Category Archives: Events

How to play critically?


On Wednesday, May 9th, join UWaterloo English’s Dr. Aimée Morrison, UWaterloo English PhD alumnus Dr. Steve Wilcox, and Dr. Leah Zhang-Kennedy at The Museum in Kitchener, for “INTERACTION Dialogue: Learning Through Play.” The event is presented in partnership with UWaterloo Games Institute, founded and headed by English’s Dr. Neil Randall. According to the event page:

“Experts in digital media and game studies as the discussion covers the cultural, educational, social and political role of games and gameplay in our lives. Topics include digital literacy skills, creating and playing games critically, and learning through play.”

More information, including how to pre-register, is here. The event will be moderated by current UWaterloo English PhD student Betsy Brey.


Defy the snow: come to the XDM exhibition!

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It’s snowing and it’s April, and it’s AWFUL, I know. I just helped a 93 year-old with a walker who couldn’t make it across campus in the snow. But he still came out to an event on campus today.

Let him be your inspiration. Defy the snow and come out tonight to the English department’s MA program in Experimental Digital Media (XDM) annual XDM Exhibition. This year’s exhibition is Codes of Conduct and will feature works from students and community members that provides critical commentary on theoretical areas such as code and algorithm, our digital habits and behaviours, and other sociotechnical intersections. This event will be held in conjunction with the Digital Playground exhibition of Computer Science and Fine Arts students’ projects in the Computational Art course.

The event will be catered and licensed.

Date: Friday, April 6 Time: 6-9 pm
Place: Critical Media Lab
44 Gaukel St. Kitchener

Native Speaker Colloquium

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On Thursday, April 5, 2018, join graduate students from English and German for a colloquium on “The Native Speaker.” The colloquium emerged from Dr. Barbara Schmenk’s cross-listed graduate course “The native speaker in language education” (English 790). The location is EV3 3412.
8:45: Welcome and early morning colloquium stretching
9:00–9:20: “Mistakes and Deficiency: Redefining Language Learning as a
Meaning Making Process,” Viktoria Pekarskaya
9:20–9:40: “The Multilingual Turn. Overcoming the Native Speaker Ideal through
Fostering Symbolic Competence,” Jasmin Lissitsin
9:40–10:00: “NativeSpeaker101: A College Course Evaluation,” Marta Wilkinson
10:00–10:20: “Decentralizing the Myth of the Native Speaker in English 109,” Christin Taylor
10:20–10:40: “Do Students Really Prefer “Native-Speaker” Teachers?” Sara Marsh
10:40–11:00: “But je suis multilingual? Constructing language teacher identity,” Taylor Valnion
11:00–11:20: Coffee break
11:20–11:40: “Multilingualism in Mainland China,” Katherine Tu
11:40–12:00: “‘Maybe I will become a banana’: the Story of Ning, from China to
France,” Tessa Smits
12:00–12:20: “Conscious and ‘Dysconscious’ Native Speakerism in ELT Versus
Translanguaging as a Necessity and Reality in Nepali Context,” Chitra Kumar Karki
12:20–12:40: “‘Be a Better Citizen of the 21st century’: Hidden Ideologies of the
‘Native Speaker’ in ELT Advertisement,” Laura Kronauer
 12:40–1:00: “Why Should We Care about the Death of Snakish? Exposing Monolingual Folk Language Ideology,” Jacob Michael Sigmund Stephan
1:00–2:00: Lunch break
2:00–2:20: “Changing the Fundamental Principles of Native Speakerism through
Power Sharing in The Grass Dancer,” Bibi Ashyana Harricharran
2:20–2:40: “Nationhood, Narrative, and Nerve: Unleashing The White Tiger,” Zahra Kara
2:40–3:00: “English as the Official, Unifying National Language of Nigerian
Literature,” Richard Barnett
3:00–3:20: “Multilingual Code Switching-Creating a Cultural Immune System,” Chris Martin
3 20–3:40: “Why Learn Latin? An Analysis of the Discourse of Compulsory Latin for Language Education Students in Germany,” Lea Schmidt
3:40–4:00: Coffee break
4:00–4:20: “Arbitrary but Useful Ideals: Institutional Native-Speakerism and the
MLA Job Listings,” Rebekka Corneil
4: 20–4:40:  “Vivid and authentic”: The native-speaking language assistant and
Pädagogischer Austauschdienst,” Alexander Sullivan
4:40–5:00: “Fack ju Göhte 4: Native Speakerism within the Goethe-
Institut,” Miriam Meurer
5:00–5:20: “‘Die Sprache der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ist Deutsch’: Language
governmentality in the Verein Deutsche Sprache,” Jana Köpcke
5:20–5:40: “As easy as ABC: Lessons of governmentality within
Ontario’s Elementary Language Curriculum,” Elizabeth Milne
From 5:45: Seeking closure@ the Graduate House

Reconciliation, Resistance, Resurgence

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On Thursday April 5, Dr. Heather Smyth’s ARTS 130 class will be displaying research posters in Porter Library reflecting what they’ve learned about the course theme, “Reconciliation, Resistance, Resurgence.” They have been learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the history of Indigenous resistance in Canada, and Indigenous literature. The poster session is also part of the ongoing “Unsettling Conversations” teaching series at UW. The students will be present from 10-11 am to meet with visitors but the posters will be up all day. Please drop by and see what they’ve been doing.

