Book launch for English faculty!

The Writing Centre and the Book Store invite you to attend a book launch and reception for Performing Antiracist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication, edited by Dr. Frankie Condon and Dr. Vershawn Young. Please join us for a discussion and refreshments.

March 2, 2017 – 4:30pm  Book Store

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Welcoming Dr. Imre Szeman to English

Please join me in welcoming our newest member of the English department,  Dr. Imre Szeman. Imre’s research focuses on energy and environmental studies, social and political philosophy, and critical theory and cultural studies. Previously a Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies and Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, Imre  is the recipient of numerous awards, including the John Polanyi Prize in Literature (2000), the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award (2003), the Scotiabank-AUCC Award for Excellence in Internationalization (2004), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (2005-7). He is the founder of the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies and a founding member of the US Cultural Studies Association.

His most recent books include: Energy Humanities: An Anthology (with Dominic Boyer, 2017); Popular Culture: A User’s Guide (with Susie O’Brien, 4th revised edition, 2017);   Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment (with Jennifer Wenzel and Patricia Yaeger, 2017). Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture (with Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson, 2017);  Popular Culture: A User’s Guide (with Susie O’Brien, International edition, 2017); and After Oil (with the Petrocultures Research Group, 2016).

Forthcoming books include: A Companion to Critical and Cultural Theory (co-ed, 2017); Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment (co-ed, 2017); and On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture, Energy: Selected Essays, 2001-2017 (2018).

Dr. Szeman is jointly appointment with Drama and Speech Communication.

Reading by Tim Conley

The Reading Series at St. Jerome’s is pleased to announce a reading by Tim Conley.

Tim Conley’s recent books include Dance Moves of the Near Future (2015), the poetry collection One False Move (2012), Burning City: Poems of Metropolitan Modernity (edited with Jed Rasula, 2012), and Nothing Could be Further: Thirty Stories (2011). He lives in St. Catharines, ON, where he teaches English at Brock University.

Friday, March 10th, 4:30pm, SJ1 3027

 We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Alumnus Adam Hunt on dream courses & reading

In this interview, University of Waterloo English alumnus Adam Hunt may have just offered my favorite book suggestions to date, while also working in Al Purdy’s A-frame cottage, dream courses, and the indefatigable Dr. Gordon Slethaug. Thank you to Adam for participating in Words in Place!–JLH

JLH: What made you decide to do a Masters at UWaterloo?
AH: Well, to be frank, it was a combination of two things: my girlfriend was accepted into a Masters in Sociology, and I liked Waterloo because I got the chance to be a teaching assistant (TA) in both semesters. I finished the MA in a year and stayed on to start an M.Phil: in that second year, I was lucky enough to get the chance to teach “Eng 108F: The Rebel,” as well as to TA in American Literature for former Head of English, Professor Gordon Slethaug. He also taught me my first Literary Theory class.  My two years at UWaterloo prepared me well for the Ph.D. I did at the University of Toronto and my future teaching career.

JLH: Can you tell us a bit about your time as an graduate student here? What stands out?
AH: Because we were a graduate student couple, my wife and I were involved in both departments. My Ph.D. thesis at U of T  — “The Captain of Industry in English Literature from 1904 to 1920” — ended up being quite sociological, so I suppose that was a product of my “doubleness” at Waterloo.

JLH: You now teach high school English: what do you do to encourage students’ enthusiasm for literature?
AH: I am actually lucky enough now to be the librarian at a high school (Centennial Secondary School in Belleville) as well as an English teacher.  In both my roles, I encourage the students to read widely and deeply.  I hope that if they read enough, they will eventually love literature. I seldom, however, start them off with canonical works.

JLH: Are there any initiatives that particularly stand out?
AH: One initiative that stood out for me was when I was teaching “Writer’s Craft” and the class visited the Al Purdy cottage.  For a few weeks before the visit the students immersed themselves in the poetry of Purdy, and then when they visited the cottage (and also met his widow, Eurithe) the verse really came alive for them.  The visit was in the Spring, so we hung out the whole day, helped clean up the area a bit, and also indulged ourselves by working on a variety of artistic tasks: writng poetry, sketching the cottage, and taking photographs.  The day was bucolic bliss!  Also, they got to see that daily life (and habitat) of a writer was rather humble, a fact that most of them had not realized.  Their heads were full of visions of writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald….

