Category Archives: Events

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:


Leave the house!

Screenshot 2018-01-29 21.55.17It may be winter, but that’s no reason to never leave the house: consider attending one of the many winter semester events at UW English’s own Critical Media Lab, at 44 Gaukel St., Kitchener.  Check out the schedule below for details on Digital Wednesdays, salons, and other workshops. Also, keep your eyes out for calls for projects :

Tentative Term Programming:
Feb 7 – Arduino Workshop: LED Rave
(Sat) Feb 17 – Zineathon / Drinks
Feb 28 – Power of Plain Text: HTML, CSV, XML, JSON Workshop
Mar 7 – Arduino Workshop: Myoduino (Myo Armbands + Arduino!)
Mar 14 – Glitch Art Workshop
Mar 21 – Meme Stream
Mar 28 – Electronic Printmaking Workshop

*Events may be subject to change. For more information, see the Critical Media Lab page.

Bakelite & the end of the world: A Reading

Friday, February 2nd: why not venture over to St. Jerome’s (SJ1 3027) for a reading by fiction writer, poet, and dramatist Kate Cayley at 4:30pm? Her first collection of short fiction, How You Were Born, won the Trillium Book Award and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her first collection of poetry, When This World Comes to an End, was shortlisted for the ReLit Award. Her second collection of poetry, Other Houses, was recently published by Brick Books. She was a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre from 2009-2017, and wrote two plays for Tarragon, After Akhmatova and The Bakelite Masterpiece, which had its American premiere in 2016 and will be produced again at the New Repertory Theater in Boston this spring. She is currently working on This Is Nowhere, commissioned by Zuppa Theatre, and her first novel.

The opening act will be Tina Blair Fang. The readings are free and all are welcome. Please spread the word!

Critical Media Lab wants YOU!

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The forecast for Wednesday, January 31st is a balmy zero degrees. That’s balmy by January standards: why not take advantage of the thaw by venturing out at 6pm for the Critical Media Lab’s Salon Series? Matt White and Julie Funk will be sharing their dynamic research projects: here’s your chance to see our English students are up to in the 44 Gaukel Space.

Science and Rhetoric in Eighteenth-Century Britain

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The Department of English Language and Literature is proud to announce “Science and Rhetoric in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” a talk by Dr. Peter Walmsley to take place Friday January 26, 3:00-5:00pm in HH 373. All are welcome to attend.


In ways evocative of our own moment, word and image fought for supremacy across the pages of Enlightenment scientific books. Scientists strove, in a host of ways, to provide a direct access to nature, and with the advancement of copperplate engraving the printed image was increasingly seen as offering the reader/viewer a site of unmediated witness. Drawing on three texts—Hans Sloane’s Voyage to Jamaica (1707-25), Joseph Priestley’s Observations on Different Kinds of Air (1772), and William Roxburgh’s Plants of the Coast of Coromandel (1795-1819)—I argue that science’s entanglement with commerce and empire ultimately helped produce a new rhetoric of boundless expansion, of mastery of the world through accumulation and accounting.

Peter Walmsley is Chair of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University and the author of The Rhetoric of Berkeley Philosophy and Locke’s Essay and the Rhetoric of Science. His current project, Manufacturing Subjects: The Cultural Politics of Labour in Britain, 1690-1750, investigates the revaluation of skilled work and personal industry in genres as diverse as sermons, trade handbooks, novels, and scientific texts.

Not pulling punches: Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm

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Maybe you’ve managed to remain unaware of the scandals plaguing Canadian Literature over the last year. We should be grateful that, in the midst of all the chaos, there are people who have made sense of it for the uninitiated, mounting sharp and insightful critiques. This includes Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, author of the Globe and Mail essay “The cultural appropriation debate is over. It’s time for action.” Akiwenzie-Damm is an Anishinaabe writer, poet, editor, and the founder and managing editor of Kegedonce Press, an Indigenous publisher based in the territory of her people, the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, Saugeen Ojibway Nation in southwestern Ontario. And she will be speaking at UWaterloo on Thursday, January 18th, 4pm-5:30 in the Modern Languages Theatre of the Arts, as part of the Indigenous Speakers Series.

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Akiwenzie-Damm’s recent book, The Stone Collection, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was a finalist for a Sarton Literary Award. As the publisher writes: “Through unforgettable characters, these stories—about love and lust, suicide and survival, illness and wholeness—illuminate the strange workings of the human heart.” Eden Robinson concurs: “Generous, funny and dark, The Stone Collection doesn’t pull its emotional punches but it leavens its grim truths with bright humour and earthy lust. Akiwenzie-Damm’s writing shape-shifts and mesmerizes in short stories that tell us no matter how hard the journey, love can heal us all.”

The Indigenous Speakers Series is co-sponsored by the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre and the Faculty of 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.

Image: from a CBC interview with author–well worth reading here.

Today: flip a coin–and follow CBC’s advice

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Colloquium or reading? Colloquium or reading? Colloquium or reading? Or… both?! CBC has strong feelings about how you should spend today at Waterloo!

Late morning, you could attend with the second CTE Teaching Colloquium featuring English and Philosophy grad students, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in HH 373. You are welcome to bring your lunch, in case you get hungry listening to:

  • Maša Torbica, “The Classroom as Territory: (Re)Negotiating a Decolonizing Pedagogical Praxis”
  • Teresa Branch-Smith, “Creating Inclusive Classrooms amidst Discriminatory Content”
  • Meghan Riley, “Women’s and Gender Studies Across the Curriculum”

Abstracts for the presentations can be found on Colloquium’s events page.

Later in the day, there’s a reading by Mariam Pirbhai on Friday 12 January at 4:30pm in SJ1 3027 (St Jerome’s at the University of Waterloo). Mariam Pirbhai is the author of a debut short story collection titled Outside People and Other Stories (Inanna 2017), praised by award-winning novelist Shani Mootoo for its “clear-eyed compassion, generosity and literary brilliance.” And it was just ranked #6 in CBC’s Top 95 Must Read recommended books of 2017!