Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 2020 vol. 55s2


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 16 of 16
  • Item
    Two-spirit identities in Canada: Mapping sovereign erotic in Joshua Whitehead’s "Jonny Appleseed"
    (2020) Siepak, Julia
    In colonial times, mapping the New World functioned as an inherent mechanism of exerting colonial domination over Indigenous lands, enacting settler presence on these territories. While the colonial cartographies projected ownership, the non-normative mappings emerging from Aboriginal writing provide an alternative to settler Canadian geography. This article focuses on the imaginative geographies depicted in Joshua Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed (2018), which recounts the story of a young Two-Spirit man who searches for his identity in-between the reserve and the city. The objective of the analysis is to tie the representation of the contemporary queer Indigenous condition with the alternative mappings emerging from Whitehead’s novel. In order to address the contemporary Two-Spirit condition in Canada, the article applies current theories proposed by the field of queer Indigenous studies, including the concept of sovereign erotic, which further allows the presentation of the potential of Two-Spirit bodies to transgress colonial cartographies.
  • Item
    Imperial (s)kin: The orthography of the wake in Esi Edugyan’s "Washington Black"
    (2020) Šlapkauskaitė, Rūta
    The publication of Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black has placed the novel among other works of history and art, which recall the material and epistemic violence of institutional racism and the lasting trauma of its legacy. Thus by interlacing, within the context of black critical theory, Yogita Goyal’s and Laura T. Murphy’s examining of the neo-slave narrative with Christina Sharpe’s conceptualization of the wake and Alexander G. Weheliye’s notion of habeas viscus as critical frames for the discussion of racialized subjectivity, I consider how Edugyan’s use of the conventions of Victorian adventure literature and the slave narrative rethinks the entanglements between the imperial commodification of life and the scientific agenda of natural history. Given how the narrative emphasizes the somatic register and its epidermal terms as a scene of meaning, I bring together Frantz Fanon’s idea of epidermalization, Steven Connor’s phenomenological reading of the skin, and Calvin L. Warren’s reasoning about blackness in an attempt to highlight the metalepsis resulting from the novel’s use of the hot air-balloon and the octopus as dermatropes that cast the empire as simultaneously a dysfunctional family and a scientific laboratory. Loaded into the skin as a master trope is the conceptual cross-over between consciousness and conscience, whose narrative performance in the novel nourishes the affective labour of its reader as an agent of memory.
  • Item
    Taking root in floating cities – space, environment, and immigrant identity in Kerri Sakamoto’s "Floating City"
    (2020) Antoniak, Joanna
    Human identity is shaped not only by culture, but also by nature – the environment in which people grow up and live, the places and spaces they visit, work in, and pass on an everyday basis. This people-place bond is particularly important in case of immigrants who are forced to abandon the places they know for a new – and often hostile – environment. This connection between space, environment, and immigrant identity is explored by Kerri Sakamoto, a Japanese-Canadian writer, in her newest novel, Floating City (2018). Focusing on the family narrative of the Hanesakas – and, in particular, the story of Frankie, the oldest son of the family – Sakamoto tells the story of shaping identity through forming a connection with the environment and architecture. The aim of this article is to discuss the way in which Sakamoto presents the people-place bond and its impact on immigrant identity as represented by the connection of the Japanese-Canadians with four elements: water, air, earth, and fire. Furthermore, the article analyses Sakamoto’s version of an alternative history of Toronto and the possible solutions to the current environmental crisis it brings. For this purpose, the author uses a mixture of methodological concepts stemming from postcolonial theory and environmental psychology, such as homing desire, rootlessness, place attachment, non-place, and the people-place bond.
  • Item
    Oh Canadiana? Atlantic Canada, Joel Thomas Hynes, and heroin realism
    (2020) Polley, Jason S.
