Corey Abell

Areas of Study: Cultural Studies, Phenomenology, Metaethics, Space Theory, Digital Media, Poetics

I am interested in the rise of the INTERNET, and in particular how it influences our everyday lives, attitudes, and ethical behaviours. I worked on a project which aimed at distinguishing digital space as a kind of normative space in its own right. To put this into perspective, imagine walking through your public library. While doing so you probably feel an encouragement (a normative pressure) not to be loud or disruptive. This pressure perhaps does not exist at a death-metal concert. In a sense the space determines, or at least prescribes, the normative systems which you ought to follow. Now, it is my goal to investigate the meta-ethical structure of digital space. To date, not much has been written regarding social normativity and the digital. I maintain that a reevaluation of what digital space is needs to be done. To begin this project, I used as an investigative tool the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty. What this Pontian lens provided was a useful conception of embodiment in regards to the human perception and experience of space. Philosophical techniques that have been used to characterize the human experience of space need to start being applied to digital space specifically! I also like to write poems and snowboard.


Haida Antolick

Haida Antolick completed her master’s in 2014. Her capstone project is entitled, Toward a Productively Negative Politics of Irritation: Reading Racial Trauma and Its Attendant Anger in Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy. She benefited primarily from the supervision and mentorship of Professor Christine Kim and Professor David Chariandy. Though eclectic, her research interests focused on contemporary diasporic North American fiction, racialization, affect theory and the instrumentalization of narratives of trauma.

A truncated version of her master’s capstone project was presented at Silence and Documentation, the department’s 2015 Graduate Conference, which she co-organized. Her presentation can be viewed here.

Antolick also earned her undergraduate degree at SFU, completing an honours in the English department, and an additional major in anthropology. Her honours capstone project is entitled,
Unmarked Survivors / Marked Inhumanity: Loss and the (Self) Instrumentalization of What Remains in Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

During her time at SFU, Antolick was active in the university community, serving on the executives of the Simon Fraser Student Society, the Graduate Student Society and the Teaching Support Staff Union.

Shortly after graduating, Antolick joined the staff of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC, a provincial umbrella group of university faculty unions. Her position requires a dynamic skill set and includes research, communications, political support, member relations, event planning and office administration. Her side hustles include contract work in communications and organizing, and child care.

Outside of staffer life, she is active politically, in both electoral and radical spheres. While she hasn’t yet given up on the dream of doing a PhD, for now a modicum of economic security and the freedom of a writing practice outside of academia are winning out. Antolick blogs (very infrequently) at and tweets (sporadically) @haidaantolick.

Antolick lives, works and writes in Vancouver, on the unceded and occupied lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

Hannah Celinski

Areas of Study: Dramatic Texts, Classical and Contemporary Literature, Technique Theory, Performance Studies

My research currently centers around movement as communication. By addressing the ways in which written text employs movement as a complex way of relating emotion, plot or information, an opportunity is presented to analyze subtle ways in which humans articulate themselves and interpret the world around them. This branch of study includes dramatic texts, classical and contemporary literature, technique theory and performance studies.

Alexander Cline

Areas of Study: 20th- and 21st-century American Literature, Realism, Autobiographical Literature, Character Studies.

My research focuses on the changing state of character in contemporary American novels. Where early American novelists designed their characters through the use of realism (and its extensions), my project analyzes the recent shift towards "autobiographical fiction" or "autofiction". This is when an author writes a version of themselves into the text, blending the lines between memoir and novel. I am concerned with how this new literary movement complicates character studies as we know it today, primarily seeking to understand how and why we read character.

Courtenay Connor

Areas of Study: 19th-century Literature, Scottish Literature, Post-colonial Studies, Cultural Memory Studies, Canadian Literature, Indigenous Literatures and Histories, Oral History

I am interested in the way history mingles with cultural memory and the production of literatures. Specifically, the way colonial mentalities and myths interact with texts and wider social discourse. During my MA, I explored the ways Indigenous literatures challenge and decolonize Canadian cultural memory. I focused on demonstrating shifts in popular discourse surrounding the myths of Canadian cultural memory in accordance with contemporary and historical events.

