My research and teaching interests cross a number of areas but are primarily focused on the representation and circulation of images and ideologies of femininity--and in particular of the maternal body--in popular cultural and especially Anglo-imperial contexts after 1850 and into the contemporary moment. Since completing my PhD at York University in 1995 on late 19th-century English-Canadian poet Isabella Valancy Crawford, I have published and presented work on imperial motherhood, colonial girlhood, eugenic feminism, the figure of the white slave, the imperial idea of the "Indian maiden," hysteria, erotic dancers, Anne of Green Gables, feminist theory in Canada, femininity and comics, and chick lit. I am completing a book-length study of early twentieth-century "Salome" dancers and am beginning a new project on Harlequin Romance novels. I have served as a member of the executive of the Canadian Literature Centre/Centre de Littérature Canadienne (CLC) for more than a decade and am Chair of the Research Board of the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC) and Book Reviews Editor of the journal English Studies in Canada (ESC). I have served in the Department as Associate Chair (Graduate), Graduate Assistant Supervisor/Placement Officer, and Honours Advisor, and will soon take up the position of Associate Chair (Academic) in EFS (July 2016-June 2019).
* maternity and popular culture
* gender and popular genres
* gender and performance
* 19th- and early 20th-century erotic dance
* category romance and chick lit
* histories of feminism and feminist theory
I have worked to develop and have taught for many years in our department's only team-taught first-year English course. (This year my section in this ENGL 102 course is D11). I also teach senior courses in gender and sexuality and popular fiction, including recent 400-level courses in ChickLit/Postfeminism and Femininity in Comics and Graphic Narrative. I supervise senior essays for Honours Students every year. In addition to teaching recent graduate classes on Harlequin Romance and on hysteria's cultural texts, I am involved in supporting and mentoring new Graduate Teaching Assistants. As Graduate Assistant Supervisor, I have directed the teaching proseminar for first-year PhD students many times. I am a member of the University of Alberta Graduate Teaching and Learning committee, and serve as EFS Coordinator for the FGSR Graduate Teaching and Learning Program. I am currently supervising and co-supervising graduate theses on eugenics, historical fantasy, masculinity and mental illness in Canadian fiction, nineteenth-century popular periodical ghost stories, and Bridget Jones's Diary. I received a Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2011.
Mapping the Maternal Colloquium @ Arts-Based Research Studio, University of Alberta, May 12-14, 2016.
Organizer, ESC-sponsored panel on "Proliferation," Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE), Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Calgary, May 28, 2016 (1:45-3:15)
Co-author, with EFS instructor Lucinda Rasmussen. “Academics reading Harlequin readers: Taking stock of category’s romance’s constituencies in the early twenty-first century.” Canadian Association of Studies in Book Culture (CASBC), Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Calgary, May 30, 2016.
“a superior embodiment of Anglo-Saxonism”: Maud Allan and her Salome costume.” Dressing Global Bodies conference, University of Alberta, July 7-9, 2016.
Co-organizer, with Susan Brown, U of Guelph CRC in Collaborative Digital Scholarship, Digital Textualities/Canadian Contexts, University of Alberta, Sept. 20-23, 2016. Keynote speaker Lori Emerson: "Writing Telematics // Other Networks in Canada." Dr. Emerson will discuss early, pre-Internet networks in Canada from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, focusing especially on the unusual relationship that existed between government policy makers and writers/artists who were experimenting with the affordances of these early networks.
“Prairie Pulp Sexualities: Libraries, Collections, Circulation.” Prairie Sexualities symposium, University of Alberta, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2016.
Co-editor, with EFS PhD candidate Marcelle Kosman, Special issue, English Studies in Canada: The Automated Body. Forthcoming 2016.
After Oil book download, Petrocultures Research Group, 2016.
“Petroculture’s Gendered Commodities: Oil, Cosmetics, and Femininity.” Forthcoming. Petrocultures: Oil, Energy, Culture. Ed. Imre Szeman and Sheena Wilson. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2014.
Introduces methods of critical analysis through a range of literature written in English, broadly conceived, from different historical periods and cultural locations. Not to be taken by students with *6 in approved junior English.Fall Term 2020