GES Bio: Shannon Minifie



I am currently a 4th year PhD candidate in English, specializing in American literature from the 19th century to the present. I received my MA in English from Clark University, in Worcester, MA, and my Honours B.A. in English from the University of Toronto. Between those two degrees, I spent a year at Coach House Books as first an intern, and then an in-house freelancer.

My dissertation reconsiders David Foster Wallace (pin-up boy for literary postmodernism), in the context of post-secularism, arguing that his work crucially speaks to the problem of belief and the putative crisis of meaning amidst a resurgence of religious interest in what may be called a “post-secular” moment.

I am currently the TA for ENGL 375: American Literature, and am past research assistant to Profs. Yael Schlick and Glenn Willmott.

A fun, recent publication: www.torontoreviewofbooks.com/2013/08/not-so-far-away-david-foster-wallace-the-last-interview-and-other-conversations

Some conferences:

“’Doubt’s complete absence’: Wonder as Post-Secular Religious Experience.” At the 56th Annual ACCUTE Conference, Congress 2013. University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia. (June 2013).

“Post/Secularism?” At “Behind the Scenes: Examining the Theoretical Grounds of Literary Studies: A Roundtable Discussion.” Research Forum for the Department of English Language and Literature, Queen’s University. Kingston, Ontario. (November 2012).

“’Except what would that mean: ‘believe in’? The Post-Secular Thought of David Foster Wallace.” At the 66th Annual RMMLA Convention. Millennium Harvest Hotel, Boulder, Colorado. (October 2012).

“’Infantile Gratification’: Consumer Practices in David Foster Wallace’s Non-Fiction.” At “Luxuries of the Literary Mind: Readings of Commodity and Privilege.” McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. March 2011.

“’Yes, there is going to be a long period of reconstruction ahead’: The 12 Step Program and Recovery From the Postmodern in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.” Department of English Graduate Colloquium. Clark University, Worcester, MA. February 2009.

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For those new to the Queen's University English Department grad program and to the city of Kingston. A list of Frequently Asked Questions about the grad program and finding your way around Kingston.