I received my PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto in 2006. My doctoral work treated creation stories, foundational fictions, or what I call a ‘grotesque genesis,’ in the literature of the Americas, and was awarded the Most Distinguished Dissertation Award in Canada (CAGS/UMI, 2007). I have also received a Master of Environmental Studies from York University, with a focus on environmental literature and ecological knowledges; an MA in Comparative Literature from University of Toronto, with attention to Canadian literature and critical theory; and a B.Eng. in mechanical engineering from McGill University, with a concentration in environmental engineering.
Prior to joining Laurier, I worked as a documentary filmmaker for Canadian Geographic Presents as a writer, field producer, researcher and story editor; as a process engineer in Saltillo, Mexico, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ohio and Michigan and in the American South; as a freelance journalist and teacher of English in Rio de Janeiro and Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia. Working with conservation biologists and with Indigenous families, hunters and oral historians in the Arctic and elsewhere helps me situate Canadian texts in their specific regional contexts, and facilitates on-going ethical, non-appropriative, cross-cultural research and teaching.
I am an interdisciplinary scholar by interest and training with wide-ranging interests in literature, the visual arts, and critical theory. My work is broadly interested in ‘borderlands’ of language, culture and tradition, sites of maximal collision, contact, and cultural exchange. It seeks to read the tensions, and the constructions, of race, class, gender, ethnicity, indigeneity, justice and genre across a range of media and modes. I have recently published in areas including the contemporary Canadian and American novel (gender and genre); Canadian poetry (lyric philosophy); archaeological art (anthropology of religion); Inuit cinema (traditional jurisprudence, conversion rituals); the graphic novel (queer epistemology); tragedy as literary form; Inuit comix; the literature of the Americas (inter-American novel).
This work is part of three larger, sometimes overlapping projects in progress: Canadian literary culture, particularly the novel, in inter-American and comparative contexts; a SSHRC-funded study on ‘crossing over,’ or siqqitiq, in cultural production in the Canadian Arctic (film, life writing, archaeological art, sculpture); and the dissimulation of mainstream masculinities (heteronormative, patriarchal, middle class, white) in contemporary literature and culture.
I have worked with a number of graduate and undergraduate research assistants in the past few years, and genuinely enjoy this work. I am writing or have co-authored papers with student assistance in subject areas including elegy and poetry in southeastern British Columbia; queer comix; Inuit life writing; and traditional Indigenous jurisprudence (with an early-career lawyer). I am currently working with a graduate student on an independent study related to ecological justice. I am willing to supervise graduate students in a range of areas. Please contact me for more information.
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