Smaro Kamboureli

Professor; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 924, 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Canadian Literature (fiction, poetry, criticism)
  • Postcolonial and Diaspora Studies and Theory
  • Multiculturalism
  • Area Studies and Interdisciplinarity
  • Humanitarian Narratives
  • The Humanities.


Smaro Kamboureli specializes in contemporary Canadian literature and criticism. Before joining the University of Toronto, she taught at the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph where she was Canada Research Chair (CRC) Tier 1 in Critical Studies in Canadian Literature. Her CRC research project included founding and directing the TransCanada Institute, organizing three international and interdisciplinary TransCanada conferences, and initiating collaborative research on the methodologies and institutional structures and contexts that inform and shape the production, dissemination, teaching, and study of Canadian literature. Before moving to Guelph, she taught for many years at the University of Victoria where she served as Director of the English graduate program and as the first Associate Dean Research in the Humanities. The recipient of various research grants, she has had her work translated in Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, and Polish and she was a guest professor in Germany and India. On the Board of NeWest Press (Edmonton) and one of its in-house editors since 1981, she is the founder and editor of its series The Writer as Critic that has published such Canadian authors as Phyllis Webb, Roy Miki, Fred Wah, Erin Moure, Di Brandt, Daphne Marlatt, and George Bowering. She is also the founder and general editor of the TransCanada Series of books at Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Her book Scandalous Bodies: Diasporic Literature in English Canada received the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Criticism, and she was a finalist for the 2011 Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence (Book Publishers of Alberta Association) and Tom Fairley Award For Editorial Excellence (Editors’ Association of Canada).Her most recent book publications include Editing as Cultural Practice in Canada (co-edited with Dean Irvine, 2016) and Lee Maracle’s Memory Serve: Oratories (2015), which she edited and to which she contributed an afterword. Her current research revolvews around diasporic and Indigenous literatures in Canada.

Office Hours

Tuesdays 2:00pm-4:00pm



Critical Collaborations: Indigeneity, Diaspora, Ecology in Canadian Literary Studies, co-ed. With Christl Verduyn. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP.


Land/Relations: Possibilities of Justice in Canadian Literatures. Co-ed with Larissa Lai. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2023.

Shifting the Ground of Canadian Literary Studies. Co-ed with Robert Zacharias. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012.

Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Marketplace. Co-ed. with Kit Dobson. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2013.

Retooling the Humanities: The Culture of Research in Canadian Universities. Co-ed. with Daniel Coleman. Edmonton: U of Alberta P, 2011.

Scandalous Bodies: Diasporic Literature in English Canada. Reprint, with a Preface by Imre Szeman. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2009.

Canadian Literature at the Crossroads of Language and Culture: Selected Essays by Barbara Godard 1987-2005. Ed. Edmonton: NeWest, 2009.

Trans.Can.Lit: Resituating the Study of Canadian Literature. Co-ed. with Roy Miki. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP 2007.

Making a Difference: Canadian Multicultural Literatures in English. Revised edition. Ed. Toronto: Oxford UP, 2006.

Pacific Rim Letters by Roy K. Kiyooka. Ed. Edmonton: NeWest, 2006.

Scandalous Bodies: Diasporic Literature in English Canada. Toronto: Oxford UP, 2000.

Making a Difference: Canadian Multicultural Literature. Ed. Toronto: Oxford UP, 1996.

On the Edge of Genre: The Contemporary Canadian Long Poem. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1991.

A Mazing Space: Writing Canadian Women Writing. Co-edited with Shirley Neuman. Edmonton: Longspoon and NeWest, 1986. in the second person. Edmonton: Longspoon, 1985.

Selected Articles

“Signifying Contamination: On Austin Clarke’s Nine Men Who Laughed.” Reprint. Austin Clarke: Essays on His Works, ed. Camille A. Isaacs. Toronto: Guernica, 2013. 195-228.

“Introduction. Shifting the Ground of a Discipline: Emergence and Canadian Literary Studies in English.” Shifting the Ground of Canadian Literary Studies. Eds. Smaro Kamboureli and Robert Zacharias. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012. 1-36.

“‘I have altered my tactics to reflect the new era’: Public Intellectuals and Community.” Tracing the Lines: Reflections on Contemporary Poetics and Politics in Honour of Roy Miki. Eds. Maia Joseph, Christine Kim, Larissa Lai and Chris Lee. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2012. 182-202.

“(Reading Closely) Calling for the Formation of Asian Canadian Studies.” Unruly Penelopes and the Ghosts: Narratives of English Canada. Ed. Eva Darias Beautell. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP. 43-75.

“Forgetting, Remembering, and Unforgetting: Collective Memory and the Nation-state in Rawi Hage’s Cockroach.” Towards Critical Multiculturalism: Dialogues Between / Among Canadian Diasporas. Eds. Ewelina Bujnowska, Marcin Gabryś, and Tomasz Sikora. Katowice, Poland: Agencja Artystyczna PARA, 2011. 134-53.

“The Sublime of Mobility and Thomas Wharton’s Icefields.” Mobilités culturelles / Cultural Mobilities. Eds. Pascal Gin and W. Moser. Ottawa: U of Ottawa P, 2011. 189-229.

“The Diasporized Body: Diaspora, Affect, Translation.” Narratives of Migration in Contemporary Canadian Literature. Eds. Maria Löschnigg and Martin Löschnigg. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2009. 19-44.

"Introduction: Discourses of Security, Peacekeeping Narratives, and the Canadian Cultural Imagination." Co-authored with Heike Härting. Special Isssue of same title. University of Toronto Quarterly, 78, 2 (2009): 659-686.

“The Politics of the Beyond: 43 Theses on Autoethnography and Complicity.”

Asian Canadian Writing beyond Autoethnography. Eds. Eleanor Ty and Chrystl Verduyn. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2008. 31-53.

“Frank Davey and the Method of Cool.” Studies in Canadian Literature, 32.2 (Summer 2007): 203-26.

“The Limits of the Ethical Turn: Troping towards the Other, Yann Martel, and Self.” University of Toronto Quarterly, 76.3 (Summer 2007): 937-961.

“The Long Poem’s Race away from Modernity.” Krysinger: Nye perspektiver på moderne nordisk lyrikk. Ed. Ole Karlesn. Norway: Unique, 2008. 185-209.

“The Culture of Celebrity and National Pedagogy.” Home-Work: Postcolonialism, Pedagogy, and Canadian Literature. Ed. Cynthia Sugars. Ottawa: U of Ottawa P, 2004. 35-56.

"Faking It: Fred Wah and the Postcolonial Imaginary." Etudes Canadiennes (France), 54 (2003): 115-32.

“Shrink Wrapped: The National Packaging of Race Writing.” Co-authored with Fred Wah. The Atlantic Literary Review, 2.4 (October – December 2001): 132-40.

"The Technology of Ethnicity: Canadian Multiculturalism and the Language of Law." Multicultural States: Rethinking Difference and Identity. Ed. David Bennett. London and New York: Routledge, 1999. 208-22.

"Staging Cultural Criticism: Michael Ignatieff's Blood and Belonging and Myrna Kostash's Bloodlines." Literary Pluralities. Ed. Christl Verduyn. Broadview Press, 1998. 232-53.


BA, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
MA, University of Manitoba
PhD, University of Manitoba