Current Student Profiles
Emily Bednarz is a doctoral student with a focus in Canadian literature. She completed her Master's degree at the University of Western Ontario in 2013 after finishing her Honours degree in English at Laurier. She worked with D.M.R. Bentley from 2012 to 2013 on the Canadian Poetry Project at Western University.
Emily's dissertation tracks the development of the “Canadian Road Trip,” with an emphasis on alternative voices including women, minority, queer, and First Nations writers. She hopes to demonstrate how alternative mobilities subvert the dominant narratives surrounding Canada’s transportation infrastructures, challenging the easy association between the construction of transportation systems (such as the Canadian Pacific Railway or Trans-Canada Highway) and Canada’s conception of nationhood. She currently works as a tutor at Laurier’s Writing Centre and her creative work can be found in Guide to Kulchur Creative Journal, Purple Sparks, and Blueprint Magazine.
- Dissertation title (tentative): Roads Less Travelled: Alternative Mobilities and Movement in Contemporary Canadian Literature
- Supervisor: Dr. Tanis MacDonald
Anton Bergstrom is a PhD candidate in English literature specializing in early modern poetry and prose, poetics and rhetoric, and religious writing. His dissertation, which focuses on the poetry and prose of John Donne, investigates the interrelations between literary and rhetorical devices of estrangement, the Renaissance discourse of strangeness, and post-Reformation theology and religious culture.
He completed his MA at Queen’s University, and his BA at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he grew up. He currently resides in Toronto.
- Dissertation Title: John Donne and the Poetics of Estrangement in Early Modern Religious Literature
- Supervisor: Dr. Anne Russell
Maggie Clark is a PhD candidate in English literature. Her dissertation explores representations of astronomy in nineteenth-century fiction, non-fiction, and homiletic text. When she is not immersed in her research (and sometimes even when she is), Clark writes for pleasure, and has been fortunate to see some of her stories published over the course of her grad-student career.
- Dissertation title (tentative): Who Speaks for the Cosmos?: The Astronomer and His Social Context in Corelli, De Quincey, Shelley, and the Whewell-Brewster Debate
- Supervisor: Dr. Lynn Shakinovsky
Dalia holds an MA from McMaster University in Gender studies and Feminist research, where she wrote an IRP titled “Feeling and Performing Race.” In her IRP, she argued that race should be understood as a technology of power with various facets, focusing particularly on how raced bodies emerge and are reproduced through social interactions. I contend that affective attachments produce the attachment to a racial identity and that having access to citizenship privileges depends on fitting into an affective community (Ahmed 12-13 “cultural politics of emotion). In Canada's case being included in the affective community requires fitting into a national affect that only white middle-class subjects can access.
She holds an MA from WLU in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory and an Honours BA in Political Theory from McMaster University. Currently she is interested in exploring representations of diaspora in art, particularly fiction and poetry. Diaspora demands the creation of a different form of identification and affective communities that can never be fully defined under the popular national affect. Hence, she is interested in this process of identification and misidentification within diaspora in terms of its potential to create spaces for multiple modes of identification that exceed the traditional ideas dependent on a national state.
Rebekah Ludolph completed her BA at Laurier with a combined Honours in Global Studies and English Literature. She proceeded to write her MA thesis "Bare Mind: Dementia and the Diasporic State of Exception in David Chariandy's Soucouyant" for the Cultural Social and Political Thought program at the University of Victoria. Supported by a SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship, Rebekah is currently studying alternative subjectivities and multicultural texts in Canadian literature. Her proposed dissertation argues that representations of mental disorder by contemporary Canadian based women writers reveal how alternative subjectivities are pathologized within inclusive and integrative power structures.
- Advisor: Dr. Tanis MacDonald
Shannon Maguire is an Assistant Professor (LTA) in the Department of English at the University of Calgary and was a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. Her scholarly articles have appeared in Canadian Literature and Doris Lessing Studies. She edited and wrote the critical introduction to Planetary Noise: Selected Poetry of Erín Moure, forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press in 2017. With Lesley Belleau, she is the guest co-editor of a special issue of Contemporary Verse 2 on Northern Ontarian Innovative and Indigenous Poetics, forthcoming in Winter 2017.
