2017 marks a century-and-a-half since Confederation. Coming as it does in the aftermath of the landmark Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this significant anniversary also represents the ideal moment to re-examine our nation's earlier colonial past and how it is remembered and reproduced in historiography, film, art, and creative work. In keeping with the urgency of the TRC's "Calls for Action," which demand a thorough-going rethinking of conventional retellings of our collective Canadian past, the conference will highlight contemporary explorations of the troubled relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, including the legacies of religious, cultural, and linguistic imposition and resistance.
Religion has always played a crucial, if understudied role in Canadian history: serving as the dark engine of residential schools, forming the still-extant "two solitudes," inspiring collective visions of state responsibility for health care, and shaping contemporary multicultural Canadian identity. The conference will thus explore key themes, ideas, and issues related to religion, memory, and collective identity in Canada, both historically and today. It will ask fundamental questions: How does our understanding of our past impact our present? What aspects of our nation's history have gone un-told, been forgotten, or been systematically repressed or mis-remembered? How have the complex interrelationships among Canada's religious communities changed since 1867, and even before that time? Perhaps more troublingly, how have they remained the same? In encouraging through-going exploration of Canada - past and present - on this important anniversary, "Re-storying Canada" will inspire bold challenges to historiographic conventions, invite critique as well as celebration, and explore multiple media and genres for evoking and interrogating the past, privileging artistic creativity along with academic rigour.
The bulk of the conference will consist of peer-reviewed presentations, in four-person panels, which will run in thrice daily (concurrent) sessions, broken by lunch-time and evening plenaries.
For more information, or to see the Call for Papers, please visit the Restorying Canada page: artsites.uottawa.ca/restorying-canada