    The essay locates Joel Thomas Hynes’s We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night (2017), narrated by the social outcaste Johnny, in an international "heroin realism" tradition. Hynes, styled as Canada's "bad boy" author, thus evoking his emotional ties to his protagonist, situates Johnny on the margins of Canada: in Newfoundland, which has been systemically disenfranchised from Canada's centre beside the rest of Atlantic Canada for over a century, as novels by Michael Crummey, Lisa Moore, David Adams Richards, Alistair MacLeod, and Hugh MacLennan show. The regionally representative Johnny complicates romantic figurations of Canada, which prides itself on progressiveness and equal opportunity, and which is globally envisaged as a beacon of mobility and community. Characters like Johnny do not fit into mythical Canada, whether in its pan-Canadian variety, where the East Coast is mythologized as an ocean oasis of what Herb Wyile calls "commercial antimodernism," or in its depressive, alcoholic Atlantic-Canadian version. Limited by his social positioning, ot unlike Rose in Alice Munro’s collection The Beggar Maid (1978), Johnny cannot actualise the mobility Canadiana advertises – this despite his inculcation of this seductive delusion via books. He instead experiences what bell hooks calls "psychic turmoil": the discomfiture of simultaneously occupying two distinct yet continuous narratives. Johnny's regional narrative, then, not only translates to Rose's national one, as well as to the spirit of the Beats, of road novelists, and of Hunter S. Thompson's gonzo, but also to the international dimensions of other personages in "heroin realism." Writers like Joel Thomas Hynes, Harry Crews, Denis Johnson, Antonio Lobo Antunes, Jeet Thayil, Eimear McBride, and Niall Griffiths work to deconstruct romantic idealizations. The figures of heroin realism, like Johnny, are those characters who are neither commoditized by class relations nor by national narratives.
  • Item
    Permutations of remembrance and (counter-) monumentalization: John McCrae’s "In Flanders Fields"
    (2020) Branach-Kallas, Anna
    The article engages with the cultural impact of John McCrae’s canonical poem “In Flanders Fields” (1915), and more specifically the permutations of cultural memory and heritage discourse in In Flanders Fields: 100 Years: Writing on War, Loss and Remembrance, edited by Amanda Betts and published in 2015. It shows how thirteen Canadians explore the revolutionary role of the poem in Canadian collective and individual memory, as well as its omissions and misrepresentations. The article juxtaposes the cultural history of the poem with Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” and its contemporary transformations, also showing how selected essays in the collection bridge the First World War with other armed conflicts. Applying Ann Rigney’s terminology, the article approaches the poem as a textual monument, demonstrating how “In Flanders Fields” has evolved from the role of a stabilizer in Canadian cultural memory, providing a cultural frame for later recollections, to that of a calibrator, becoming a benchmark for critical reflection on dominant memorial practices.
  • Item
    The post-human lyric: Diffractive vision and the ethics of mattering in Adam Dickinson’s "Anatomic"
    (2020) Ambroży, Paulina
    The aim of my inquiry is to discuss Adam Dickinson’s revisionist approach to the lyric autobiography as shown in his most recent volume Anatomic (2018a). Informed by an eco-critical sensibility, the biotechnological gaze, and post-humanist notions of subjectivity, this highly experimental conceptual project reveals porous boundaries of the autobiographical self caught up in the entanglement of the mind and matter. Based on burden tests of the poet’s own bodily fluids, Anatomic offers a philosophical speculation on the nature of the human, asking us to go beyond anthropocentric positioning of the subject and to consider ethical alongside onto-epistemological implications of this new direction. The methodology employed in my analyses of Dickinson’s poems derives from the influential notions of agential realism, diffractive vision, and intra-action formulated by Karan Barad – a trained quantum physicist and feminist philosopher working in the field of science and technology. Barad’s theories fuel New Materialist paradigms of thought as they propose the inherent indeterminacy of matter as well as question the established views of identity and the social. The particular focus of my interrogations will be the relationship between diffractive perception and the medical gaze used by the Canadian conceptualist to see himself non-anthropologically and thus to destabilize the perimeters of the autobiographical self.