Viktoria Cseh

Her research interests included Canadian multi-ethnic literatures of the 20th- and 21st-centuries, diasporic literature, issues of culture and space, and contemporary poetry and prose that arise out of—or in spite of—the context of official historical accounts.

Connor Cullen

Areas of Interest: Children’s literature, the Victorian Era, Romanticism, Gothic literature, Utopianism

I explored fictional inheritances in contemporary children’s and young adult fantasy literature from Romantic and Gothic fictional elements in 18th- and 19th-century literature. These inheritances are concentrated in representations of various kinds of death—death of the physical body, death of the identity, death of the environment, death of the ideal—and are most evident in the realm of the fantastic or extraordinary, not only in traditional narratives but in fairy tales, mythologies and folklore as well. Over the last two decades, there has been a proliferation of so-called “dark fantasies” which embody such inheritances. Ultimately, I looked at why this trend has occurred, what forces might be driving it and how these texts affect the ethical / moral values of children’s literature.

Matthew DeSimone

Areas of Interest: Science Fiction / Fantasy, Imagined Worlds, Ecocriticism  

My research focused on fictional worlds and their place in literature and media. Specifically, I concentrated on how these worlds, not only act as settings for narrative, but also function as independent entities, with their own sense of place and internal unity. In other words, what does it mean for an author to create their own world, and why are creators— throughout time—compelled to do so? I also focused on the work of William Morris and his constructed ecology and "sense of place" in imagined and speculative environments. 

Brenna Duperron

Area of Study: Eclectic 
Publications/Conference Papers:

  • “The Wilde Trials, the Associated Press, and American Newspaper.” with Dr. Colette Colligan, Professor (SFU). Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada: Victorian Intimacies. Winnipeg, MB, Canada. April 22-23, 2016.
  • "The Picture of American Trade Courtesy: Oscar Wilde, Obscenity and Copyright Traditions." The Novel, the Periodical Press, and the Global Circulation of Texts, 1789 – 1945. University of Warwick. Coventry, UK. February 16-17, 2016.
  • "Cracks in the Silence: The Associated Press’ Dissemination of the Unprintable Word." SFU English Grad Conference 2015: Silence and Documentation, Vancouver, BC, Canada. July 10-11, 2015.

I have a tendency to be a bit Wildean in my interests in that I follow wherever the muse leads, no matter how diversely she wanders. My projects ran the gamut from international news distribution to international copyright and trade courtesy to the formal structures and editing practices of medieval poetry to audience reception through shifting media. This allowed me a wide berth of research considerations to expand our understandings of how print culture worked through the various social conditions and cultural standpoints that developed across the eras.

Felicity Elsted

Area of Study: Negotiating Race through Transracial Adoption

I grappled with some of the larger questions regarding racial identity through narratives about transracial adoption: Is it possible to identify with another race, and if so, what are the problems associated with this? Why are the concepts of anger and returning to one's origins at the forefront of transracial literature? What is the disconnect between self-perception and how one is perceived?

Albany Fitzgerald

Areas of Study: Medieval Studies, Print Culture

My primary focus in Medieval Literature was on the works of the Pearl-Poet, bound together in the Cotton Nero A.x. manuscript. As this manuscript is the sole surviving witness to these works, there is little definitively known regarding their author. I am looking to find new threads tying these poems together and, using these threads, I hope to evidence an underlying critical commentary regarding the Ricardian court in the late-14th century.

Maya Gal

Areas of Study: Romanticism, Print Culture, Liminality, World Literature

My field of study was primarily focused on Romanticism and print culture. I concentrated on the Romantic sublime, and the implications of the French Revolution on Romantic writers. I also have a broad passion for World Literature, and more specifically, for the function of liminality in translated texts. My research focused on the function of color in William Blake’s The Songs of Innocence and Experience (1789, 1794). Working with the Blake Archives online, this project speculated on the relationship between the physical text and the interpretational content of the Songs. That is, I sought to unravel how the visual differences between each copy could evoke a different reading of the content.

