Current MA Students

Albany Fitzgerald

Areas of Study: Medieval Studies, Print Culture

My primary focus in Medieval Literature is 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.

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.

Meena Kahlon

Title of Capstone: "The Thingness of the Objects in Jamaica Kincaid, Charlotte Bronte 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.

As my interests lay in both the works of Victorian feminist novelists and post colonial texts, my final master’s project proposes to bring these disparate genres into dialogue with each other. Specifically, I will be using Bill Brown’s thing theory to interrogate the connections between Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy and A Small Place with Charlotte Bronte’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.

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 at the moment is on how contemporary writers grapple with memory and cultural history; specifically, I’m looking at how the novels of W. G. Sebald deal with the trauma of documenting and archiving memory.

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.

John Rowell

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

My areas of study are 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 suggest 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.

Leah Sharzer

Areas of study: poetry and poetics, translation, French literature, linguistics

I’m interested in how both poetry and translation create new landscapes of possibility. My research focuses on Emily Dickinson’s dash, a mark which favours ambiguity as a mode of reading. Specifically, I explore how the dash functions in different French translations of her work. This research builds 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.

Leah Tench

Areas of study: contemporary Canadian literature, feminist theory, hybridity theory, postcolonial 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 elaborates on existing scholarship to examine how intertextuality informs the construction of hybrid identities, with a specific focus on the colonized female body.

Maude Vachon-Roy

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

I intend to specialize on the intersection of French and English literary works of the fourteenth century in England. Particularly, I am interested in 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, social, or other.  During my MA, I will be focusing 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 current research compares 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.

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. Currently, my work is moving towards 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 focuses 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 him/her to engage with not only the verbal, but also the visual aspect of trauma and survival. I explore how these texts provide audiences with a unique perspective on global events and disasters, in comparison to external sources such as 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 hones 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.