Planning to attend our conference? Check out the schedule!
See you in the Old Arts Building
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Senate Chamber, Old Arts Building, 3rd floor
8:00 – 8:25 Coffee
8:30 – 8:35 Opening Remarks – Carrie Smith, Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
8:35 – 9:35 Panel One: Linguistics and Self in Mandarin
Moderator: Kenzie Gordon, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies / Digital Humanities
Commentator: Yvonne Lam, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Xiaoyun Wang, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“She’s Chinese too”: The Interactional Function of Claiming Citizenship in Mandarin Conversation
Kerry Sluchinski, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“Genderless Narratives: The Pragmatics of ta in Chinese Social Media”
9:45 – 10:45 Panel Two: Transnational Subjectivities
Moderator: Sofia Monzón, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Commentator: Odile Cisneros, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Nella Bonyeme, School of Linguistics, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Calgary
“Adapting Adaptations: Interconnectedness in Cinematic Reworkings of Les Liaisons Dangereuses”
Bruno Soares dos Santos, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“’Com armas sonolentas’ by Carola Saavedra: Hispanicism, Germany and Brazil in a novel between countries”
10:55 – 12:00 Community Keynote
12:00 – 12:55 Lunch Break
13:00 – 14:05 Panel Three: Silenced Voices in Art
Moderator: Lenny Cauich Maldonado, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Commentator: Allen Ball, Fine Arts
Lebogang Disele, Drama, and Mpoe Mogale, Political Science, University of Alberta
“Black Girl Magic YEG: A Performative Inquiry into Black Girlhood in Edmonton”
Brandi Goddard, Art and Design, University of Alberta
“Re-contextualizing Irish Folk Art Using an Indigenous Environmental Perspective”
Heloise Torck, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“Kent Monkman and Miss Chief: The Trickster in Art”
14:15 – 15:40 Panel Four: Queer Queries
Moderator: Glenna Schowalter, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Commentator: Andreas Stuhlmann, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Jennifer Quist, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“‘Didn’t Come Here to Breed’: The Celibate Superman of Red Son”
Xavia Publius, Drama, University of Alberta
“We Other Fairies”
Uchechukwu Umezurike, English and Film Studies, University of Alberta
“Troubling the Norm in Chinelo Okparanta’s ‘Under the Udala Trees’”
Bart Romanek, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“The Next Best Thing: Sacrifice as Queer Romance in Nítíða saga and Historical Fantasy Television”
Friday, February 15, 2019
Senate Chamber, Old Arts Building, 3rd floor
9:00 – 9:25 Coffee
9:30 – 10:50 Panel Five: Challenging Transitions and Translations
Moderator: Bruno Soares dos Santos, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Commentator: Anne Malena, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Josh Clendenin, Independent artist and researcher
“Babel en Bhablóin”
Anna Antonova, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“Retracing Connections, Reconfiguring Source Texts: Translation of Susan Glaspell’s ‘A Jury of Her Peers’”
Wangtaolue Guo, Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“Rhizomizing the Translation Zone: Xiaolu Guo and ‘A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers’”
Irina Tuzlukova, Drama, University of Alberta
“Technology and stage manager-theatre professionals’ reconnections”
11:00 – 12:20 Panel Six: Subverting Bodies
Moderator: Bart Romanek, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Commentator: Victoria Ruetalo, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Sofia Monzón, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“Reconnecting with the Latin American Revel Modernist: Horacio Quiroga’s Ecocritical Uniqueness”
Laura Velazquez, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“Posthuman encounters and the stranger migrant in ‘Sleep Dealer’, a film by Alex Rivera”
Karina Hincapié, School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures, University of Calgary
“El techo de la Ballena y el Chigüire Bipolar: forms of political resistance in Venezuelan art”
Amber Peters, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
“The Crooked-Hatted Dandy: Kajkulahi as a Subverted Dandyism in the work of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Bilal Tanweer”
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 – 14:40 Academic Keynote
Dr. Rebecca Dolgoy, School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, Carleton University
14:50 – 16:00 Panel Seven: Reconnecting Pedagogy
Moderator: Anton Iorga, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Commentator: Alla Nedashkivska, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Xiong Wang, Secondary Education, University of Alberta
“Understanding Mathematics Teacher Professional Learning through Professional Learning Networks”
Alfred Mulinda, School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures, University of Calgary
“From the Competency-Based Approach to the Competency-Based Approach: the paradox of language curriculum reforms in Tanzania.”
16:00 – 16:05 Closing Remarks – Micah True, Graduate Associate Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
19:00 – 22:00 Creative Night
Student’s Lounge, Old Arts Building, 1st floor
Saturday, February 16, 2019
10:00 – 12:30 Workshop
Information on presentations:
As a theoretician and practitioner of Cultural Memory, Rebecca Clare Dolgoy’s work engages with the contemporary resonance of cultural heritage. Her research aims to articulate the philosophical and literary content of built environments (museums, cities) by finding the conceptual language that situates these narratives in high-level critical discourse. Her curatorial and creative work experiments with translating philosophical and critical concepts into collaborative installations and interventions. All of her projects explore the legacies of the past and invite readers and visitors to contemplate what heritage means to them.