Katie Gillespie

Research Interests: Fanfiction Studies, Women's Writing, Literary Theory, Aesthetics & Poetics, Performance Theory and Reception, Dramatic Irony, Adaptation Studies, Print Culture and Media Studies, Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Paratexts

Katie has completed her MA in English. She has been a Symposium peer reviewer for the journal, Transformative Works and Cultures. She has also served in various off-stage capacities in several community theatre and opera companies. Her research has included fanvidding and fan cultures, fannish reception and print culture, and fannish literary research ethics, with a current focus on adaptation & genre in a performance context. Her proposed doctoral research poses the question: How does fanfiction negotiate its metatextual, paratextual and intertextual relations? She suggests that fanfiction's literary devices—at the level of perspective, style, character and plot—are demonstrative of and produced by this negotiation. This will be explored through a poetics and aesthetics of fanfiction, using the framework of Francesca Coppa's theorization of fanfiction as performance.

Marie Horgan

I graduated from SFU’s MA English Program in 2019. My MA Project - “Trying Narrative, Forgetting Race: Affective Gaps in Legal-Literary Skepticism” extends on my undergraduate work with American literature and law into the field’s recent affective turn. Working under the supervision of Michael Everton & Jon Smith, my project argues that existing criticism on law and affect not only treats the experience of affect homogeneously, but draws an unfounded conclusion that affect theory is hostile to narrative. I use Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894) to demonstrate how this idea problematizes racialized affect, and incorporate criticism that highlights links between race and legal persona to query affect as a narrativization of how encounters with the legal system become racialized. In other words, my project means to complicate these otherwise underdeveloped accounts of how law and affect interact, as a suggestion for future criticism. In my spare time, I enjoy testing new recipes, lifting weights, pretending I can call myself an amateur photographer, and finding any excuse to get outside.

Reese Irwin

Areas of Study: 18th- and 19th-century Literature (particularly the Romantic period), Print Culture, Digital Humanities, Women’s Writing

Name of Project: “Compiling Sanditon: Following Jane Austen’s Last, Unfinished Work from Manuscript to Print”

My project analyzed the trajectory of Jane Austen’s Sanditon from private, unfinished manuscript (as it was left upon Austen’s death in 1817), to its fragmentary and then complete publication in the early-20th century. Specifically, I compared the manuscript to its first entrance into print in 1871 as a summarized excerpt part of A Memoir of Jane Austen, and to its publication in full by R.W. Chapman in 1925, under the title, Fragment of a Novel. In doing so, I sought to answer why Sanditon was not published in full until more than 100 years after its inception. Also, how its introduction to the public was variously mediated both in 1871 and 1925, in both problematic and more successful ways.

Jasreen Janjua 

Title of Capstone: "Fierce Females and Male Pretenders: Examining Gender Reversals in Anti-Jacobite Propaganda of the 1745 Rising"

Areas of Study: 18th- and 19th-century British Literature and Culture, Print Culture, Media Studies, Scottish Literature and History, Cultural Memory, Visual Culture and Iconography

My research explored the impacts of media change on the notion of cultural memory in the 18th century. I focused on anti-Jacobite discourses that attempted to promote and construct a one-sided cultural narrative during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46. I examined a variety of primary sources, including broadsides, engravings, pamphlets, and woodcuts, to demonstrate how they used gender stereotypes to present Jacobitism as a transgressive and inadequate cause that would be overpowered by a potent British cultural memory.

Zai Jiang

I explored the concept of tragedy from different periods, from classics like Homer’s The Odyssey and The Iliad to Verdi’s opera, Rigoletto and La Traviata. Currently I also focused on the concept of tragedy in contemporary Southern American literature, with a special interest in writers, such as Richard Ford and Tim Gautreaux. I was also a Rhodes Scholarship finalist in 2016.

Jaron Judkins

Areas of Study: Print Culture, Psychoanalytic Theory, Feminist Theory, Composition Studies

I studied the connections between the history of the book and the history of the body, focusing on similarities in the production of bodies and books as sexed, the organization and display of bodies and books as appropriate, the banning and burning of bodies and books considered dangerous, and the marking and trafficking of bodies and books considered less important. Rather than viewing these connections as incidental, I concentrated on considering a unified theory for their existence and the implications of such a theory of the body and the book for how we produce and interact with texts today.

