Prof. Kathryn Carter (Wilfred Laurier University): ‘Irish Diaries and Letters as Material Artefacts of Settler Colonialism in Canada, 1820-60’
The presentation focuses on examples of emigrant letters and journal letters (and two pianos!) circulating in what would become Canada between 1820 and 1860. The paper traces the material history of these documents as objects in an attempt to develop a critical vocabulary and framework that can incorporate marginalized voices into the historiography of 19th-century Irish emigration to British North America.
Dr. Kathryn Carter is a full professor of English literature at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada, where she has served as dean and associate vice-president of teaching and learning. Her past research on nineteenth-century diaries and letters appears in Life/Writing, Journal of Canadian Studies, and Australian-Canadian Studies, among others. Her anthology of diary writing by women in Canada (University of Toronto Press) was published in 2002, and more recently, she published a chapter on feminist interpretations of diary writing in The Diary: Epic of Everyday Life (2020), an examination of letters written to Ireland from Canada in the mid-nineteenth century, in the Journal of Epistolary Studies (Fall 2022), and she has forthcoming articles on the history of fur trade diaries in Canada (“Keeping a Diary in Canada”), and on the reading and writing habits of citizens in nineteenth-century Brantford, Ontario entitled “Self-Improvement in Victorian Ontario, or How the Tinsmith Got His Books.”
This is a hybrid event, taking place in-person in 27 University Square, 01/003 and online via MS Teams. Please indicate your preferred mode of joining when registering.
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