After completing her doctoral project in Oxford on the topography of Berlin’s contemporary cultural memory landscape, with special emphasis on the Neues Museum in 2015, Rebecca spent several months as a visiting fellow at London’s Institute of Modern Languages Research, where she wrote a paper on the recently rethought, renovated, and re-opened Imperial War Museum. While in Oxford, co-ordinated public engagement projects with two of Oxford’s Museums: The Ashmolean (Object Affinity) and The Story Museum (Fabulous Mr Fox). She then returned to Canada, where she held a two-year postdoctoral fellowship, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, at the University of Ottawa and moved her cultural memory research and practice to the Canadian Context.
She is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis and a Contract Instructor at the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University, as well as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin. She is currently working on two major research projects: Bullet Hole Constellations: Forty Years of Museums and Memory in Berlin(1989-2029) and Architectures of Reconciliation.
As Director of Story at Naheyawin, Hunter works with organizations to build capacity for abundance, kindness, and reinvigorate the spirit of Treaty by implementing Indigenous principles into everyday processes and business practices. Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Alberta, class of 2015, Hunter has also performed across Canada as well as New York. Hunter was recently awarded Edmonton’s Best Actor by Vue Weekly. In addition to performance, he also is the Associate Director of Fringe Theatre in Edmonton.
As a Science Facilitator with MFNERC was given the mandate to “put a First Nation perspective in the sciences”. The easiest way to go about doing this, he was told, was to look up. Researching Ininew star stories Wilfred found a host of information which had to be interpreted and analyzed to identify if the stories were referring to the stars. The journey began…
“The greatest teaching that was ever given to me, other than my wife and children, is the ability to see the humor in the world”…Wilfred Buck
“When the people forget“: Hunter Cardinal is an actor, improviser, and Director of Story at Naheyawin. Through using Indigenous principles, Hunter helps organizations take steps towards respectful diversity and inclusion. In his presentation, he’ll be exploring how Indigenous worldviews within his Indigenous language has helped him understand and take steps towards being and becoming a better Treaty person.
Alfred Mulinda: I am a Ph.D. student in French at the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures, University of Calgary. I hold a Master’s degree in French Language Teaching from the University of Geneva (Switzerland), a Bachelor degree in Arts with Education from the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and an Ordinary Diploma in Education from Dar es Salaam Teachers College (Tanzania). Before my admission into the doctoral program at the University of Calgary, I was an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). Apart from the tertiary level, I have also taught French and English at Secondary and Primary school levels. My research interests emanate from my long experience in teaching languages, and these are Second Language Didactics, Language Policies and Language-in-Education. My PhD research is on Education policies in Tanzania through the lens of the Communicative Language Teaching Approach.
“From the Competency-Based Approach to the Competency-Based Approach: the paradox of language curriculum reforms in Tanzania”: In 2005, the Tanzanian Ministry of Education made curriculum reforms that led to the introduction of the Competency-Based Language Teaching approach (CBLT) in Secondary education to replace the traditional content-based approach. To align with the requirements of the new curriculum, new syllabuses and textbooks were designed. This work is an analysis of two textbooks used for French teaching in Tanzania, namely, Transafrique 1, used before the changes, and On y va ! 1, introduced thereafter. Our analysis of the two textbooks aimed at comparing the two textbooks, and in particular, discovering if the new textbook, On y va! 1, reflects the principles of CBLT. The analysis would allow us to know whether or not the proposed curriculum reforms are also reflected in the choice of language textbooks. After a careful examination of the textbooks in question, using the textbook analysis grid developed by Cuq & Gruca (2005) , we discovered that both textbooks actually subscribe to CBLT. From this observation, we consider that the curricular changes were, perhaps, not necessary because the textbook then in use (Transafrique 1) already reflected CBLT principles. Our observation calls on the bodies in charge of the curriculum in Tanzania to ensure that the necessary considerations are envisaged in advance before undertaking curriculum reforms. This will make the results of the reforms predictable for the sake of fostering the teaching of languages in the country.
Amber Peters: Amber Elisabeth Peters is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, in the Cultural Studies stream. She graduated from the University of Toronto, majoring in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations with minors in Diaspora Studies and Environmental Biology. Her research centers on Central Asian and South Asian Islamic literature and material culture. For her thesis, she will be analyzing images of the Buraq, Muhammad’s flying steed in his ascension to Jerusalem and the heavens in his night journey of Isra and Miraj, as depicted in the art and material culture of pre-nineteenth century Central and South Asia. She is a lover of art, literature, and history and is particularly fascinated by the Mughal period. In her spare time, she dabbles all manners of arts and crafts from knitting and embroidery to shoemaking and stained glass.
“The Crooked-Hatted Dandy: Kajkulahi as a Subverted Dandyism in the work of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Bilal Tanweer”: The 19th century French poet, Charles Baudelaire defines the Dandy as a “man of the world,’ but only shows its application in the 19th century, leisure-class, Western European man. Kajkulahi, crooked-hattedness, from Perso-Indian tradition is a similar concept. Someone who is on the “straight and narrow,” would wear their headwear upright; the choice to wear it crooked denotes a rejection of the accepted values and conventions of normative society. This is exemplified in “Whilst we Breathe,” a poem of the celebrated Faiz Ahmed Faiz (d. 1984). Kajkulahi is not just about fashion, but a way of being. Faiz’s context was half a world apart from Baudelaire, but he also creates a new way of being. Faiz was a Marxist freethinker, imprisoned for his views from 1951-1955; wearing his hat too crooked brought on negative attention from the authorities. Sixty years later, his fight has not finished. Bilal Tanweer, a young Karachi author resurfaces the partition-era Marxist poet in modern-day Karachi with his crazy old man character with a red ballcap, Comrade Sukhansaz. Marxism seems to be antithetical to the elitist concept of Dandyism; however, this was central to the kajkulahi of Faiz. Baudelaire’s Dandyism celebrates an energy in excess, and Faiz’s excess comprised an extreme love for the people. Even today, the choice to wear dreadlocks can be seen as subversive, and has been targeted by racist dress codes and discrimination. Kajkulahi is beyond Baudelaire, Faiz, and Tanweer: Dandyism and kajkulahi both denote subversive fashions that challende the status quo.