Meena Kahlon

Title of Capstone: "The Thingness of the Objects in Jamaica Kincaid, Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot's Post Colonial and Colonial Narratives" 

Publications/Conference Papers: 

  • “A Placeless Performer: The Adi Granth’s Production of Presence.” Canadian Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (CSECS). Coast Plaza Hotel, Vancouver, BC. 16 Oct 2015. Conference Presentation.
  • “Colonizers or Invasive Serpents? the Poisoning British Presence in Robert Roger’s Ponteach, or the Savages of America: a Tragedy.” Simon Fraser University Graduate Society. False Creek Community Centre, Vancouver BC. 27 Jul 2015. Conference Presentation.
  • “Out of the Public, Into the Private and Through the Five Stages: Yang Ik June’s Breathless Journey.” Passages, an Asia Pacific Reader Publication 3 (2010-2011): 76-79.

I focused on both the works of Victorian feminist novelists and post-colonial texts. My final master’s project brought these disparate genres into dialogue with each other. Specifically, I used Bill Brown’s thing theory to interrogate the connections between Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy and A Small Place with Charlotte Brontë’s Villette and George Eliot’s Middlemarch. Through an examination of the “thingness” of the objects that take on larger meanings in unnervingly similar fashions, throughout all these novels, unique narratives of colonization, as experienced by the colonized as well as the colonizer, can be articulated.

Tina Kong

Areas of Interest / Title of Your Work: Critical Race Theory, Asian Diaspora, Multiculturalism, Queer Theory

Publications/Conference Papers:

  • (Forthcoming) "Reinforcing the Model Minority Myth." Rev. of China Rich Girlfriend: A Novel by Kevin Kwan for Canadian Literature
  • (In editing) "Voices from behind the "Overbearing Brown Woman" and "Docile Asian Girl": An Affective Cartography of Shame and Performativity in Academia." for Don't Air the Dirty Laundry: Reflections of Women of Color on Graduate School
  • (Working title) "A Queer Reading of Chinatown through Jen Sookfong Lee's The Better Mother" for the Asian American Studies conference 2016

I concentrated on writings about race: particularly on writings that reverberate below skin-level, in dialectical battles that occur within and beyond the university walls, and in the perspectives that wars within the first person "I". I am also grateful to be living and working on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations.

Madeleine Lascelle

Title of Capstone: “Climbing Back Up the Reichenbach Falls: Sherlock Holmes and the Transition from Scientific Sleuth to Thrilling Detective”

My research examined the rhetoric used to describe Sherlock Holmes' physical involvement with deduction, detection, and the capture of criminals, through the police detective movement in Britain and the emergence of American action-adventure mysteries. The evolution of the physical Sherlock Holmes illustrates the shift from detective fiction as a function of the societal benefit of the police to the later mystery action thrillers in America. I engaged with the existing debate of the role of logic theory and puzzles to the modern detective story, but sought to shift the focus from inductive methodology to the physical body. 

Gianni Laurino

Areas of Study: Psychoanalytic Geography, Existential Literature  

My research drew from Lacanian psychoanalysis to think about the spatiality of mental health facilities in British Columbia, specifically Riverview Hospital. I also focused on existentialist themes of freedom, subjectivity, death, and ethics in 20th-century French literature. 

Neil MacAlister

In spring 2018, I graduated from SFU with a double major in English and political science, and decided to complete my MA at SFU as well. My areas of focus were on American and British modernism (particularly works by James Joyce, William Faulkner, and Virginia Woolf), as well as the field of modern music criticism. My interests also included the way hip-hop communities (collectives, labels, etc.) replicate 20th-century writing communities in areas of collaboration, promotion, and the establishment of a regional canon. 

Audrey MacTavish

Areas of Study: Contemporary Literature, Memory, Ecocriticism, Witchcraft.

I am passionate about a wide range of areas, from Milton’s "Paradise Lost", through 19th- and 20th-century magical realism in Russia, to 20th century and contemporary feminism. My focus during my MA was on how contemporary writers grapple with memory and cultural history. Specifically, I looked at how the novels of W. G. Sebald deal with the trauma of documenting and archiving memory.

