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CAUT Bulletin Archives

March 2014

Sanctioned ignorance

The politics of knowledge production and the teaching of literatures in Canada

Paul Martin. Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta Press, 2013; 310 pp; ISBN: 978-0-88864-545-6, paper, $49.95 CAD.

Multilingual, multicultural, and vast, Canada enjoys a rich diversity of literatures. So, why does “Canadian Literature,” as it has been taught, fail to encompass a common geography, history, and government, yet reveal the diverse experiences of its immigrants, long-term residents, and original peoples? Martin’s research — interviews with 95 professors in 27 universities — maps the institutional chasms in communication and the nature of their persistence. His own example of venturing out from his “tower” to dialogue with colleagues shows a way toward cultivating a conception of the literatures of Canada that is expansive and inclusive.

Information made available by the publisher.