Laurier’s English Students Association organized a “Meet the Profs” night at the Hawk’s Nest on Monday, October 2, 2017.
A literary guessing game was organized by Manreet Lachhar and co-VP of Events, Tess Campbell. The names of well-known literary texts and characters were supposed to be very familiar, but managed to stump a few professors and our Dean of Arts.
Student Association President Chance LeJeune welcomed everyone and there were treats and special way to make s’mores. A few brave souls dressed up for the photo booth.
It was a fun gathering and a nice way to meet students and colleagues.
Photos courtesy of Mhairi Chandler.
Photo by Eleanor Ty
The Department of English and Film Studies is delighted to welcome our new MA and PhD cohort this fall who have come to us from near and far:
Melissa Brennan (University of New Brunswick)
Julia Empey (McMaster University)
Brendan Pinkofsky (WLU, Dalhousie – King’s College)
Jamie Brewer (Brock [BEd], WLU)
Amanda Burrows-Peterson (Toronto [BA English], Concordia [BA History])
Tess Clark (WLU)
Alex Coleman (WLU)
Joseph Coot (Minnesota State)
Roxanne Hearn (York)
Azaan Khamis (WLU)
Mary Saleh (Tishreen Univ. [Syria])
Rachel Schryver (WLU)
Lubna Umar (Univ. Delhi)
Kevin Wallace (WLU)
The Department held a reception for new students organized by Grad Director Jing Jing Chang held at Veritas in mid-September where there was good conversation and good fun. Best of luck for 2017-2018!
Photos courtesy of Jing Jing Chang
Congratulations to Carina Rampelt who was awarded the Faculty of Arts Gold Medal for Academic Excellence at the Spring convocation 2017.
Carina has great memories of her time at Laurier:
I recently graduated from WLU with a BA in English and French. I really enjoyed my time at Laurier; being able to spend four years of my life focused on something I’m so passionate about was definitely an incredible opportunity, and I’m happy to say that I met some of my closest friends in the English program. I think looking back, what stands out to me about the past four years are the little things—quiet library mornings, events at Veritas, long Blueprint production days, and late night study sessions with friends. Those were the daily rhythms of my time at Laurier, and I think it’s those familiar patterns that I’m going to miss the most. Where I’m headed this next year is a bit of a tricky question—even though I applied and was accepted to several graduate programs, I ended up deciding to take a year off before pursuing any further studies. For now, I’m doing a lot of freelance work, volunteering, and daydreaming about possible travel plans…not to mention applying to “real” jobs in my spare time. Maybe I’ll be back at Laurier (or elsewhere!) for my master’s next year.
We wish you all the best, Carina.
Anders Bergstrom received his PhD at the June 12, 2017 convocation and his dissertation, entitled In Search of Lost Selves: Memory and Subjectivity in Transnational Art Cinema received the Award for Outstanding Work at the Graduate Level.
Anders’ dissertation addresses the thorny topic of the subject, that philosophical category central to conceptions of self and identity that emerged in the modern, post-classical era, but which has been placed under interrogation, if not wholly discarded, in contemporary discourses. This project offers an answer for why this term and related concepts persist and manifest in contemporary cultural forms such as the narrative film, in the representation and materialization of memory within. Through analysis and discussion of examples drawn from contemporary transnational cinema—including, among others, The Tree of Life (2011), Melancholia (2011), Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), and Goodbye, Dragon Inn(2003)—the study addresses the role that art cinema practices play and have played in shaping our conceptions of selfhood.
Anders’ PhD was supervised by Dr. Russell J. A. Kilbourn, with Dr. Jing Jing Chang and Dr. Tamas Dobozy serving as committee members. Dr. John Caruana, from the Department of Philosophy at Ryerson University, attended as the external examiner at his defence.
Anders is in the process of revising his dissertation for publication and continuing to research and teach film studies. He recently taught a course on Hong Kong Cinema this spring at University of Toronto Mississauga, and will be returning to teach a course on East Asian Film at Laurier this fall.
Our best wishes and hearty congratulations to Anders!
Anders with wife, Rochelle in Paris.
The Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs has presented Professor Tanis MacDonald with the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Teaching Award.
In keeping with Robert Kroetsch’s legacy in Canadian letters and teaching, this award is presented annually to a creative writing teacher who displays an exceptional example of creative writing theory and practice (including implementation and outcomes). The award of $1,000 is for demonstrated innovation(s) in areas including pedagogy, method, design, curriculum, assessment, technologies, learning techniques.
Tanis MacDonald’s submission was “Process Installation: Opening Up Revision in the Classroom.” She notes that the first audience members for this material were the students of EN370: Creative Writing: Poetry in Fall 2016 for whom the material, and the sample poem “The Haunting,” were originally created.
Congratulations, Tanis MacDonald!
On March 10, 2017, Victoria Kennedy successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, Narrative Pleasures and Feminist Politics: Popular Women’s Historical Fiction, 1990-2015. Diana Wallace, the eminent scholar of women’s historical fiction from the University of South Wales, Uk was the external examiner and participated via SKYPE.
Her study contributes to a developing body of work on women’s historical fiction and its significance to feminist discourse. Since historical fiction is one of the most popular genres of the contemporary period, Victoria’s dissertation brings together the discourses of feminist pop culture criticism and theories of feminist historiography to address the tensions between narrative pleasures and feminist politics in some of the most recognizable women’s historical novels of the past twenty-five years, including The Other Boleyn Girl, Outlander, A Great and Terrible Beauty, and Scarlett.
Victoria Kennedy with Diana Gabaldon
Looking back now, I can see that I was drawn to feminism from an early age, though it was not a label that was particularly encouraged or promoted in my youth. It wasn’t until I became a university student that I acquired the vocabulary and confidence to describe my interests and political sensibilities as “feminist.” In my second year as an undergraduate, I discovered women’s writing and feminist literary criticism. This discovery so energized me that I pursued my passion all the way to a Master’s degree at York University, and then back to Laurier as a doctoral student.
Victoria’s PhD was supervised by Dr. Andrea Austin, with the assistance of Dr. Eleanor Ty and Dr. Katherine Bell as committee members. Dr. Alexandra Boutros of the Cultural Studies department served as the internal-external examiner.
Victoria is currently working on expanding and revising her dissertation for publication as a monograph. At the same time, she is turning her focus to historical narratives in visual media. In May she will present a paper entitled “‘We Want the King’: The Crown and Masculinity” at the Popular Culture Association of Canada’s 7th annual conference in Niagara Falls.
Photo and contributions by Victoria Kennedy
Manreet Lachhar (Event organizer) and Daniella Cavallini (ESA President)
The English Student Association hosted their annual Meet the Profs night this winter term with an added twist.
They had a trivia game that determined if the students would be smarter than the professors in literary questions from all areas of study. The students were spilt into two teams of eight and the Professors team was made up of Dr. Poetzsch, Dr. Pirbhai, Dr. Sharpe, Dr. Shakinovsky, Dr. Kerber, Dr. Wyse, and Heather Olaveson. It was a close game but the professors won by two points. They said they would have had a higher score if Dr. Waugh stayed to help answer all the medieval questions, but they still came out as winners.
The “Profs”: R. Waugh, L. Shakinovsky, M. Poetzsch, M. Pirbhai, A. Sharpe, J. Kerber and B. Wyse, H. Olaveson (not in photo)
Beniah Lanoue, Sarah Shearer, Manreet Lachhar, and Heather Hattle: Judges
Story and photos by Daniella Cavallini