Student Profiles

PhD Students

Amani El Charif

Modernism, Aesthetics, Phenomenology, Cybernetics

Anna E. MacDonald

Victorian literature, Gender studies, Nineteenth-century British Literature, History of medicine, Rhetoric of health and medicine, Material Feminism(s), Material history

My dissertation considers how gender and pathology were mutually constitutive categories of embodiment within the Victorian cultural imagination. Specifically, I look at how representations of female-coded physiological fluids (menstruation, lactation, and vaginal secretions) were interpolated within discourses of epidemic disease (tuberculosis, smallpox, cholera, and syphilis), both operating with a rhetoric of incontinence which functioned to uphold a burgeoning ideal of health in terms of a male-coded, corporeal integrity. This project considers how a set of Victorian writers take up this model of incontinence — what I am calling “fluid alterity” — to negotiate broader questions of expression, intersubjective exchange, contagion, communication, sympathy, and care.

Ariel Little

Domestic Fiction, Victorian and Edwardian Literature, Children’s Literature, Women’s Studies, Health Humanities, Fantasy

Craig Stensrud

Nineteenth-century U.S. literature, literary responses to slavery, transatlantic Romanticism, theories of racial capitalism, Marxism

My dissertation, “Scorching Irony: Anti-hypocrisy in Antebellum U.S. Literature,” examines the proliferating accusations of hypocrisy in anti-slavery political discourse in the antebellum period. During this period, accusations of hypocrisy were hurled in all directions: towards abolitionists in the North as well as enslavers in the South. I contend that the different variants of anti-hypocritical discourse enabled important negotiations of political agency and responsibility. The authors in my study (Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Herman Melville) take hypocrisy as a theme, but their concern with hypocrisy is also inscribed formally in their work: they respond to the problem of hypocrisy by experimenting with modes of political subjectivity and collectivity in the microcosmic relationships they establish between text and reader. I am a 2020 recipient of the Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.

Deena Dinat

African literature, South African literature, postcolonial theory, nation studies, postcolonial capitalism, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Fiana Kawane

Affect theory, avant-garde writing, modernisms, poetics, psychoanalysis, queer theory, Asian North American Studies, Black Studies, anti-colonial writing

Gage Karahkwi:io Diabo

First Peoples’ literatures, postcolonial theory

Working on my dissertation, titled “Listen and Speak: Decolonizing the Process of Dialogue in First Peoples’ Literatures”, and also a study of the American horror genre, working title “Scariest of All: A Rez Kid’s Guide to Horror.”

I have a website that’s basically my resume and some cat pictures.

Heidi Rennert

19th-century British literature, history of science and technology, material culture, domestic spaces

Kelsey Moskal

Medieval British literature, manuscript studies, textual networks, book history, Middle English romance

Kelsey Wilson

Cognitive Linguistics, Humour Studies

Madeleine Reddon

Indigenous literature; global modernisms and anti-colonial avant-gardes; psychoanalysis, and critical nationalisms

She has recently published an article in Canada and Beyond: A Journal of Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies: “Indigenous Modernism: Dehabituating Reading Practices.”

Mairi Stirling Hill

Medieval literature, Middle English and Anglo-Norman romance, Women and Legal History

Nathan TeBokkel

Romantic literature, agricultural history and science

Olivia Dreisinger

Disability studies, rhetoric of health and medicine, illness memoirs

Olivia’s on-going projects are posted on this website.

Reed Clements

Science and Technology Studies, Modernism, Science Fiction, Victorian Literature

My dissertation examines the use of four-dimensional and non-Euclidean geometries in literature in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Richard Angelo Bergen

Late Medieval and Early Modern Literature, allegory, pilgrimages, epics, spatial theory and criticism, medievalism and concept albums

My dissertation on allegorical spatiality; some YouTube video scripts about introducing allegory; a paper on Protestant and Catholic allegories; commentaries on metal albums about Shakespeare’s plays and Bunyan’s stories; several papers about fantasy literature and spatial metaphors.

I like literary criticism, but I actually became interested in studying literature because I like writing poetry as a form of “journaling.”

Rusaba Alam

Anti-colonial and anti-caste writing, kinship, sexuality, aesthetics

Samuel Caleb Wee

Media theory, contemporary poetry, experimental writing

I’m really three kids stacked on top of each other in a zebra wool coat.

Sara Press

Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, Postcolonial Theory, Science and Technology Studies, History of Medicine, Health Humanities

Sheila Giffen

North American Literature; African Literature; Sexuality Studies; Feminist Studies; Transnational Literary Study; Narrative and Illness; Biopolitics; Theories of Subjectivity; Sacred/Secular Studies

My dissertation examines evocations of the sacred in literary responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the U.S. and South Africa (1980s – 2000s) and includes chapters on the art and writing of Leslie Marmon Silko, David Wojnarowicz, Phaswane Mpe, Essex Hemphill, Assotto Saint, and K. Sello Duiker. Guided by queer, transnational, anti-colonial and feminist critiques of the sacred/secular divide in theory and politics, I suggest that the turn to spiritual poetics enacts a particular form of resistant speech in the midst of biopolitical crisis and heightened mortality. My article “Narratives of Global Capital and the Spirits of Anti- colonial Resistance in Silko’s Almanac of the Dead” appears in the Journal of Intercultural Studies. I am currently teaching an upper-division English course entitled “Writing the Remedy: Illness and Healing in Contemporary Canadian Fiction”. (Photo credit: Hollis Linschoten)

Tomoharu Hirota

The history of the English Language (with a focus on variation and change in Late Modern English), corpus linguistics, historical sociolinguistics

Tomoharu is currently researching the recent diachrony of future temporal reference in Victoria, BC.

