstrous Sexual Awakenings: Jacob Black and the Monstrosity of Male Pubescent Experience

    Janice Zehentbauer SCLA 2007
    Monstrous Births: Sires, Pregnancy, and Progeny in Angel

    Categories: Other events

  • From Mentoring to Collaboration and Beyond — Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts Colloquium 2011

    March 11, 2011

    The M.A. in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts is an interdisciplinary and interfaculty program anchored in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures and that had its inaugural year in 2006. This program not only allows students to approach world literatures comparatively but also encourages them to examine the ways in which literature enters into dialogue with the fine and performing arts. Throughout the program, students have been encouraged to develop a cross-disciplinary understanding of how works of art or cultural production evolve, are received, and are interpreted.

    This Colloquium showcased not only past graduates of our program but also to dialogued on the importance of unselfish mentoring and collaboration. Our keynote speakers, Mario J. Valdés, Linda and Michael Hutcheon, truly embody the theme of this year’s Colloquium, “From Mentoring to Collaboration and Beyond”. Although more traditional introductions would focus on their numerous publications, I would like to say that these individuals are dedicated teachers and mentors who take pride and joy in the successes of their students. One could say that there exists a “pay forward” ideology at play here, that is to say, selfless mentorship begets generous mentors.

    Opening Keynote Address

    Interdisciplinary Collaboration and the Future of the Humanities (podcast)
    Dr. Mario J. Valdés
    It is a great honour for me to introduce Mario Valdés here today. Along with Northrop Frye, Mario Valdés was a founding member of the graduate program in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto and is Professor Emeritus of both Comparative Literature and Spanish from the same university. I could name the numerous publications in the fields of comparative literature, philosophical hermeneutics, literary history and film theory but would rather like to focus on his accomplishments as teacher, mentor and collaborator. For example, he supervised Linda Hutcheon’s doctoral thesis in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto and in 2002 they collaborated on a five volume seminal work on Rethinking Literary History and at a conference in honour of Linda’s retirement he gave a keynote lecture. On a more personal note, I too had the privilege of working on my own doctoral thesis under Professor Valdés’ supervision and am truly indebted to him for his mentorship, guidance and teaching. Professor Valdés was, and continues to be, a major influence in my development not only as a researcher but, most importantly, as a teacher and mentor in every sense of these words. Without further ado it is my great pleasure to introduce Mario Valdés here today who will speak to us on “Interdisciplinary Collaboration and the Future of the Humanities.”

    Student Presenters

    The First Time and the Mourning After (podcast)
    Jonathan A. Allan (SCLA 2007) University of Toronto
    Jonathan A. Allan is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Comparative Literature where he has written a dissertation called “The Sexual Scripture: A Study of Male Virginity in Romance” [which will be defended in the coming months]. He has published articles on aspects of literary theory, monstrosity, virginity, and romance novels.  He is the book review editor of the Journal of Popular Romance Studies. His research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

    ‘Scintillating Scotoma’: Migraine, Aura, and Perception in European Literature and Art, 1860-1940 (podcast)
    Janice Zehentbauer (SCLA 2007) University of Western Ontario

    Janice Zehentbauer is currently in her second year of a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Western Ontario. She holds an MA in English from the University of Waterloo, and an MA in Comparative Literature and the Arts from Brock University. Her thesis research involves illness, specifically migraines, and perception in European literature and art from 1860-1940.

    Subversive Uses of Archival Footage and Oral Sources: Fictive Histories of Former Yugoslavia, 1941-1992 (podcast)
    Maja Srndic (SCLA 2010)

    Maja Srndic graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and a minor in German. She completed her Master’s in Comparative Philosophy at Brock University with the focus on Martin Heidegger’s late essays on poetry and Daoist thought, succeeded by another Master’s in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts. Her current research revolves around artworks and their influence on compositions, critique, and dissolution of nationalist histories.

    Closing Keynote Address

    Creativity and the Aging Artist: Giuseppe Verdi Gets the Last Laugh (podcast)
    Drs. Linda and Michael Hutcheon

    Our closing keynote presenters today are a husband and wife team that truly exemplify the concept of collaborative and interdisciplinary research – linking humanist studies and medicine and their love for opera.

    LINDA HUTCHEON, one half of the team, is University Professor Emeritus of the Department of English and of the Centre of Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. Professor Hutcheon is one of the major critics of contemporary Canadian writing and culture and has achieved broad international recognitions as a literary theorist by helping to define and describe the idea and characteristics of postmodernism. Her teaching and mentorship of students has not gone unrecognized and in 1998 she won the Northrop Frye Award, the University of Toronto’s highest award for teaching.

    MICHAEL HUTCHEON is professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto where he is the deputy physician in chief for education for the University Health Network. Together with Linda they have pursued their love for opera by exploring in their collaborative works certain themes and preoccupations found in opera within a revealing cultural and historical framework.

    Today they will be sharing this love for the opera with us in their presentation “Creativity and the Aging Artist: Giuseppe Verdi Gets the Last Laugh”.

    Categories: Colloquia

  • Cristina Santos and SCLA students go to Oxford

    Cristina Santos recently delivered a paper Sacrificing Virginity, or Taming (Im)potency in Contemporary Women’s Fiction at the 8th Global Conference on Monsters and Monstrosity held at Oxford University, UK.

    With her were some of her graduate students from our MA program in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Cultures:

    Jonathan Allan (SCLA 2007) Theorizing the Monstrous and the Virginal in the Popular Romance Novels

    Melissa La Porte (SCLA 2010) Snakes on a Mane: Medusa, the Body and Serpentine Monstrosity

    Maja Srndic (SCLA 2010) Survival of the Toothiest: Vagina Dentata in Christopher Unborn and Teeth

    Elizabeth Cherniak (SCLA 2010) [presented at “Strangers, Aliens and Foreigners” Parallel Conference at Oxford University] Discourse with the Monstrous: ‘Able-bodied’ and ‘Disabled’ Encounters with ‘Primitive Other’ in Africa


    On more about the experience at the conferences at Oxford University please read the following blog post by Jonathan Allan entitled From Brock to Oxford and Beyond: A Lesson in Mentorship.

    Categories: Other events