Category Archives: Events

PhD candidate Christin Taylor on the University

Speakers announced – GRADtalks: The Role of the University in the Modern World

The GRADtalks speaker series provides an opportunity for Waterloo doctoral students to explore one research theme from interdisciplinary perspectives. This year, UWaterloo English PhD candidate Christin Taylor is among the speakers.

GRADtalks: The Role of the University on the Modern World is taking place on Thursday, September 26, featuring Brittany Etmanski, PhD Candidate, Sociology and Legal Studies, Faculty of Arts and Christin Taylor, PhD Candidate, English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts.

The event is free to attend and includes a wine and cheese. Talks begin at 3:30 p.m. Register today!


Games Institute Podcast!

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Are you aware that the UWaterloo Games Institute, founded and headed by English’s Dr. Neil Randall, has a podcast? Marisa Benjamin, Research Communications Coordinator, and Toben Racicot, English PhD candidate co-host the Games Institute (GI) podcast. Every episode we spotlight a researcher from the GI and interview them about how their research impacts the study and culture of games and interactive technologies.

Quick Links

Meet the Hosts

Asymmetric Cooperative Play with John Harris

Games for Change with Rina Wehbe

VR Futures with Alex Fleck

Games and Mental Health Support with Tina Chan

Gamification and Personalization with Gustavo Tondello

Why a Podcast?

The unfortunate reality of academia is that a lot of the great research findings never reach public audiences. Or, when it does, several years have passed and it’s already outdated.

This problem has to do with how research is communicated. Scholarly research is shared with scholarly audiences who exist within the same scholarly bubble. Do you subscribe to scholarly journals? Attend scholarly conferences? Likely not.

A podcast allows us to pop the bubble and bring you research discussions as they’re happening. We invite researchers to sit down and talk about what they’re up to. No word counts, no jargon, no registration or subscription fee.

You get to hear about the GI researchers’ successes – and failures – and learn about the person behind the scholarly curtain.

A Book Club for UW

It may not be English, but it’s a book club meeting hosted by members of UW! The University of Waterloo’s new program in Gender and Social Justice is partnering with Words Worth Books to host a local monthly meet-up of Professor Pam Palmater’s Reconciliation Book Club.

Each month, as part of her Reconciliation Book Club, Palmater, a Mi’kmaw lawyer, member of the Eel River Bar First Nation, assigns a book and discusses it on her YouTube channel. You can hear more about the book club in this CBC interview.

The local gathering will meet on the first Wednesday of each month from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Words Worth Books to discuss the latest book in the reading series. Words Worth, located at 96 King St. S., will stock the books Professor Palmater assigns.

At the group’s inaugural meeting on September 4, the book up for discussion will be Karen Stote’s An Act of Genocide: Colonialism and the Sterilization of Aboriginal Women. Professor Stote will join the group’s discussion.

All are welcome, as the events are free and no RSVP is necessary.

For more information please contact Professor Shannon Dea by sending an email to

Superheroes and Sexuality

You read that right! Dr. Anna Peppard’s talk is titled “Superheroes and Sexuality,” and is set for Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 2:30 PM – 4 PM, University of Waterloo, hosted by the Games Institute, founded and headed by English’s Dr. Neil Randall. Mark your calendars, and get your tickets!

“Superheroes and Sexuality,”
Dr. Anna Peppard, Postdoctoral Fellow from Brock University, joins us to discuss the historical controversy and contemporary relevance of superhero sexuality. Dr. Peppard will demonstrate how the simultaneous presence and absence of sexuality within superhero comics, movies, television shows, and video games is central to the superhero genre’s longevity, adaptability, and current popularity, and argue that superheroes possess a special—albeit underutilized—ability to represent diverse and potentially subversive sexual fantasies.

Anna F. Peppard is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Brock University. She has studied representations of race, gender, and sexuality within a variety of popular media genres and forms, including action-adventure television, superhero comics, professional wrestling, and sports culture. Her writing has appeared in Canadian Review of American Studies, International Journal of Comic Art, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, Journal of Fashion Studies, Feminist Media Histories, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, Studies in Comics, Literary Hub, The Walrus, the anthology Make Ours Marvel: Media Convergence and a Comics Universe, and the forthcoming anthology #WWE: Professional Wrestling in the Digital Age. She is a regular contributor to the podcast Three Panel Contrast.

For more info, including tickets and location, see the Event page.

Indigenous Speakers Series: Jesse Thistle

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The Indigenous Speakers Series proudly presents Jesse Thistle, Métis-Cree-Scot scholar, teacher, and author — and a Waterloo Arts alumnus. His work is focused on intergenerational and historic trauma of the Métis people, and also reflects on his own past struggles with addiction and homelessness.

Jesse is widely recognized in the scholarly community and beyond — especially with the recent publication of his memoir From the Ashes (Simon and Schuster Canada). Jesse holds an MA in History from Waterloo and is currently a Trudeau and Vanier scholar working on his doctoral degree at York University.

The talk is Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 4 PM – 5:30 PM, Theatre of the Arts; a book signing will follow the talk.

This Indigenous Speakers Series event is co-presented by the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, the Faculty of Arts, the Department of History, and the Department of Communication Arts. The Series highlights the voices of Indigenous artists, writers, activists, and leaders from across Turtle Island, offering UWaterloo students, faculty and staff opportunities to learn from, understand, and engage with Indigenous issues.

Faculty on the Radio

This weekend you should definitely tune into Midtown Radio ( The July 28th episode of the programme Midtown Conversations for Change (Sunday, 10am-12pm), produced by Dr. Danielle Deveau will feature interviews and conversations with Dept. of English Language and Literature faculty Drs. Heather Love, Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher, and Lamees Al Ethari. We will be discussing education, communication, storytelling, and community engagement.

What: Midtown Conversations for Change: a two-hour programme dedicated to discussing issues related to community and social good

Where: Midtown Radio ( > hit the “listen now” link)

When: July 28th at 10am

Creating Effective Activism and Change

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If you missed the panel Creating Effective Activism and Change, in which expert panelists from UWaterloo examined how involvement in activism can transform the social and political landscape and inspire others to action, it’s now available online. Participants included UWaterloo English’s Dr. Heather Smyth, as well as Dr. Shannon Dea (Philosophy), Dr. Anna Drake (Political Science), Dr. Shana MacDonald (Communication Arts), and undergraduate student Fiqir Mequanent Worku, Founder of RAISE (Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity).