Graduate NEWS : Where are they now?
Queen's Graduate Alumni, academic and Non-Academic Careers
Queen's PhDs in English Language and Literature have an enviable history of placement in academic institutions. Here are some of our graduates from the past ten years. Each is listed with his or her dissertation title and current academic placement:
Lindsey Banco’s PhD dissertation, “Psychedelic Trips: Travel and Drugs in Contemporary Literature,” was published as Travel and Drugs in Twentieth-Century Literature by Routledge in 2009. Lindsey is currently an Assistant Professor, tenure track, at the University of Saskatchewan.
Mary Chapman is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. With Angela Mills (Queen's PhD), she co-edited Treacherous Texts: US Suffrage Literature 1846–1946 (Rutgers UP, 2011), which recently won the Susan Koppelman Prize for Best Edited Volume in Feminist Popular Culture from the Popular Culture Association. She is also coeditor of Sentimental Men: Masculinity and the Politics of Affect in American Culture (U of California P, 1999) and the author of articles on US literature and popular culture that have appeared in American Quarterly, American Literary History, Emerson Society Quarterly, Wide Angle, Canadian Review of American Studies, Legacy, and Amerikastudien. Her book Making Noise, Making News: US Suffrage Literature and Modernism is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2013. Her new project is an edition of the uncollected works of Asian-Canadian turn-of-the-century author/journalist Edith Eaton (Sui Sin Far), under contract with McGill-Queen's University Press.
Brandon Christopher is now an Assistant Professor (tenure track) at the University of Winnipeg. His PhD thesis was entitled “‘Officious Men of State’: Early Modern Drama and Early English Bureaucratic Identity.”
Colette Colligan is an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University. Her PhD thesis was titled “Obscenity and Empire: England’s Obscene Print Culture in the Nineteenth Century.”
Tim Conley is an Associate Professor at Brock University. His PhD dissertation, “Joyces Mistakes: Problems of Intention, Irony, and Interpretation” was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2003.
Natasha Duquette is an Associate Professor of English at Biola University in California. Her thesis, “Dauntless Spirits: Sublimity and Social Consciousness in the Poetry of Ann Radcliffe, H.M. Williams and Joanna Baillie,” led to further work on these writers, and her edition of Williams’s Julia is now in print (Pickering & Chatto, 2010). Dr. Duquette is now Chair of the English Department at Biola University.
Sam Durrant is Senior Lecturer at the School of English, Leeds University. His dissertation, “‘Some Kind of Tomorrow’: Postcolonial narrative and the work of Mourning,” (1999) became the book, Postcolonial Narrative and the Work of Mourning: J.M. Coetzee, Wilson Harris and Toni Morrison (SUNY 2004, paperback 2006). He is also co-editor of Essays in Migratory Aesthetics: Cultural Practices Between Migration and Art-making (Rodopi, 2007).
Erika Behrisch Elce
Erika Behrisch Elce is now an Assistant Professor (tenured) in the Department of English at the Royal Military College of Canada. Her Queen’s PhD thesis was called “Voices of Silence, Texts of Truth: Imperial Discourse and Cultural Negotiations in Nineteenth-century British Arctic Exploration Narrative.” Her book, ‘As affecting the fate of my absent husband’: Selected Letters of Lady Franklin Concerning the Search for the Lost Franklin Expedition, 1848-1860, was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2009. Erika also worked in the Disraeli Project as a Research Associate, and worked at RMCC as an Instructional Designer, Special Projects Manager, and Director of Quality Assurance.
Jennifer Esmail is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She completed her dissertation, "The Discourse of Embodiment in the Nineteenth-Century British and North American Sign Language Debates," in 2008 under the direction of Maggie Berg and Laura Murray. She then became a postdoctoral fellow, under the supervision of Kate Flint, in the Department of English at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Her book manuscript, Reading Victorian Deafness: SIgns and Sounds in Victorian Literature and Culture, is currently under review. She also writes for the Floating Academy, which is a collaborative Victorian Studies blog: http://floatingacademy.wordpress.com
Neta Gordon is now an Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at Brock University. Her PhD thesis was entitled “Charted Territory: Women Writing Genealogy in Recent Canadian Fiction.”
Roxanne Harde, is the Associate Dean (Research) and an Associate Professor of English literature at the University of Alberta-Augustana. Her Queen’s PhD thesis was entitled, “‘Where my Hands are cut, her Fingers will be found inside—’: American Women's Writing and the Tradition of Feminist Theology.” Irwin Streight (another Queen’s PhD in English, now at the Royal Military College of Canada) and Roxanne have edited a new collection, Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen, published by Lexington (2010). More information HERE »
Sara Jamieson is an Assistant Professor of English (tenure-track) at Carleton University. Her PhD dissertation was entitled “‘There is no Sadness / I Can’t Enter’: Four Canadian Women Poets and the Contemporary Elegy.”
Janelle Jenstad is now an Associate Professor of English at the University of Victoria. Her PhD thesis title was “Change and Exchange: Merchants and Goldsmiths on the Early Modern Stage.” Janelle declined a SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship to take a tenure-track position at the University of Windsor from 1999 to 2003, teaching and lecturing occasionally at the Stratford Festival of Canada during that period. Now tenured at the University of Victoria, she teaches primarily at the graduate level and provides pedagogical mentorship to graduate students and new faculty members. She has held a SSHRC Standard Research Grant, a Major Grant from the Bibliographical Society of the UK, and other grants. Current research interests include editing, Shakespeare, mapping literature, early modern London, and digital humanities. Current major projects include the SSHRC-funded The Map of Early Modern London ( mapoflondon.uvic.ca) and an edition of The Merchant of Venice for the Internet Shakespeare Editions. For a complete publication list, see Janelle’s bio at http://english.uvic.ca/faculty/janelle_jenstad.html or at http://uvic.academia.edu/JanelleJenstad
Leah Knight, author of the PhD thesis, “Cultivating Collections: Print, Plants, and Poetics in Early Modern England (1550-1600),” is an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) at Brock University. Her book, Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England Sixteenth-Century Plants and Print Culture, won the British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS) Book Prize for 2009.
Helen Luu is now an Assistant Professor, tenure track, at the Royal Military College of Canada; her thesis “Impossible Speech: Nineteenth-Century Women Poets and the Dramatic Monologue” was completed in 2008.
Andrew Loman is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, at Memorial University; his PhD thesis was entitled “‘Somewhat on the Community System’: Representations of Fourierism in the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.”
Robert May is an Assistant Professor (adjunct) at Queen’s University. Robert recently edited Duncan Campbell Scott’s In the Village of Viger: A Critical Edition (Tecumseh, 2010), as well as Gary Geddes: Essays on His Works (Guernica, 2010). Robert’s PhD thesis was entitled “‘Make This Your Canada’: F.R. Scott and the Poetics of Social Justice in Canada, 1922-1982, with a Chronological Bibliography of F.R. Scott in Parallel Form.”
Sam McKegney is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, at Queen’s University. His PhD thesis was published in 2007 by the University of Manitoba Press: Magic Weapons: Aboriginal Writers Remaking Community After Residential School, with a foreword by Basil H. Johnston.
Laura Moss is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, the Associate Editor of Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review, and the former Director of the UBC International Canadian Studies Centre (2008–11). With Cynthia Sugars, she co-edited the 2-volume Canadian Literature in English: Texts and Contexts (2008, 2009). She is also the editor of Leaving the Shade of the Middle Ground: The Poetry of F. R. Scott (2011), Is Canada Postcolonial: Unsettling Canadian Literature (2003), and a scholarly edition of Frances Brooke’s The History of Emily Montague (2001). She has published articles on public remembrances, multiculturalism and public arts policies, fractals and short stories, Margaret Atwood’s international iconicity, self-parody in Salman Rushdie, postcolonial reading strategies and J. M. Coetzee, and mainstream hybridity in the work of Zadie Smith, among others. See http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/lmoss/. Her PhD dissertation at Queen's was entitled “ ‘An Infinity of Alternate Realities’: Reconfiguring Realism in Postcolonial Literature and Theory” and was written under the supervision of Rosemary Jolly.
Louise Noble completed her thesis, “Corpus Salubre: Medicinal Cannibalism in Early Modern English Culture,” and took up the post of Lecturer in English at the University of New England, Australia. Her book, Medicinal Cannibalism in Early Modern Literature and Culture, was published in 2011 by Palgrave Macmillan New York.
Ella Ophir, after completing her dissertation, “Individuality and the Critique of Empathy: The Fiction of Laura Riding and Wyndham Lewis,” became an Assistant Professor (tenure track) at the University of Saskatchewan.