Shannon is the author of two full-length poetry collections, fur(l) parachute (BookThug 2013) — shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry—and Myrmurs: An Exploded Sestina (BookThug 2015). Her poetry has been also shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the Manitoba Magazine Award for Best Suite of Poems.
Shannon holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Guelph) and an MA in English (Brock) and is currently completing her dissertation in the Department of English at Wilfrid Laurier Universtiy.
- Dissertation title: Noise Poetics: Contemporary Queer and Métis Poetry and Hospitality in Canada, 1965-2015
- Supervisor: Dr. Eleanor Ty
Grace is a doctoral student with a focus in Early Modern Drama. She completed a BA and an MA at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her Master’s thesis, The Evolution of the Patient Woman: Examining Patient Griselda as a Source for William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, argued for an Early Modern source for Shakespeare rather than a Chaucerian one. Grace’s current research interests include representations of (dis)ability in the text of Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatic works, and how those representations are translated and adapted in modern film. When Grace isn’t alluding to Shakespeare in the classroom, she can be found beading, skating or reading more Shakespeare.
- Advisor: Dr. Anne Russell
Mike McCleary completed his BA in English literature at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C. Mike then returned to Ontario to complete his MA at Laurier. During his MA he completed a directed study on metafilmic adaptations and won the Faculty of Arts Gold Medal for academic achievement. Mike’s current research examines how Darwinian ecological metaphors can provide a constructive framework to analyze digital cinema, special/visual effects, and transmedia networks. More specifically, he researches how different mediums and aesthetic styles function as distinct enunciative agents within the cinema and, as a result, how media juxtaposition can be employed to affect cultural identity formation, for which he has been awarded a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. Beyond this research, he also has a significant interest in pedagogy and instructional design and has won Laurier’s Teaching Assistant Award of Excellence. He is also an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, a big baseball/football fan, and he has pitched for the national championship winning Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack in the Canadian Collegiate Baseball League.
- Dissertation title: Digital Visual Effects, Like You've (Never) Seen them Before: Cinema and Transmedia Adaptive Ecologies
- Supervisor: Dr. Russell Kilbourn
Since 2010, Claire has taught film and literature courses at Sheridan College in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She completed her BFA in Film and Video Production at York University and her Master's in Comparative Literature and Arts from Brock University. Her academic interests include genre writing, particularly detective fiction, women writers and film history. She loves being in a classroom, and has completed her certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
When she is not reading, thinking about reading or telling herself she really ought to be reading, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two boys in Hamilton, ON.
- Dissertation title: Material Culture and Victorian Domestic Ideology in the 19th Century Detective Fiction of Anna Katharine Green
- Supervisor: Dr. Ken Paradis
Murrielle completed her BA in Religious Studies and Classical Studies at the University of Western Ontario. After coming to Laurier, she earned an MA in Religion and Culture, followed by an MA in English. Currently a doctoral candidate researching medieval hagiographies of female saints, her academic interests revolve around religious texts, women's spiritual asceticism, representations of gender in literature and film, medieval romance, medieval philosophy, and theology. Additionally, Murrielle is dedicated to teaching, tutoring, and academically empowering students through various classes, workshops, and consultations. In her personal life, she has a passion for film, wildlife rescue/rehabilitation, farming, and cake. She lives with two unruly dogs.
- Dissertation title (tentative): Subversive Acts, Subversive Words: The Three Women of Liège and the Bodleian Library MS Douce 114
- Supervisor: Dr. Robin Waugh
Alexis Motuz completed a BASc in the Arts and Science program at McMaster University with a combined honours in Comparative Literature and completed her MA in English at Laurier. She has published “Before Speech: An Interrogation of Trauma in Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life” in the Canadian Review of American Studies (forthcoming) and has a contract with Oxford UP to publish “‘I have nothing soothing to tell you’: Dionne Brand’s Inventory as Global Elegy” in Canadian Literature and Cultural Memory (Eds. Eleanor Ty and Cynthia Sugars). Outside of academia, she enjoys playing outside with her two children, camping, and growing a vegetable garden.