Anna Antonova: Anna Antonova is a third-year PhD student at the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta, specializing in Translation Studies. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Translation Studies at Donetsk National University (Ukraine) and has worked as a translator, editor, and interpreter in multiple translation projects in Ukraine and Greece. Anna’s previous academic work focused on literary translation of poetry and children’s fiction into Russian and Ukrainian. Her current research interests include the implications of gender for literary translation, with specific emphasis on feminist translation theories and cross-cultural representation of Canadian women’s fiction.
‘Retracing Connections, Reconfiguring Source Texts: Translation of Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers”’: Conventional understanding of translation proceeds from a persistent, although misleading, idea of a solid and unchangeable source text as the measure of a translator’s success and faithfulness. In this presentation, I will build on Karen Emmerich’s theory of textual instability to argue for a possibility of multiple fluid source texts informing a single translation project. Taking Susan Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers” as an example of a textually unstable literary work, I will address its creation and publication history as a critical factor shaping the process of my own translation into Ukrainian. The story, being a rewritten version of Glaspell’s renowned play Trifles, exploits its theatrical background in its understated style, relying on the visual imagery of the stage production. As this connection is lost on the target-language readers not previously familiar with the original script or theatrical performance, the translator has to re-connect both source texts in the translation, infusing the story’s succinct narrative with the play’s visual images to elucidate the setting and the significance of the described events for the target readership. This strategy, while bringing together essential aspects of the two source texts operating in different genres and through different media, in fact, constructs a qualitatively new original that emerges as a result of the translation project itself. The resulting re-orientation of the translation process toward its exploratory and creative dimensions reveals the constraining nature and irrelevance of the formulaic demand for fidelity.
Bart Romanek: Bart Romanek is a second year MA student with MLCS, in the Transnational and Comparative Literature stream. Previously graduating with a combined honours major in both Classical and Nordic languages and literature and a Certificate of European Studies, his focus has been on Latin, Swedish, and Old Norse. He grew up in Edmonton, but is originally from Tarnów, Poland. He has filled the role of President of the University of Alberta Scandinavian Club for the past five years, and for the last four has been the Treasurer for Sorry, Not Sorry Productions. Throughout his time at the University of Alberta he has held various positions on MLCS committees, most recently serving as the departmental representative for graduate students. His interests lie in medievalism, film and television, and anything to do with books and manuscripts.
“The Next Best Thing: Sacrifice as Queer Romance in Nítíða saga and Historical Fantasy Television”: Within the corpus of medieval Icelandic romances, Nítíða saga stands out as a unique example from the subgenre of maiden-king sagas, in which the titular maiden-king, in contrast to the norm, ultimately consents to her marriage at the end of the saga. However, before accepting her impending nuptials, Nítíða partakes in a number of misadventures with a female companion, the sister of her eventual husband, demonstrating significant agency at a time when women’s freedom of movement was greatly restricted. Though not explicitly stated, the relationship between the two women reads as romantic, as Nítíða deliberately chooses the young woman to be her companion. Nítíða’s eventual marriage to the male sibling of her chosen companion exemplifies a common treatment for queer characters found within the modern genre of fantasy, arguably a direct descendant of chivalric romances. Queer characters in fantasy literature are often compelled to accept such marriage arrangements as a means to establish familial bonds with their romantic partners in a socially acceptable context, which can be seen in popular television adaptations such as Game of Thrones and Outlander. To this end, Nítíða saga demonstrates continuity across time and cultures in its treatment of queer romance, and further sets itself apart from other maiden-king sagas. Representation of queer relationships in medieval European literature is deficient at best, and it is vital for modern scholarship to explore, catalogue, and preserve queer narratives that were undoubtedly woven into the social fabric of the medieval world, as they are in the present day.
Brandi Goddard: Brandi Goddard is a PhD student based at the University of Alberta. Her dissertation research focuses on folklore, art, and traditional beliefs and knowledge of the 19th century rural Irish population. Her MA thesis explored five allegorical self-portraits by Seán Keating, an Irish artist who used painting to subversively express his evolving opinions on the ideologies, governance and nationalism of the Irish state, both during the wars of independence and following the establishment of the Free State. Brandi has presented at several conferences in Canada and Ireland, and recently taught Irish Art History and Visual Culture here at the U of A. She is the founder and chair of the ARTiculations Art and Design Graduate Student Forum, and the Co-Publisher of the Alberta Academic Review.