Elmira Bahrami Majd

It was upon completing Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Canterbury Tales in my mid-undergraduate years that I finally knew I had to further my academia in literature and writing. Thus, my future at SFU was set. Medieval texts, with special regard to Arthurian literature, continued to be a strong passion of mine, and as I entered the SFU English's MA program. In addition, I was able to study my other interests in the program, including diaspora and affect studies in literature and theory. I also spent working as a teacher's assistant. This was quite a valuable experience that allowed me to engage young learners to think and write critically about texts. It also helped me to build my professional skills.

When I have time to unwind, I like to swim at my local pool and re-watch season one of True Detective to convince myself that season two never existed.  

Sean McGarragle

Area of Study: Poetry, Storytelling, Canadian Literature, Dub Poetry, Spoken Word, Labour Poetry, The Poetry Slam, Cowboy Poetry, Shakespeare, Performance Theory, Digital Humanities.


Relevant articles about Sean:

Audio by Sean:

I am a poet, activist, organizer, academic, publisher and storyteller based out of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. I have been an active member of the Vancouver literary and spoken word communities since 2001. While at Simon Fraser University, I looked into the roots of dub poetry, cowboy poetry, and the poetry slam in Canada. The questions I considered through these works were:

-Where do each of these places of cultural production fit within the broader context of spoken word and performance poetry?

Where, in turn, do they fit within the Canadian literary canon?

Shannon Murray

Areas of Study: 20th- and 21st-century American Literature, Transgressive Texts, Representations of Violence, Post-modern Literary Techniques 

My research focused on the connection between the form and content of novels that fall into the genre of "transgressive fiction". I concentrated on novels that use experimental techniques to alter the transmission of the often-extreme descriptions found within them, suggesting that these techniques (e.g. fragmentation, collage, and unreliable narration) change the way the reader interacts and understands the disturbing material presented to them. This research builds off of my past work, as I previously studied the connection between violence and one’s masculine identity in contemporary transgressive fiction.

Laura Osgood

Areas of Study: Prison Studies, Film, Pop Culture, Race, Gender and Sexuality

My research concerned prison writing and literature, with an emphasis on prison writing, plays, and literature by former prisoners. Writing, drawing, poetry, plays, and other methods of creating stories, not only have an remedial effect in a dehumanizing institution, but also contribute to additional learning in an place cut off from most forms of education. Prisoners are on the periphery of society and so are their voices, and prison writing acts to narrativize their othered experiences and give their voices and experiences a substantial imprint.

Alex Petryszak

Area of Study: Intersections of Gender, Space and Class in Early Modern Literature.

My research primarily focused on gender and Renaissance drama, investigating similarities and divergences between portrayals of the female body and the domestic sphere as sites of transgression and enforced obedience and how these varied representations relate to class. In addition, I concentrated on the application of embodied cognition and affect theories to representations of female characters during this period. Specifically, I was concerned with characters that affect an emotional adherence to social conventions while interiorizing rebellious schemes, as well as characters that portray mental processes that are or are not moulded by their surrounding culture and environment.

Mélissa Richard

Areas of Study: First Nations Studies, Indigenous Literature, Indigenous Poetry and Poetics, Oral Culture, Post-colonial studies


My research interests were founded in First Nations studies. I was engaged most deeply with Indigenous literature and poetry, especially the work of authors, such as Joy Harjo and Leslie Marmon Silko. For my MA project, I analyzed the ways oral and print cultures have collided in the medium of poetry, and how select Indigenous authors have used the creative platform to speak their truths, and demonstrate the “survivance” (a theory popularized by Anishinaabe scholar Gerald Vizenor) of their peoples, cultures and languages.

Alison Roach

Area of Study: American Women Writers in Print Culture

In the 19th and 20th centuries, American female writers were coming into their own. Their work was widely published, sold and read by a general audience. However, these writers were still not given a seat at the proverbial, and sometimes literal, table of the male-dominated publishing world. My work looked at how these women noted and criticized this lack of respect and acknowledgment through their writing. These women used sharp satire to publicly shame their male counterparts, portraying male publishers' and authors' sexism as idiocy. 

