New Book | Discrepant Parallels: Cultural Implications of the Canada-US Border

Discrepant Parallels: Cultural Implications of the Canada-US Border, by CCUSB co-investigator Gillian Roberts, is now available from McGill-Queen’s University Press.

From MQUP:

The 49th parallel has long held a symbolic importance to Canadian cultural nationalists as a strong, though permeable, border. But in contemporary Canadian culture, the border has multiple meanings, and imbalances of cultural power occur both across the Canada-US border as well as within Canada.Discrepant Parallels examines divergent relationships to, and investments in, the Canada-US border in a variety of media, such as travel writing, fiction, poetry, drama, and television. Tracing cultural production in Canada since the 1980s through the periods of FTA and NAFTA negotiations, and into the current, post-9/11 context, Gillian Roberts grapples with the border’s changing relevance to Canadian nationalist, Indigenous, African Canadian, and Latin American perspectives. Drawing on Kant and Derrida, she theorizes the 49th parallel to account for the imbalance of cultural, political, and economic power between the two countries, as well as the current challenges to dominant definitions of Canadianness.

Focusing on a border that is often overshadowed by the contentious US-Mexico divide, Discrepant Parallels analyzes the desire to establish Canadian-American sameness and difference from a multitude of perspectives, as well as its implications for how Canada is represented within and outside its national borders.

Registration open for ‘Theorising the Canada-US Border’

Registration is now open for Theorising the Canada-US Border, a two day CCUSB symposium taking place 15-16 May, 2015, in Paris, France.

The symposium is the last of a three-year series of CCUSB events, which have taken place in London, Algoma, Niagara Falls, Nottingham and Calgary.

To find out more information and to register for the symposium, please visit the website, here:

The event is free to attend and refreshments will be provided. The deadline for registration is Friday April 17th.

CCUSB News | Parallel Encounters: Culture at the Canada-US Border

Now available from Wilfrid Laurier University Press | Parallel Encounters: Culture at the Canada-US Border, edited by 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.

New blog post

New blog post: Daniel Macfarlane on border waters and competing nationalisms:

Daniel Macfarlane is a visiting scholar for 2013-14 in the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University. He was the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Canadian Studies at Michigan State University for 2012-13. He received his PhD in History in 2011 from the University of Ottawa.

In this guest post, he talks about his research on Canadian-American border waters,  the St. Lawrence River/Seaway and the Niagara River/Falls in particular.

CCUSB CFP: Cultural Crossings: Production, Consumption, and Reception across the Canada-US Border

Second international Culture and the Canada-US Border conference
University of Nottingham, 20-22 June 2014

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

Call for papers

The Leverhulme Trust-funded Culture and the Canada-US Border international research network is pleased to invite proposals for papers or panels addressing topics related to cultural production, consumption, and reception across 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. We 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. We invite proposals on both contemporary and historical cultural texts and contexts.

Although submissions on any relevant area of interest are welcome, we particularly welcome papers focusing on the following in a cross-border and/or comparative context:

  • book histories and publication contexts
  • reading cultures and communities
  • Hollywood North/runaway film and television production
  • Film exhibition and television broadcast
  • Performance
  • Re-mounts, re-makes, and adaptations
  • Musical production, consumption, or reception
  • Museum and gallery exhibition
  • Aesthetic influences
  • Cultural policy
  • Economics and their implications for cultural production and consumption
  • Fan cultures
  • Celebrity culture
  • Cultural workers
  • National habitus
  • Prize culture
  • Reading and/or viewing
  • Cultural censorship


Please send 300-word proposals for 20-minute papers and a brief bio to by 1 November 2013. Panel proposals should include individual paper proposals plus a 100-words summary of the panel’s theme.

A limited number of bursaries are available for graduate students delivering papers. Please email for details.
The CCUSB network, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, grew out of a conference held at the University of Kent, UK, in 2009. Its core members are located at the Universities of Kent and Nottingham, SUNY Buffalo, Algoma, Mt. Royal (Calgary), and Royal Roads (Victoria). Participation in the network’s activities does not require membership. For further details visit:

Straddling Boundaries cfp deadline extended

The deadline for the submission of abstracts for “Straddling Boundaries”, the 2013 conference at Algoma University, has been extended until January 15th 2013, so there is still time to send a proposal. It is also still possible to apply for a postgraduate travel bursary – see conference page for details. This is an international, interdisciplinary conference and promises to be very exciting.

Another blog post

In case you missed it, here is a link to network member Kelly Hewson’s recent blog post concerning non-Indigenous scholars researching Indigenous issues – a topic of discussion at the September workshop.

‘Straddling Boundaries’ Keynotes Announced

We are excited to announce that the keynote speakers for our inaugural conference at Algoma University will be Claudia Sadowski-Smith of Arizona State University; Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair of the University of Manitoba, and Canadian theatre artist Guillermo Verdecchia. Don’t forget to check out the Call for Papers in our ‘Events’ section.