Author Archives: jharris124

Medieval Manuscripts: a talk

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As someone who works in the archives, and is often dependent on digitized collections, I am deeply grateful to those who make materials available. Here’s your chance to hear more about the process, pitfalls, and pluses, as UWaterloo’s Medieval Lecture Series kicks off this year with a talk by Karen Beck, Manager Historical and Special Collections, Harvard Law Library. The talk is titled “Digitizing Early Manuscripts at the Harvard Law Library.”


Thursday, September 28, reception at 4:30 p.m., SJ2, talk to follow, SJ2-2002.


Reading Series Announced

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If you’re new to campus, you might not know about the annual reading series hosted by and held at St. Jerome’s at UWaterloo.  This year’s theme is Languages of Home. Visiting writers find language for their personal and cultural homes, revealing how diversely the experience of home can be understood and expressed.


Elizabeth Greene, Friday 20 October 2017, 4:30pm, SJ1 3027
* Her collection, Understories, “is an exploration of things visible mostly to the inner eye and memory, things below the surface. It explores loss, but also recovery through memory and language. Two poems in Understories were short-listed for the Descant/ Winston Collins Prize.”

Raoul Fernandes, Friday 24 November 2017, 4:30pm, SJ1 3027
* His first book of poetry, Transmitter and Receiver, won the Dorothy Livesay Award and the Debut-litzer Prize in 2016 and was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry


Mariam Pirbhai, Friday 12 January 2018, 4:30pm
* Her debut short story collection, Outside People and Other Stories, will be published by Toronto’s Inanna Publications, in fall 2017.

Kate Cayley, Friday 2 February 2018, 4:30pm
* Playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre, her short story collection How You Were Born won the Trillium Book Award.

Liz Howard, Friday 2 March 2018, 4:30pm
* Howard’s debut poetry collection, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, and the Griffin Poetry Prize.

…plus a bonus Spring reading by Sarah Tolmie. Stay tuned!

Hope to see you at the readings. The readings are free and all are welcome, so please spread the word!

For updates see the reading series website.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Back to School

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It’s back to school tomorrow, and there’s a lot of excitement on campus— friendly greetings, ritual cheering, lumbering mascots, dodgy rapping by orientation leaders. And while I met new graduate students and directed lost undergraduates yesterday, it was another student who stood out. He was standing between Hagey Hall and Arts Lecture Hall, listening to reports of Hurricane Irma on his phone. I stopped and listened with him and traded good wishes for our families, both in the path of the storm. It was an important reminder for me that students aren’t just arriving on campus overwhelmed by being new, navigating the campus, or worrying about different expectations or courses—they are arriving with geographies and histories and ties to events that we may not account for when thinking about the stress of university. Once again, I’m posting the link for counselling services on campus. Note that the link also includes additional regional resources for those in need.

Image from Canadian retailer Fieldworkco.

New faculty book: Get Away From Me

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Congratulations to Dr. Tristanne Connolly, professor of English at St. Jerome’s at UWaterloo on the publication of her co-edited volume Canadian Music and American Culture: Get Away From Me. Contributors include several UWaterloo English faculty: Dr. Veronica Austen (on Jann Arden), Dr. Mark Spielmacher (on Max Webster) and Dr. Connolly herself (on Rush).

From the press:

This collection explores Canadian music’s commentaries on American culture. ‘American Woman, get away from me!’ – one of the most resonant musical statements to come out of Canada – is a cry of love and hate for its neighbour. Canada’s close, inescapable entanglement with the superpower to the south provides a unique yet representative case study of the benefits and detriments of the global American culture machine. Literature scholars apply textual and cultural analysis to a selection of Anglo-Canadian music – from Joni Mitchell to Peaches, via such artists as Neil Young, Rush, and the Tragically Hip – to explore the generic borrowings and social criticism, the desires and failures of Canada’s musical relationship with the USA.

Wild Writers Festival

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Do you know about The New Quarterly, an award-winning literary journal housed at St. Jerome’s at University of Waterloo? If not, you should–they host the Wild Writers Festival. You can attend writing workshops, readings, and more. Kathleen Winter (nominee for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction) will be leading a workshop on childhood as literary inspiration; Amanda Leduc (shortlisted for the UK Daily Mail First Novel Award, PRISM International’s 2008 Short Fiction Contest, and the 2006 CBC Literary Awards) is giving a workshop on marketing yourself as a writer. For more events and opportunities, see below.


Friday, November 3 @ 7:00pm – CIGI Campus Auditorium
67 Erb St. W, Waterloo:

Friday Night Showcase with Alison Pick and Kathleen Winter in Conversation with Craig Norris

+ winners of The New Quarterly’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry contests

$10 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $15 at the door 

– or FREE with a print subscription to The New Quarterly OR featured book purchase at Words Worth Books.

Saturday, November 4 – Balsillie School of International Affairs (CIGI campus)
67 Erb St. W, Waterloo

8:30 – 9:30 am:


9:30 – 10:50 am:

Crafting the Poem with Evelyn Lau – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

The Publishing Panel: The Joy of Litmags – Free!

