Category Archives: Graduate students

Back to School

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It’s back to school tomorrow, and there’s a lot of excitement on campus— friendly greetings, ritual cheering, lumbering mascots, dodgy rapping by orientation leaders. And while I met new graduate students and directed lost undergraduates yesterday, it was another student who stood out. He was standing between Hagey Hall and Arts Lecture Hall, listening to reports of Hurricane Irma on his phone. I stopped and listened with him and traded good wishes for our families, both in the path of the storm. It was an important reminder for me that students aren’t just arriving on campus overwhelmed by being new, navigating the campus, or worrying about different expectations or courses—they are arriving with geographies and histories and ties to events that we may not account for when thinking about the stress of university. Once again, I’m posting the link for counselling services on campus. Note that the link also includes additional regional resources for those in need.

Image from Canadian retailer Fieldworkco.

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End of summer round-up

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Sometimes so many interesting things are happening at UWaterloo, it is hard to keep up. Here are a few of the news items about our faculty, alumni, and students you might have missed this summer.–JLH

UWaterloo Arts News published an article on the Games Institute, the brainchild of English’s Dr. Neil Randall. The accompanying photos–however unintentionally–provide an excellent tour of their new space.

UWaterloo English’s Dr. Win Siemerling and alumnus Dr. Kris Singh both contributed essays to a special issue of The Puritan celebrating Canadian author Austin Clarke. See “Myth Grounded in Truth”: Sound, Light, and the Vertical Imagination in Austin Clarke’s ’Membering and “Bread like peas!”: The Gastronomical Dialogue of Austin Clarke and Sam Selvon.

Dr. Norm Klassen received an Association of Catholic Publishers 2017 Excellence in Publishing Award — Theology, 3rd Place for The Fellowship of the Beatific Vision: Chaucer on Overcoming Tyranny and Becoming Ourselves.

UWaterloo PhD English graduate Robert Clapperton has been hired in a tenure-track position at Ryerson University.

English doctoral candidate Jessica Van de Kemp has published her second poetry chapbook, Daughters in the Dead Land (Kelsay Books, 2017).

Congratulations to all!

MA Grad Alexandra Fournier: Literary Editor

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I’m sitting in an old farm kitchen in New Brunswick right now, reading The Maritime Edit, an absolutely stunning quarterly magazine “devoted to highlighting the heritage and lifestyle of the East Coast.” And on the contributors’ page, under the title “Literary Editor,” is a name I know very well: Alexandra Fournier. A UWaterloo MA English graduate, Fournier convocated in 2016 with a Masters in Literature, after completing a thesis on the adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813) as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-2013). Keen-eyed Waterloo folks might catch that her  “Essential Reads” column in the current issue of The Maritime Edit includes a mention of another one of our English alumna.

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.

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.

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.

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.