John Rowell

Areas of Study: Rhetoric and Composition, Performance Studies, Language

My areas of study were connected by the use of rhetorical strategies in theatrical rehearsal environments. How do directors and their cast members communicate with one another as they work towards a unified artistic goal? Furthermore, I suggested that the rehearsal space may be the ideal arena in which to reconcile the speech theory of J. L. Austin and John Searle with the deconstructivism of Jacques Derrida by analysing the rehearsal of written material as a mediated "half-way point" between written and spoken language.

Justine Sandhu

Areas of Study: Contemporary Fiction, Post-colonial Studies, Cultural Studies 

Given a growing corpus of literary work by South Asian writers in Western Canada, there is a haunting absence of a critical engagement with such work, rendering the South Indian literary voice unseen and unheard. My work attempted to bridge the current lack of an "Indo-Canadian" literary scene with the slow erasure of brownness, namely, the Punjabi community from the Vancouver landscape. To conceptualize this relation of space and race, I interrogated racial ruptures that mark physical city spaces and place immigrant experience into a troubling passive and historical context.

Emily Seitz

Areas of Study: Shakespeare in the 18th Century

Conference papers: 

  • “Creating an Enchanted Reality: A Magical Setting Inspired by the Fraser Valley” 
    University of the Fraser Valley, Literatures of the Fraser Valley Conference March 5, 2015
  • “‘It had to be possible to belong in two different worlds at once’: The Third Space in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus” English Honours Colloquium, University of the Fraser Valley April 22, 2015
  • "A New Wave in Narration: Diverse Protagonists in Rick Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympus" Many Worlds to Walk In: Exploring Diversity in Children’s Literature, Librarianship, and Education Conference, UBC, April 30, 2016

My research focused on 18th-century adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, in particular, how the adaptations present nationalism in reflection of concerns of English national identity following the Restoration. My MA capstone project, "The 'Blest genius of the isle': Garrick, Nature, Divinity, and the Bard", analyzed how David Garrick, an 18th-century Shakespearean adapter, uses nature to present and construct Shakespeare as the divine figure of the bard. My paper examined how Garrick uses nature to present Shakespeare as having "absolute command", which echoes the English monarchial concept of the divine right to rule. Another 18th-century Shakespeare adaption I examined was John Dryden's "All for Love", an adaptation of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, to compare representations of national protection against empirical expansion.

Asna Shaikh 

Areas of Study: Post-colonial Theory, Asian Diaspora Studies, World Literature; Nation and Nationalism, Trans-national Literature, Post-modernism; Race, Class and Gender, Literary and Critical Theory

While I’m generally passionate about 20th- and 21st-century world literature, I am especially interested in post-colonial theory and literature of the Asian diaspora. My research involved studying the voice and presence of native and immigrant South Asian women in historical and contemporary novels. The narrative constructions of these texts provide unique insights into the worlds of these women and their perception and reception in society. My project looked to novels by female South Asian authors in both North America and the Indian subcontinent and focued on analysing the storytelling modes employed by them.

Leah Sharzer

Areas of Study: Poetry and Poetics, Translation, French Literature, Linguistics

I focused how both poetry and translation created new landscapes of possibility. My research concentrated on Emily Dickinson’s dash, a mark which favours ambiguity as a mode of reading. Specifically, I explored how the dash functions in different French translations of her work. This research built on two past projects: my own experimental translations of Dickinson’s poem “My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun - ” and a paper presented at the panel “Love and Jouissance: Conversations with Lacan on Feminine Sexuality” on the trouble Dickinson’s dash poses for reading gendered power relations.

Allison Simmons

Areas of Study: The Victorian Sensation Novel, Eclectic Interests 

Conference Papers:

  • "On Flesh and Stone in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's 'Lady Audley's Secret'." All Things Victorian: Exploring Materiality and the Material Object. University of Portsmouth. Portsmouth, UK. March 19, 2016.

My primary focus was the Victorian sensation novel and its importance as a cultural artifact, particularly through its engagement with (or exaggeration of) contemporary social discourse. In regards to authors, I find Thomas Hardy, whose sensation roots run deep, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon to be of paramount interest. During my time at SFU, I engaged with literature from the 14th to 21st century. This was partially to achieve some sort of identifiable academic breadth, but also to satisfy my curiosity of the written word's capacity to hold meaning and invoke change.

