Previous Talks, Workshops and Events

  • Writing workshop at the public library in Collingwood 1 to 4 pm Saturday Nov 9
  • Writing workshop at the Hanover Public Library Sunday 1 to 4 pm Nov 8.
  • Signing, Cormorant Booth, Word on the Street, September 21 2014.
  • Talk at Bendale Public Library, Scarborough, September 13, 2014.
  • Parry Sound Books, Parry Sound, August 9, 2014
  • A Day in the Life, interview with host Fred Hacker, Midland Cultural Centre, June 17 2014
  • Talk and reading for Etobicoke chapter of Canadian Association of University Women, November 19, 2013.
  • Talk and reading by Susan Swan at Toronto Public Library Annette branch, Oct 21, 2013.
  • Wine and Words, talk and reading by Susan Swan at Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library, Oct, 2, 2013.
  • Readings, panel moderator and talk by Susan Swan at Sunshine Writers Festival, Sechelt, British Columbia, Aug. 15 to 19, 2013.
  • Talk and reading by Susan Swan, Parry Sound Light house; the Festival of Sound, Parry Sound, July 25, 2013.
  • Interview with Susan Swan by Valerie Gardener, Chapters store, Barrie, Ontario, May 18, 2013.
  • Author talk on The Western Light, Ridgeway Readings, Ridgeway, Ontario, May 10 3023.
  • Author talk on The Western Light, the Ontario Writers’ Federation; Ajax, Ontario, May 3, 2013.
  • Heroines of the Sexual Gothic (with the Billie Hollies), performance of music and monologues, Brescia College, University of Western, London, Ontario, May 2 2013.
  • Talk/reading at Draft Readings, Toronto, April 7, 2012.
  • Talk at Prince Edward County Festival, Picton Bookstore, April 13, 2013.
  • The Fantastic, Fearless and Furious World of Gabrielle de Montmollin, essay in artist’s catalogue, the red head gallery, April 24 to May 18, 2013.
  • Talk and performance with Donna Linklater (from the Billie Hollies) at the Innisfil Public Library, April 16, 2013.
  • Talk on Fathers and Daughters in Literature for the Literary Review in Canada, Gardiner Museum, January 25, 2013.

 

The Western Light spring and fall events 2013

In the recent past, Susan Swan has given talks at such venues as

  • Banff Centre for the Arts,
  • Conference of Commonwealth Literatures at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Park, UK;
  • McNally Robinson bookstore, New York City;
  • UNESCO book festival, Montreal;
  • Humber College, Toronto;
  • McGill Alumni celebration;
  • Freedom to Read Week Celebration;
  • The Vancouver Writers’ Festival

Susan’s talk “Notes on Pop” available HERE.

In 1999-2000, Susan was awarded York’s prestigious position of Robarts Chair in Canadian Studies. Sponsored by York’s Robarts Centre, Swan held a Moveable Millennial Wisdom Symposium at York University and the Royal Ontario Museum, featuring eighteen prominent novelists, historians and archeologists speaking about the way we recreate the past in popular culture through literature, archeology and history. At ten public events, writers like Anne Michaels, Alberto Manguel, Ronald Wright, Guy Vanderhaege, Carol Christ, Tomson Highway, Rosalind Miles and Dionne Brand talked about whether we ever learn from the past, and if so, what wisdom does the past have to offer us as we enter the Twenty-First century. Swan gave the concluding Robarts Lecture March 21, 2000.

Susan Swan’s teaching activities at York University have included teaching fiction classes and creative writing classes. Her popular course, Making Yourself Up: The Fictionalized Memoir, focused on the fictionalized memoir as a form of autobiographical narrative (or life writing). The course engaged critical discussion of the poetics of self-development in the memoir form. A form of literary solipsism begun by St. Augustine, this tradition of prose narrative views the interior self as the central canvas for political and social dramas, as well as spiritual and emotional ones, and is closely linked to the confessional novel. The course devoted particular attention to the issue of narrative form and strategy in the production of the fictionalized memoir.

The relations between “autobiography” and “fiction” have provoked considerable debate and discussion in recent criticism, and the course engaged a range of questions arising from this critical work. Jill Ker Conway opens When Memory Speaks: Reflections on Autobiography with a provocative question: “Why is autobiography the most popular form of fiction for modern readers?” The course examined a selection of fictionalized memoirs in the interests of developing a range of responses to this query. Attention was directed to the issue of genre in relation to life-writing and the fictionalized memoir, to the issue of the representation of “reality” in the memoir form, and to the issue of gender as it concerns the production of the memoir narrative.

To get in touch with Susan about a talk or workshop, please see the Contact section.