Image source

Tiny Amphitheaters

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The University of Waterloo English Department’s Critical Media Lab and CAFKA are pleased to announce that Berlin-based artist Benoît Maubrey, internationally known for his interactive sound sculptures and wearables, will be speaking about his artwork at the Critical Media Lab on Thursday, March 29 at 5 PM.

Benoît Maubrey is in Kitchener to produce a new work, ARENA, for CAFKA.18, the biennial exhibition of contemporary art in the public spaces of the Waterloo Region, which runs from June 2 through July 1, 2018.

ARENA will be a mobile interactive sound sculpture, conceived in the shape of a small amphitheater, and constructed with 300 recycled loudspeakers. The sculpture will function both as a mobile “Speakers Corner“ — a “hotspot“ for local participation and self-expression but also as a stage for small events and concerts.

The public, local artists, musicians, choral groups and organizations can participate by relaying songs and messages via Bluetooth and individual Smartphones, or by connecting their devices and instruments via a direct “line-in.” Additionally ARENA can be used as PA system for events, DJs, and small concerts. The volume is controllable via a mixing board, individual amplifiers and receivers situated in a small storage space nearby.

ARENA will be constructed at Lot 42 in Kitchener and will debut at the True North Waterloo conference in May. It will be installed in Carl Zehr Square at the Kitchener City Hall during the CAFKA biennial.

ARENA has been made possible with the support of Celebrate Ontario.

Benoît Maubrey is the director and founder of DIE AUDIO GRUPPE, a Berlin-based art group that builds and performs with electronic clothes, Benoît Maubrey is also well known for his Audio Ballerinas – dancers who wear speaker tutus and make music based on their movements. He studied visual art at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and moved to Berlin in 1979. Recent and ongoing projects by the artist are taking place at the Contemporary Art Center, Cairo (ongoing); Karaoke Torii, Kamiyama, Japan (2016); Kobe Biennale, Kobe Japan (2015); MaerzMusik, Berliner Festspiele (2014); Audio Igloo, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Marl, Germany (2013); and The Cube, Hard Rock Hotel, Palm Springs, California (2013). He currently lives in the village of Brück in Brandenburg, Germany.

Image above: Benoit Maubrey, FIELD, 2017. A field is „planted“ with 48 recycled loudspeakers as archeological artifacts. The loudspeakers „talk“ and „sound“. The loudspeakers are half-buried in the earth and connected to 4 amplifiers equipped with SD cards with voice samples. There are 4 rows corresponding to 4 channels. The 12-volt system is powered via photovoltaic cells. The sound: local recordings in the dialect of Schwabische Alb (Hülben in Baden-Württemberg) from 1940s and 50s (birthday, wartime letter, folksong, New Years celebration…).

Photo: M. Haussinger


For more information, please contact or @_CAFKA on Twitter.

Dr. Tolmie & The Art of Dying

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The Reading Series at St Jerome’s has an exciting bonus extra reading this term!

Dr. Sarah Tolmie of UWaterloo’s English Department will be reading for us, to celebrate the release of her new book, The Art of Dying.

Please join us Friday 23 March at 4:30 in SJ1 3027.

The reading is free and all are welcome. Please spread the word!

Sarah Tolmie is the author of the speculative fictions Two Travelers, NoFood and The Stone Boatmen, all published by Aqueduct Press to starred reviews in Publishers Weekly. Her first volume of poetry, Trio, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award in 2016. Her second book of poems, The Art of Dying, has just been released by MQUP in 2018. A lifelong Le Guin fan, her elegy Ursula in The Underworld will appear in the forthcoming issue of On Spec. She teaches British literature and creative writing at UW as an Associate Professor.

Please visit us at

Poetry and Complexity Event

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What do the following three people have in common?

Madhur Anand, Waterloo Institute for Complexity & Innovation (WICI) Director, theoretical ecologist, and poet

Roald Hoffman, Nobel Prize-winning theoretical chemist and poet

Rae Armantrout, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Guggenheim Fellow

They are all participating in the event Poetry & Complexity, Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at the University of Waterloo Davis Centre, Room 1301, from 4pm-5pm, with a cocktail reception to follow from 5pm-6pm (complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar). The event will be moderated by English’s Dr. Sarah Tolmie.

Please RSVP to: