Category Archives: Events

PhD student’s play to be performed

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Congratulations to English doctoral candidate Jessica Van de Kemp, whose 10-minute play, Hatching in a Cage, will premiere at the Newmarket National Play Festival on July 22-23, 2017. Hatching in a Cage is one of 24 plays selected from a nation-wide competition and is part of an hour-long program entitled Lost/Found. The competition challenged playwrights “to create fully-realized characters in only 600 seconds that keep the audience fully committed to the truth of the story being told.”

Hatching in a Cage alludes to Daniel Keyes’ short story, Flowers for Algernon, and engages similar themes of happiness and identity to examine how the past affects the present. Directed by Tom McHale, it features actors David Hudyma and Kathleen Welch. It will be performed at the Old Town Hall on the following dates:

July 22 at 4:00pm
July 23 at 1:00pm
July 23 at 8:00pm

Tickets can be purchased online. As part of the festival, Jessica will also be performing original poetry at Books/Café & Things on July 23 at 12:20pm.

Congratulations to our newest graduates!

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Once again it’s the time of year where we celebrate our graduate students who have completed their degrees. Spring 2017 saw five PhD students and sixteen Masters students convocate. From Jerry Seinfeld to torture, PhD dissertations covered it all. Our masters students undertook ambitious projects of their own, some of which were documented on this blog. Congratulations to a fantastic cohort.

PhD Graduates, Spring 2017

Bradley, Adam: Critical Tools: Using Technology to Augment the Process of Literary Analysis

Gibbons, Sarah: Disablement  Diversity  Deviation: Disability in a an Age of Environmental Risk

Henry, G. Josh: ‘That’s Gold  Jerry  Gold!’: The Sophisticated Contradiction at the Heart of Stand-up Comedy

Horton, Christine: Defining the Undefinable: Rhetorics of Democratic Torture Interrogation

Sabzian, Saeed: Aural  Ocular  and Sequential Rhetoric in two Contemporary American Stories  in Prose and Film: Patterns of Anxiety in Fight Club and The Road

MA Graduates, Spring 2017
Ali, Tatiana (LIT)
Barnett, Lucy (XDM-MRP)
Domonchuk, Michael (LIT-MRP)
Dorey, Shawn (XDM)
Irani, Farzaneh (XDM)
Kay, Rosemary (RCD)
Lawlor, Adam (RCD)
Metaxas, Christian (XDM-MRP)
O’Brien, Kaitlin (XDM-MRP)
Perescu, Andreea (RCD-MRP)
Pilon, Marie-Agnes (RCD)
Purba, Parteek (LIT)
Sallows, Aleczandra (RCD)
Schroeder, Emily (LIT-MRP)
Welch, Ryan (RCD)
Wilson, Jackie (RCD)

Image from Toronto Etsy shop Vocatio, which specializes in digital and printable invitations.

Convocation time!

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How many other opportunities in your life will there be to introduce your family to your professors while at least two of you are wearing robes? Take advantage of this one immediately following the 10:00 a.m. convocation ceremony (Wednesday, June 14, 2017).

Our new English undergraduate and graduate alumni and their families are invited to a post-convocation celebration in the SLC Great Hall. Enter the hall and look for the English Language and Literature sign. English faculty and staff will be on hand to congratulate you and wish you all the best for your future. There will be complimentary desserts and refreshments–and after convocation I promise, they will be very welcome. No reservation required. We look forward to seeing you!

SLC – Student Life Centre

200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1

Canada

Digital Art at the Critical Media Lab

On April 7, the University of Waterloo English’s Critical Media Lab held its annual exhibit, entitled =SUM(Things), at 44 Gaukel St. in Kitchener. The exhibit featured media and data-based projects and installations from students, including many Master of Experimental Digital Media (XDM) students, as well as staff and community members. Photography by Selina Vesely.

Greyfield/Brightfield by Julie Funk

Julie FunkJulie Funk

Master of Experimental Digital Media (XDM) student Julie Funk’s digital display Greyfield/Brightfield was inspired by the phenomenon of “dead malls.” Shopping malls with less than $150 in sales per square foot and a vacancy rate of more than 10 per cent are given a “greyfield” classification. In this project, users are asked to engage with the digital display, with their movements being used to control the color saturation of the screen, as a way to think about how the interface changes the way they interact with the space.


