Day 1: Friday, October 22

09:45-10:00 Welcome & Opening Remarks


Session 1: Nescience and Nation: Cognitive Dissonance, Vanishing Histories, and Tensions Across Mediums

Chair & Respondent: Jenna Hunnef (University of Saskatchewan)

David Mitterauer (Western), “Ignorant of Each Other’s Affairs”: The Early Slave Narrative, the Antebellum Plantation Romance, and the Inversion of Ignorance

Christian Ylagan (Western), Spectres of Filipino Masculinity: White Men, Little Brown Brothers, and the Myths of Benevolent Assimilation

Katrina Younes (Western), Signifyin(g) on Science Fiction Tropes: Afropessimism and Afrofuturism in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

11:15-11:30 Break


Session 2: Mid-Century Divides & Their Legacies

Chair: D. Caleb Smith (Tulane University)

Brent Ryan Bellamy (Trent University), Great Divides in U.S. Publishing, 1950-2010

Rowan Bayne (University of Chicago/Southern Alberta Institute of Technology), Measuring the Mind Between M and F

D. Caleb Smith (Tulane University), Race, Law, and Aluminum: Harris A. Parson and Twenty Years of Workplace Struggle


“Lunch” Break & CAAS Executive Committee Meeting

Note: the Executive Meeting will begin promptly 15 minutes after the conclusion of Session 2 at 13:00 EDT


Session 3: Race, Roads, and Mobilities

Chair: Brent Ryan Bellamy (Trent University)

Emily Howe (York University), Psychological Orientations: Examining Alterity on the American Road

Helen Pinsent (Dalhousie University), Road Tripping Through Lovecraft Country: The Myth of American Automobility in Matt Ruff’s Novel and Misha Green’s Adaptation

Mazin Saffou (Wilfrid Laurier University), Neil Gaiman’s Enchanted America: The Fantastical Mode in American Gods

14:45-15:00 Break


Virginia J. Rock Plenary Address

Dr. La Marr Jurelle Bruce (University of Maryland, College Park), How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind: Some Radical Utterances in the Idiom of Madness

Day 2: Saturday, October 23


Session 4: Political Divides

Chair: Aidan Moir (York University)

Geordie Miller (Mount Allison University), George Saunders’ Love Affair with Ayn Rand

Jason Demers (University of Regina), Directing the Divide: Steve Bannon’s American Civil War

Aidan Moir (York University), The Divisive Influence of Digital Media, Celebrity, and Cultural Elitism in Post-Presidential Branding

11:15-11:30 Break


Session 5: Divided Ecologies

Chair: Adam Beardsworth (MUN Grenfell)

Lindsey Banco (University of Saskatchewan), Dividing Lines in the Sky: Chemtrail Conspiracy Narratives and Climate Emergency

Adam Beardsworth (MUN Grenfell), To the far Right of the Wild: Land, Freedom, and Justice in American Wilderness Writing

Michael Cameron (Dalhousie University), “The New People of the Earth”: The Vampire and the Anthropocene in I Am Legend


“Lunch” Break & CAAS Annual General Meeting

Note: the AGM will begin promptly 15 minutes after the conclusion of Session 5 at 13:00 EDT


Session 6: Boundaries and Borders

Chair: Sarah Blanchette (Huron University College)

Bernadette Russo (Mount Saint Vincent University), Transmoting the Boundaries of Time and Space, History and Place: Stephen Graham Jones’s Mongrels, Mapping the Interior, and The Only Good Indians as Ecogothic Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives

Tim Clarke (University of King’s College), A Divide that Binds: The Morbid Vitalist Strain in United States Letters

14:45-15:00 Break


Session 7: Bartleby’s Blackness: Melville’s Fugitive-Slave Story of Wall Street (roundtable discussion)

Ademola Adesola, On The White Slave: A Tale of Slave Life in Virginia (1852)

Anna Blackmore, The Colt-45 Revolver

Alyson Brickey, The Bandanna and the Fugitive Slave Ads 

Lauren Dietterle, Organized Kidnapping in Manhattan

Amy-Leigh Gray, Ginger, Ginger Nuts, and Slavery

Andrew Loman, John J. Astor’s Trade in Skins

Natalie LoVetri, Inscribing on Cotton

Caitlin McIntyre, The Space of the Plantation

Dana Medoro, The Chancery Court and Mortgaged Humans

Day 3: Sunday, October 24


Session 8: Crises in the Borderlands, Past & Future

Chair: Jennifer Andrews (University of New Brunswick)

Erin Bistline (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), The Many Divides of Strange Empire

Jennifer Andrews (University of New Brunswick), Moving North: Thwarting the Promise of Canadian Liberty in Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God

Jessica Hawkes (Dalhousie University), “Wild Time” and Water: Hydrological Divisions in Watershed and The Water Knife

11:15-11:30 Break


Session 9: Divided Subjects

Chair: Bernadette Russo (Mount Saint Vincent University)

Sarah Blanchette (Huron University College), Bo Burnham Inside the Mental Health Pandemic

Noel Glover (OCADU), Doubtful Democracy Between the Mother Tongue and the “Nation Thing”

Ian Gibson (University of Waterloo), “No End in Nature”: Emerson’s “Circles” and the Legacy of Transcendentalism


“Lunch” Break


Session 10: Generic Debates and Cultural Divides

Chair: Peter Robert Brown (Mount Allison University)

Rick Cousins (Trent University), Finding Million-Dollar Ideas in a Five-and-Ten Store: How Terrytoons’ Paul Terry Helped Make Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Peter Robert Brown (Mount Allison University), “You Can Always Go, Downtown”: Geography, Narrative, and Downtown Los Angeles in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive

Art Redding (York University), The Mystery of the Missing Mystery: Edmund Wilson on Modernism and Detective Fiction

14:45-15:00 Break


Session 11: Bridging Divides and Blending Genres

Chair: Ross Bullen (OCADU)

Ross Bullen (OCADU), Following the Money with William Wells Brown

Brad Congdon (Dalhousie/Saint Mary’s University), Bridging Divides in Fran Ross’s Oreo

Jennifer Harris (University of Waterloo), Restorying the Prairie: Linda Sue Park's Prairie Lotus


Closing Remarks