Category Archives: Publications

A new book from Dr. Vershawn Young

Congratulations to Dr. Vershawn Ashanti Young, cross-appointed with English, whose book Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow (co-edited with Mollie Godfrey) has just been published by University of Illinois Press. From the press:

“African Americans once passed as whites to escape the pains of racism. Today’s neo-passing has pushed the old idea of passing in extraordinary new directions. A white author uses an Asian pen name; heterosexuals live “out” as gay; and, irony of ironies, whites try to pass as black. Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young present essays that explore practices, performances, and texts of neo-passing in our supposedly postracial moment. The authors move from the postracial imagery of Angry Black White Boy and the issues of sexual orientation and race in ZZ Packer’s short fiction to the politics of Dave Chappelle’s skits as a black President George W. Bush. Together, the works reveal that the questions raised by neo-passing—questions about performing and contesting identity in relation to social norms—remain as relevant today as in the past.”


Weird Fiction from Dr. Sarah Tolmie

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Looking for new–and perhaps unconventional–reading? Volume 4 of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction (Undertow Publications) will soon be available in bookstores, and includes a story from Dr. Sarah Tolmie of UWaterloo English.

Music and the Road with faculty and grad students

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The UWaterloo Bookstore has a shelf dedicated to faculty authors: eight of the twenty-four books currently on display are by English faculty. If they want to give us a full third of the display (!), they might order in Dr. Gordon E. Slethaug‘s Music and The Road: Essays on the Interplay of Music and Popular Culture of the American Road (Bloomsbury, 2017). Dr. Slethaug is both editor and contributor. Other UWaterloo English contributors include Dr. Chad Wriglesworth and PhD students Virginia Shay and Evelyn DeShane.

Are you following Academic Ableism?

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You may recall an earlier post, announcing Dr. Jay Dolmage’s new book, Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education. It is coming out in a few short weeks, and if the wait is just t0o much, you might want to read this interview with Dr. Dolmage on the press’s website. A preview:

I am always searching for visual and spatial metaphors to try and explain things to myself and to others. The contrast between ramps and steps on college campuses is one of those metaphors…When you walk around campuses, the steps really are steep and they are wide, and they are everywhere—and they aren’t really about mobility, they are architectural statements on the most important buildings. So they send a message…[of] schooling as a place to sort society, to decide who gets to go up to which step and who does not. Is this really how we want to think of education—as a place that solidifies and reinforces unequal privilege and unequal access?


An Alumnus’s book on the Stratford Festival

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You may UWaterloo English alumnus Shawn DeSouza-Coelho (MA 2015) from a previous Words in Place post, part of our “Week in the Life of a Graduate Student” series. Now he has a book coming out, Whenever You’re Ready, available for pre-order from ECW Press. As the press writes:

Whenever You’re Ready is an intimate account of the career of Nora Polley, who — in her 52 years at the Stratford Festival — has learned from, worked with, and cared for some of the greatest directors, actors, stage managers, and productions in Canadian theatrical history. In so doing, Nora became one of the greatest stage managers this country has ever seen. Here is an account of the Stratford Festival’s history like no other. From her childhood forays into a theater her father, Victor, worked tirelessly to help maintain, to her unexpected apprenticeship and the equally unexpected 40 years of stage management it ushered in, this is the Stratford Festival seen exclusively through Nora’s eyes. Here is an immersive account of a life spent in service of the theater, told from the ground floor: where actors struggle with lines and anxieties, where directors lose themselves in the work, where the next season is always uncertain, and where Nora — a stage manager, a custodian, a confidante, a pillar, a rock — finds her rhythm, her patience, her perseverance, her love, her consistency, and her invisibility. These are the qualities that make a stage manager great and, whenever you’re ready, this book will show you why.

Congratulations Dr. Michael MacDonald!

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Congratulations to Dr. Michael MacDonald on the publication of The Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies. Those of us who have edited collections and handbooks know how exceptionally convoluted the process can be, and how long it can take as various chapters pass through revisions, editing, and more. This makes the completion especially rewarding. Several years in the making, The Oxford Handbook will be an important resource for scholars.

From the press:

One of the most remarkable trends in the humanities and social sciences in recent decades has been the resurgence of interest in the history, theory, and practice of rhetoric: in an age of global media networks and viral communication, rhetoric is once again “contagious” and “communicable” (Friedrich Nietzsche). Featuring sixty commissioned chapters by eminent scholars of rhetoric from twelve countries, The Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies offers students and teachers an engaging and sophisticated introduction to the multidisciplinary field of rhetorical studies.

The Handbook traces the history of Western rhetoric from ancient Greece and Rome to the present and surveys the role of rhetoric in more than thirty academic disciplines and fields of social practice. This combination of historical and topical approaches allows readers to chart the metamorphoses of rhetoric over the centuries while mapping the connections between rhetoric and law, politics, science, education, literature, feminism, poetry, composition, philosophy, drama, criticism, digital media, art, semiotics, architecture, and other fields. Chapters provide the information expected of a handbook-discussion of key concepts, texts, authors, problems, and critical debates-while also posing challenging questions and advancing new arguments.

In addition to offering an accessible and comprehensive introduction to rhetoric in the European and North American context, the Handbook includes a timeline of major works of rhetorical theory, translations of all Greek and Latin passages, extensive cross-referencing between chapters, and a glossary of more than three hundred rhetorical terms. These features will make this volume a valuable scholarly resource for students and teachers in rhetoric, English, classics, comparative literature, media studies, communication, and adjacent fields. As a whole, the Handbook demonstrates that rhetoric is not merely a form of stylish communication but a pragmatic, inventive, and critical art that operates in myriad social contexts and academic disciplines.

New book of poetry from alumna

Congratulations to UWaterloo English alumna Rupi Kaur, whose second book of poetry was released today. the sun and her flowers is published by Simon & Schuster. For those who missed it, Rupi’s debut collection, milk and honey, was a New York Times bestseller.