Eli MacLaren

 Eli  MacLaren
Contact Information
514-398-4400 Ext 00803
Email address: 
eli.maclaren [at] mcgill.ca
Faculty Members
Assistant Professor, TA Co-ordinator, Member of the Graduate Administration Committee

B.A. (University of Alberta); M.A. (University of Western Ontario); Ph.D. (University of Toronto)

Nineteenth Century to Present
Teaching areas: 

Poetry and poetics; Canadian poetry, including nature poetry and ecopoetics; Canadian fiction; First Nations writers; bibliography and the history of the book; authorship and publishing history; law and literature (copyright)

Recent courses: ENGL 228 (Survey of English-Canadian Literature to 1950); ENGL 311 (Poetics); ENGL 327 (Canadian Prose Fiction to 1950); ENGL 346 (Materiality and Sociology of Texts); ENGL 409 (Alice Munro); ENGL 410 (Canadian Romanticism); ENGL 531 (Al Purdy); ENGL 680 (Race and Nation in 19th-Century Canadian Fiction); ENGL 690 (Don McKay and the Canadian Small Press); ENGL 785 (Approaches to Book History)

Taught previously at: 

University of Toronto, Queen’s University, Carleton University

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

Co-chercheur du Groupe de recherches et d’études sur le livre au Québec (GRÉLQ), 2013–
Editor of the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, 2012–17
Co-organizer of SHARP 2015: The Generation and Regeneration of Books, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Connection Grant, 2015
Seventh Annual Leon Katz Memorial Lecture, “Major Contours in the History of the Book in Canada,” Friends of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, 2015.
Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture (FRQSC), subvention nouveau professeur-chercheur, “Examen du droit d’auteur: pressions légales et activité littéraire au Canada,” 2013–15
Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship 2011–13
Canadian Literature (journal), Award for Best Essay, 2010

Selected publications: 



Dominion and Agency: Copyright and the Structuring of the Canadian Book Trade, 1867–1918 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011)


“Copyright and Poetry in Twenty-First-Century Canada: Poets’ Incomes and Fair Dealing.” Canadian Literature 233 (forthcoming February 2018) (7000 words).

“Scholarly Editing: A Way to Read Al Purdy’s ‘House Guest.’” In An Echo in the Mountains: Al Purdy at One Hundred, edited by Nicholas Bradley (forthcoming 2018) (8000 words).

“Canadian Book History.” In The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, edited by Cynthia Sugars. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 799–812.

“La malédiction littéraire au Canada anglais: Le cas de Lionel Stevenson.” Dans Deux siècles de malédiction littéraire: Transformations, médiations et transferts d’un mythe, dirigé par Pascal Brissette et Marie Pier-Luneau. Liège (Belgique): Presses universitaires de Liège, 2014. 231–40.

“ ‘Significant Little Offerings’: The Origin of the Ryerson Poetry Chap-Books, 1925–26.” Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents, Reviews 72 (2013): 9–49.

Josée Vincent and Eli MacLaren. “Book Policy and Copyright in Canada and Quebec: Defending National Cultures.” Canadian Literature 204 (2010): 63–82. = “Les politiques du livre au Québec et au Canada, à la défense des cultures nationales.” In Réseaux et circulation internationale du livre: diplomatie culturelle et propagande 1880-1980, edited by François Vallotton. Paris: Éditions Nouveau Monde, 2011.

“Resistance, Rebellion, and Print in the Northwest.” In History of the Book in Canada. Vol. 2, 1840–1918, edited by Yvan Lamonde, Patricia Lockhart Fleming, and Fiona A. Black. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005. 343–49.

“Facies cholerica: the Record of Cholera in Print.” In History of the Book in Canada. Vol. 1, Beginnings to 1840, edited by Patricia Lockhart Fleming, Gilles Gallichan, and Yvan Lamonde. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004. 303–6.

Edited Journal Issues

Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada 50, no.1 – 55, no. 1 (spring 2012 to spring 2017), 10 issues, 40 articles

Guest-Edited Journal Issues

“The Generation and Regeneration of Books / La génération et régénérations du livre (SHARP 2015)”. Special issue. Mémoires du livre / Studies in Book Culture 7, no. 2 (2016).

“New Studies in the History of Reading” = “Nouvelles recherches en histoire de la lecture.” Special issue, Mémoires du livre / Studies in Book Culture 3, no. 2 (2012). 

“Bibliography and Book History in Canada: Views on the State of the Discipline.” Special issue, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada 46, no. 1 (Spring 2008).

Book Reviews 

Review of The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada: Making Books and Mapping Culture, by Ruth Panofsky. Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents, Reviews 70 (2012): 93–96.

Review of “Collecting Stamps Would Have Been More Fun”: Canadian Publishing and the Correspondence of Sinclair Ross, 1933–1986, edited by Jordan Stouck and David Stouck. The Bull Calf 1, no. 3 (Sept. 2011). http://www.thebullcalfreview.ca.

Review of Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates, by Adrian Johns. Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada 48, no. 2 (2010). 332–36.

Review of Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide, by Laura J. Murray and Samuel E. Trosow. Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada 47, no. 1 (2009): 113–16.

Review of The Internationalisation of Copyright Law: Books, Buccaneers and the Black Flag in the Nineteenth Century, by Catherine Seville. Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada  46, no. 1 (2008): 126–29.

“Plumbing the Depths.” Review of Spine, by K.I. Press. Echolocation 4 (2005): 63–66.

Current research: 

My next monograph is a literary and publishing history of the Ryerson Poetry Chap-Books, a Canadian national poetry series edited by Lorne Pierce in Toronto from 1925 to 1960. Beginning with a desire to celebrate the Confederation Poets, the series navigated the hard times of the Depression and the hostility of literary modernists, ultimately launching the careers of Anne Marriott, Dorothy Livesay, and Al Purdy, while modelling what would become the solution for Canadian poetry in the Centennial area – the subsidized small press.

With support from the GRÉLQ under Professor Josée Vincent (Université de Sherbrooke), I am directing a textual study of the fiction of Alice Munro, comparing the published editions of her stories (in magazines and books) to identify variants.

A research project on the ambitious and embattled John Lovell, nineteenth-century Montreal’s (and Canada’s) most important literary publisher, is in the initial stages of development and is the subject of my next funding application.

Back to top