Taryn Beukema

Taryn Beukema

PhD Candidate, Queen’s

Contact Information

Office: Watson 403
Office Hours: Tuesdays 12:00–2:00
E-mail: taryn.beukema@queensu.ca

Research Interests

Affect theory, shame, postcolonial literatures and theories, gender and sexuality studies, and contemporary literature.


  • “Men Negotiating Identity in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth,” Postcolonial Text 4.3 (2008).


I’m a fifth year PhD candidate, working on a dissertation that examines what I’m calling “the erotics of shame” in various contemporary texts (from literature, film, and television to journals, erotica and social media). I’m fascinated by the ways in which shame is linked to desire, to the reinvention of the self, and (especially) to the entertainment industry. Before turning to this project, I spent a few years focusing on representations of masculine identities in British and postcolonial (mostly South African, with some focus on Indian and Pakistani) literature.

Outside of my work at Queen's, this is my fourth year with Kingston WritersFest, an amazing literary festival that takes place here in Kingston every September. In my current position as the Manager of Writer Services, I help bring to the Festival stage authors like J. M. Coetzee, Michael Ondaatje, and Margaret Atwood.

Favourite novels include Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. George Saunders’ recent short story collection The Tenth of December is phenomenal, and worthy of mention. I watch a lot of cringe-worthy television shows, but some notable obsessions include The Wire, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones.