"Who Is She and What Is She to You?" Mary Ann Shadd Cary and the (Im)possibility of Black/Canadian Studies

  • Rinaldo Walcott York University
Keywords: American literature, Canadian Studies, Black Studies, Women writers, African American women


This paper addresses the relationship between Black Studies, Canadian Studies and Black diasporic discourses and incorporates the figure of Mary Ann Shadd Cary as an intellectual guide to argue for a place within Canadian Studies for a sustained conversation concerning Blackness. The paper is a conceptual exercise in working through the concern of why discourses of Blackness in Canadian Studies operate much like a special effect and why Canadian Blackness is also not sustained in Black Studies discourses.