My research focus on Canadian cultural texts and their circulation and celebration examines how the boundaries of 'Canadianness' are constructed and reconstructed according to opportunities for Canada to accrue cultural power. My work consistently returns to hospitality discourse both in its engagement with immigrant and hyphenate Canadian writers who become internationally celebrated and in my interest in the Canada-US border: in both these areas, I am interested in how a 'Canadian host position' is constructed, as well as in the discrepancy between Canada's projection of itself as hospitable and the exclusivity with which 'Canadianness' is often defined. Thus, I often return to concepts of citizenship in my work in my effort to assess Canada's claims to be a just society as they are presented and invoked in its settler-invader postcolonial culture.
My teaching interests lie in the areas of Canadian literature and culture, Canada-US border studies, and film adaptation. I teach in semester 2 on the Level 1 core module, Canadian Literature, Film… read more
My current research focuses on postcolonial film adaptation, encompassing literature and film from Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia, Canada, India, the US, and the UK. This project examines… read more
ROBERTS, G., 2008. "The greatest hotel on earth": citizenship, nationality, and the circulation of Canadian literature West Coast Line: A Journal of Contemporary Writing and Criticism. 42(3), 146-160
ROBERTS, G., 2008. Return of the prodigal: hospitality and Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family'. In: CARRIÈRE, M. and KHORDOC, C., eds., Migrance comparée : les littératures du Canada et du Québec = Comparing migration : the literatures of Canada and Québec Peter Lang.
My teaching interests lie in the areas of Canadian literature and culture, Canada-US border studies, and film adaptation. I teach in semester 2 on the Level 1 core module, Canadian Literature, Film and Culture (Q41119), which introduces students to Canadian literary and visual culture through discussion of the wilderness paradigm, Quebec nationalism, Indigenous culture, multiculturalism, the Canada-US border, and Canadian popular culture. I also teach a second-year option, North American Fiction (Q42330), with my colleague Ruth Maxey, which focuses on twenty-first century U.S. and Canadian novels and short stories, and a third-year option, North American Film Adaptation (Q433QU), which examines Canadian and U.S. literary texts adapted for the cinema (MA students can take North American Film Adaptation as an MA variant (Q443QX)).
All of my modules seek to combine close examination of cultural texts with consideration of larger cultural contexts of production and consumption. Student participation is a crucial component of my approach to seminar teaching, and contributes to my modules' assessment, alongside written and sometimes verbal assignments.
My current research focuses on postcolonial film adaptation, encompassing literature and film from Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia, Canada, India, the US, and the UK. This project examines intersections of feminist and postcolonial adaptation; representations of racism and slavery; magic realism; cultural appropriation; and Indigenous representational sovereignty.
PhD theses by past and present supervisees have focused on cultural representations of Vancouver, literary representations of Toronto, queer theatre in Toronto, Carol Shields's fiction, comparative border studies, and Asian North American women's transnational literature. I would welcome expressions of interest from potential PhD candidates working in the areas of literary prize culture, film adaptations, Canada-US border studies, contemporary Canadian literature and cinema, and comparative settler-invader cultural studies.
My PhD focused on Canadian writers Michael Ondaatje and Carol Shields and their relationship to national and international literary prizes, as well as the ways in which international celebration is involved in negotiating the identities of immigrant writers. My first monograph, entitled Prizing Literature: The Celebration and Circulation of National Culture (University of Toronto Press, 2011), extends the PhD material and adds writers Rohinton Mistry and Yann Martel to my discussion. Prizing Literature won the International Council for Canadian Studies' Pierre Savard Award.
My second monograph, Discrepant Parallels: Cultural Implications of the Canada-US Border, was published by McGill-Queen's University Press (2015). The book comprises chapters on travel writing, cross-border policing dramas, First Nations and Native American approaches to the border, African-Canadian perspectives on the border, and Canada's relationship to Latin America.
I acted as Co-Investigator on the Culture and the Canada-US Border International Research Network (PI David Stirrup, Kent), funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and I was the organiser of the network's Cultural Crossings: Production, Consumption, and Reception across the Canada-US Border conference, which took place at Nottingham 20-22 June, 2014. The network's final event, a symposium on Canada-US Border Theory, took place in Paris May 15-16, 2015.
Future plans for my research include studies of settlement in Canadian writing after Idle No More, settler-invader literary cosmopolitanism, settler-invader citizenship, and comparative postcolonial border studies.