UWaterloo English is Hiring

Assistant Professor in Digital Media and Rhetoric
English Language and Literature

Job Contact: Margaret Ulbrick

Job Description
The Department of English Language and Literature in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo invites applications for a probationary position in Digital Media and Rhetoric at the rank of Assistant Professor, with a preferred start date of July 1, 2022. We are looking for a colleague with expertise in digital media and rhetoric who will contribute to our research and teaching in this area, as well as to the Department more broadly. Expertise in digital design, critical data studies (e.g., race, gender, sexuality, or disability and digital media), or game studies is especially welcome. Applicants for this position must have a completed PhD by time of appointment and provide evidence of research potential and achievement commensurate with their experience and a strong teaching record in relevant areas.

The successful candidate will be offered a wide range of teaching experiences, from first-year undergraduate courses through to graduate teaching and supervision of doctoral students. The current teaching load is 2 + 2, which normally includes one graduate course. The salary range for this position at the rank of Assistant Professor is $90,000 to $120,000. Negotiations beyond this salary range may be considered for exceptionally qualified candidates.

The successful candidate will provide supervision and mentorship in our unique PhD degree, which integrates literary studies, rhetoric, media theory and design, and writing studies. In addition, the successful candidate will teach courses related to our MA degrees, particularly the MA in Experimental Digital Media and the MA in Rhetoric and Communication Design; and courses related to our undergraduate degrees, particularly the Honours BA in Rhetoric, Media and Professional Communication. Since the Department promotes an integrated research culture, secondary expertise in literary or writing studies is welcome.

Research opportunities include those available at the Critical Media Lab, where the successful candidate will have access to extensive resources for digital design, and at the university-wide Games Institute.

Applications are due by 22 February 2022. Please address applications to Professor Shelley Hulan, Chair, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo. Application materials must be submitted online as PDF files through https://ofas.uwaterloo.ca.

Please include a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and a teaching dossier and/or link to an e-portfolio, and arrange for three letters of reference to be uploaded. 

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.

The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion. As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as Indigenous (e.g., First Nations, Métis, Inuit/Inuk), Black, racialized, people with disabilities, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Professor Hulan at englishchair@uwaterloo.ca. If you have any questions regarding the position, the application process, assessment process, or eligibility, please contact Professor Hulan, englishchair@uwaterloo.ca.

More information about the Department is available at https://uwaterloo.ca/english/.

Three reasons to apply: https://uwaterloo.ca/faculty-association/why-waterloo.

Diploma in Creative Writing

Do you know UWaterloo English offers a Diploma in Creative Writing, open to students across all disciplines at UWaterloo? Any students registered in degree programs or any non- or post-degree academic plan at the University of Waterloo may pursue the Diploma in Creative Writing.

The Diploma in Creative Writing requires successful completion of a minimum of two academic course units (four courses) with a minimum cumulative diploma average of 70%, including: ENGL 210C, ENGL 335 two of ENGL 332, ENGL 336, THPERF 366

English faculty boast a variety of creative writing credentials and specializations: Dr. Andrea Jonahs holds a MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa, while Dr. Jay Dolmage has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor. Lecturer Carrie Snyder was named a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for her short story collection; her first novel, Girl Runner, was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Lecturer Claire Tacon has published poetry as well as the delightfully named novel, In Search of the Perfect Singing Flamingo. Dr. Sarah Tolmie moves between novels of speculative fiction and volumes of poetry, with her poetry collection The Art of Dying shortlisted for Canada’s most prestigious poetry award, The Griffin Poetry Prize. Dr. Lamees Al Ethari has published poetry, as well as her 2019 memoir, Waiting for the Rain. In addition to poetry, Dr. Jennifer Harris writes lyrical picture books for children, both fiction and nonfiction.

Dr. Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher is now a Canada Research Chair

Congratulations to UWaterloo English’s Dr. Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher, who has been named a Canada Research Chair in Science, Health, and Technology Communication. As UWaterloo Arts writes: “As CRC, Mehlenbacher will examine Millennial and Gen Z adults’ communication strategies for talking about climate change and climate action. Her research will pursue three objectives: 1) investigating how people communicate about climate change, including identifying rhetorical strategies employed to persuade others; 2) investigating how experts in climate-impacted fields communicate research and coordinate climate action; and 3) developing a rhetorical toolbox that can be used by communicators to help increase awareness of climate change impacts and climate action options.”

Try This: Research Methods for Writers

Congratulations to UWaterloo English’s Dr. Jennifer Clary-Lemon, whose new book, Try This: Research Methods for Writers (UP Colorado), is now available–and free! Co-authored with Derek Mueller and Kate Pantelides, Try This is an open-source textbook, and can be downloaded. A description from the press follows:

Try This explores interdisciplinary research methods employed in research in writing studies but rarely drawn upon in undergraduate courses. This shifts writing instruction from a model of knowledge delivery and solitary research to a pedagogy of knowledge-making and an acknowledgment of research writing as collective, overlapping, and distributed. Each chapter is organized around methods to approach a particular kind of primary data—texts, artifacts, places, and images. Accompanying “Try This” invention projects in each chapter invite readers to “try” the research methods. Some projects are designed to try during class time and take 5 to 15 minutes, while others are extensive and will take days to accomplish. Each research writing opportunity introduced in a “Try This” invention project is designed to scaffold a research project. Each chapter offers different genres that allow research to circulate and connect meaningfully with audiences, including digital research posters, data visualizations, and short-form presentations.

