Over 40 students and faculty members attended the launch of the new issue of Laurier Undergraduate Journal of the Arts on October 25, 2017 at the Robert Langen Gallery in the library. A number of English and Film Studies students served on the management board responsible for the first issue of 2017. They included: Mitchell Kooh, Mynt Marsellus, Esther Brockett, Brittney Tessier, Carina Rampelt, Madeline McInnis, and Vidish Parikh. This issue includes articles on a wide range of topics, including, Disney films Wall-E and Tangled, Tomson Highway, the repatriation program used by International organizations, changing demographics in Japan, the constructedness of female orgasms, and non-binary identities. Mynt Marsellus noted that LUJA received over 200 submissions, and it was difficult for the editors to choose ten essays.
Richard Nemesvari, the Dean of Arts, expressed his delight and approbation of extra-curricular activities such as LUJA because they were a good form of experiential learning and a testament to the intellectual work happening at Laurier.
Organizer and this year’s Editor, Angela James welcomed the new crew who would take over the Management of LUJA.
It was an enjoyable evening, with good food, exquisite music, and even prizes for the audience.
LUJA is funded by the Arts Undergraduate Society at Laurier.
Photos and story by Eleanor Ty
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!
Dr. Mariam Pirbhai taught her new graduate course, South Asian Canadian Literature, in Fall 2016, in which students were introduced to literary figures and social media artists, and their representations of significant events and issues pertaining to this diaspora, including the Komagata Maru incident of 1914 and the Air India tragedy of 1985. MA student Khadijah Plummer wrote a paper on Farzana Doctor’s recently published novel All-Inclusive, loosely based on the Air India tragedy, and the paper has received an honourable mention on the author’s blog! See link below!
MA students Khadjiah Plummer and Catherine Brunskill will be drawing on work produced for this graduate course, as guest speakers in Dr. Pirbhai’s undergraduate course, Multiculturalism and Literature, in which they have been invited to give presentations on second generation South Asian Canadian vloggers and social media artists, Humble the Poet and Maria Qamar.
Catherine Brunskill’s paper on Ondaatje’s Running in the Family and Badami’s Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? has also been accepted as a paper to be presented at CACLALS for Congress 2017.