Jasmine Redford

Other-worlds within Other-worlds: The World-building of Miranda Carroll's Station Eleven within the World-building of Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven

Comic books invite a reading of mythic immortality and bedfellow well with apocryphal narratives. Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven complicates this relationship, for Station Eleven is also the name of one volume of a comic book series within Station Eleven (the novel) — a cyclic intertexual naming and nod from fabricated author (Miranda Carroll) to genuine author (Mandel). Mandel’s Station Eleven places Carroll’s Station Eleven in the centre of a post-pandemic world where beauty is found, not despite, but because of the wreckage left behind. The comic — a future-facing narrative that paradoxically reminds its readers of the past — feels like it exists in a wonderland where there are no established conventions. Mandel’s intertextually collapses universes — the Station Eleven Space Station within the pages of Station Eleven within the pages of Station Eleven — creating an active literary kaleidoscope trapped in time.

Jasmine Redford is a PhD student at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as a freelance illustrator. She obtained her BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and her BA and MA, with her thesis focus on nationalism in Canadian superhero comics, from the University of Saskatchewan.

Ryanne Kap

Sects and Shakespeare at the End of the World: How Faith and Art Collide in Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven

This paper analyzes the tension between faith and art in the post-apocalyptic world of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I investigate the success of this tension as not only a mode of survival, but also as a way of remaking the world. Using Naomi Klein’s theory of disaster capitalism as a guiding reference, I interrogate the ways in which the novel’s setting engages with the shock doctrine, particularly by attending to how the characters’ diverging paths and philosophies use the proverbial clean slate as a way of envisioning the future as a continual and collective effort (albeit with drastically different results).

Ryanne Kap is a Chinese-Canadian writer and scholar from Strathroy, Ontario. She holds a BA (Honours) in English and creative writing from the University of Toronto Scarborough (2020). She is currently pursuing an MA in English at the University of Western Ontario.

Sarah Regier

"Holding Hands in the Dark": Non-traditional Apocalypse, Critical Dystopia, and Hopepunk in Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

This paper discusses how contemporary apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction exists in the overlap between academic work and popular culture and argues that pop culture interpretive lenses like grimdark and hopepunk can add a crucial dimension to scholarly discussions of apocalypse literature. It looks at three works of Canadian apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction: Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and Songs for the End of the World by Saleema Nawaz. Through their rejection of traditional apocalypse narratives and the use of critical dystopia, these texts open up the potential for creating fairer, more inclusive worlds in the face of and aftermath of crisis. Hopepunk incorporates those ideals while also demonstrating how these works create a community ethic which encourages a constant striving towards those better worlds. 

Sarah Regier is a Master’s student in English at the University of Saskatchewan. She is interested in genre fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy, and postcolonial theory, with a research focus on how North American urban fantasy represents cultural contact, colonialism, and intercultural relations.

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