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Unsettled Remains: Canadian Literature and the Postcolonial Gothic [Kindle Edition]

Cynthia Sugars , Gerry Turcotte

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Book Description

Unsettled Remains: Canadian Literature and the Postcolonial Gothic examines how Canadian writers have combined a postcolonial awareness with gothic metaphors of monstrosity and haunting in their response to Canadian history. The essays gathered here range from treatments of early postcolonial gothic expression in Canadian literature to attempts to define a Canadian postcolonial gothic mode. Many of these texts wrestle with Canada’s colonial past and with the voices and histories that were repressed in the push for national consolidation but emerge now as uncanny reminders of that contentious history. The haunting effect can be unsettling and enabling at the same time.

In recent years, many Canadian authors have turned to the gothic to challenge dominant literary, political, and social narratives. In Canadian literature, the “postcolonial gothic” has been put to multiple uses, above all to figure experiences of ambivalence that have emerged from a colonial context and persisted into the present. As these essays demonstrate, formulations of a Canadian postcolonial gothic differ radically from one another, depending on the social and cultural positioning of who is positing it. Given the preponderance, in colonial discourse, of accounts that demonize otherness, it is not surprising that many minority writers have avoided gothic metaphors. In recent years, however, minority authors have shown an interest in the gothic, signalling an emerging critical discourse. This “spectral turn” sees minority writers reversing long-standing characterizations of their identity as “monstrous” or invisible in order to show their connections to and disconnection from stories of the nation.

Product Description


"Unsettled Remains problematises notions of Canadian national unity and memory, with the clear intention of challenging dominant hegemonic narratives. In this context, the genre of the postcolonial gothic invokes a dynamic space in which previously repressed or unheard narratives can find voice and expression. Ultimately, the collection considers the ways in which Canada's present is unsettled by its history, and documents Canadians' ambivalent reaction to their uncanny relationship with an estranged and haunted past." - Sharon Selby, University of Edinburgh, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Volume 23 (Number 2), 2010

About the Author

Cynthia Sugars is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Ottawa, where she teaches Canadian literature and postcolonial theory. She is the author of numerous essays on Canadian literature and has edited two collections of essays on Canadian postcolonial theory. She is co-editor, with Laura Moss, of a new anthology of Canadian literature, Canadian Literature in English: Texts and Contexts (2008). Gerry Turcotte is the executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Sydney. He is the past president of the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand (ACSANZ), past secretary of the International Council for Canadian Studies (ICCS), and founding director of the Centre for Canadian-Australian Studies (CCAS). He is the author of numerous books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 689 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press (27 Aug. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,491,185 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine addition to any world literary studies collection 16 Nov. 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Despite the heavy influence from Great Britain and its American neighbors, Canada has a voice all its own in the literary world. "Unsettled Remains: Canadian Literature and the Post-Colonial Gothic" is a look at Canadian gothic and its influence on Canadian writers and their literary pursuits. A critical and scholarly discussion of this pattern of Canadian literature follows and provides much food for thought that will entice both English and American literary readers as well as Canadian ones. "Unsettled Remains" is a fine addition to any world literary studies collection.
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