  • Item
    ‘Alimentary assemblages’ at intersections: Food, (queer) bodies, and intersectionality in Marusya Bociurkiw’s "Comfort Food for Breakups: The Memoir of a Hungry Girl" (2007)
    (2020) Suchacka, Weronika
    Clearly devoted to the analysis of various issues of belonging, the work of Marusya Bociurkiw, a Ukrainian-Canadian queer writer, director, academic, and activist, examines culture, memory, history, and subjectivity in a fascinatingly unique way. Such a thematic composition is, however, not the only aspect that visibly marks and unities Bociurkiw’s multi-generic oeuvre; what clearly stands out as yet another distinguishing characteristic that Bociurkiw’s works have in common is the idea that seems to stand behind their creation – an impelling notion that “[t]o have one’s belonging lodged in a metaphor is voluptuous intrigue” (Brand 2001: 18). Consequently, what Bociurkiw’s works vividly portray is the writing-self “in search of its most resonant metaphor” (Brand 2001: 19). In one of her works, Comfort Food for Breakups: The Memoir of a Hungry Girl (2007), this metaphor is food as the art of food-making and the act of eating become here a crucial background against which the issues of belonging are played out. The aim of this article is thus to show how Bociurkiw finds her way of discussing various aspects of subjectivity by means of writing about food, whether about preparing it, tasting it, or recollecting its preparation and tastes. Ultimately, however, the article is to prove that food in Bociurkiw’s memoir not only reflects identity but is presented as a vital site of intersectionality. Thus, embedded in intersectionality discourse, and particularly instructed by Vivian May’s Pursuing Intersectionality, Unsettling Dominant Imaginaries (2015), the analysis of Comfort Food for Breakups is carried out from an interdisciplinary perspective because it is simultaneously grounded in food studies theory, i.e., the ideas developed by Elspeth Probyn in Carnal Appetites: FoodSexIdentities (2000), confirming, in this way, that vital connections can and should be made between the two, ostensibly unrelated, fields of study.
  • Item
    Quo vadis Polish-Canadian writing? Reflections on home, language, writing, and memory in recent texts by Canadian writers of Polish origins
    (2020) Drewniak, Dagmara
    The aim of this paper is to look at the recent publications by writers of Polish extraction living in Canada and writing in English in order to examine these texts in the context of their treatment of the concept of home, attitude to mother tongue and the usage of English, as well as the authors’ involvement in shaping the Canadian literary scene. The analysis will concentrate on selected texts published after 2014 to delineate the latest tendencies in Polish-Canadian writing. The discussion will include life writing genres such as memoirs, short stories, and novels. Since these writers have undertaken themes of (up)rootedness, identity, and memory and they have touched upon the creative redefinition of the figure of home, these aspects will also be examined from a theoretical perspective in the introductory part of the article. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek through his concept of “in-between peripherality” (2010: 87) proposes to view Central and Eastern European literature as both peripheral and in-between its “own national cultural self-referentiality and the cultural influence and primacy of the major Western cultures” (2010: 87). Moreover, as diasporic studies are inspired by the search for transcultural, dynamic exchanges and hybridity (Agnew 2005), the analysis will also include discussions on hybridity understood as a transgression of borders, both literary and genealogical as well as thematic. That is why, the classic notion of hybridity known widely in postcolonial studies, is here understood, according to Moslund (2010), as having horizontal and vertical orientations, where the former designates transgression of borders and space and the latter is connected to the movement across time. This approach is particularly interesting in the context of Polish-Canadian migrant and diasporic literature as, according to Pieterse (2001), hybridity understood as movement and translocation can offer new perspectives on migrant literatures in multi-and transcultural worlds.
  • Item
    A folkloristic analysis of Polish immigrant narratives in Western Canada
    (2020) Deutsch, James
    The large wave of Polish immigration to Canada during the years immediately following World War II also brought the production of written narratives that reflect upon the process of migration and settlement in the new place. Although these migrants included persons from all across Poland, of different age groups, backgrounds, and occupations, the migration narratives share certain distinctive formulas and patterns, particularly in terms of their plot lines and narrative structure. Each story highlights the journey and its difficulties, the arrival and culture shock, the struggle to adapt, and finally acceptance of life in the new world. This article focuses on the migration experiences of Józef Bauer (arriving in Canada in 1946), Helena Beznowska (arriving 1948), Marian Pawiński (arriving 1949), and Erika Wolf-May (arriving 1953). Explored from a folkloristic perspective, these four narratives fulfill the four functions of folklore: entertainment, education, validation and reinforcement of beliefs and conduct, and maintaining the stability, solidarity, cohesiveness, and continuity of a group within the larger mass culture. Moreover, as folkloric expressions of culture, the narratives not only reflect our very human culture, but also reinforce our shared humanity.