First Word, First Sentence, First Paragraph with Robert Rotenberg – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

11:10 – 12:30 pm:

Writer’s Craft Class: On Character with Alison Pick – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

The Shape Shifters: Writing in Multiple Genres – Free!

Wild Writers Panel: Displacement Narratives – Free!

12:30 – 1:30 pm

Book Signing and Lunch 

1:30 – 2:50 pm

Writer’s Craft Class: Interactive Possibilities of Creative Nonfiction with Betsy Warland –  $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

The Fiction Panel with Lori McNulty, Alicia Elliott, Trevor Corkum, and Rebecca Rosenblum – Free!

The Art of the Shelfie: Marketing Yourself as a Writer with Amanda Leduc – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door


Poetry Masterclass: Recklessness and Revision in Poetry with Chris Banks – $35 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $40 at the door

3:10 – 4:30 pm

Finding Home: Tales my Father Never Told Me with Tamas Dobozy and Pasha Malla – $10 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $15 at the door

Nonfiction Panel: The Art of the Personal Essay – Free!

Childhood and Intuition as Literary Inspiration with Kathleen Winter – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

4:30 – 5:30 pm

Book Signing

Saturday, November 4 Doors Open @ 7:00pm – Nick & Nat’s Uptown 21
21 King St.N, Waterloo, ON N2J 2W6

Speakeasy: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

A Conversation with Stacey May Fowles and Mark Kingwell
+ Bruce Johnstone as MC
+ Music TBA

$15 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $20 at the door

Sunday, November 5 @ 10:00am – Rhapsody Barrel Bar
179 King St W, Kitchener, ON N2G 1A9

Literary Brunch: Helen Humphreys, Karen Connelly, and a special guest (TBA)

Moderated by Sharron Smith

Coffee with the authors begins at 9:30 followed by breakfast fare. The writers will discuss their latest work, the writing process, and life as a writer. Intimate, casual, engaging – an ideal way to spend a Sunday morning.

$38 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $45 at the door. Earlybird ticket prices in effect until November 1, 2017.

On Institutional Survivorship

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The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, nested in the University of Waterloo English Department, edited by English’s Dr. Jay Dolamge, announces a new issue, “Institutional Survivorship.” It is, as always, available for free online.

Institutional Survivorship Editorial Introduction
Jen Rinaldi, Kate Rossiter, Liza Kim Jackson

Oral Histories
Trauma From the Past
Carrie Ford, Kate Rossiter

That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It
Cindy Scott, Jen Rinaldi

Self-Advocacy from the Ashes of the Institution
Sue Hutton, Peter Park, Martin Levine, Shay Johnson, Kosha Bramesfeld

Failure to Comply: Madness and/as Testimony
Clementine Morrigan

Unheard Voices: Sisters Share about Institutionalization
Madeline Burghardt, Victoria Freeman, Marilyn Dolmage, Colleen Orick

Institutional Survivorship: Abandonment and the “Machinery of the Establishment”
Madeline Burghardt

Writing Institutionalization and Disability in the Canadian Culture Industry: (Re)producing (Absent) Story
Chelsea Temple Jones

Escaping “The Organism, Signifiance, and Subjectification” in the Recounting Huronia Project
David Fancy

Creative Works
apology, under erasure
nancy viva davis halifax

Soundfull: A Wall Speaks, A Door Shakes, A Floor Trembles
Marla Hlady, Christof Migone

CDJS thanks Assistant Editor and Social Media Editor Sarah Gibbons. Thanks to accessibility partner Accessibil-IT ( and to Geoffrey Salisi for their work creating the most accessible PDF and HTML files possible. Accompanying image from

End of summer round-up

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Sometimes so many interesting things are happening at UWaterloo, it is hard to keep up. Here are a few of the news items about our faculty, alumni, and students you might have missed this summer.–JLH

UWaterloo Arts News published an article on the Games Institute, the brainchild of English’s Dr. Neil Randall. The accompanying photos–however unintentionally–provide an excellent tour of their new space.

UWaterloo English’s Dr. Win Siemerling and alumnus Dr. Kris Singh both contributed essays to a special issue of The Puritan celebrating Canadian author Austin Clarke. See “Myth Grounded in Truth”: Sound, Light, and the Vertical Imagination in Austin Clarke’s ’Membering and “Bread like peas!”: The Gastronomical Dialogue of Austin Clarke and Sam Selvon.

Dr. Norm Klassen received an Association of Catholic Publishers 2017 Excellence in Publishing Award — Theology, 3rd Place for The Fellowship of the Beatific Vision: Chaucer on Overcoming Tyranny and Becoming Ourselves.

UWaterloo PhD English graduate Robert Clapperton has been hired in a tenure-track position at Ryerson University.

English doctoral candidate Jessica Van de Kemp has published her second poetry chapbook, Daughters in the Dead Land (Kelsay Books, 2017).

Congratulations to all!