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Affects, Archives, Chapbooks: Sara Ahmed and the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets

Andrea Joy Beverley


This essay uses concepts developed by feminist theorist Sara Ahmed to explore the Living Archives poetry chapbook series, which is published by the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets. Focusing on the two inaugural chapbooks (Stats Memos & Memory 1982 and Illegitimate Positions: Women & Language 1987), this essay investigates affective links between the Feminist Caucus meetings and their ensuing publications. Ahmed’s descriptions of feminist hope offer a productive lens through which to imagine the poets’ drive to archive their encounters through annual publication. Additionally, Ahmed’s writings on feminist hope and the “particular encounter” enable a reframing of textual moments that might otherwise be read as failure or absence. Ultimately, this essay suggests a partial methodology for reading this rarely-discussed series and performs a literary critical engagement with Ahmed’s feminist theory.

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