This on-line bibliography has been created by the Culture-from-Below Research Group, directed by Prof. Roxanne Rimstead in collaboration with several research assistants working toward an M.A. or Ph.D. in Comparative Canadian Literature / Littérature canadienne comparée at the Université de Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada). Our research work is funded by SSHRC and FQRSC. This on-line bibliography is a work in progress.

The goal of the three-part bibliography is to share research tools for further work on Canadian culture from below with literary and cultural studies scholars, students, activists, social scientists, service providers, and people from below who wish to write their own stories. Culture from below as a concept originated in British Cultural Studies in mid-twentieth century, but the feeling of being lower than others in a hierarchy based on social power and status is age-old and exists in the popular imagination. Although seldom used these days, “culture from below” is a promising concept to describe the subculture or counterculture of certain excluded members of society who are economically disenfranchised or deprived of voice according to class, status, or economic hierarchy.

Part I of this bibliography includes primary sources on domestics, prisoners, prostitutes, the unemployed, the homeless, and those on welfare, political radicalism, and youth culture in Canada and Québec as represented in genres such as novels, short stories, life writing, reportage, films, personal essays, plays, and poetry in English and French.

Part II of the bibliography includes selected secondary sources on the international theory of analyzing and understanding culture from below for each of the categories of subjects identified in Part I.

Part III is a special section of the bibliography devoted to women: women in need, women on the streets, and women in service, including theories of radical knowledge that can be applied to the reading of testimony by these women.


Contested Spaces: Conflict, Counter-Narrative, and Culture from Below in Canadian and Québécois Literatures
Organizers Roxanne Rimstead (Université de Sherbrooke) and Domenic Beneventi (CELAT, UQAM)
1-2 May 2009, Université de Sherbrooke (CRSH\SSHRC)

Video of the conference