CURRENT PHD STUDENTS

Rachel Bodnariuc

My current research interests revolve mainly around the Victorian period. Specifically, I am fascinated by the works of various Victorian novelists, including Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy. I am also interested in philosophy of religion. As a result, conceptions of the divine, as expressed in Victorian novels, are of great importance to me. Some of the novels that are pertinent to my research are Brontë's Jane Eyre, Eliot's Middlemarch, and MacDonald's Alec Forbes of Howglen. Additionally, I enjoy studying existentialism and Russian literature, particularly the works of Dostoevsky. I am also fluent in Romanian and would like to become more acquainted with Romanian literature. 

Ed Graham

Publications:

“The Figure of Adorno in the Utopian Politics of Slavoj Zizek and Fredric Jameson.” International Journal of Žižek Studies, Volume 13, No. 1, 2019, pp. 57-82.

My dissertation examines American cultural representations of intoxication post-2008. It explores the philosophical, political, and aesthetic significance of intoxication in the present moment, looking at how varying depictions of states of intoxication, whether in the form of cognitive enhancement technologies, opioid addiction, or hormone experimentation, register an era of crisis marked by economic decline and stagnation. I look at literature from writers such as Jesmyn Ward, Nico Walker, Megan Boyle, and Paul Preciado, as well as a variety of visual culture, and draw from Marxist and psychoanalytic theory.

Rawia Inaim

My area of study is the relationship between gender and language, and how this relationship is depicted in Romantic literature. Currently, I am studying the representation of gender in Romantic poetry. I am specifically looking at Byron's use of personified and gendered nouns in his works, such as how he classifies Conquest, Desolation and Lewdness as feminine, whereas Mammon, Love and War are masculine in his "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage", and what this system of assigning a gender to nouns can reveal about gender dynamics during the Romantic era.

My other area of interest is the representation of masculinity in 20th- and early 21st-century films, as well as American, British, and Irish literature. Some of my favourite works from this period are T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, James Joyce's Dubliners, and the films, American Beauty (1999), Fight Club (1999), and The Machinist (2004).

In addition to Romantic literature, film, and Byron, I am passionate about teaching. I am always working on improving my teaching methods. During my time as an undergrad, I tutored other students in writing, history, philosophy, and English in my university's learning centre, where I realized my passion for helping others learn how to express themselves effectively through writing.

Nikhil Jayadevan

Areas of Interest: Humour Studies, Post-structuralism, Aesthetic Theory, Contemporary Politics and Fictions, Post- and Anti-colonial Movements

Publications/Conference Papers:

  • “Percepts.” Demystifying Deleuze: An Introductory Assemblage of Crucial Concepts. Eds. Rob Shields and Mickey Vallee. Ottawa: Red Quill. 2012. 129-31. Print. 
  • “Psychosis and Capture: Lacanian Individuation in Don DeLillo’s Falling Man.” Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies 16.2 (2015): 1-26. Web. 
  • “Humour and the Capacity for Change: A Deleuzo-Beckettian Examination of Laughter and the Conflicting Temporalities of Seriousness and Non-Seriousness.” 2013 John Douglas Taylor Conference - You Can't Be Serious. McMaster University. Hamilton, ON. 17 May 2013. 
  • “Resistant Politics in Andy Kaufman's Work." Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English. University of Ottawa. Ottawa, ON. 30 May 2015. 
  • “Virtual Amusement: Examining Message Board Boredom; Surrogacy and Temporality.” International Society for Humor Studies. Holy Names University. Oakland, CA. 1 July 2015. 

My doctoral research examines how “humorous” communication works in the contemporary socio-political context to foster goodwill, generate interest, and sustain attention, where such communication originates from a variety of political actors and is directed to a variety of recipients. I examine such communication as a means and socio-cultural transmission, by approaching the problem using a multi-disciplinary methodology, including communicational, sociological, and rhetorical studies of humour, performance studies, and aesthetic theory.

Linara Kolosov

My areas of study include 18th- and 19th-century British literature, women’s writing (Burney, Heywood, Austen), authorship, print culture, and book history. In my research, I am going to question if the readers of anthologies receive a real work of the original authors or a different product created by the editors. As an example, I am going to compare various publications of Burney’s journals and letters and analyze their transformation through time. 

Yiwen Liu

Graduating from the MPhil program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Yiwen Liu is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Shifted from Western canonic literature, her current research interests include postcolonial studies, Inter-Asia and Transpacific cultural studies, critical race theory, and feminism. She has widely presented on Hong Kong cinema and literature at international conferences. Her book reviews and translation pieces are seen in the Journal of Asian American StudiesTransitions: Journal of Transient MigrationFeminist Media Histories, and Lausan. In the doctoral project, she examines cultural productions in and about Hong Kong’s long 70s’ to tell late colonial stories in a port city. She argues that situated on the verge of multiple empires, Hong Kong in the 70s’ undergoes colonial recalibrations as the global order transitions from old-fashioned colonialisms to neoliberal and financial capitalism.

