Our PhD in English and Film provides students with the unique opportunity to pursue rigorous, specialized research in either literary studies or film studies, or to take advantage of the rich intellectual and theoretical confluences between the two disciplines.
Our major fields of specialization are:
Gender and Genre
The specialization in gender and genre emerges from the intersection of two broad conceptual areas within literary and film studies. In the wake of feminist theory and criticism, performance theory, masculinity studies, cultural studies, and queer theory, gender is recognized as a crucial factor in the production, circulation, and consumption of literary, filmic, and other cultural discourses. Genres, recognized and defined by particular cultures or communities, serve to shape, identify and make legible social discourses and otherwise amorphous representations. Theorizing and exploring genre in literary, cinematic, historical, performative, psycho-social, and political contexts, the field incorporates a range of inquiries and methodologies that situate the cultural construction of gender and sexuality in relation to the genre in which these constructions appear.
Faculty working in gender and genre studies include: Andrea Austin, Kofi Campbell, Kathryn Carter, Maria DiCenzo, Tamas Dobozy, Philippa Gates, Jenny Kerber, Russell Kilbourn, Tanis MacDonald, Mariam Pirbhai, Markus Poetzsch, Lynn Shakinovsky, Katherine Spring, Eleanor Ty, Robin Waugh and Lisa Wood.
Nation, Diaspora and Culture
Literary and filmic works, visual and oral narratives contribute to one's sense of belonging to an "imagined" community, whether to a domestic family, to a socio-cultural or religious group, or to a broader ideological and political system, such as a nation or empire. In addition to national literatures and films from Britain, Canada, and the United States, the field explores contemporary debates and theoretical developments in post-colonial, global, minority, indigenous, and diasporic studies (including Asian, Caribbean and African). Theoretical, cultural and historical concerns include those of war, imperialism, settlement, slavery, race, hybridity, mobility, globalization, human rights, and gender.
Faculty working in nation, diaspora, culture include: Sandra Annett, Kofi Campbell, Kathryn Carter, Jing Jing Chang, Tamas Dobozy, Madelaine Hron, Tanis MacDonald, Ken Paradis, Mariam Pirbhai, Lynn Shakinovsky, Eleanor Ty.
Textuality, Media and Print Studies
Textuality is a discursive practice that valorizes text as context, and examines the modes of cultural production and consumption through which ideologies are disseminated, normalized or contested. Films and literary works are best read in awareness of their historical, cultural, and discursive milieus. In literary studies, these range from the Medieval, Early Modern to postmodern periods; in film studies, from early, classical to contemporary films. The field invokes the postmodernist principle that the meanings of a text or a film constitute themselves through reflexive processes of origin, configuration, response, interpretation, and reinterpretation. Scholarly activity in this area can include such varied approaches as aesthetics, translation, adaptation, intertextuality, structural codes and conventions, editing, performance analysis, transmission, circulation, and reception of manuscripts, scripts, and other kinds of texts, source study, stylistics, semantics, semiotics (verbal, visual, aural, gendered); and discourse analysis.
Faculty working in textuality, media, and print studies include: Sandra Annett, Andrea Austin, Maria DiCenzo, Philippa Gates, Madelaine Hron, Russell Kilbourn, Ken Paradis, Markus Poetzsch, Katherine Spring, Robin Waugh, Lisa Wood.
These fields reflect the groundbreaking scholarship of our graduate faculty who offer courses in both traditional and emerging areas, including period studies, memory studies, masculinity studies, transnational studies, Canadian studies and indigenous studies.
The relatively small size of our program is an immense advantage to students who can expect one-on-one mentorship from faculty with respect to their research, pedagogical training, scholarship and professionalization. Our department is proud of its students’ excellent track record as holders of external scholarships and major awards. We are deeply committed not only to the academic development of our students but also to their professionalization through teaching, presentations, colloquia, research assistantships and the practical application of new technologies to pedagogy and scholarship. Our ambitious commitment to professionalization provides solid preparation for today’s dynamic job market, and has resulted in our graduates earning tenure-track positions as well as a competitive edge in non-academic careers.