Dr. Emma Vossen
successfully defended her PhD in English at UWaterloo in July; now you can preview
her co-edited book, Feminism in Play
, part of the Palgrave Games in Context Series. She also contributed a chapter, “The Magic Circle and Consent in Gaming Practices.” From the press:
Feminism in Play focuses on women as they are depicted in video games, as participants in games culture, and as contributors to the games industry. This volume showcases women’s resistance to the norms of games culture, as well as women’s play and creative practices both in and around the games industry. Contributors analyze the interconnections between games and the broader societal and structural issues impeding the successful inclusion of women in games and games culture. In offering this framework, this volume provides a platform to the silenced and marginalized, offering counter-narratives to the post-racial and post-gendered fantasies that so often obscure the violent context of production and consumption of games culture.
Some don’t know this, but following convocation there is a reception with cupcakes in Waterloo colours, beverages, and, English faculty in robes (or not). We are there to congratulate you, greet your parents, tell them wonderful things about you, and pose for photos. Congratulations to our Fall 2018 Undergraduates:
Head on over to UWaterloo English to read our 2018 newsletter, featuring a letter from our new chair, Dr. Shelley Hulan, and updates on faculty and student achievements.
Posted in Alumni, Appointments, Awards, Conferences, down time, Events, Faculty, Friends of English, Graduate students, News, Publications, Research
It’s been quite the week of defenses! We are pleased to offer congratulations to our newest PhD graduate, Dr. Lacey Beer. Today Dr. Beer defended her dissertation, “Tongues Tide: Translingual Directions for Technologically-Mediated Composing Platforms.”
Her supervisor was Dr. Frankie Condon,· with committee members Drs. Jay Dolmage and Vershawn Young. Dr. Jerry Won Lee of the University of California, Irvine served as external examiner. Dr. Beer’s research was supported by a SSHRC award and a President’s Graduate Scholarship, and she has published in The New Quarterly.
You may remember English PhD candidate Phil Miletic from previous posts, such as “A Week in the Life of a Graduate Student” and “Rewriting Gertrude Stein.” Well, now he has defended his dissertation, “Only Connect: The Virtual Communities of Gertrude Stein and David Foster Wallace,” and he is DOCTOR Phil Miletic. Congratulations!
Dr. Miletic has been active with UWaterloo’s First Person Scholar as well as our graduate student association. His publications have appeared in African American Review, Canadian Review of American Studies, and The International Journal of Comic Art and he has a piece forthcoming in Biography. His dissertation research was supported by a SSHRC award as well as the President’s Graduate Scholarship.
Dr. Miletic’s supervisor was Dr. Aimée Morrison, and his committee members Drs. Kevin McGuirk and Marcel O’Gorman. The internal examiner was Dr. Ian Milligan; the external examiner was Dr. Lori Emerson, University of Colorado at Boulder. Phil’s description of his dissertation follows.
“Only Connect: The Virtual Communities of Gertrude Stein and David Foster Wallace”
My dissertation compares Modernist imaginations and applications of early radio with Late Postmodernist imaginations and applications of the early internet. The American authors that I focus on and compare in my dissertation are Gertrude Stein, a Modernist, and David Foster Wallace, a Late Postmodernist. My dissertation asserts that Stein and Wallace each incorporate the techno-cultural imaginations and feelings of community through the democratic poetics and aesthetics of their work. Both Stein and Wallace engage with facilitating literary communities that form around emerging mass media––for Stein, the radio, and for Wallace, the blog––and provoke readers to participate in auto/biographical practices as a mode of discussing American identity, community, and democracy. Where the orality of Stein’s texts invites readers’ auto/biographical engagement, Wallace’s written depictions of mental health, addiction, and loneliness prompt readers to share auto/biographical narratives/disclosures related to those topics in the reading group discussions. Altogether, my dissertation engages with a unique media archeological combination of literary analysis, media studies, and critical media production in order to suss out the dynamic exploration of identity, community, and democratic participation these authors and their readers feel for within the mediascape of their respective eras.