- Dissertation title: “ReGrounding Ethics in Poetics: Envisioning an Ecological Future through Canadian Women’s Literature”
- Supervisor: Dr. Tanis MacDonald
After completing Master's degrees in Music Composition and English at the University of Victoria and Wilfrid Laurier University, Heather Olaveson took a little time off from academia. Now she is happy to be back at her alma mater and in the English doctoral program, apparently confirming her status as a "career student" to friends and family. Her research interests include CanLit, postmodernism, historiography, gender studies, and theories of identity formation and subjectivity. Other interests include teaching, music, art, and experimenting in the kitchen. She currently lives in Kitchener and does part-time work as a piano teacher and music director.
- Dissertation title (tentative): Remediating History: Gender and Historiography in Canadian Postmodern Biographical Poetry
- Supervisor: Dr. Tanis MacDonald
Sarah has come to Wilfrid Laurier with a BA in Translation from York and an MA in Comparative Literature from Brock. She is currently balancing graduate studies and family life, with children’s literature for her comprehensive area of studies, and two young daughters providing much of the inspiration for her research. Her doctoral dissertation will explore the dialogue and narrative voice of girl-characters in some of the earliest children’s literature of the eighteenth century.
- Dissertation title: Girls’ Voices in Eighteenth-Century Children’s Literature
- Supervisor: Dr. Eleanor Ty
Before coming to Laurier for his PhD, Devin received an Honours BA at Cape Breton University and a Master's from Dalhousie University. Although film classes were few and far between during these English degrees, Devin tried his best to write about film in every course he took, which eventually led him to the study of film adaptation – the best of both worlds. His main interests lie in the effects that surrounding sociocultural elements may have on a film's adaptation of its source, including a particular concentration on genre studies. With this in mind, Devin’s current focus is on the New Hollywood era, and he is hoping to explore the various ways in which classical film genres were challenged, subverted, and re-purposed by directors in order to comment (or capitalize) on cultural concerns in the US during the late 1960's and 1970's.
- Supervisor: Dr. Philippa Gates
Brooke Southgate is a transplant to Canada. She completed her BA in English Language and Literature with a double major in Religious Studies at the University of South Carolina and her MFA in Creative Writing-Fiction at the University of New Orleans where she focused on contemporary short stories. She has previously published and presented on monster theory in American popular literature and comics and continues to explore concepts of monstrosity in film and literature. Her dissertation research focuses on 20th-century American science fiction in which dinosaurs exist in a frontier space where they allegorize technological progress, threaten gender identity, question environmental exploitation, and are otherwise monstrous.
- Dissertation title (tentative): A Prehistoric Future: Dinosaurs and the American Frontier
- Supervisor: Dr. Andrea Austin
Sanchari is a feminist/anti-racist/sex-positive/gender queer Canadian who was born in Calcutta, India. A Doctoral candidate in English, her research interests lie in the areas of post-colonial South Asian literature and its diaspora. She is also engaged in creative work, much of which deals with gender and race in the Canadian context.
- Dissertation title (tentative): Interrogating Canadian Multiculturalism through South Asian Canadian Women's Fiction
- Supervisor: Dr. Mariam Pirbhai
Before attending Wilfrid Laurier Jason received his BA and MA in Film Studies from the University of Western Ontario where he completed his Master’s thesis on the allegorical role of anarchism in post-millennial Hollywood. His research interests include film aesthetics, the horror genre, and New Hollywood cinema. He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation which undertakes a neoformalist approach to the films of Brian De Palma.
- Dissertation title: Articulating a Medium: De Palma and the Dichotomy of Post-Classical Aesthetics
- Supervisor: Dr. Philippa Gates
Allen's primary area of focus zeroes in on British Romantic poetry and prose. Previously, he completed a master’s degree in “Text/Community/Discourse” at Brock University, where he composed a Major Research Project on memory and mourning in Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads (1802). His current research examines the relationship between British nationalism and transnational ethics in Wordsworth’s famous Cintra tract, a philosophical – and equally poetic – commentary on the Napoleonic Wars. In addition, Allen is this year’s Secretary Treasurer for the department’s Graduate Students’ Association, as well as the 2016 ACCUTE Graduate Representative. Beyond academe, he enjoys racquetball sports (squash), skating, and strategy board games.