  • Item
    Acadian literature in the 21st century – between tradition and modernity. "Chronique d’une Sorciere de Vent" and "Pierre Bleu" by Antonine Maillet
    (2020) Żurawska, Anna
    The aim of this article is to investigate the way in which tradition combines with modernity in Antonine Maillet’s novels Chronique d’une sorcière de vent (1999) and Pierre Bleu (2006). Having discussed the position and role of Maillet’s fiction in Acadian literature, and having presented the way this prose depends on local culture, language, and folklore, the author of the analysis focuses on the elements of the represented world which go beyond the national character of this literature and at the same time place it within contemporary world literature. At the thematic level, both novels deal with significant questions of time and memory, introducing a reflection on the concept of inheriting memory and re-presenting the past. Consequently, the novels reflect on the role and responsibility of the writer, who, as a character, constitutes a part of the represented world. In this context, writing appears as a weapon in the fight against time, death, and oblivion. At the level of composition, the analysis focuses on the novels’ complex narration, its multiple levels, numerous voices, fragmentation, and eclecticism.
  • Item
    On refusing Canada, CanLit and more: National and literary identity in all its varieties
    (2020) Ravvin, Norman
    Two recent anthologies of Canadian writing – Refuse: CanLit in Ruins and Resisting Canada: An Anthology of Poetry – reflect stances of resistance to mainstream institutional understandings of Canadian writing culture. They highlight recent scandals in academia and in literary communities, as well as highlighting the voices of Indigenous and women writers. These stances echo earlier forms of cultural revolution in Canada, in particular the Refus global manifesto, which provoked conventional Quebec society in the late 1940s. This paper contrasts these forms of refusal with a period in the 1950s and 1960s when influential Jewish writers, including Leonard Cohen and Irving Layton, took a counter-cultural stance while appearing in mainstream venues offered to them by CBC television and radio.
  • Item
    Recent (re)visions of CanLit: Partial stock-taking
    (2020) Rzepa, Agnieszka
    This article approaches recent discussions on the state of contemporary CanLit as a body of literary texts, an academic field, and an institution. The discussion is informed primarily by a number of recent or relatively recent publications, such as Trans.CanLit. Resituating the Study of Canadian Literature (Kamboureli & Miki 2007), Refuse. CanLit in Ruins (McGregor, Rak & Wunker 2018), Luminous Ink: Writers on Writing in Canada (McWatt, Maharaj & Brand 2018), and the discussions and/or controversies some of those generated – expressed through newspaper and magazine articles, scholarly essays, but also through tweets, etc. The texts have been written as a response to the current state and – in some cases – scandals of CanLit. Many constitute attempts at starting or contributing to a discussion aimed at not only taking stock of, but also re-interpreting and re-defining the field and the institution in view of the challenges of the globalising world. Perhaps more importantly, they address also the challenges resulting from the rift between CanLit as implicated in the (post)colonial nation-building project and rigid institutional structures, perpetuating the silencings, erasures, and hierarchies resulting from such entanglements, and actual literary texts produced by an increasingly diversified group of writers working with a widening range of topics and genres, and creating often intimate, autobiographically inspired art with a sense of responsibility to marginalised communities. The article concludes with the example of Indigenous writing and the position some young Indigenous writers take in the current discussions.
  • Item
    Tradition and the individual Canadian talent
    (2020) Mount, Nick
    In the twenty-first century, Canadian writers have been doing something they did infrequently in the past: acknowledging and referencing the work of past Canadian writers. Although declining pedagogical and academic interest in Canadian literature has made this development hard to see, writers themselves have been quietly building upon and contributing to something that looks very much like a literary tradition. Canadian writers of course continue to read and be influenced by writers outside Canada, just as they always have: but in their own words, they are now telling us that they are reading, learning from, and responding to other Canadian writers – that there is a Canadian literary tradition that crosses generational and regional borders, and that Canadian writers (and publishers, and readers) are aware of parts of that tradition, the parts that matter to them.
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego