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Topics in Modern/Contemporary Canadian Literature I

Diaspora Writing in Toronto

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Diaspora literature refers to works by authors from communities who have left their ancestral homelands, voluntarily or otherwise, to make their homes elsewhere. As the most culturally diverse city in the world, Toronto is home to many diaspora writers who examine, directly or indirectly, the relationships of their respective communities with the urban Canadian community and landscape they encounter. Using Toronto as a platform from which to examine the similarities and differences between the texts and the experiences of the various authors or narrators in question, this course will study questions of displacement and cultural belonging. We will also consider what some refer to as Indigenous diaspora literature—works by Indigenous authors who have been displaced from their traditional territories within what we call Canada.


Texts may include work by;

  • Dionne Brand
  • Tomson Highway
  • Souvankham Thammavongsa
  • Vivek Shraya
  • Gianna Patriarca
  • Judy Fong Bates
  • David Bezmozgis
  • Zarqa Nawaz etc.


  • Discussion posts
  • A seminar
  • An essay with workshop
  • An image post

**Assessments subject to change**


ENGL 200
ENGL 290

Department of English, Queen's University

Watson Hall
49 Bader Lane
Kingston ON K7L 3N6

Telephone (613) 533-2153



Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.