BasketCase by Caitlin Woodcock

BasketcaseCaitlin Woodcock

Inspired by local Mennonite communities, XDM student Caitlin Woodcock’s BasketCase is an experiment in digital abstinence. When a mobile phone is placed in the handwoven basket, a sensor measures how long it rests there. When the phone is removed, the screen displays a percentage comparing the length of time the device rested to the length of time it took to weave the basket (about 20 hours). This piece highlights craft-making as an alternative to technological productivity and as a way to combat the distractions of our devices.


mindflux, by Megan Honsberger

mindfluxMindflux

With the advent of wearable technology like fitness trackers, XDM student Megan Honsberger’s mindflux explores what it means to be online and continuously connected. mindflux attempts to reconcile the desire to unplug and the necessity of staying connected. The project combines a touch sensor on the bracelet with visualizations showing how often and when an individual uses their device.


#muslimban, by Megan Honsberger

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XDM student Megan Honsberger’s poem is comprised of words from 18,000 tweets compiled 48 hours after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring individuals from some countries from entering the United States. The tweets were mined using the hashtag #muslimban. The result is a collection of responses by many through a poem spoken by no one.


Sorting 63 Genders by Shawn Dorey

Sorting 63 Genders

XDM student Shawn Dorey’s game, Sorting 63 Genders, is a text-based adventure created in response to U.S. congressman Joe Walsh’s pre-election tweets. The game explores what it means for “a man to be a man, and a woman to be a woman.” Through the game, players attempt to live a binary life without others perceiving their genders differently. Sorting 63 Genders asks players to reconsider actions that might not initially be thought of as gendered and to explore the subtleties of gender expression.


The Pantheon of Dream by Amber O’Brien

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The goal of Master of Literary Studies student Amber O’Brien’s game, The Pantheon of Dream, is to help an unknown dreaming protagonist unlock a memory. Players must create a narrative to help move the protagonist to various locations in sequential order to access this memory. The protagonist must contend with many creatures and beings, each representing an aspect of the mind or memory, who either help or hinder the quest.

 


The Architectures of Machine Emotion by Becky Anderson

Architectures of Machine Emotion

The Architectures of Machine Emotion shows how emotions might be recognized, identified and replicated by artificially intelligent machines. English Language and Literature doctoral student Becky Anderson printed visualizations from an open-source textual emotion recognition program onto polystyrene plastic sheets.

Originally posted on UWaterloo Arts.

Beyond 60: GRADtalks: Justin Carpenter

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Join us, as Doctoral students explore one research theme from interdisciplinary perspectives.

Justin CarpenterJustin Carpenter

PhD Candidate in English,                                             Faculty of Arts

Justin Carpenter, on the other hand, will raise concern on what we teach computers, what data we feed and how this is collected. He asks how virtual spaces transform our society and us as human beings? Do we even have the capacity to handle Aladdin’s Jinn once it’s let out of the bottle?.

Audrey ChungAudrey Chung

PhD Candidate in Systems Design Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

In a world with increasingly reliance on computers and robots doing most of our work – from managing our finances, to diagnosing diseases to driving our cars – Audrey will explain how artificial intelligence is created through a process of deep learning drawing on enormous amounts of data to deliver precision.

May 30, 2017
4:00-4:45 pm – wine and cheese
4:45-6:00 pm – talks, including question and answer
Cost
Free – registration is required
Location
EV3 – Environment 3

1408
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1

Canada

U2 licenses alumnus’s work

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This is probably one of the more unusual Words in Place posts. It appears U2 (yes, that U2, with Bono) has licensed the work of UWaterloo English alumnus George Elliott Clarke, in advance of their upcoming Vancouver concert. Clarke, as you may recall, is currently poet laureate of Canada. As reported by Quill & Quire, they will feature “Ain’t You Scared of the Sacred?: A Spiritual” and “Elegy for Leonard Cohen.”

Non-Academic Career Conference

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Register now
for a full day conference designed to better prepare PhD students and postdocs for careers outside of academia. Hosted by GRADventure in partnership with the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Career Action, this conference will feature interactive workshops, a panel of PhDs/PhD candidates who have followed non-linear career paths, as well as a keynote speaker, Adam Ruben: writer, comedian and molecular biologist. Please note: This is an all-day event. Registrants must plan to attend every session. Lunch is provided. More information, as well as a list of workshops and speakers, is available online.

Keynote by Adam Ruben requires a separate RSVP.

Image credit: Toronto’s CountryCraft53