Karyn Ball, MA, MA, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept
Director Undergraduate, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept


Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept
3-33 Humanities Centre
11121 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5

Director Undergraduate, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept



Karyn Ball completed a BA in English with an emphasis on creative writing at Pomona College in Claremont, California; an MA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University; and an MA and PhD in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  She was awarded a DAAD Fellow from 1995-1996 and a Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship in Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation in 1997.



Professor Ball’s articles have appeared in Cultural Critique, Women in German Yearbook, Research in Political Economy, Differences, English Studies in Canada, New Literary History, Alif, the open-access journal Humanities, the Journal of Holocaust Studies, Angelaki, and Law and CritiqueI have additionally contributed chapters on Sigmund Freud, Jacques Derrida, Hannah Arendt, Franz Kafka, Hayden White, and Heinrich von Kleist.  She has also guest edited a special issue of Cultural Critique on “Trauma and Its Cultural Aftereffects” (2000) and a special issue of Parallax on the concept of “visceral reason” (2005). With Susanne Soederberg of Queen’s University, Ball co-edited a special issue of Cultural Critique on “Cultures of Finance” (2007) and, with Melissa Haynes, a special issue of ESC on “The Global Animal” (2013).  Other representative publications include an edited collection entitled Traumatizing Theory: The Cultural Politics of Affect in and beyond Psychoanalysis (Other Press, 2007) and Disciplining the Holocaust (State University of New York Press, 2008 (paperback: 2009).  https://ualberta.academia.edu/KarynBall.



Teaching and Supervision Interests

Backgrounds and current Issues in critical theory•psychoanalytic approaches to culture and society•the literary institution• representing the Holocaust (in history, literature, film, and philosophy)•memory politics in conjunction with theories of violence, trauma, and affect•time, narrative, and memory•animals in philosophy and literature•interdisciplinary discourse analysis and hermeneutics•theories of modernity•critical aesthetics•totalitarianism and literature

Courses Taught

Undergraduate: English 101: Critical Reading and Writing; EFS 111: Language, Literature, and Culture; EFS 122: Texts and Contexts; English 206: The Short Story; English 283: Introduction to the Literature of Popular Culture in English; English 216: Introduction to Literary Theory; EFS 218: Textualities (Reading); EFS 224:  The Literary Institution; EFS 208:  Reading History, Making Books; EFS 302: Literary and Cultural Theories; EFS 367:  Contemporary Literature and Culture; EFS 408/403:  Becoming Animal

Graduate seminars: English 695:  Time, Narrative, and Memory; English 695: Desiring Machines and Mechanized Desires; EFS 695: Literature, Fascism, and Totalitarianism; EFS 695: The Holocaust (in History, Theory, Film, and Literature); EFS 695: Global Affects; EFS 695:  On Violence; EFS 695:  Affect: From the Traumatic to the Virtual


ENGL 103 - Case Studies in Research

This variable content course introduces methods of literary research as an in-depth process through one or more case studies. Not to be taken by students with 6 units in approved junior English. This course can only be taken once for credit. Note: refer to the Class Schedule and the Department of English and Film Studies website for specific topics.

ENGL 430 - Studies in Theory

Prerequisites: *6 of junior English or *3 of junior English plus WRS 101; and *12 of senior-level English, *6 of which must be at the 300 level. Note: variable content course which may be repeated.

ENGL 498 - Honors Essay

Required of all Honors students. Students will initiate discussion of their essays with the Advisor in the preceding term. In their final year, students will be required to participate in a peer workshop and consult with a faculty member on their essay.

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