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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
July 29, 2014
Canadian Excellence


Welcome from the Graduate Program Co-ordinator

I am delighted to welcome our new 2013-14 cohort of MA and PhD students to the Department of English and Film Studies, and to extend a warm ‘welcome back’ to our senior PhDs.

This year, our new PhD students Emily Bednarz, Shannon McGuire, Claire Meldrum, Devin Ruelland and Brooke Southgate’s research interests include contemporary Regency romance novels, Canadian (lesbian) women’s poetry, adaption and New Holllywood cinema, ecocritical approaches to Canadian poetry, and ‘atomic age’ science fiction. Our MA students bring an equally diverse range of experiences and interests that will no doubt enliven discussion in our graduate seminars and in their capacity as tutorial leaders for our first year courses. This year our graduate course offerings include The Victorian Novel, 1848-1880; Utopias of Noise; First Wave Feminism and Print Culture in Britain; and Green Romanticism: From Semiotics to Praxis. (Please do have a look at our program website for a complete list of this year’s course offerings.)

This is also proving to be yet another busy and productive year for our doctoral program. We have had the pleasure of seeing two of our PhD candidates (Liz Clarke and Patrick Faubert) successfully defend their dissertations in Film Studies, both of which have been nominated for the Gold Medal of Academic Excellence (Fall 2013 convocation).  Several of our PhDs have also successfully completed their comprehensives exams and progressed to candidacy for the doctoral degree. This certainly keeps us all on our toes, but there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing students rise to the occasion of another academic challenge with the confidence, stamina and intellectual rigour that this profession invariably demands!

We are also looking forward to a stimulating year of activities and initiatives put together by our graduate students and faculty alike. This year, our graduate students will be hosting our 2nd Annual Tri-University Graduate Student Symposium (in January 2014), which involves presentations by graduate students from the English departments of U Laurier, U Guelph and U Waterloo. PhD student Maggie Clarke continues to run the very successful Reading Group Series; Dr. Jennifer Esmail will be hosting a panel entitled “Beyond the Academy,” which aims to provide a view of the global job market from the perspective of English alumni from various institutions who have embarked on satisfying and enriching careers outside academia. We will also be running a Brown-Bag series featuring current research by faculty members of English and Film Studies.

My very best wishes to one and all for another dynamic and stimulating academic year!

Mariam Pirbhai
Graduate Program Coordinator