Mapping CanLit and Austin Clarke

This post is part of an ongoing Digital Scholarship Ontario series which highlights the scholarship and teaching experiences of Ontario’s digital scholars.

by Paul Barrett

My current research is driven by the perplexing problem of trying to understand Austin Clarke’s marginalization in Canadian Literature. Clarke is one of our earliest, most prolific, and one of our most awarded authors. He has written 11 novels, many short stories, poetry collections, and his archives at McMaster (where I work) are extensive. Despite all this, however, there is very little scholarship on Clarke — even after winning major awards for The Origin of Waves and The Polished Hoe, Clarke’s writing still have not received much scholarly attention. My current research uses digital humanities research to explain this absence in Canadian literary scholarship and to offer new methods of interpreting Clarke’s work.

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