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This is a collection of interdisciplinary essays that examine the various contexts - political, social, and cultural - that have shaped the study of Canadian literature and the role it plays in our understanding of the Canadian nation-state. The essays are tied together as instances of critical practices that reveal the relations and exchanges that take place between the categories of the literary and the nation, as well as between the disciplinary sites of critical discourses and the porous boundaries of their methods. They are concerned with the material effects of the imperial and colonial logics that have fashioned Canada, as well as with the paradoxes, ironies, and contortions that abound in the general perception that Canada has progressed beyond its colonial construction. Smaro Kamboureli's introduction demonstrates that these essays engage with the larger realm of human and social practices - throne speeches, book clubs, policies of accommodation of cultural and religious differences, Indigenous thought about justice and ethics - to show that literary and critical work is inextricably related to the Canadian polity in light of transnational and global forces.