“Re-contextualizing Irish Folk Art Using an Indigenous Environmental Perspective”: In 2017, Irish parliamentarian Danny Healy-Rae stood before city council and claimed that a local roadway was constantly in rough shape because it had been built through an area inhabited by fairies. He asserted, “[t]here are numerous fairy forts [there]…if someone told me to go out and knock a fairy fort or touch it, I would starve first.” Fairy forts, or raths, are the remains of megalithic fortifications that dot the Irish landscape. According to folklore, these long-abandoned structures have become the dwellings of fairies, and to disturb them would be foolish and dangerous. Positively, these traditional beliefs have contributed to the preservation of historical ruins that may otherwise have been razed to accommodate agriculture, industry and urbanization. I believe that these traditional beliefs and rituals are a direct reflection of a traumatic history which includes centuries of colonization, several devastating famines and mass emigration. Much of the historiography of Irish art centres on landscape and genre paintings produced by artists of the Protestant Ascendancy — the socio-economic settler class formed through centuries of English colonization. Less attention has been paid to the folk art and material culture produced by the native Irish population, particularly in rural western counties. Drawing concepts from North American Indigenous scholarship and post-humanist theory, my paper posits that Irish folk artefacts, when properly contextualized, represent a discursive manifestation of an embodied anti-anthropocentric relationship with the ecological environment that was neglected and denigrated when Ireland, as a colonial holding of England, was incorporated into the system of European capitalism.
Bruno Soares dos Santos: Bruno is an MA Student in Transnational and Comparative Literatures at the University of Alberta and Bachelor in Communications Studies (Journalism) from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). He has worked as a journalist and Communications specialist in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, writing about technology, education, and culture. Brazilian and Latin American studies are among his main interests.
“Com armas sonolentas by Carola Saavedra: Hispanicism, Germany and Brazil in a novel between countries”: Com armas sonolentas is the latest novel by Carola Saavedra, a laureated author who was born in Chile, grew up in Brazil, was educated in Germany and writes in Brazilian Portuguese. The story focuses on three female characters – Maike, a German student who feels a strange connection with Brazil and the Portuguese language; Anna, a Brazilian actress who goes to Europe to try her chance in her career; and a third nameless woman who is forced to leave her family in the country-side of Brazil to serve as a maid at the city of Rio de Janeiro. All of them have a genealogical connection that is eventually revealed to the reader. Although the novel is placed in the context of Brazil and Germany, Hispanicism is a big presence in it: from its title, that is based on a poem by Mexican writer Sor Joana Inez de la Cruz, to fantastic passages where characters suddenly understand Spanish Language or claim to be aware that they are living inside of a story whose author is a descendant of Cervantes. As Saavedra identifies herself as a Brazilian writer, this article aims to highlight traces of her displacement as an author highlighting the presence of her Hispanic background in Com armas sonolentas and on how the characters manifest estrangement before both Brazilian and German cultures. With this, I aim to open a discussion on how an author like her could challenge the idea that a Literary work has a nationality attached to it.
Heloise Torck: Heloise is a second year MA student in Applied Linguistics at the MLCS department of the University of Alberta. Ever curious, she decided to use the versatility of course-based Master’s to explore different subjects in her papers, working on self-taught Second Language learners, Russian weakened vowels, representation of non-verbal authority, revitalization of Cree in Canada and the Trickster in Arts. This last subject started with the Norse god Loki and the evolution of his representation before she was introduced to the work of Kent Monkman and the mysterious Miss Chief.
“The Trickster in Arts: Kent Monkman and Miss Chief”: Kent Monkman is a Two-Spirit artist of Cree and Irish ancestry who uses his art to bring into the light the First Nation perspective of Canadian history. His work introduces Indigenous people, stories and voices in European paintings of the 19th century, reappropriating the images colonisers created of the American continent and its inhabitants. The most represented figure is his Two-Spirit alter-ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, who appears in paintings, performances and videos. She is a Trickster, aiming to change the norms of acceptability that colons established and disrupting them by her indigeneity, sensuality and gender identity. Miss Chief challenges the audience to question themselves, the society in which they live and the knowledge that they think they have. However, another question is raised by her presence. As a new embodiment of a mythological archetype, as well as the alter-ego of an actual person, what does Miss Chief tell us about the Trickster in Art? Could we consider Kent Monkman an example of Trickster artist? Or can this title be claimed by his Two-Spirit self only? In this presentation, I will question, through the example of Monkman and Miss Chief, whether artists can be considered Tricksters or if they are limited to the use of tricks in their art. Since Tricksters are agents of change, I believe this discussion will bring a new perspective on the capacity of art to incite changement.
Irina Tuzlukova: Irina Tuzlukova holds her BFA in Technical Theatre Stage Management from the University of Alberta, and she is currently in the second year of a MA in Drama program. She has worked on many shows and theatrical performances in Alberta as stage manager and assistant stage manager. Irina’s research interests include stage management, theatre history and technology in theatre. She presented “Technological innovations in stage management profession in the context of modern Canadian theatre” at the Thirteenth International Conference on The Arts in Society in 2018.
“Technology and stage manager-theatre professionals’ reconnections”: Recent research has provided documented evidence of a strong relationship between technology and contemporary theatrical art. It emphasizes the implicit connection of the theatre to technology, while drawing attention to almost continual interplay of the modern theatre industry with the creative usages of new technology and encouraging using it for enhancing the creative potential of the theatrical art (Boyce, 2017; Dixon, 2017). However, in spite of the accumulated evidence and knowledge, as new technologies are being integrated into theatre, there is still insufficient concentration on such division of technical theatre, as stage management, and its reliance on technology in the theatre world. Considering the indispensable role of stage management in successful delivery of theatre performances, including its organizational, paperwork and communicative aspects (Morrison, 2015), this paper explores the effects of the contemporary continuous progress in technology and its adoption in theatre on the successful liaisons and relationships between stage managers and other theatre professionals. In more detail, it questions whether technology has contributed to aiding stage managers in communicative aspects of their jobs and, consequently, re-establishing communication bonds maintained by the previous generations of stage managers. It also harnesses enthusiasm and passion for stage management profession and theatre as collective creation.
