Category Archives: Undergraduate Students

Engl 346R: Global Asian Diasporas

Screenshot 2020-06-18 14.11.36Join Dr. Vinh Nguyen this fall for the online course English 346R: Global Asian Diasporas. In Fall 2020, the theme of Global Asian Diasporas will be on “Asian-Black Relations.” According to Dr. Nguyen: We will take up the question of Asian diasporic or trans(national) formation through the lens of comparative racialization, particularly how “Asian” is understood in relation to “Black.” Focusing primarily on North America, we will examine racialized constructions of Asians and how they function with and against Blackness. We will look to moments of conflict and collaboration to understand past and present forms of coalition-building as well as decolonial, antiracist, and solidarity activism.

Thinking about UWaterloo?


Thinking about UWaterloo? Did you miss the campus tour? With the cancellation of on-campus events and tours, undergraduate recruitment colleagues from across campus have worked to produce materials that might stand in, during this period of social distancing. These include:

We also have online chats and webinars–visit the Bringing Waterloo to you website for additional opportunities. As always, you can use the tabs to navigate our blog to learn more about UWaterloo English, co-op, and more!.And our department website offers more information about various programs, degrees, and opportunities.

Celebrating our Students: Awards!

In March, just before the cancellation of on-campus activities, the English awards committee was in full swing preparing for our annual Awards Ceremony. The English Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding work our undergraduate and graduate students have produced in the previous calendar year (for this cycle, January-December 2019). Certificates are given out, hands are shaken, photographs are taken, poetry is read, and faculty try to describe to the audience, in a few broad brushstrokes, the exceptional qualities of each student’s winning work.  The awards ceremony has always been a highlight of the winter term, celebrating its end in a convivial environment with English students, faculty, and the family and friends of award winners.

While the ceremony has been cancelled, we still wish to celebrate the achievements of our students.  To that end, we would like to take this opportunity to announce the names of the winners with our English community as a small way to ensure that our students’ talents and achievements get the recognition they deserve.

So, without further ado, this year’s award winners are:

Undergraduate Academic Awards
Albert Shaw Poetry Prize: Kurt Dutfield-Hughes
English Society Creative Writing Award for Poetry: Philip Hohol
English Society Creative Writing Award for Prose: Kristie Shannon
Andrew James Dugan Prize in Rhetoric and Professional Writing Award: Sarah Casey
Rhetoric and Digital Design Award: Danielle Griffin
Rhetoric and Professional Writing Award: Jonathon Jackson
Walter R. Martin English 251 Award: Joyce Kung
Diaspora and Transnational Studies Prize: Linhui Luo
Hibbard Prize for Shakespeare Studies: Rachel Zehr
Canadian Literature Prize: Eden McFarlane
Award in American Literature and Culture: Tristan Mills
Andrew James Dugan Prize in Literature Award: Wajiha Parvez
Masternak Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships in English: Philip Hohol and Julianna Suderman

Graduate Awards
Graduate Professional Communication Award: Marion Gruner
Rhetoric Essay Prize, Master of Arts: Jordan Kam
Rhetoric Essay Prize, PhD: Shannon Lodoen
Beltz Essay Prize, Master of Arts: Ryan Van Til
Beltz Essay Prize, PhD: Shannon Lodoen
Graduate Creative Writing Award, Poetry: Masa Torbica
Graduate Creative Writing Award, Prose: Chelsea La Vecchia
Masternak Foundation Graduate Scholarship in English: Jin Sol Kim
Jack Gray Graduate Fellowship Award: Zachary Pearl
David Nimmo English Graduate Scholarship: Lindsay Meaning

Co-op Awards
Undergraduate Co-op Work Report Award: Hanna Colbert
Graduate Co-op Work Report Awards: Carmen Barsomian-Dietrich and Pamela Schmidt

Teaching and Professionalization Awards
Lea Vogel-Nimmo English Graduate Professionalization Awards: Neha Ravella and Jerika Sanderson
TA Award for Excellence in Teaching: Valerie Uher
Independent Graduate Instructor Award for Excellence in Teaching: Hannah Watts

Pictured above: Masa Torbica, Danielle Griffin, Jin Sol Kim. Thank you to Dr. John Savarese and Dr. Andrea Jonahs for facilitating the awards. The awards committee would also like to offer a big thank you to our English office staff—Jenny Conroy, Tina Davidson, Deb Nahlik and Margaret Ulbrick — who do so much work behind the scenes, and all the faculty that served as adjudicators this year.

Spill the Tea! March 11th and 12th

TeacupSpill the Tea! An English Undergraduate Event, March 11th and 12th, 2:30-4:30pm, in The Project Cube (HH 2034)

Are you an upper-year English student? The English Undergraduate Department wants to hear your voice! Hang out with tea and snacks to share your thoughts about our program, good and bad, as much or as little as you’d like. We’re looking to improve, and anything helps.

This event is being hosted by your English Undergraduate Committee Student Reps, Mahum Jafari and Dante Diaco, who are exceptionally eager to bring your ideas to the department.

Come to The Project Cube (HH 2034) anytime between 2:30pm and 4:30pm on Wednesday or Thursday this week to spill the tea — we hope to see you there!

Alumna Sarasvathi Kannan wins HeForShe Contest

Congratulations to UWaterloo English alumna Sarasvathi Kannan, who participated in the HeForShe writing contest, winning not one but two categories! In Poetry, her piece “The Student and the Goose” was awarded; in fiction, it was “Divine Intervention.” You can read her award-winning pieces on the HeForShe website. The HeForShe competition is open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Other English Department people contributed to the anthology this year, from undergraduates Juliana Suderman, Nadia Formisano, and Julia Cowderoy to PhD alumnus Morteza Dehghani.

Careers For English Majors 2020

You are invited to attend Careers For English Majors 2020

A Reception and Roundtable Discussion featuring UW English Alumni
Wednesday, March 11th, HH 373
Roundtable Discussion 3:30-5:00pm
Reception 5:00-5:30pm

Meet UW English grads and hear them talk about their careers, offer advice, and take your questions. Refreshments will be provided.


Clare Bermingham, Director, University of Waterloo Writing and Communication Centre
Isabelle Côté, Executive Assistant to the CEO, Communitech
Sara Kannan, Proposal Specialist, GHD Limited
Galen Naidoo-Harris, Manager of Community Affairs for Adam van Koeverden, Member of Parliament for Milton
Melissa Pound, Research Publications & Training Manager, RDH Building Science Inc

RSVP to by March 5th


Top Ten Posts of 2019

Art Deco Billiard Ten
It’s that time of year again, when everyone posts a top ten list, including the UWaterloo English blog. This year, I’ve deviated from previous lists, including posts published in previous years which still made our top ten for 2019. Some made sense–whenever the weather is miserable everyone wants to know how to get coffee without going outside–but some were confusing. Feel free to speculate about why a particular post from 2013 made a surprise comeback!

10) Attention X-Men Fans! Or, why is Neil Gaiman tweeting a UW researcher?

9) Congratulations to our six new PhDs!

8) Faculty Teaching Recognized

7) They did it! Class of 2019!

6) Alumna Sara Kannan: Making a Difference

5)The Englies, 2013

4) 11 Novels about Syria

3) Waterloo Tunnel Tour (Or, how to get coffee without going outside)

2) Special Honour for 2 PhD Candidates

1) Honours for Dr. Randy Harris

Taking Care of Yourself

It’s exam time, and it’s end of term, and for many it is an incredibly stressful time of year. Of course it’s important to take care of yourself–remember to eat well, try to get enough sleep, set aside time to read a treasured book or reach out to someone you love–but self-care isn’t enough for many, and a steaming cup of tea can’t solve everything. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), “Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness and/or substance use disorders than any other age group.” A reminder that Campus Wellness has a list of services available to everyone across the university community. This includes a round-up of resources available on campus and off campus. Among them is Good2Talk, a helpline (1-866-925-5454) explicitly for university students, as well as CMHA’s Reach Out, a 24/7 telephone hotline and internet service for individuals experiencing mental health concerns, addictions, or crisis. Reach Out can be contacted at 519-433-2023, toll free at 1-866-933-2023 or online at

Image credit: Mental Floss

What are Science Students doing in English?

Science Communication Showcase

The Department of English Language and Literature and The Department of Communication Arts in collaboration with The Faculty of Science invite you to attend the Fall 2019 Science Communication Showcase, featuring student posters and presentations from “ENGL/SPCOM 193: Communication in the Sciences.” Meet and visit with talented science students as they showcase skills they have developed in these courses! There will be refreshments provided.

Monday, 2 December (8:30am –2:20pm)
Tuesday, 3 December (8:30am –5:20pm)
Science Teaching Complex (STC) 2001 –2nd Floor Foyer

For more information, contact
Faculty, Instructors, Staff, and other Attendees, please let us know which class time-slots you’ll visit:

Engl 208L: Reading Race Through Literature

English 208L

Thinking about winter 2020 courses? Dr. Fraser Easton will be teaching ENGL 208L: Race and the Literary Tradition. From William Shakespeare to Bharati Mukherjee, this course is a basic introduction to some ground-breaking writers and their eye-opening explorations of “race.” Open to all students, the course will appeal to those interested in how ideas of race have been represented, transmitted, and resisted in English literature. Topics will include: the invention of race, Eurocentrism and geography, racial beauty myths, and internalized racism. Readingsinclude–but are not limited to–Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, Camie Kim, “They Speak Quickly,” and Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine. Just for fun, can you match the description below with the course reading?

* A book by a Nigerian author who hauled gunpowder during the Seven Years’ War between France and England
* A story set approximately 10,581 km from Waterloo, Ontario
* A short fiction where a slave revolt is led by… a person who sold people into slavery
* A novel about a yam farmer obsessed with tradition
*A novel with the murder of a character known as Half-Face

For more information, email Prof. Fraser Easton at