The Purdy A-frame now hosts three writers a year, so we hope to return soon.  The class runs only every two years, and I am not the only teacher who teaches it.  Perhaps when the cottage attains Heritage status we will go back.

JLH: If you could design a dream course for your students, what would it cover?
AH: If I could teach any course, I would like to teach a course in Utopia/Dystopia, not just the standard works but also Young Adult novels like Moira Young’s Blood Red Road and Jo Treggiari’s Ashes, Ashes. I fondly remember a university course in this subject back at University of Saskatchewan, where I got my first degree.

JLH: Finally, what have been your favorite books of the last year?
AH: I immensely enjoyed Ian McEwan’s Nut Shell, with its highly original perspective, as well as the epic Homecoming by new writer Yaa Gyasi. Along those same lines is Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings, a novel that won the Booker Prize in 2015. The sheer length and sometimes confusing multiple voices may challenge the reader, but the novel certainly rewards at the end. Many other new books – Beth Goobie’s The Pain Eater, for example, and Margaret Atwood’s new novel, The Heart Goes Last – are on my bedside table and I look forward to reading them.

Join us for a talk by Dr. Qwo-Li Driskill

Please join us for a talk by Dr. Qwo-Li Driskill, a non-citizen Cherokee Two-Spirit writer, performer, and activist. S/he is the author of Asegi Stories: Cherokee Queer and Two-Spirit Memory (University of Arizona: 2016) and Walking with Ghosts: Poems (Salt Publishing: 2005). S/he is also the co-editor of Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature (University of Arizona: 2011) and Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature (University of Arizona: 2011). S/he holds a PhD in Rhetoric & Writing from Michigan State University and is an Associate Professor of Queer Studies in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Oregon State University.
Two-Li will be speaking on Friday, 3 March at 3:00PM in Hagey Hall, room 1104.
Co-sponsored by the English Department, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Drama and Speech Communication. 

Beth Coleman, Edward Snowden, and UWaterloo

Did you miss the UWaterloo talk by Edward Snowden? Or maybe you were one of the people who desperately wanted to get tickets and couldn’t? Then maybe you don’t know that UWaterloo English’s Dr. Beth Coleman was one of three UWaterloo faculty members who formed a panel as part of the sold-out event, organized in recognition of UWaterloo’s 60th Anniversary. You can read more about it in The Record. Follow the link to find out more how UWaterloo is celebrating “60 years of innovation.”

New faculty book on American Literary Tourism

It seems odd to be promoting my own book, but it’s standard to announce new books from UWaterloo English faculty on our blog. So here you are, the news that Dr. Jennifer Harris of the Department of English is co-editor of  From Page to Place American Literary Tourism and the Afterlives of Authors (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017). Hilary Iris Lowe and I have spent the past few years immersed in this project, editing, writing a thorough introduction that surveys the field, and composing our own chapters. My chapter is on the difficulties of promoting the home of Jupiter Hammon, enslaved on Long Island in the eighteenth century, as a site of tourism–especially when compared with other sites of African American Literary Tourism. Other authors address Twain, Whitman, Throeau, coffee table books, guide books, Edith Wharton, Little House on the Prairie, and more. From the press:

Literary tourism has existed in the United States since at least the early nineteenth century, and now includes sites in almost every corner of the country. From Page to Place examines how Americans have taken up this form of tourism, offering an investigation of the places and practices of literary tourism from literary scholars, historians, tour guides, and collectors. The essays here begin to trace for the first time the histories of some of these sites, the rituals associated with literary tourism, and the ways readers and visitors consume popular literature through touristic endeavors.  In addition to the editors, contributors include Rebecca Rego Barry, Susann Bishop, Ben de Bruyn, Erin Hazard, Caroline Hellman, Michelle McClellan, Mara Scanlon, and Klara-Stephanie Szlezák.