Torin McLachlan

Global modernisms, critical and anti-colonial approaches to ecocriticism, exhaustion





MA Students

Alyssa Sy de Jesus

Long Eighteenth-Century Studies in Orientalism and Material Cultures

I would like to write an adaptation of Hamlet set in China because ghosts and filial piety. Also Ophelia’s “nunnery” would be a shaolin temple and she’d actually like, go—and she’d never get her hair wet because she’d shave it all off.


Queer Asian diasporic literatures and visualities, the aesthetics and critical theories of racial melancholia, intergenerational trauma, and affect in the psychic landscapes continually haunted by colonial violence (contexts include postcolonial, psychoanalytic, and critical race, gender, and sexuality theories, and techno-Orientalism)

Amanda currently works as the Community Engagement and Events Coordinator at the UBC ACAM (Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies) program.

Amanda is a Han Chinese student and settler raised by immigrant-settler parents on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish peoples. Outside of academia, they write poetry and create artwork in the form of zines, illustrations, and published work in Augur Magazine, LooseLeaf Magazine, The Garden Statuary, Rising Phoenix Review, and elsewhere, with poetry forthcoming in Room Magazine. See more at woodandwater_art (Photo credit: Anisa M. Dhanji).

Anna Kahn

New materialist/ecocritical readings of Allen Ginsberg’s poetry, with a particular interest in depictions of flora in his early work—often crossing into the realm of the religious/spiritual, whether that be examining the idiosyncrasies of his “Buddhism,” the influence of Judaism, or one of the many (seemingly endless) religious/spiritual inflections he brings to bear on his work

Currently, I am working on an article that takes a new materialist stance on the recurring use of sunflowers in Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems.

During my BA, I double majored in English Literature and Religious Studies – particularly early Judaism – which most definitely explains the interdisciplinary approach I so-frequently find myself taking in my research.

Anne Victoria Tastad

Middle English literature, with a focus on depictions of fairies

In June 2020 I organized an interdisciplinary graduate conference for my peers in quarantine. The conference took place online and was hosted via Instagram Live. You can view the schedule, topics, and a selection of recorded presentations here.

Courtney Krentz

Metafiction, postmodernism, contemporary literature

Jeanne F. Nicole Dingle

Asian-Canadian Studies, Filipinx Culture, Visual/digital texts (film, video games, photography, graphic novels)

Nicole is the current Communications Coordinator in the EGSC. Her MA thesis investigates how Filipinx identity is formed in order to emphasize Filipinx plurality rather than the colonial Philippine nationalism that is emphasized by investigations of what Filipinx identity is. She proposes that Filipinx komiks are uniquely equipped to provide a novel perspective of Filipinx identity formation, as they challenge traditional ideas of causality and chronology and thus hegemonic records of history and culture. Nicole uses the komiks of the famous Filipinx superheroes, Darna and Zsazsa Zaturnnah, to explore how the Filipinx negotiates queerness, feminism, transnationality, and liminality in order to navigate colonial and neocolonial hierarchies.

I enjoy taking pictures of birds, and sometimes I post them on my Instagram. My cockapoo, Charlie, makes the occasional appearance.

Joyce Oh

Poetry and Poetics, Early-Modern & Renaissance

Juno Raine

Decolonizing literatures, Communal storytelling, Activist literatures

I’m currently doing research for my Master’s thesis, which will use cancelled Netflix original series “The OA” to frame a discussion about readership communities and their reciprocal relationship with the texts they read. My project especially concerns itself with the active creation and re-creation of texts by readership communities—including oral storytelling traditions, fanfic, and academia itself—and, in turn, the ability of texts to influence pro-social behaviours in the communities who read them. Ideally, my thesis will explore how storytelling and storytellers might influence the creation of a collective future that is grounded in respect, inclusion, and reciprocity.

I identify as non-binary and use they/them/theirs pronouns!


Vietnamese/Canadian Diasporic Lit and Culture

I like to make jewelry and other art in my spare time!

Neha Bhattacharya

Post-Colonial Studies, South Asian Diaspora Studies, South-Asian Activist Literature


Modernist English literature, Science & Technology studies, medical humanities, palliative & hospice care, death & dying

Broadly, I’m very inspired by the work of Stephen Jenkinson, a veteran of the Canadian palliative care counselling industry, life’s lyricist, an activist, an elder…if you don’t know him, I recommend looking him up. More specifically: I’m working on the intersections between protracted and sudden death in the life and fiction of Virginia Woolf, as well as the potential damage of the patient-centered care model in terms of dying people. To anyone willing to humour me—I’d love to talk to you about your personal thoughts on your own death, experiences you’ve had with death, what we do about death (if anything?), etc. Please do reach out!

I am a certified yoga instructor and have a horse. I’m also pursuing training as a birth doula and maybe a death doula. I’m very interesting.

Thea Roumbas

Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Representations of Women in Elizabethan England, Tudor History and Shakespeare, Gothic Novels

Zhishu Wang

Early Modern Literature (Shakespeare)

I am currently researching Shakespeare and Eco-criticism.

I named my bamboos Alvin, Simon, and Theodore!




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