Category Archives: Awards

PhD student Kyle Gerber wins prize

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Congratulations to UWaterloo English PhD candidate Kyle Gerber, who is the winner of the 2017 Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric (aka RhetCanada) prize for best student conference paper for “‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’: Transitive Action in The Lord’s Prayer.”

At UWaterloo, Kyle studies patterns of rhetorical figures in Mennonite writing on forgiveness, attending to cognitive implications for these patterns. He has published and presented in the areas of Mennonite identity, theology, and literature, and is interested in intersections of rhetorical, cognitive, and Mennonite studies.  Kyle’s research is funded by a SSHRC doctoral grant, and he is supervised by Dr. Randy Harris.

According to Kyle, “I’m grateful to be working in a department that fosters diverse modes of inquiry, surrounded by remarkable people, and connected to the broader community of RhetCanada. I’m grateful for Randy’s inspiration, guidance, and supervision, and for the collegial support of the peers in our writing group, Devon, Monique, Saeed, and George; any success I have is a product of what these individuals contribute to my life and scholarship.” 

You can hear Kyle talk about his research here.


University Research Chair: Dr. O’Gorman

Screenshot 2017-06-22 10.24.01The position “University Research Chair” is a prestigious one, recognizing “exceptional achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge.” We are excited to announce that University of Waterloo English’s Dr. Marcel O’Gorman now holds this position–one of only two who do so in the faculty of arts. In other news, Marcel has also accepted the position of Graduate Chair of English.

Academic Award for Julie Funk!

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Congratulations to Julie Funk, who will be awarded the Department of English Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement at the upcoming June convocation. You may remember Julie from an earlier Words in Place interview, where she discussed what surprised her most about her time at UWaterloo. While Julie graduated in fall 2016, the award is only given annually. We are fortunate that she is still around, however, continuing her excellent work in our MA program.

New Quarterly wins 2 Gold Medals

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The literary magazine The New Quarterly, housed at St. Jerome’s at the University of Waterloo, won two gold medals, for fiction and poetry, at the 40th Annual National Magazine Awards, held last Friday at a gala in Toronto—the best showing by any literary magazine in Canada.

Poetry gold was won by Selina Boan for “(Good) ‘Girls Don’t Hitchhike’” / “Half/Brother” / “Meet Cree: A Practical Guide to the Cree Language.” Boan was a finalist in last year’s CBC Poetry Prize and she’s working on a collection of poems exploring her Cree and European heritage. Fiction gold was won by Richard Kelly Kemick for “The Unitarian Church’s Annual Young Writers’ Short Story Competition.”  TNQ also had two honourable mentions: Sharon Bala for “Miloslav” (Fiction), and Liz Windhorst Harmer for “My Flannery” (Essay).

If you aren’t familiar with The New Quarterly, this might be an ideal time to pick it up: the Spring 2017 issue contains the poem “Lines of Regret Written for Alexander MacLeod After a Too-Short Funeral Visitation” by UWaterloo English faculty member Dr. Marcel O’Gorman.

Four outstanding performance awards for English faculty

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Another day, another award announcement, in this case University of Waterloo’s Outstanding Performance Awards.  As Vice-President, Academic & Provost Ian Orchard wrote, “I am very pleased to announce the award recipients for 2016 and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them for their outstanding contributions to the University of Waterloo.” Of the twenty-two award winners from UWaterloo Arts, four were from English: Drs. Bruce Dadey, Jay Dolmage, Jennifer Harris and Ashley Rose Kelly Mehlenbacher. You’ll have seen Jay Dolmage on our blog recently, in conjunction with his new book–written while also serving as undergraduate chair; likewise Ashley Rose Kelly Mehlenbacher was featured this week, announcing her receipt of an award enabling scholars who are relatively new to build a research team. Bruce Dadey has done stellar work in the classroom and behind the scenes–among other things he runs our Twitter account, though the labour involved in that pales to what he has accomplished on other fronts, including our department webpage. And then that last person is me. I’m happiest about my students and my work on early Black Canadian literature this past year.

Award for Dr. Ashley Rose Kelly Mehlenbacher

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It’s been a good month for awards: Dr. Ashley Rose Kelly Mehlenbacher of UWaterloo English has received an Ontario Early Research Award for her research project “Networked expertise as a novel approach to complex problem solving.” The Early Researcher Awards program gives funding to new researchers working at publicly funded Ontario research institutions to build a research team. The provincial program supports 77 projects across 17 leading institutions. Eighteen researchers from UWaterloo were chosen, and only two from arts. The funding extends from 2017-2022. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Linda Warley!

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Congratulations to Dr. Linda Warley of UWaterloo English. At this year’s meeting of the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, her co-edited collection Canadian Graphic: Picturing Life Narratives received the Gabrielle Roy Prize for studies in Canadian and Quebec literatures. It includes chapters by not one but three UWaterloo English alumni. Kevin Ziegler’s “Public Dialogues: Intimacy and Judgment in Canadian Confessional Comics” opens the collection; Kathleen Venema contributed “Untangling the Graphic Power of Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me“; and Andrew Deman is the author of “‘Oh Well’: My New York Diary, Autographics, and the Depiction of Female Sexuality in Comics.”

Last year’s recipient was also from UWaterloo English, Dr. Winfried Siemerling.

The jury writes:

The individual essays work to articulate the significance of the visual medium for the representation of the vulnerable self in Canadian graphic autobiographies, and range in subject from Seth and Chester Brown, to Sara Leavitt’s heartbreaking narrative about her mother’s death, to Julie Doucet’s early feminist autobiography, My New York Diary. The collection as a whole tells the story of how this important and comparatively new genre evolved in Canada, introducing historically important publications and publishing houses as well as individual cartoonists. The book design is attractive and spacious, and the accompanying illustrations beautifully produced. Canadian Graphic is both a stimulating read and an important scholarly achievement