Leah Tench

Areas of Study: Contemporary Canadian Literature, Feminist Theory, Hybridity Theory, Post-colonial Studies, Women’s Writing

I tend to be somewhat of a magpie in my research, but I am most passionate about contemporary Canadian writing, and I have a deep interest in the way that we tell stories. Specifically, I am interested in self-representations of marginalised people, and how those representations can be read onto the text itself. Of particular interest to me is the genre of biotext, and the ways this genre reflects the intersections of race, gender, class, language and nationality. My research elaborated on existing scholarship to examine how intertextuality informs the construction of hybrid identities, with a specific focus on the colonized female body.

M.J. Tomkinson

Area of Study: The Canadian Gothic tradition and Canadian print culture in the 20th century. I have particular interests in digital culture, media history, performance studies and film. 

I researched the Writers' Union of Canada and the Final Report of the Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing, 1972. I also researched the Weimar cinematography with Paul St. Pierre (SFU), and following that project I edited Jason Lieblang's (UBC) dissertation on Weimar representations of masculinity "in crisis".

Maude Vachon-Roy

Area of Study: Rethinking the French Lyrics of "CH" as Early Manifestations of Chaucer's Social Critique

I specialized in the intersection of French and English literary works of the 14th century in England. Particularly, I focused on the relationship between the different vernaculars (French, English, and Latin) and registers (courtly, satirical, popular, etc.) used in post-plague literature and their multiple implications, be they political, socia,l or other. I also concentrated on the anonymous lyrics of "CH" from the MS French 15 (Penn) and their possible affiliation with Chaucer.

Holly Vestad

Areas of Study: 20th-century Literature, Modernism, Print Culture, Temporality, Film

Name of project: “The Queer Temporality of H.D.’s Cinema”

My interests include representations of time and space in modernist and contemporary literature. My research compared H.D.’s cinematic theory in the film journal, Close Up, to her acting and editing practice in Kenneth Macpherson’s 1928 silent film, Borderline, through a queer temporal lens, examining the ways in which she articulates a new relationship to time across genres.

Jarrett Viczko

Jarrett is an Alberta transplant who completed his BA in English at the University of Lethbridge before completing his MA at SFU. He has performed improvisational and sketch comedy, Shakespeare, and has run a three-year shared narrative story / roleplaying podcast. His academic interests included the connections between scifi / fantasy and the epic tradition, romantic poetry, Shakespeare, performance theory, villainy and shared narrative / oral storytelling traditions and their applications in Indigenization and decolonization.

Mike Wilkinson

Areas of Study: Arthur Conan Doyle and 19th-century British Spiritualism, Sherlock Holmes Presence and Reception Theory

BA Honours Thesis:

  • “Narration, Persuasion and Consent in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes”

My past work focused on the presence of medical rhetoric in the Sherlock Holmes stories, specifically the way in which medical bodies become the site of persuasion between the detective and his clients. My MA focused on a consideration of Doyle’s belief in spiritualism, which includes an investigation of rhetorical and literary strategies, concepts of empire and colonialism, and scientific tactics that Doyle employs to elucidate the “Unseen World” within material documents. 

Caimen Yen

Areas of Study: World Literature, Personal Survival Narratives, Graphic Novels

My research focused on world literature, with particular emphasis on survival narratives and memoirs in the form of graphic novels. The genre of the graphic novel demonstrates the complex relationship between experiencing trauma and witnessing its effects. The choice to combine narrative with images provides audiences with an intimate recounting of the author’s history, allowing them to engage with not only the verbal, but also the visual aspect of trauma and survival. I explored how these texts provide audiences with a unique perspective on global events and disasters, in comparison to external sources like mainstream media.

Abdul Zahir

Areas of study: 19th-century American Literature, Print Culture

The later years of my undergraduate work drew me towards 19th-century American literature, and the (not especially velvety) print culture in which that literature was ensconced. The antebellum American publishing trade, bereft of international copyright, was the scene of a debate around reprinting: the practice of printing and selling foreign works, gratis—often at the expense of American writers, shielded by copyright. My graduate work honed in on Emily Dickinson—The Belle of Amherst—who, in writing some punch-in-the-gut poetry, may have made some implicit comments on this state of American publishing.