Congratulations to UWaterloo English PhD student–and now graduate–Dr. Dhruba Neupane. On September 6th Dr. Neupane successfully defended his dissertation, titled “Plurality, promises and practice: A case of Nepali immigrants’ transliterating and translanguaging in Canada.” Dr. Neupane was supervised by Dr. Jay Dolmage, with a committee composed of Drs. Frankie Condon and Heather Smyth. The external ·examiner was Dr. Iswari Pandey of English, California State University, Northridge.
The description follows.
“Plurality, promises and practice: A case of Nepali immigrants’ transliterating and translanguaging in Canada”
This dissertation is a community-based study among sixteen Nepali immigrant students in graduate and undergraduate programs that have intensive writing, research and communication components. It combines group discussions, interviews, case studies and participant observations to explore the ways featured migrants adapt, appropriate, repel and repeat dominant practices of meaning making in academic and social spaces. Participants’ phenomenological experiences and narratives consist of difficulties in navigating unfamiliar academic and social expectations, especially at the transitional stage; the lack of appropriate support mechanisms; the presence of direct and indirect forms of racism; the resolve to challenge existing strange-making practices, and the hope for a better future. This research further shows that migrants’ hybrid literacy and epistemological practices go beyond what can be contained within the established academic writing grids. While the research problematizes a romanticized narrative within some multilingual scholarships: that multilinguals ‘carry’ mobile and portable language and communicative resources available for an uncomplicated usage and seamless blending; it stresses the need to actively and qualitatively approach difference in ways that appreciates diverse ways of meaning making, doing, being and valuing that the sheer presence of our students, particularly those marked as linguistic and cultural Others, demand of us. The central ask of this this dissertation is to diversify our practices from what appear to be more of the same in different guises. For example, various language and cultural difference-based approaches including the bi-multi- pluri- turns have been identified as not significantly punctuating Eurocentric privileges. More specifically, participants will help us know that English monolingualism persists in academic and institutional settings despite translingual realities outside, because it is defended and framed in terms of student, community, and market needs— often encapsulated in the discourse of “reality outside” and represented as a passport to success, growth, and upper socio-symbolic mobility. Participants in this research join diversity and plurality debates, including multiculturalism, and suggest ways in which to pluralize and diversify existing additive-accretive and discrete-separate ways and views of plurality and diversity.
Congratulations to Dr. Benjamin Woodford, who successfully defended his dissertation “Institutions, Theology, and the Language of Freedom in the Poetry and Prose of John Milton” on August 10th. He was supervised by Dr. Ken Graham, with readers Dr. Rebecca Tierney-Hynes (via Skype) and Dr. Sarah Tolmie. Thank you to his external, Dr. Tobias Gregory, Catholic University of America and internal-external: Dr. Troy Osborne (Conrad Grebel, History). Dr. Woodford is the author of numerous articles, as well as the book Perceptions of a Monarchy without a King: Reactions to Oliver Cromwell’s Power (McGill-Queens UP). A description of the dissertation follows.
Institutions, Theology, and the Language of Freedom in the Poetry and Prose of John Milton
Freedom is an essential topic in the writings of John Milton, but what he means by this term varies over the course of his career. Milton’s prose works centre on religious and political liberty, which explore how the church and state interact with Christians and citizens. His early prose tracts express skepticism about the contributions of institutions, particularly coercive institutions, to freedom. As the English Revolution progresses, Milton begins to separate religious and political liberty based on the role of institutions in each type of freedom. In Milton’s commonwealth and late prose, religious freedom protects the individual conscience from being coerced by any civil or ecclesiastical institution; institutions are limited to persuasion and admonition in religious matters. Political freedom, in contrast, involves parliament leading, schools educating, and the army compelling the English people so that they accept a commonwealth, as political freedom is only possible in a commonwealth. Although these institutions often act against the will of the electorate, Milton’s language presents them as expressions of popular sovereignty. In his epic poem Paradise Lost, Milton shifts the setting from England to the mythical realm of heaven and presents an additional dimension of liberty. Paradise Lost incorporates much of the language regarding freedom and institutions from Milton’s prose, but it expresses a theological freedom that focuses on a Christian’s relationship with God. Theological freedom involves both free choice and dependence on God. Milton uses the character God to articulate the principles of theological freedom, and the characters Satan and Adam and Eve to illustrate failures in theological freedom. These failures shake the reader’s confidence, but the poem ends with the restoration of freedom, encouraging the reader to accept freedom through dependence on God.