- Advisor: Dr. Markus Poetzsch
Recently Completed PhD Students
- Victoria Kennedy, "Narrative Pleasures and Feminist Politics: Popular Women’s Historical Fiction, 1990-2015." Supervisor: Dr. Andrea Austin. Successfully defended: March 2017.
- Anders Bergstrom, "In Search of Lost Selves: Memory and Subjectivity in Transnational Art Cinema." Supervisor: Dr. Russell Kilbourn. Successfully defended: December 2016.
- Susan Hroncek, "Volatile Compositions: Chemistry and its Occult History in Victorian Speculative Fiction." Supervisor: Dr. Lynn Shakinovsky. Successfully defended: August 2016.
- Katherine Quanz, "The Struggle to be Heard: Toronto's Postproduction Sound Industry, 1968 to 2005." Supervisor: Dr. Katherine Spring. Successfully defended: July 2016.
- J. Coplen Rose, "Laughing for a Change: Dramatic Criticism of National Crises in Second Interregnum South Africa." Supervisor: Dr. Mariam Pirbhai. Successfully defended: December 2015.
- Justin Shaw, "'Falling Men' in Post 9/11 American Fiction." Supervisor: Dr. Tamas Dobozy. Successfully defended: November 2014.
- Ada Sharpe, “Polish or Work? Four Women Novelists and the Professionalization of Accomplishment, 1796-1814.” Supervisor: Dr. Eleanor Ty. Successfully defended: August 2014. Recipient of Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, Faculty of Arts, Fall 2014 Convocation. SSHRC Postdoctoral grant, September 2014, Harvard University: “The Miniature Domain: Place-making and the Amateur Arts in British Women’s Writing, 1790-1825.” Supervisor: Dr. Deirdre Lynch.
- Patrick-Laurent Faubert, "'Perfect Picture Material': History, Adaptation, and the Formation of a Studio Identity at Warner Bros., 1934-1941." Supervisor: Dr. Paul Tiessen. Successfully defended: September 2013. Recipient of Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, Faculty of Arts, and Governor General's Award, Fall 2013 Convocation.
- Elizabeth Clarke, “War and the Sexes: Gender and American Film, 1898-1927.” Supervisor: Dr. Philippa Gates. Successfully defended: August 2013. SSHRC Postdoctoral grant, September 2013, University of California at Santa Cruz: “Writing Women in Film History: Women Screenwriters of the Silent Era.” Supervisor: Dr. Shelley Stamp.
- Sylvia Terzian, “Arab Pluralities and Transnationality: The ‘Crisis of Diasporic Consciousness’ in Arab American and Arab Canadian Fiction.” Supervisor: Dr. Mariam Pirbhai. Successfully defended: December 2012.
- Jenny Wills, “Aporetic Origins: North American Narratives of Transnational, Transracial Asian Adoption.” Supervisor: Dr. Eleanor Ty. Successfully defended: August 2012.
- Stefan Sereda, “Cinema in Scare Quotes: Postmodern Aesthetics and Economics in the American Art Cinema.” Supervisor: Dr. Russell Kilbourn. Successfully defended: January 2012. Recipient of Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, Faculty of Arts, Spring 2012 Convocation.
- Miriam Raethel, “Witnessing From a Distance: Postwar Literary Representations of the Holocaust.” Supervisor: Dr. Lynn Shakinovsky. Successfully defended: August 2010.
- Lisa Funnell, “The Warrior Women of Transnational Cinema: Gender and Race in Hollywood and Hong Kong Action Films.” Supervisor: Dr. Philippa Gates. Successfully defended: April 2010. Recipient of Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, Faculty of Arts, Spring 2010 Convocation.
- Michael Ackerman, “Phantoms of Old Forms: The Gothic Mode in the Dramatic Verse of Tennyson and Browning.” Supervisor: Dr. Michael Moore. Successfully defended: August 2009.
- Lisa Butler, “Mis-Education and the Crisis in Male Subjectivity: William Godwin’s Middle Novels, 1799-1817.” Supervisor: Dr. Eleanor Ty. Successfully defended: August 2008.