Category Archives: Undergraduate Students

Top Ten Words in Place Posts of 2018

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Welcome to 2019! Curious about what we celebrated in 2018? Publications, awards, students, and alumni. But which ones were the most read? Read on and find out what were our top posts of 2018.

10) Amazing News x2 from Tommy Mayberry

9) Welcoming Dr. Megan Selinger

8) Jack Halberstam: TRANS* Visual archives of the transgendered body

7) Our Newest PhD: Dr. Sarah Whyte!

6) I asked about the best book and…

5) Five odd questions: PhD candidate Jin Sol Kim

4) Our newest PhD, Clare Bermingham, on “Feeling Queer Together”

3) Dr. Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher for President!

2) Welcoming Dr. Carter Neal

1) Award for undergrad Danielle Bisnar Griffin


Flash From the Past: from Chris Masterman

I have seen the book Flash From the Past: 140 Photographs from the Waterloo Region Record at Words Worth Books in uptown Waterloo, but had no idea that the co-author, Chris Masterman, is currently enrolled in UWaterloo as an English student, until one of her professors, Dr. Chad Wriglesworth, wrote me. Masterman, a former librarian, is interviewed here about the experience of sharing the photographs with the public.

Award for undergrad Danielle Bisnar Griffin

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Congratulations to UWaterloo English undergraduate Danielle Bisnar Griffin, winner of the DiMarco Undergraduate Scholarship in Computational Rhetoric. This is not her first award from UWaterloo; she previously received the Quarry Integrated Communication Co-op English Award for her report ”Comparative Data Visualizations of Textual Features in the OED and the Life of Words Genre 3.0 Tagging System,” which addressed the work completed during a co-op semester. Danielle was kind enough to share with us a bit about what made her application stand out:

I received the award for my enthusiasm for computational rhetoric, evidenced by my participation in Dr. David Williams’ project The Life of Words and the research interests I developed due to working there. During my time at The Life of Words, I have completed co-op reports that examine the rhetoric of genre using computational methods and I have pursued these interests towards a senior honors essay, scheduled for completion March 2019. I have also consistently committed to improving my computational skills by attending conference skills workshops throughout my undergrad. Finally, I have also been working with Dr. Randy Harris and Dr. DiMarco’s Rhetorical Figures team, in which we work to develop an ontology of rhetorical figures. This is inherently very computational.

Thank you to Danielle for participating in Words in Place, and to alumnus Sam Pasupalak (BCS ’12) for funding the award.–JLH

Welcome to Fall Open House

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This past weekend some of our dedicated English faculty and students participated in the Fall Open House, welcoming potential students and their parents to UWaterloo, and answering any questions they might have about our program. An English degree by co-op? Check, we have that. Traditional courses in literature, alongside courses in Professional Communication, Rhetoric. and Digital Media? Again, yes! A wide range of online courses? A minor in Technical Writing? Of course–we’re UWaterloo. Creative Writing? Absolutely–complemented by the presence of a national literary magazine on campus (The New Quarterly), and a series which brings acclaimed writers to campus to read.


Thanks to all of our fantastic volunteers, as well as those who came out to learn more about our program.

Congratulations to our Fall 2018 Grads!

Some don’t know this, but following convocation there is a reception with cupcakes in Waterloo colours, beverages, and, English faculty in robes (or not). We are there to congratulate you, greet your parents, tell them wonderful things about you, and pose for photos. Congratulations to our Fall 2018 Undergraduates:

Nicole Mitchell
Alexandra Palczewski
Rachel Christensen
Tabasum Qasemi
Brian Freiter
Shannon Bradley
Michelle Hamilton
Shannon Poon
Mackenzie Wallace
Tammy Tran
Selina Sharma
Kiranjot Toor
Britton Russell
Natalie Maduri
Brandon Kong
Tyler Black
Ibelemari Kio
Taylor Mackay
Alexandre Laronde
Edith Maccan

Engl 108P, Popular Potter, now online

Grab your quills and keyboards! As of Winter semester 2019, you can take English 108P, Popular Potter, online. Are you curious about how Rowling draws on mythology and folklore to ground and structure her novels about the boy wizard? Perhaps you have always wanted to talk about the traces of World War II in the novels, or consider how the ideology of the Fabian Society influences Dumbledore’s philosophy and the Order of the Phoenix. Do you have a burning desire to express your frustrations with Harry’s romance with Cho–but in literary terms, which reflect on the limitations of narrative voice? Or maybe you can’t wait to talk about Dobby and why it’s initially funny when he is forced to hurt himself, but then suddenly isn’t humorous at all. Setting aside all of these possibilities, what about the luxury of taking a course for which you probably have already done the reading in advance? Wingardium Leviosa!

Image source: Etsy

Typewriters! Femme fatales! Zeppelins!

English 460A: Early Literature of the Modernist Period in the United Kingdom and Ireland, taught by Dr. Dorothy Hadfield this fall, promises modernism as you’ve possibly never imagined it. Typewriters! Zeppelins! ZEPPELINS! There’s something delightfully steampunk about it all. Read on to find out more about English 460, which runs Tuesday/Thursday 10:00-11:20am.

Vampires. Prostitutes. Typewriters. Femme fatales. Zeppelins.
As the world moved towards the 20th century, the spirit of modernism was in the air… and on the ground, and in the machines…. Literature of the fin-de-siècle reflected both the optimism and the anxiety of a nation in transition. This is the age of Dracula and Sherlock Holmes—villains intent on destroying the sociopolitical order and agents intent on thwarting them. It’s the age of Major Barbara, pitting a Salvation Army crusader against her arms-dealer father in an argument over which of them will save the world. But some of the most controversial literature of the period revolved around Grant Allen’s notorious novel The Woman Who Did, hotly debating the propriety of what the woman did – or didn’t – do. In this course, we will look at both the literary texts and the historical and social contexts in which they were written to examine how a range of early modernist writers were coming to terms with the future they see approaching.