Jennifer Quist: Jennifer Quist is a PhD student at the University of Alberta specializing in comparative and transnational literatures. She is also the author of three novels.
“’Didn’t Come Here to Breed’: The Celibate Superman of Red Son”: In the mid-twentieth century, Frederic Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, a moral panic, and senate hearings in the United States all questioned the content of comic books from without. In the industry itself, The Comic Code Authority self-regulated the content of comics from within. Superheroes were chaste, more than chaste; they were celibate, largely abandoning even contemporary heteronormatively sanctioned sexual behaviours between legal spouses. Through an analysis of the family and sexual values depicted in Mark Miller’s 2003 Superman: Red Son, a story which begins in 1953 and proceeds through a fictitious Cold War-type era, it is argued that the celibacy of superheroes from this era is not solely the result of cultural suppression and censorship. It also finds deeper roots in earlier Christian notions of a celibate clergy being most worthy of being entrusted with the responsibility and power to care for humankind, and the awful irony that they so often fail in their sexual ideals. Alan Moore’s The Watchmen brought the question “Who watches the watchmen?” to the superhero canon. Originally, the question was asked in Juvenal’s Satires to address the trustworthiness of guards in harems, men who in many societies were eunuchs—strong and masculine yet sexually impotent, not unlike the Superman of Red Son who, early in his story announces, somewhat reassuringly, “I didn’t come here to breed,” leaving unanswered the question of what he came for instead.
Josh Clendenin: Josh is an American performer and actor based in Edmonton whose artistic practice explores multilingual embodiment and language learning by performing in multiple languages, primarily French, English, and Irish. He completed an MFA in Theatre Practice at the University of Alberta, and has acted in productions and performed multilingual pieces locally and internationally. His most recent piece, Folamh, was performed at the 2017 Visualeyez Festival, a performance art festival in Edmonton hosted by Latitude 53. Josh also holds a BA in Theatre Arts and French and taught French and theatre in Utah, USA, for six years.
“Babel en Bhablóin”: In this paper, I will present an overview of my master’s thesis in theatre practice, Babel en Bhablóin. As a performative work, my thesis comprised six performers, including me, who explored the connection between the suppression of language and linguistic identity through somatic movement and multilingual theatre. Speak White, a 1968 bilingual (French/English) poem by Québécois writer Michèle Lalonde, served as the framework to examine this connection through improvisational movement, sound, and interaction. The poem critiques the suppression of the French language in Canada via the dominance of English language and culture. The performers translated the poem into their respective languages and adapted it to their own experiences and contexts of language suppression. Through a series of rehearsals, the performers responded to each others’ translations through improvisational movement, sound, and speech in Traditional Mandarin, Filipino, French, Irish, Italian, Lebanese Arabic, English, and Japanese. The rehearsals culminated in a public performance at the University of Alberta. Overall, the multilingual interactions enabled the performers to re(discover) the overt and subtle ways in which language can be suppressed and the impact of this suppression on their linguistic identities and how they embody language. A video of the performance will be shown during the paper.
Karina Hincapié: Karina was born in Caracas and obtained her bachelor’s degree at Universidad Central de Venezuela, focusing on the studies of Latin American literature as well as being trained on creative writing. After, she did her master in Europe, specializing in the relationship between political issues and art. Currently, she goes to the University of Calgary, where she is a PhD student in Spanish and a teacher assistant.
“El techo de la Ballena y el Chigüire Bipolar”: forms of political resistance in Venezuelan art “: The problematic relationships between art and power are particularly evident in times of social conflicts. In Latin America, in response to its postcolonial condition, art plays a fundamental role in the narratives regarding the thought of political emancipation, in order to conform a “legitimate” historical, social and cultural body. The political history of the continent, with all its conflicts, seeks to reclaim a place for subalternity. However, within the discursive struggles, between regime and regime, that same subject that is supposed to be defended gets undermined. Power is exerted in the body but at the same time, only itself is able to repel or question it. The abject body, already as politics, becomes the battlefield susceptible to both violence and resistance. It is these frictions of forces that are observed within the poetry of El Techo de la Ballena, a venezuelan avant garde group born at the transitional times between dictatorship and democracy (late 1958 – early 1959). Similarly, the Chiguire Bipolar (2008-present) works this problem of political transitions. These discursive struggles will be studied through an analysis of the images of the body and its tensions within a selected textual corpus.
Kerry Sluchinski: Kerry is a Chinese language instructor and has been a government accredited Chinese to English translator since 2016 as an Associate Member of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA). In addition to English and Chinese, she is also proficient in Japanese and Korean. Kerry began her work on what she terms the ta phenomenon during the first year of her Master’s thesis in 2015 and convocated in 2017. Kerry commenced her PhD studies in September of 2018 to continue her original research.
