Category Archives: Publications

You’re Invited: A Book Launch

Book Launch

On February 29th, 2-4pm there will be a book launch for Dr. Lamees Al Ethari‘s memoir, Waiting for the Rain. The location is the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (1001 Queen St North, Kitchener). Please RSVP by February 21st to

Games book series from UWaterloo faculty and alumni

book series covers

Are you aware that UWaterloo English’s Dr. Neil Randall, and PhD alumnus Dr. Steve Wilcox are co-editors of the Palgrave series Games in Context? Books published in the series to date include Queerness in Play, Masculinities in Play, and Feminism in Play, the last co-edited by UWaterloo PhD alumna Emma Vossen. A description of the series follows:

Games are pervasive in contemporary life, intersecting with leisure, work, health, culture, history, technology, politics, industry, and beyond. These contexts span topics, cross disciplines, and bridge professions. Palgrave Games in Context situates games and play within such interdisciplinary and interprofessional contexts, resulting in accessible, applicable, and practical scholarship for students, researchers, game designers, and industry professionals. What does it mean to study, critique, and create games in context? This series eschews conventional classifications—such as academic discipline or game genre—and instead looks to practical, real-world situations to shape analysis and ground discussion. A single text might bring together professionals working in the field, critics, scholars, researchers, and designers. The result is a broad range of voices from a variety of disciplinary and professional backgrounds contributing to an accessible, practical series on the various and varied roles of games and play.

UW book Best of Year in Times Literary Supplement

TLS cover image

Congratulations to Dr. Ken Hirschkop, whose book Linguistic Turns 1890–1950 appears on the Times Literary Supplement (TLS) Book of the Year list, as chosen by British literary theorist Terry Eagleton. As the press describes it “Linguistic Turns shows how intellectuals across Europe suddenly and simultaneously decided that they had to focus their attention on language and that language was central to not only their disciplines, but to the social and political renewal of Europe.” Eagleton adds “There is an agreeable contrast between the stunning intricacy of its arguments and its congenial, reader-friendly style.” Read more at TLS.

Image credit: TLS

New faculty publication: Shakespeare’s Common Language

Congratulations to Dr. Alysia Kolentsis whose new book Shakespeare’s Common Language, from the Arden Shakespeare Studies in Language and Digital Methodologies, is now available for order. If you are thinking, “wait, didn’t I just see a post about a Shakespeare book from Dr. Kolentis?” you are right: that would probably be Shakespeare On Stage and Off , co-edited with another UWaterloo English Professor, Dr. Kenneth Graham.

A description of Shakespeare’s Common Language, from the press:
What can developments in contemporary linguistics and language theory reveal about Shakespeare’s language in the plays? Shakespeare’s Common Language demonstrates how methods borrowed from language criticism can illuminate the surprising expressive force of Shakespeare’s common words. With chapters focused on different approaches based in language theory, the book analyses language change in Coriolanus; discourse analysis in Troilus and Cressida; pragmatics in Richard II; and various aspects of grammar in As You Like It. In mapping the tools of linguistics and language theory onto the study of literature, and employing finely-grained close readings of dialogue, Shakespeare’s Common Language frames a methodology that offers a fresh approach to reading dramatic language.

Read an excerpt from Dr. Sarah Tolmie’s novel

You can read an excerpt from Dr. Sarah Tolmie‘s latest novel, The Little Animals, online. Described by Ursula LeGuin as “vibrant with life and activity, fascinating in its strangeness and its familiarity,” the novel is the story of the 17th-century Delft scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek–and a mysterious goose girl. And if you haven’t read The Art of Dying, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, it might make an excellent complement to autumn.

New Faculty Book: Shakespeare On Stage and Off

Cover Shakespeare On Stage and Off

It’s not surprising that summer in Waterloo is Shakespeare season for many, given the proximity of the Stratford Festival. This makes it the perfect time to congratulate English faculty Dr. Kenneth Graham and Dr. Alysia Kolentsis on their forthcoming edited collection, Shakespeare On Stage and Off. The description from the press promises a lively and current volume, covering everything from Star Trek to “a Trump-like Julius Caesar”–read on to find out more!

Today, debates about the cultural role of the humanities and the arts are roiling. Responding to renewed calls to reassess the prominence of canonical writers, Shakespeare On Stage and Off introduces new perspectives on why and how William Shakespeare still matters.

Lively and accessible, the book considers what it means to play, work, and live with Shakespeare in the twenty-first century. Contributors – including Antoni Cimolino, artistic director of the Stratford Festival – engage with contemporary stagings of the plays, from a Trump-like Julius Caesar in New York City to a black Iago in Stratford-upon-Avon and a female Hamlet on the Toronto stage, and explore the effect of performance practices on understandings of identity, death, love, race, gender, class, and culture. Providing an original approach to thinking about Shakespeare, some essays ask how the knowledge and skills associated with working lives can illuminate the playwright’s works. Other essays look at ways of interacting with Shakespeare in the digital age, from Shakespearean resonances in Star Trek and Indian films to live broadcasts of theatre performances, social media, and online instructional tools. Together, the essays in this volume speak to how Shakespeare continues to enrich contemporary culture.

A timely guide to the ongoing importance of Shakespearean drama, Shakespeare On Stage and Off surveys recent developments in performance, adaptation, popular culture, and education.

New Book from Dr. Ken Hirschkop

Cover of Linguistic Turns
Congratulations to UWaterloo English’s Dr. Ken Hirschkop, whose book Linguistic Turns, 1890-1950 Writing on Language as Social Theory, has just been released by Oxford University Press. As the press writes:

Linguistic Turns rewrites the intellectual and cultural history of early twentieth-century Europe. In chapters that study the work of Saussure, Russell, Wittgenstein, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Cassirer, Shklovskii, the Russian Futurists, Ogden and Richards, Sorel, Gramsci, and others, it shows how European intellectuals came to invest ‘language’ with extraordinary force, at a time when the social and political order of the continent was itself in question. By examining linguistic turns in concert rather than in isolation, the volume changes the way we see them—no longer simply as moves in individual disciplines, but as elements of a larger constellation, held together by common concerns and anxieties. In a series of detailed readings, the volume reveals how each linguistic turn invested ‘language as such’ with powers that could redeem not just individual disciplines but Europe itself. It shows how, in the hands of different writers, language becomes a model of social and political order, a tool guaranteeing analytical precision, a vehicle of dynamic change, a storehouse of mythical collective energy, a template for civil society, and an image of justice itself. By detailing the force linguistic turns attribute to language, and the way in which they contrast ‘language as such’ with actual language, the volume dissects the investments made in words and sentences and the visions behind them. The constellation of linguistic turns is explored as an intellectual event in its own right and as the pursuit of social theory by other means.