1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Black Canadian Literature

Edited By Andrea A. Davis, Leslie Sanders Copyright 2024
    552 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Handbook of Black Canadian Literature offers a comprehensive overview of the growing and increasingly significant field of Black Canadian literary studies. Including historical and contemporary analysis, the volume is an essential text that maps the field over the almost 200 years of its existence across a range of genres from slave narratives to prose fiction, poetry, theatre, dub and spoken word. It presents Black Canadian literature as encompassing a diverse set of viewpoints, approaches and practices, as touching every aspect of Canadian territory and life, and as deeply influencing debates and understandings of Black peoples far beyond its borders. The handbook employs an interdisciplinary framework that incorporates literary, historical, geographical and cultural analysis. The book’s 32 chapters are organized into five sections that chart the literature’s development into a recognizable canon, trace Black literary geographies across Canada from east to west, delineate the literature’s various genres and expressive forms, and honor the writers and thinkers who have influenced the growth of the field. The volume’s range of subject and plurality of perspectives provide an excellent resource for teachers, researchers, and students from multiple disciplines, including Canadian studies and literature, Caribbean studies, global Black studies, hemispheric studies, diaspora studies, history, and cultural studies.


    Andrea A. Davis



    1. The Code That Limits: Black Canadian Anthologizing and Anthologies

         Sharon Morgan Beckford


    2. Black Small Press Literary Publishing in English Canada

         Stephen Cain


    3. Palimpsests of Nation & Diaspora: Black Writing in Canada and Canadian Literatures

         Paul Barrett


    4. Afropolitanism and the African Immigrant in the African-Canadian Literary Canon

        Amatoritsero Ede




    5. Black Maritime—Africadian—Literature:  An Introduction

         George Elliott Clarke


    6. Black Canadian Literature in Francophone Quebec

         Susan Ireland and Patrice Proulx


    7. Jazz, Diaspora, and the History and Writing of Black Anglophone Montreal

         Winfried Siemerling


    8. Writing Toronto

         Darcy Ballantyne


    9. From Absence to Abundance: Recovering the Black Prairie Archive, 1872-2023

         Karina Vernon


    10. ‘It is arrogant to disappear:’ A Humble Re-Visioning of Black Literature in British Columbia

         David Chariandy







    11. Slave Narratives as a Transnational Genre

           Nele Sawallisch


    12. Post-Slavery and the Making of the Black Canadian Novel, 1850s-1990

          Jennifer Harris


    13. African-Canadian Poetry in English: 1890-2000

           George Elliott Clarke


    14. Black Canadian Children’s Literature: Evolution, Writers and Impact

           Janet Seow


    15. Writing Black Canada: An Unfinished Project of Freedom 

           Andrea A. Davis




    16. Speak OurStory! 12 Poet-to-Poet Conversations on the Legacy, the Now, and Future of

          Black Canadian Dub Poetry & Spoken Word

          Wendy Motion Brathwaite


    17. National and Diasporic Dialogues: Black Canadian Drama and Theatre

           Jacqueline Petropolous


    18. Rising, Lifting, Resisting: A History of Black Dramatic Feature Filmmaking in Canada

           Andrea Medovarski




    19. Marie-Celie Agnant

           Susan Ireland and Patrice Proulx


    20. “The Abacus of her Eyelids”: Dionne Brand’s Poetics

           Christina Sharpe


    21. Dionne Brand: Ambivalent Novelizations

           Eshe Mercer-James


    22. After Canadian Multiculturalism: David Chariandy

           Rinaldo Walcott


    23. Austin Clarke’s “Out-a-Order” Poetics and the Archiving of Black Lives

           Michael A. Bucknor


    24. George Elliott Clarke: A Biocritical Examination

           Joseph J. Pivato


    25. Wayde Compton: From Archive to Innovation in the Black British Columbian Lived


           Heather Smyth


    26. Esi Edugyan: Black Fugitivity and the Possibility of a Second Life

           Pilar Cuder-Domínguez


    27. Lawrence Hill’s Critical Aesthetics of Cultural Resilience

           Ana María Fraile-Marcos     


    28. “Magic in the Real”: The Speculative Engagements of Nalo Hopkinson

           Maureen Moynagh


    29. Dany Laferrière

           Claire Reising


    30. The Multiplicities of Émile Ollivier: Haitian Tragedies and Montreal Crossroads

           Amanda Perry


    31. Disturbing the Peace, Caring for the Word: M. NourbeSe Philip

           Kate Siklosi


    32. Makeda Silvera: Prioritizing Marginalized Voices

          Eshe Mercer-James


    Andrea A. Davis is Associate Vice President: Equity Diversity and Inclusion and Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to this, she was Professor of Black Cultures of the Americas at York University where she founded the Black Canadian Studies Certificate. Co-editor of the Journal of Canadian Studies, she has published widely on the literary productions of Black women in the Americas and is the author of Horizon, Sea, Sound: Caribbean & African Women’s Cultural Critiques of Nation (2022). Her current book project is an autofictional exploration of women’s journeys in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries across the Atlantic Ocean and Sargasso Sea.

    Leslie Sanders is University Professor Emerita in the Department of Humanities at York University. She is the author of The Development of Black Theater in America (l988), a general editor of the Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Gospel Plays, Operas, and Later Dramatic Works (2004), and editor for two volumes of plays. She has published on such Black Canadian writers as Austin Clarke, Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Philip, Claire Harris, George Elliot Clarke, Maxine Tynes, and Djanet Sears. She created African Canadian Online, the first available database of African Canadian artists and their work in literature, film, music, dance, theatre and visual art.