“Genderless Narratives: The Pragmatics of ta in Chinese Social Media”: Mandarin Chinese originally used the single character 他 (ta ) to refer to the third person ‘he’, ‘she’, and ‘it’. Due to historical trends of social and cultural change, the Chinese third person pronoun has extensively transformed to reflect gender distinction, resulting in the three currently accepted written forms 他 (ta ‘he’), 她 (ta ‘she’), and 它 (ta ‘it’) which all have identical pronunciations (ta). A fourth, non-standard, third-person pronoun has recently emerged in Chinese Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) and is written using the Roman alphabet script ta. The non-standard form ta obscures the gender of the intended referent by transferring its oral properties to written discourse. The study of ta is of particular importance with regards to its implications in Chinese CMC as its specific function and referent is defined through writers’ usage and readers’ unique interpretations. This research is part of the first systematic study which examines the textual and pragmatic usage of ta in Chinese CMC. Specifically, the research presented here adopts qualitative and quantitative methods in analyzing ta in context from celebrity accounts on Chinese CMC platform Sina Weibo. Preliminary observations reveal that celebrity account users insert the gender unspecified ta into narratives with the function of soliciting empathy or alignment from readers. In order to achieve this function ta is embedded in the following three prominent discourse types: 1) personal-narratives, 2) you-narratives, and 3) ta-narratives. Personal-narratives and ta-narratives are designed to seek empathy via character identification while you-narratives are designed to create situational empathy.
Laura Velazquez: Laura L Velázquez is currently a PhD student in Transnational and Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta. Her research interests include Greek drama, Neolatin literature, critical theory, Sinophone and Latin American literatures and films of migration.
“Posthuman encounters and the stranger migrant in Sleep Dealer, a film by Alex Rivera”: The objective of this essay is to offer an interpretation of Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer (2008) as a political commentary. I argue that the movie problematizes the condition of migrants as a collection of disposable bodies that threaten the discursive underpinnings of a new form of interconnected imperialism. Drawing upon the notion of the stranger and the posthuman encounter, I analyse three different modes of material encounters: between the stranger and other corporalities, between the stranger and the collective, and between the stranger and the places and memories attached to them. Through the exploration of these encounters, I will show how Sleep Dealer can function as a kind of visual and narrative resistance tool against the official and legal dehumanizing discursive practices of the representatives of imperialism. I will also be discussing how these bodies can liberate themselves from the oppression exercised by these representatives, through the production of new epistemologies and the creation of an authentically inclusive and diverse community that gives rise to the posthuman subject.
Lebogang Disele: Lebogang Disele is a Lecturer at the University of Botswana. She holds a BA Degree in Film and Media Production [Radio] and a BA Honours Degree [Drama] from the University of Cape Town as well as a Master’s of Arts in Dramatic Arts (MADA) from Wits University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Performance Studies at the University of Alberta, with the proposed title, “Decolonizing the Female Body: towards a new women’s movement (s)?” Lebo is interested in work that explores issues of marginalization, discrimination, prejudice, and oppression, especially in relation to gender. Her other major research interest is documenting Botswana theatre and performance.
“Black Girl Magic YEG: A Performative Inquiry into Black Girlhood in Edmonton”: The Edmonton collective, Black Girl Magic (BGM), started in 2017 as a woman-centered performance for the Black Arts Matter Festival (BAM). It quickly became clear that BGM needed to go further than the festival, both in terms of performance and in terms of building a Sisterhood in Edmonton. Whereas BAM set out to entrench the work of Black performers within the mainstream of the Edmonton performing arts industry, BGM focused specifically on voicing the experiences of Black women in Edmonton. This chapter takes a look at the BGM performance, “Unwoven”, created for BAM and SkirtsAfire herArts Festival in 2018. We posit “Unwoven” as a performance-as-research project using autoethnographic poetic inquiry in which the performers become researchers, interrogating black womanhood and girlhood in Edmonton. We focus specifically on BGM and not BAM, because we believe that BGM’s focus on Black womanhood and girlhood serves to unmark (Phelan) Black female bodies by normalizing their visibility. We contend that Black women are rendered highly visible due to their double marginalization as women and as Black people. As a result, Black women have to occupy multiple roles in order to take up space. We argue that BGM takes up space through performance and by acting as a collective. In Edmonton, acting as a collective is necessary as artists often find themselves isolated in their craft, bearing the weight of being the only Black person in that art-form and having to represent the entire Black community. Challenging this isolation works to highlight diversity within Blackness and Black girlhood, normalizing Black visibility.
Mingxue Nan: Mingxue Nan is currently an M.A. student at the Department of East Asian Studies of the University of Alberta. Her research interests include modern Chinese literature, Sinophone literature, and modern Japanese literature. Her current project explores the poetics and politics of the translingual cultural productions in China and Japan by Taiwanese writers Liu Na’ou and Jiang Wenye in early 20th century.
“FANTASY, FRUSTRATION, AND THE EMERGENCE OF TAIWANESE CONSCIOUSNESS IN ORPHAN OF ASIA”: In Wu Zhuoliu’s groundbreaking autobiographical novel Orphan of Asia, the protagonist Hu Taiming’s relationships with two women, Japanese dance teacher Hisako and Chinese Suzhou beauty Shuchun, can be read allegorically as the occurrence of fantasies and frustrations while the Taiwanese “self” encountering the Japanese and Chinese “others.” This paper explores Taiming’s colonial experience through his relationships with Hisako and Shuchun, as Hisako is the projection of Taiming’s desire to disavow colonial difference and claim Japanese-ness, and Shuchun is the projection of his desire to rejoin an imagined Chinese community. The unfulfilled courtship of Hisako and failed marriage with Shuchun serve as two major revelation points of the differences between the Taiwanese “self” and its Japanese and Chinese “others.” The shift of power from fantasy to frustration alludes to the shift of power from an interpellated triple-splitting colonial identity to a self-conscious postcolonial Taiwanese ego, re-orienting Taiwan as the orphan of Asia from the attempts of colonial and cultural mimicry to the recognition of a self-conscious ego under the disappointment and disillusion of both metropolitan Japan and mainland China.
