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, which primarily seeks to understand how and why we read character.

Viktoria Cseh

Areas of interest include issues of culture, space, theory (aesthetic, narrative, and the correspondences between literary and film theory); the novel; Canadian multi-ethnic literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; collective memory; and contemporary poetry and prose that arise out of—or in spite of—the context of official historical accounts.

Eric Danis

Areas of study: Science Fiction, Utopian Fiction

I’m studying the relationship of narrative structure, form, and content in contemporary science fiction to discern the changing ways in which science fiction discusses utopia. I compare the works of authors over their careers (same authors, different publications) to figure out how their ideas of contemporaneity, futurity, and social relations change.  This is all a wordy, roundabout way of saying that I study how science fiction does what it does best: utopian/dystopian thought experiments.

Maya Gal

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

My field of study is primarily focused on Romanticism and Print Culture. I am interested in 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 current research focuses 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 speculates on the relationship between the physical text and the interpretational content of the Songs. That is, I seek 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 is currently completing her MA in English. She has been a Symposium peer reviewer for the journal Transformative Works and Cultures, and 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

Areas of Study: Law and Literature, 20th Century American Literature, Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory, Affect Theory.


  • (Theatre Review) “The Merchant, and the Women, of Venice” (with Eric Danis)

My interests are in the intersection of literature and law, with a focus on 20th century American legal novels. My past work examined how novelists like Theodore Dreiser and Richard Wright commented on the changing role of American judges in their time, and the implications for character in court. Now, I’m turning my attention towards the very recent affective turn in law and literary studies. My project analyzes how we can trace what is now described as an affective turn to American legal novels of this period. The problems with legal affects that many contemporary critics are noticing (ie. preconscious discrimination, stereotyping, and bias) are, I argue, a consequence of a series of American procedural reforms from c. 1912-1938 which novelists of the period picked up on.

Olivia Ingram

Areas of study: cultural studies, 20th century poetry and poetics, postmodernism, post-structuralism, print culture

My research examines the relationship between urban spaces and 20th-century avant-garde poetics and film. I am currently interested in the emergence of counterculture literature in post-war America, particularly the work of the Beat and New York School poets. My graduate project focuses on the tension between rural and urban spaces in their poetics, specifically in New York School poet Frank O'Hara's Oranges: 12 Pastorals.

Reese Irwin

Areas of Study: Eighteenth and nineteenth century literature (particularly the Romantic period), print culture, digital humanities, and women’s writing

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

My project analyzes 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 twentieth century. Specifically, I compare 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 seek to answer why Sanditon was not published in full until over one hundred years after its inception, and how its introduction to the public was variously mediated both in 1871 and 1925, in both problematic as well as more successful ways.

Ines Jaksic

Areas of study: Contemporary literature, feminism, Gothic literature.

I am interested in how authors use the representation of the sociocultural environment to challenge the existing norms of their respective societies. My primary focus is on postmodern gothic women writers and the reconstruction of female and male roles.

Jasreen Janjua

Areas of study: eighteenth and nineteenth century British literature and culture, print culture, media studies, Scottish literature and history, cultural memory, visual culture and iconography

My research explores the impacts of media change on the notion of cultural memory in the eighteenth-century. I am currently interested in anti-Jacobite discourses that attempted to promote and construct a one-sided cultural narrative during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46. I examine a variety of primary sources, ranging from broadsides, engravings, pamphlets, and woodcuts, to demonstrate how they utilize gender stereotypes to present Jacobitism as a transgressive and inadequate cause that would be overpowered by a potent British cultural memory.

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 am looking into the roots of dub poetry, cowboy poetry and the poetry slam in Canada. The questions I am considering through these works are where do each of these places of cultural production  fit within the broader context of spoken word and performance poetry and where in turn do they fit within the Canadian literary canon.

Kate Moffatt

Areas of study: Romanticism, female authorship, print culture.


Laura Osgood

Areas of study: Prison studies, film, pop culture, race, gender, and sexuality.

My current research concerns 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.

Mélissa Richard

Areas of Study: First Nations studies, Indigenous literature, Indigenous poetry and poetics, oral culture, postcolonial studies


My research interests are founded in First Nations studies. I am presently 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 am interested in analyzing 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.

Asna Shaikh

Areas of study: Postcolonial theory; Asian diaspora studies; world literatures; nation and nationalism; transnational literature; postmodernism; race, class, and gender; literary and critical theory.

While I’m generally passionate about twentieth and twenty-first century world literature, I am especially interested in postcolonial theory and literature of the Asian diaspora. My research involves 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 looks to novels by female South Asian authors in both North America and the Indian subcontinent, with a focus on analysing the storytelling modes employed by them.

Chris Thompson

Areas of Study: British Romanticism, 19th Century American Literature, Ecocriticism, Marxist theory, Rhetoric and Composition

Conference Presentations:

  • "ELLE of an Opportunity: Writing Centre Staff Volunteer their Time & Expertise for the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation." Co-presenters: Dr. Robin Sutherland and Mark Currie, MAIS Candidate. International Writing Centers Association Annual Conference. Pittsburgh, PA, USA. 8 Oct 2015. Conference Presentation.

My research interests span periods, writers, genres, and topics. Nature is the common theme that connects (many of) my interests. I am currently focused on exploring how early capitalism and the resulting migration to cities affected representations of nature and city in the poetry and prose of British Romantic and American transcendentalist writers, such as William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. I am also interested in the ways that Euro-centric folk tales and Indigenous oral traditions differently portray nature.