When choosing this issue’s theme, we found ourselves perturbed by a political climate that was stirring tensions in our communities, campuses, and even families. Blatant political corruption, (inter)national gaslighting, and reactionary groups have become the norm since choosing Resistance and Resilience as our theme for Issue 17 of TRANSverse. Authors responded with varied expressions, interpretations, and criticisms that wove together a nuanced meditation on the theme. The collection we have put together explores resistance and resilience found in ecological, social, personal, and political realms, creating a rich palimpsest that embodies the many dimensions of our theme. As we worked on the issue, we realized that the idea and experience of survival emerged as a latent, recurring theme in the issue—not solely in our submissions, but also as a reality that the journal faced. The submissions share this thread with TRANSverse’s own challenges of resilience and survival in the face of limited funding, bureaucratic backlog, and the maintenance of a bilingual status.
This year we had the opportunity to address the challenges of survival by partaking in a roundtable discussion at the Canadian Comparative Literature Association hosted at the 2018 Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Regina. We shared our journal’s story of survival in a time of great precarity for humanities and interdisciplinary departments. The imbrication of resistance, resilience, and survival became evident once the panel ended and we came together in solidarity to offer each other help in the future. As a result, issue 17 aligns TRANSverse’s own obstacles with the explored theme, marking a personal involvement in the active struggle to build community and continue publishing pieces that give voice and witness to struggles otherwise overlooked.
This year’s issue promises to engage our readers in an engrossing reflection on resistance, resilience, and survival in contexts both familiar and alien. In the morning, as we scroll through news sites, we are faced with streams of articles and data about rising temperatures and sea levels. We might wonder how the ocean would complain and address its polluters. Would its complaint be an elegant diatribe, or a sneering, sarcastic statement? We then turn our attention to the quotidien choice of clothing, a seemingly trivial drudgery. And yet the clothing we choose to wear could express political or social resistance, just as the Chicanos’ Zoot suits. When we pass by protests gathered on campuses, in front of embassies, or in city squares, we notice their call to resistance made evident by their chants, slogans, and signs. We do not, however, register the various tensions and philosophies that might be splintering or conjoining the group. And those whose voices are muted by the loud shouts and sirens, what are they dreaming of? Are they dreaming of the same revolutions and utopias? The poetry, critical articles, and artwork of TRANSverse’s 17th issue explore these and other questions asked when we witness seismic political shifts.
The 17th issue was made possible due to the continuous collaboration between the editorial and administrative staff at the Centre for Comparative Literature. We would like to acknowledge the indefatigable support from the Centre, which contributes to the survival of this journal. We also thank Dr. Jill Ross, Dr. Ann Komaromi, Bao Nguyen, Aphrodite Gardener, and Anthoula Vlahakis, who have all been helpful administrators and without whom TRANSverse would be reduced to a few pages quickly stapled together. We are truly grateful for our editorial board comprised of Paula Karger, Teresa Valentini, Amelia Bailey, Matt da Mota, Aline Bouwman, Ami Xherro, and Ben Hjorth, who helped realize the pieces that make up this issue. Special thanks goes out to Ailén Cruz, Nat Harington, Matt Ariaratnam, who have put up with our obsessivecompulsive work habits, countless meetings, and inspired us to continue the journal. We extend special thanks to Jeanne MathieuLessard for organizing the panel on the survival of periodical journals, as well as inviting TRANSverse to participate at Congress 2018.
Vanessa & Ben