Aesthetics and the Canada-US Border


cropped-ccusblogo23.jpgThe third Culture and the Canada-US Border workshop will take place on Friday September 19th and the morning of September 20th, 2014, at Loft 112, a new creative space in Calgary’s East Village, with speakers Marcello Di Cintio, Aritha van Herk, Dylan Miner and Audra Simpson.

The workshop is held as part of a series of events organised by the Culture and the Canada-US Border research network. You can read more about our past events here.

If you are interested in attending the workshop, or would like any further information, please contact the local organiser, Dr Kelly Hewson:


Marcello Di Cintio is a Canadian writer. He won the 2012 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for his book Walls: Travels Along the Barricades

Aritha van Herk is an award-winning Canadian writer and public intellectual, and a Professor of Canadian Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.

Dylan A. T. Miner is an artist, activist, and art historian who focuses on Indigenous and anti-colonial issues. He is an Associate Professor at Michigan State University, where he coordinates a new Indigenous Contemporary Art Initiative.

Audra Simpson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, and the author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States

A small number of travel assistance bursaries are available to assist postgraduate students to attend the workshop. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply, please contact Catherine Barter, the CCUSB network administrator:


Workshop Report | Security, Immigration, and the Cultures of the Canada-US Border


Workshop Audience


…nowhere is my natural anarchism more aroused than at national borders where patient and efficient public servants carry out their duties in matters on immigration and customs. I have never smuggled anything in my life. Why, then, do I feel an uneasy sense of guilt on approaching a customs barrier?

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962)

Niagara Falls. So good they built it twice, once in Upper New York State, once in Ontario. In many respects it sums the border region up: both cities share the same natural resource, not just a thundering source of light and power, but a tourist attraction to boot. And yet the Falls are apprehended so very differently on each side, just as each city, though united in their appreciation for kitsch[1], has fared palpably differently. It is also, of course, the iconic site of oh-so-many cultural events and representations, which range from the heroic (cue Superman II) to the downright mad (tightrope walkers and barrel riders galore). Continue reading

Guest Post | Canada’s Superheroes (Made in USA): American Depictions of Canadian Geopolitics in Alpha Flight

by Christoper Doody

Christopher Doody is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Carleton University. His area of research is Canadian literature and book history

For the last few weeks, Canadian media has had a surprisingly large number of stories on DC comic’s new title Justice League United, although the comic was originally solicited as Justice League Canada. Written by Jeff Lemire, the comic moves the Justice League to Canada, where they establish their home base in northern Ontario, and includes a brand-new Canadian superhero, Equinox. Continue reading

Cultural Crossings: Registration Open

Cultural Crossings: Production, Consumption, and Reception Across the Canada-US Border


University of Nottingham, June 20-22 2014.

Keynote Speakers: Charles Acland, Danielle Fuller, and DeNel Rehberg Sedo.

“Cultural Crossings” is the second international Culture and the Canada-US Border conference. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, CCUSB is an international, interdisciplinary research network dedicated to studying cultural representation, production and exchange on and around the Canada-US border.

The 49th parallel has been considered by many Canadian nationalists to symbolize Canada’s cultural independence from the United States, with attendant anxieties about how an “undefended” border might fail to safeguard Canadian culture adequately.

This conference seeks to probe the implications for the production, consumption, and reception of literature, film, television, music, theatre, and visual art in relation to the Canada-US border. The conference will encourage analysis of cultural texts, phenomena, and industries both in terms of how they might operate differently in Canada and the United States and the ways in which they might straddle, or ignore, the border altogether.

Book Online Now:

For more information, visit

With any queries, contact

Book Award

Prizing Literature Book Cover

Huge congratulations to CCUSB network Co-Investigator Gillian Roberts who has been awarded the International Council for Canadian Studies‘s Pierre Savard Award for a Canadian Studies monograph for her book Prizing Literature: the Celebration and Circulation of National Culture (U of Toronto Press, 2011). Of particular interest to network members, check out chapter 2: ‘The “American-not-American”: Carol Shields’s Border Crossings and Gendered Citizenships’.

Registration Open | Security, Immigration, and the Cultures of the Canada-US Border

Plane flying over Niagara Falls

The “Culture and the Canada-US Border” (CCUSB) research network are pleased to announce a second one-day workshop, on the theme of border security and immigration, to take place on Saturday May 31st 2014, at the Sheraton at the Falls Hotel, Niagara Falls, NY.

The event, hosted in conjunction with the University of Buffalo, will feature presentations from Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (University of Victoria), Emily Gilbert (University of Toronto), Geoffrey Hale (University of Lethbridge), and Christopher Sands (Hudson Institute).

The workshop is free to attend, and if you require accommodation, you can book a room at the Sheraton at the Falls Hotel, with group rates available until April 23rd. Please see our website for full details, and to register for the event:

Note: a small amount of travel assistance funding, awarded on a first-come first-served basis, is available for graduate students wishing to attend the event. Please contact Catherine Barter for more information (

This event is part of a series of workshops and conferences organised by CCUSB, and will be followed in June by an international conference at the University of Nottingham. CCUSB is a Leverhulme Trust funded network, bringing together scholars in Europe and North America with research interests in cultural issues around the Canada-US Border. To learn more about the network and its activities, visit:

With any further queries, contact We look forward to seeing you there!

New Book | Parallel Encounters: Culture at the Canada-US Border

Parallel Encounters

Parallel Encounters: Culture at the Canada-US Border is now available from Wilfrid Laurier University Press. This collection is edited by CCUSB network members Gillian Roberts and David Stirrup.

From WLU Press:

The essays collected in Parallel Encounters offer close analysis of an array of cultural representations of the Canada–US border, in both site-specificity and in the ways in which they reveal and conceal cultural similarities and differences. Contributors focus on a range of regional sites along the border and examine a rich variety of expressive forms, including poetry, fiction, drama, visual art, television, and cinema produced on both sides of the 49th parallel.

Continue reading