Cole Mash

Cole Mash is a Kelowna-based poet, scholar, fiction writer, and performance poet. He has an MA and a BA in English and Creative Writing from UBC’s Okanagan campus. His poetry has been published in Forget Magazine, The Eunoia Review, Papershell, and OK Magpie, for which he was later the editor. Mash’s critical work has been featured in Scholarly and Research Communication and he was a reviewer for The Coastal Spectator. He has worked on a number of major digital research projects as both an RA and investigator. He is co-executive director of the non-profit organization, The Inspired Word Café and Managing Director of Kelowna Poetry Slam. His work centres on performance poetry and its exclusion from the critical canon. Through digital methods, he hopes to bring that work into the canon, while simultaneously studying how performance poets notate the paralinguistics of performance onto the page. He is the partner of a wonderful woman, stepfather to two sweet girls, and sneezer to a couple of kitties. He misses them very much.

Taylor Morphett

Area of Interest: Rhetoric, Education, Composition, The University

Publications/Conference Papers: 

My dissertation looks at the rhetoric of "crisis" in the humanities today in the university. While my dissertation will engage with pre-existing scholarship on the history and current state of universities, observing the history and theories of this crisis, I will also consider enrolment data, job prospect data for PhDs, and performance in humanities classrooms to see how the people—professors, administrators, staff, and students—are functioning on the ground both in participation with and reaction against the rhetoric of crisis.

Kimberly O’Donnell

Tentative Dissertation Title: “Narrative Syncope: The Politics and Ethics of Feeling in Late-Victorian Literature”

My dissertation looks at instances of male characters fainting in late-Victorian novels. I suggest that these aesthetic representations of masculine losses of consciousness engage with Victorian theories of affect and automatism. Working at the crossroads of affect theory and biopolitics, I argue that they offer us ways to understand both the ethical significance of automatic bodies and the construction of political power out of these automatisms. I have gratefully received SSHRC funding for this work. I am also a Digital Fellow at the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab.

Forthcoming Publications:

  • “Feeling Other(s): Dracula and the Ethics of Unmanageable Affect.” Affect Theory and Literary Critical Practice: A Feel for the Text. Ed. Stephen Ahern. Under contract and forthcoming with Palgrave MacMillan.
  • “Willful Creatures: Consent, Discord, Animal Will, and Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles.” Querying Consent: Beyond Permission and Refusal. Eds. Jordana Greenblatt and Keja Valens. Under contract and forthcoming with Rutgers University Press.

Recent Conference Presentations:

  • “Recondite Matter”: Affective Knowledge in H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine.” Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada/Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States Joint Conference 2017.
  • “Feeling Social, Feeling Responsible: Fainting Men and Ethical Animals in Marie Corelli's Wormwood.” North American Victorian Studies Association Conference 2016.
  • “Plastic Feelings: Catherine Malabou, Affective Alterity, and Posthuman Ethics.” CAREP Conference: Passionate Disattachments: The Work of Catherine Malabou. 2016.
  • “The Transfusion of Affect: Dracula and the Ethics of Unmanageable Feeling.” The Affect Conference: Memory, Aesthetics and Ethics. 2015.

Adam Taylor

Areas of study: Victorian Literature, Image / Text, 19th-century Science, Print Culture

I am interested in how a 19th-century reader understood illustrations printed alongside the text, particularly how these illustrations constructed identities through the depiction of character. I’m currently focusing on first edition and periodic publications of major mid- to late-Victorian writers, including Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, George Du Maurier, and Elizabeth Gaskell. This research excitingly leads to diverse and often bizarre topics, such as physiognomy, contemporary fashion, and 19th-century theatre.

Ziwei Yan

Areas of Study: Psychoanalysis, theories of consciousness, posthumanism

Publications/Conference Papers:

“Jouissance and Resilience: An Example of How Bioart Functions in the Face of Ecological Crisis.” 2021 APCS Annual Conference. October 2021.

“Biotechnology Under the Psychoanalytic Microscope: The Border of Pleasure and Pain.” Taboo, Transgression, Transcendence in Art and Science. November 2020. Vienna.

Book Chapter:

“Posthuman, Science and Humanity: The Dissolution of Boundaries in Atwood's Oryx and Crake.” Canadian Studies in the Context of Globalization. Eds. Liu, Yiqing et al. Beijing: Peking University Press. 2019. 116-31.

My current research project centers on the problem of consciousness (Dennett, Nagel, Clark) and the relation among subjectivity, desire, and language (Lacan) in dystopian science fictions (Orwell, Huxley, Scott, Atwood). My interest in the impact of technology such as biology and AI also leads me to look at the intersection of art and science. Apart from my research, I also enjoy reading modernist literature, particularly works from Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, and Conrad.