Nella Bonyeme: Nella D. Bonyeme is a PhD student in Transcultural Studies at the University of Calgary. She is interested in the investigation of innovative approaches to intertextuality and adaptation studies across media, especially through a transnational perspective.
“Adapting Adaptations: Interconnectedness in Cinematic Reworkings of Les Liaisons Dangereuses”: Do adaptations only adapt the source text they are based on? In the last few years, adaptation studies have moved away from a fidelity discourse model, in which the “copy” is compared to the “original” to see what’s been lost, towards an intertextual dialogism model, which essentially does the same thing without assuming that the original is better. Thus, the discipline continues to envision, at the core of adaptation, a dyadic relationship between the “original” and the “copy”. Yet some texts have been adapted multiple times, and their adaptations often adopt and adjust the translational choices of their predecessors. To fully understand how adaptations work, we need to comprehend the meaning and implications of this overlap between various translations of a same text; we need to compare adaptations not only for how they independently approach their source text, but also for how, and why, their approaches converge. This study analyzes the plot changes, generic elements and mise-en-scène in four film adaptations of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses: American Dangerous Liaisons (Frears, 1988), French-American Valmont (Forman, 1989), South Korean Untold Scandal (Lee, 2003) and Chinese Dangerous Liaisons (Heo, 2012). It particularly explores how the three last films reflect the clash between liberal and conservative ways of life portrayed in the French novel, and investigates whether, in spite of similar approaches, the films’ different cultural contexts lead to diverging interpretations of this theme; from a transnational perspective on the modern world, which seeks to blur national borders/experiences, to a national perspective, which seeks to reaffirm them. Thus, this study considers the possibility that adaptations do not only dialogue with the “original”, but also, with each other.
Sofia Monzón: Sofia Monzón is a PhD student in Comparative and Transnational Literatures at University of Alberta. She received her first MA in Community Translation and Interpreting from Universidad de Alcalá (Spain), and her second MA in Spanish Literatures and Linguistics from Auburn University (United States). Her research interests include censorship in literary translation, North American literary reception in Spain and Latin America, self-translation, and creative writing.
“Reconnecting with the Latin American Revel Modernist: Horacio Quiroga’s Ecocritical Uniqueness”: In the midst of a so-called “age of anger”: A period full of a strong cataclysm of violence, reproachable events and even natural disasters all over the globe, the most humanist branch of human sciences ought to look down to the roots, reconnect and ripen the fruits of common sense with the evident aim of discussing a number of controversial matters brought by the new millennium. For these reasons, I propose a kinder reading of Horacio Quiroga’s selected short stories, “El hombre muerto” (1920) and “El hijo” (1935), with which I attempt to shed some light on various reconciliatory ideas through the appreciation of the ‘Other’, the emerging struggles, and the ultimate understanding between human beings and their natural environments. In this way, a timely ecocritical approach to the Modernist Uruguayan’s works, many times labeled as marginal, destructive, and suicidal by different scholars, will allow us to shape new bridges —and to not tear them down— as we concede the indispensable evidence for which a man needs to undergo a process of dehumanization to be reborn, this time in a more harmonious manner within his/her surroundings.
Uchechukwu Umezurike: Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike is a PhD student and a Vanier Scholar at the English and Film Studies department at the University of Alberta. His articles have appeared in Postcolonial Text, Tydskrif vir letterkunde, etc. Currently, his research is focused on representations of masculinities in contemporary Nigerian fiction.
“Troubling the Norm in Chinelo Okparanta’s “Under the Udala Trees”: Many Nigerian authors write within a template of tradition which positions the male character as the point of reference for understanding society. Narratives within this tradition tend to reinforce ideas of gender conformity, thus effacing other identities and subjectivities. Chinelo Okparanta is one of the few authors whose writing charts a new direction in contemporary Nigerian literature. By centring non-(hetero) normative female characters that resist binaries, her novel Under the Udala Trees (2015) marks a radical departure from the tradition. I read her novel as staging a critical intervention in Nigerian literary scholarship in two ways: first, her narrative challenges the norm, that is, the dominant heteronormative genre that defines much of literary fiction produced in Nigeria; and, secondly, her narrative enacts “gender trouble” in significant ways that undermine normative masculinity as well as urge a rethink of the cultural definitions of femininity. Drawing on Judith Butler’s theory of performativity and Obioma Nnaemeka’s concept of nego-feminism, I argue that Chinelo Okparanta deploys her novel not only as a critique of norms but also to advocate for social change attentive to the consequences of gender ideology.
Wangtaolue Guo: Wangtaolue Guo is a second-year MA student of Transnational and Comparative Literatures in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta. Before joining the U of A, he received his BA in Translation from Jinan University and MA in Translation from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include gender and queer studies, postcolonial studies, translation, and multi-ethnic literature. He is currently working on a chapter in The Routledge Handbook of Translation, Feminism and Gender.
