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Unarrested Archives

Unarrested Archives: Case Studies in Twentieth-Century Canadian Women's Authorship

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Unarrested Archives
    Book Description:

    Using five case studies, Linda M. Morra explores the ways in which women's archives have been uniquely approached and shaped by socio-political forces.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-1773-5
    Subjects: Art & Art History, Language & Literature, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-16)

    Unarrested Archivesis in part about archives, specifically Canadian women authors’ literary records housed both in and beyond official institutions; at times, it is also about the institutions themselves. Studying twentieth-century Canadian female authors and investigating why some of their records disappeared or were released from, refused by, or eventually housed in state-sanctioned establishments highlights the autonomy these women achieved, first, by virtue of how they approached or avoided official institutions and, second, as manifested in the nature and range of materials preserved in either personal or official archives. The visibility of female citizens is dependent upon the preservation of...

  5. 1 The Archive of Embodiment: Pauline Johnson’s “A Cry from an Indian Wife”
    (pp. 17-43)

    Upon deciding to include Pauline Johnson (1861–1913) as the subject of a chapter in this book, I sought out those archival deposits in Canada and abroad related to her literary and dramatic performances, as a means of laying the foundation for my research. I found considerable material housed at McMaster University and Queen’s University, among other institutions, before I approached the Random House Group Archive and Library at the University of Reading in England, into which the Bodley Head Papers had been enfolded. Bodley Head, the publishing company set up by John Lane, produced only Johnson’s first collection,The...

  6. 2 Her “Eye” Was Her “I”: Emily Carr, Autobiography, and the Archive of Kinship
    (pp. 44-75)

    Modern writer and artist Emily Carr confronted several challenges to achieving literary and artistic success and securing her credibility and longevity as an artist, including the establishing of her archive; that success hinged upon the complex relationships she established between herself, her subject matter, and her closest allies. To grasp such complexity, I call upon Judith Butler’sAntigone’s Claim: Kinship between Life and Deathand her exploration of the figure of Antigone. On the one hand, Antigone is expressive of political defiance, and on the other, she represents the principle of kinship – however unusual the manifestation of the latter given...

  7. 3 “It’s What You [Don’t] Say”: Sheila Watson, the Imminent Narrative, and the Archive of Displacement
    (pp. 76-106)

    In the last few years of her life, Sheila Watson (1909–1998) became preoccupied with housing the papers of her husband, Wilfred (1911–1998),¹ in an archive at the University of Alberta before turning to her own papers. We might say, as with Emily Carr, that the principle of kinship informed her efforts, and that these efforts would be initially applied to the materials for someone else’s archive rather than her own. However, her motivations were rather different from those of Carr, and she was more concerned about the proper housing of her records. In his capacity as biographer, Fred...

  8. 4 Jane Rule and the Archive of Activism: Negotiating Imaginative – and Literal – Space for a Nation
    (pp. 107-147)

    Jane Rule (1931–2007) – novelist, short story writer, activist, and contributor to the gay liberation periodicalThe Body Politic(1971–87) – was as fastidious about her writing life as she was about preserving the documentation surrounding that life. Over fifty boxes of papers and other materials – manuscripts, letters, newspaper reviews, photographs, and so forth – were preserved in the first of several accessions made at the University of British Columbia almost ten years before she died.¹ Indeed, she was so meticulous in recording her career as an author that she retained even letters that castigated her and her work, in a...

  9. 5 The Minor Archive: M. NourbeSe Philip and Mediations of Race and Gender in Canada
    (pp. 148-175)

    On 7 September 1995, M. NourbeSe Philip (1947–) was denounced in a radio broadcast by Michael Coren, a journalist for CFRB 1010 radio, for the recognition bestowed upon her as the recipient of the 1995 Toronto Arts Award in writing and publishing.¹ At the time of his remarks, Philip was already a celebrated poet, academic, essayist, activist, playwright, and novelist, nationally and internationally renowned for her literary endeavours as much as her attention to issues of social justice and her pronouncements against discrimination.² Coren’s scathing broadcast, in part informed by an article by Joey Slinger that had appeared two...

  10. Conclusion
    (pp. 176-180)

    This book began by considering how Michel Foucault characterizes the archive, in its broadest sense, as determining what is articulable in a given period. Using his formulation about “the law of what can be said” as the starting point, I employ a more narrow sense of his definition to suggest that what can be enunciated in and about a given period related to women authors has traditionally been limited by what a repository holds. I observe that women authors, who could initially make only tenuous claims to authorship, have increasingly worked to expand that principle in terms of the visibility...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 181-214)
  12. Works Cited
    (pp. 215-230)
  13. Index
    (pp. 231-244)