Eleanor Ty is Professor of English at Laurier and writes on fiction, memoirs, films, and graphic novels by contemporary writers. She has published eleven books: on Canadian literature, cultural memory, Asian American and Asian Canadian writing, and 18th century British women novelists. Her chapters and articles engaged with questions of gender, identity, trauma, abjection, affect, new media, youth, diaspora, life writing, parody, and the carnivalesque. She is fond of BBC dramas, Netflix shows, and Jane Austen.
Her new book, Asianfail: Narratives of Disenchantment and the Model Minority (2017) looks at how a new generation of Asian Americans and Asian Canadians struggle with the expectations, work ethic and self-sacrifice of their parents. Rejecting an ethos obsessed with professional status and accruing money, the protagonists of recent narratives are disenchanted with their lives and seek fulfillment by prioritizing relationships, personal growth, and cultural success, questioning outmoded notions of the "model minority."
Ty has been awarded Laurier's University Research Professor in 2015. The recipient of four Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council research grants and two SSHRC conference grants, she has been a visiting professor at Philipps-Universität Marburg and the University of Saarland, Saarbrücken in Germany.
This year she serves as Program Co-Chair for the Association for Asian American Studies (Portland 2017); has served as Academic Co-Convenor of Congress 2012; Chair of the Department of English and Film Studies from 2004-2009; Graduate Officer for the Department of English, 2000-2003; Women’s Studies Program Coordinator, 2000-2003; and President of the Canadian Association of Chairs of English from 2008-2009.
Ty's undergraduate courses include The Monsters We Imagine, Growing Up Canadian, Life Writing and Digital Media, Globality and 21st Century Narratives, Contemporary British Novels, 18th Century Literature, Enriched Literary Studies, Reading Fiction, Diasporic Cinema, Literary Theory, The Novel After 1900, Asian Canadian Literature, Survey of Major British Authors. Her graduate seminars include The Graphic Novel, Canadian Literary Pluralities, Asian American Narratives, Women Writers of the 1790s, Feminist Theory and Women's Writing.
My recent research has focused on Asian Americans and Asian Canadians and the ways their narratives (novels, films, memoirs) represent their diasporic identities. Some of the topics I have worked on include memory, invisibility, globalization, second-generation immigrants and failure. Before 2000, I worked on late 19th-century British women writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Hays, Amelia Opie, Elizabeth Inchbald and others. I looked at how these female authors used the sentimental novel to recast stereotypes of the feminine – the seduced woman, the passive wife, or the obedient daughter — and how their novels empower women. I have published 10 books to date (4 monographs and 6 edited volumes).
I have research assistantship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in contemporary ethnic American and Canadian literature and culture. In the past, I have hired student assistants to help me with organizing conferences, editing and proofreading book manuscripts, and compiling bibliographies. Contact me for more information.
I am willing to supervise graduate students in 20th-century and contemporary literature and culture, especially those focusing on questions of ethnicity, gender, race, life writing, popular genres, memory and identity. In addition, 18th-century British literature, especially fiction by women, remains an area of interest for me.
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