“Rhizomizing the Translation Zone: Xiaolu Guo and A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers”: In a world marked by increasing linguistic and cultural mobility, translation has gone way beyond the idea of mechanical/cultural transmission of meaning and saturated our everyday life. Translation zone, as one of the many spatial metaphors for translation, is proposed by Emily Apter and meant to debunk the myth of monolingual complacency as a norm and to highlight translation as a significant medium of subject re-formation. Although her transcoding model is path-breaking, Apter seems to insist on the intersubjective limits that resist translation and the issues of border trouble. In this paper, I argue that the translation zone should be reconceptualized as a rhizomatic zone, where both translation and mis-/non-translation constitute an adventitious mode of transformation that highlights processuality. In order to add this Deleuzian layer to the translation zone, I examine how translational literature, which “straddle[s] two languages, at once foregrounding, performing, and problematizing the act of translation” (Hassan 754), reflects a perpetual state of in-translation and encompasses the process of flight and movement. Specific examples are drawn from Xiaolu Guo’s novel, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, which features a narrative characterized by malapropism, mis-hearings, mis-interpretations, and interlanguage. Incorporating translation as a constitutive element into her story, Guo highlights the interplay between linguistic creativity and (un-)translatability, complicates the process of cultural transfer, and underlines the centrality of migration and porosity which Apter fails to attribute to her framework. The novel, therefore, mimics a rhizomatic translation zone, where migration, transformation, and linguistic heterogeneity are enmeshed.
Xavia Publius: Xavia A. Publius is a second-year PhD student in Performance Studies at the University of Alberta. She received her B.A. in Music with a minor in LGBTQ Studies from Colgate University, and her M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Northern Iowa. A trans woman originally from the United States, her research interests include queer representation in US film and television, trans history, trans participation in the performing arts, cyborg feminism, lavender linguistics, media archaeology, fan studies, autoethnography, and performativity. She is a spoken word artist, drag performer, and fanfiction author, whose work often addresses mental health and trans desire.
“We Other Fairies”: The ontology of characters onstage has long been a concern of performance theory, but the stakes of this hauntological question for the characters themselves are rarely addressed. How and why do queer beings both corporeal and ethereal inhabit the stage, and how do they communicate with us (and each other)? Writing in the course of completing a general exam for the PhD in Performance Studies, I explore my journey through this question and the ways ritual, performativity, and the carnivalesque function to bring forth these spirits onto our plane. I play off of Michel Foucault’s musings on “other Victorians” to demonstrate how plays such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Zanna, Don’t!; Shakespeare’s R&J; Three Mysterious Women; and Lenin’s Embalmers illustrate the queer politics of memory, performance, and affect. The theatrical memory machine restages queer genealogy in ways that traditional methods of ancestral memorialization in Western culture do not. Furthermore, the thin veil between realities during these performances allows queer utopic visions that entice performers, audiences, and characters alike.
Xiaoyun Wang: Xiaoyun is the first year PHD student of the department of mlcs. Her research focuses on conversation analysis and interactional linguistics.
“’She’s Chinese too’”: The Interactional Function of Claiming Citizenship in Mandarin Conversation: In talk-in-interaction, participants routinely deploy a variety of membership categorization devices (MCDs) to exhibit their social groups. By using MCDs, claiming citizenship has been considered as a practice to display the speaker’s identity (Sacks, 1992). This study explores interactional functions of claiming citizenship in Mandarin conversation. Citizenship has been investigated in both psychology and sociology (Trilling, 1974; Hindess, 1993). However, these studies examine citizenship as a mental states or social identity, rather than an actual action (e.g. membership categorization activity). Thus, the interactional functions of to claim citizenship in naturalistic conversation are largely unexplored. Adopting the methodology of conversation analysis, multimodal analysis, and membership categorization analysis, this study examines the interactional work performed by claiming citizenship in Mandarin conversation. The data for this study are naturalistic face-to-face Mandarin conversation no less than 12 hours. A preliminary examination of the data shows that claiming citizenship is also used to provide background information and pursue affiliation response. Specifically, claiming citizenship can be presented in the form of “someone is Chinese” as the background information of a telling. When performs this function, the claiming citizenship sequence is a side-sequence that is inserted in a storytelling sequence (Jefferson, 1972). Moreover, claiming citizenship can be also used to pursue affiliation response from a recipient. When performs this function, the claiming citizenship may occur in assertion with extreme case formulations.
Xiong Wang: Xiong Wang, PhD candidate at the University of Alberta. She has taught mathematics and mathematics education in Shanghai Normal University, China for six years and worked in two projects in Nanyang Technology University, Singapore for two years. Currently, she is interested in mathematics teachers’ professional development.
“From the Competency-Based Approach to the Competency-Based Approach: the paradox of language curriculum reforms in Tanzania.”: A growing number of mathematics teachers have extended their professional learning by participating in Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) since conventional teacher professional learning could not satisfy teachers’ needs for their teaching practices. However, few studies have been conducted on what the online conversations among participants look like and what could emerge from the conversations. This study is intended to address the gap by investigating mathematics teachers’ participation in a PLN with interpretive inquiry as methodology and complexity theory as theoretical framework. One selected PLN was used to collect three types of triangulated data: archived documents such as logs, posts, comments, or responses; participants’ reflections through their blogging; and my own reflections. Several data analysis techniques were adopted to understand mathematics teachers’ participation in the PLN such as Mathematics-for-Teaching, Entangled Dynamics, Necessary Conditions for Complexity Systems, and thematic analysis. The results presented diverse conversation patterns and the emerged knowledge from the diverse conversations including mathematics-for-teaching as well as such types of knowledge as social interactions for building up social relationships, blog sharing for benefiting others, and experience sharing for reflecting themselves. This study could facilitate us to understand what mathematics teachers possibly need in their professional learning, offer a valuable reference for improving the design of and the evaluation on both online and even conventional professional development for teachers, and contribute to the rapidly increasing literature on teachers’ professional learning.