New Year, New Book from English’s Carrie Snyder

Congratulations to UWaterloo lecturer Carrie Snyder, whose new book, Francie’s Got a Gun (PenguinRandomHouse), is now available for preorder. As the press writes: “In Francie, writer Carrie Snyder realizes the great promise of her previous fiction, assembling a cast of unforgettable, tragi-comic characters who are equal parts compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache. Here is a propulsive, multi-layered novel leavened with humour—and a memorable, affecting examination of the complex dynamics in a family that is breaking down and coming apart in front of the questioning, irrepressible young person at its centre.”

Dr. Jay Dolmage: Courageous Conversations

As part of the University of Calgary’s recognition of Human Rights Day, UWaterloo English’s Dr. Jay Dolmage will be participating in “Courageous Conversations on Ableism, Disability Justice, and Accessible Futures in Post-Secondary Education,” Friday, December 10, 3-4:30 p.m. Waterloo time (1-2:30 p.m. Calgary Time). Dr. Dolmage’s talk is titled “Academic Ableism, Accommodation, Access,” the subject of his recent book, which is available to read via Open Access.

 According to the website, “The discussion will address the ableist attitudes, policies, and practices that are built into higher education. The discussion will also interrogate the minimal and temporary means we have been given to address inequities, and the cost such an approach has for disabled students, staff and faculty. We will explore our own ableist biases, apologies and defenses in an effort to build tools for a much more accessible future.”  The event is open to all.

Congratulating our Newest Graduates!

Fall graduations are always smaller, but that doesn’t mean they are any less important. Congratulations to all! You made it through–and during unusual times.


Jay Rawding
Jessica-Leigh Van De Kemp

MA (Experimental Digital Media)
Christopher Rogers

MA (Literary Studies)
Ken Ruffolo

MA (Rhetoric and Communication Design)
Morgan Cohen
Monique Dang (Co-op)
Aldijana Halilagic
Brandon Petryna
Thomas Phang-Lyn
Rafia Moienuddin Qaisar
Liahm Ruest


Honours English Literature
Selina Barker
Anisa Nasir
Brandon Alejandro Reyes
Catherine Isabel Stewart

Honours English Literature and Rhetoric
Harrison Robert Gilhuly
Reena Patel

Honours English Rhetoric, Media, and Professional Communication
Aleeza Alam
Teresa Chen
Alexander Frank Martin
Zainab Tanveer

Three-Year General English Language and Literature
Danielle Schiebel

Honours English Literature and Rhetoric
Kyle Nafekh

Congratulating Dr. Jay Rawding

Fall convocation has just passed, and among those who received their PhD in English at the ceremony was Dr. Jay Rawding. To give you an idea of the timeline from PhD defense to convocation, Dr. Rawding defended his PhD thesis, “Branding the Land: Examining Regional Narratives and Texts in Northern Alberta” in early June. His supervisor was Dr. Winfried Siemerling, with committee members Dr. Andrew McMurry and Dr. Chad Wriglesworth. Dr. Imre Szeman served as the internal/external examiner, and Dr. Pamela Banting was the external. A description of the dissertation follows.

“Telling the Stories, Branding the Land: Examining Regional Narratives and Texts in Northern Alberta”

This ecocritical study analyzes literary works and narratives related to northern Alberta. It establishes correlations between the way the land, history, and culture have been represented in these buried texts and the master narrative of resource development that continues to dominate this highly contested region. Using an interdisciplinary approach to this understudied content, this investigation combines rhetorical and discourse analysis with ecocritical close readings.

The dissertation initially explores recurring themes in northern Alberta’s literature and then examines specific narratives concerning three men who have remained popular in the region: A.M. Bezanson, “Twelve Foot” Davis, and “Peace River Jim” Cornwall. While their legacies have endured, the thesis addresses the fact that other important texts that were written by women – such as Mary Lawrence, Katherine Hughes, Dorothy Dahlgren, Alvena Strasbourg – have become scarce and obscure. After comparing the gendered perspectives contained in these texts, the discussion turns to authors who have been affiliated with fossil fuel development, including petroleum pioneer Sidney Ells, investigative trailblazer Larry Pratt, and industry ally J. Joseph Fitzgerald, who each helped rhetorically define, confront, or embrace local infrastructure projects. Next there is an analysis of three novels that engage with stock genres in order to present their stories, including a northern Alberta-based thriller written in 1980 by best-selling author Alistair MacLean.

The thesis concludes by examining two influential local newspaper editors who, through their popular books, became self-appointed gatekeepers of the region’s voices. This example of authorial control over northern Alberta’s published texts speaks to an urgent need to recover, reproduce, and republicize neglected local stories and texts in order to challenge broader hegemonic forces and to better understand this region and its people. This dissertation intervenes to offer a critical starting point in recognizing, reading, and disseminating these vital voices now and in the future.

Dr. Randy Harris on The Linguistic Wars

It’s been a quarter of a century since Dr. Randy Harris first published The Linguistics Wars Chomsky, Lakoff, and the Battle over Deep Structure. Now Oxford University Press has issued a second edition, updated by Dr. Harris with reflections on Chomsky’s legacy in the field.

Cambridge Introduction book from Dr. Hirshkop

Congratulations to Dr. Ken Hirschkop on the publication of The Cambridge Introduction to Mikhail Bakhtin. This is his third book on Bakhtin, on whom he has been publishing for over two decades. As the press writes:

In this introduction to Mikhail Bakhtin, Ken Hirschkop presents a compact, readable, detailed, and sophisticated exposition of all of Bakhtin’s important works. Using the most up-to-date sources and the new, scholarly editions of Bakhtin’s texts, Hirschkop explains Bakhtin’s influential ideas, demonstrates their relevance and usefulness for literary and cultural analysis, and sets them in their historical context. In clear and concise language, Hirschkop shows how Bakhtin’s ideas have changed the way we understand language and literary texts. Authoritative and accessible, this Cambridge Introduction is the most comprehensive and reliable account of Bakhtin and his work yet available.