Call for Proposals

Indigenous Literary Arts of Truth and Redress

A Gathering of the Indigenous Literary Studies Association

Unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory

University of British Columbia, Vancouver

3-5 June 2019

The Indigenous Literary Studies Association invites scholars, knowledge-keepers, writers, artists, and community members to reconsider dominant discourses of reconciliation through explorations of Indigenous literatures as literatures of truth, reformation, reclamation, resurgence, and redress.

This conference seeks to animate “redress” as the missing word between truth and reconciliation in Canada. Without redress, reconciliation will remain a vague, imagined ideal of a happy, inclusive country where “sharing” means that nothing changes for either Indigenous peoples or non-Indigenous Canadians. We are at a moment in time when talk about reconciliation proliferates while truth continues to go missing in numerous discursive arenas (corporations, governments, education systems). We suggest that between truth and reconciliation is a gap that can only be overcome by the restoration of and compensation for lands and resources stolen from Indigenous peoples. Beyond land and treaty rights, Indigenous sovereignty, languages, and kinship affiliations need to be restored. Indeed, some of the most vibrant invocations of Indigenous self-determination and calls to action come from our literary arts.

The Indigenous Literary Studies Association welcomes participants to consider truth, sovereignty, and redress in connection to Indigenous writings in their multiple and expansive dimensions, including discussions of literature, film, theatre, performance, storytelling, song, hip-hop, and other forms of narrative expression. We support diverse modes of creating
and disseminating knowledge. Prospective participants are invited to propose conference papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, performances, and other formats for special sessions. Panel sessions will be 90 minutes in duration, including at least 15 minutes for questions and discussion. In keeping with our desire to enable dialogue and community-based learning, we welcome session proposals that utilize non-standard or alternative formats. While open to all proposals dealing with Indigenous literary arts, ILSA encourages proposals for sessions and individual presentations that engage with the following topics:

  • Literary Illuminations of Truth, Reformation, Reclamation, and/or Redress

  • Land-based Sovereignties, Pedagogies, and the Literary Arts

  • Kinship and Community Responsibility in Discourses of Truth and Reconciliation

  • Reconciliation as Discourses of Power and Privilege

  • Indigenous Ways of Understanding Truth and Redress

  • Embodied Forms of Resurgence

  • Indigenous Literary Protocols and the Production of Literatures of Truth

  • The Place of Oral Traditions and Material Cultures in Truth and Reconciliation Discourses

  • Indigenous Performance Arts as Arts of Truth, Self-Determination, and Reclamation

  • Land, Stories, and Narrative Arts in Action

  • Truth and Redress in Urban Indigenous Communities and the Literary Arts

  • Artistic Expressions of Sovereignty and Redress

The deadline for all proposals is January 15th, 2019.  All proposals should be sent to

We remind you that prospective participants must be members in order to present at ILSA 2019 in Vancouver. Membership Rates are $40 (faculty) or $20 (students, community members, or underwaged) for one year. Complete your membership application here: Membership

Thank you for your continued support. We encourage our members to contact the ILSA Council directly should you have any concerns or ideas you wish to share.

The Indigenous Literary Studies Association Council 2018-2019

Michelle Coupal, President

Allison Hargreaves, President-Elect

Daniel Heath Justice, Acting Past President

Sarah Henzi, Secretary

Aubrey Hanson, Treasurer

Svetlana Seibel, Early Career Member

Madeleine Reddon, Graduate Student Representative

Sandie Dielissen, Registrar