Antje Rauwerda is now an Associate Professor at Goucher College (Maryland). While at Queen’s, she completed this thesis: “Unsettling Whiteness: Hulme, Ondaatje, Malouf and Carey.” Antje’s book, Expats and Misfits: Introducing Third Culture Literature is forthcoming from McFarland in 2011. Antje notes: “I am still deeply indebted to Tracy Ware and Asha Varadharajan: completing a thesis would have been impossible without their help.”
Jessica Riddell is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, at Bishop’s University. Her PhD dissertation was titled: “‘A Mirror of Men’: Sovereignty, Performance, and Textuality in Tudor England, 1501-1559.”
Laura Robinson, whose PhD thesis was titled “Educating the Reader: Negotiation in Nineteenth-Century Girls’ Stories,” is now an Associate Professor of English at the Royal Military College of Canada.
Stephen Ross is now an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria. His PhD thesis “Hollow Men in Dark Places: Subjectivity and the Critique of Modernity in Novels by Joseph Conrad” became the book, Conrad and Empire (2004, University of Missouri Press). He has subsequently released Modernism and Theory: A Critical Debate (intr. and ed.) (2009, Routledge).
Deena Rymhs is an Associate
Professor, tenure track, at the University of British Columbia; her Queen’s PhD dissertation was called “From the ‘Iron House’: Imprisonment in First Nations Writing.”
Aaron Santesso is Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech University; his PhD thesis concerned “The Poetics of Nostalgia from Dryden to Crabbe.”
Rahul Sapra is now an Associate Professor at Ryerson University, and his thesis-based book, The Limits of Orientalism: Seventeenth-Century Representations of India, is forthcoming in 2011 from Delaware Press.
Some of our graduate alumni go on to pursue exciting and innovative non-academic careers. Read their stories below.
Rosa Barker (Queen's PhD) is a Professional Officer for the Canadian Association of University Teachers. She performs general research and writing for CAUT; conducts advocacy and research specifically related to advancing Aboriginal access to Post-secondary education; assists with academic freedom cases; provides staff support to CAUT's Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee and Aboriginal PSE Working Group; and assists with the development of CAUT campaigns. Her extracurricular work (as a member of the SGPS executive and Teaching Assistants unionization drives, as well as her active involvement in the unions in which she worked before Queen's) was essential preparation for this job.
Andy Belyea (Queen's MA) joined the Canadian Forces in 1984 as a Non-Commissioned Member and fixed avionics on CF18s for about 10 years. Following his undergraduate degree at the Royal Military College, he completed an MA at Queen's under RMC's Post-Graduate on Scholarship Program, and then spent two years in Greenwood NS as the Wing Supply Business Management Officer. Andy now combines his military career and the teaching of literature at RMC: in 2008, he volunteered for a tour in Afghanistan with the Task Force Kandahar HQ in Kandahar Airfield, where he undertook the role of Information Operations Officer. He writes: "Working closely with Psychological Operations, Public Affairs, Intelligence, and Electronic Warfare agencies from a variety of nations, I experienced the most challenging and rewarding time of my career to date."
Tanya Butler (Queen's PhD) is now a junior associate at Stewart McKelvey in Halifax, where she practices civil litigation.
Caitlin Charman (Queen's PhD) is currently working on contract as a junior analyst for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
Heather Emmens (Queen's PhD) is now a Graduate Trainee at the Centre for Learning Innovation and Quality with Kaplan International Colleges. The Centre develops and coordinates materials for international students who study at the colleges before progressing to affiliated British universities. Heather calls this position a "para-academic role" and writes: "we are located on a university campus and work closely with college instructors and senior administration."
Stephanie Hall (Queen's PhD) now sits on the senior management team for the British Museum's spectacular Zayed National Museum (ZNM) project ( http:// www.zayednationalmuseum.ae). She writes: "Essentially, Abu Dhabi want to build a national museum for the United Arab Emirates and the British Museum has been contracted as a consultant to advise them on a wide range of subjects such as gallery design, scientific conservation requirement, which artefacts to purchase or borrow, overall architectural design, security, management structures and even which plants to use in the Arabian desert garden. As Programme Manager, my job is to ensure that all the disparate programmes of work happen on time and do not conflict with each other (for example, if the curators purchase an enormous sphinx, the architects will need to ensure that a particular gallery doors are large enough to admit entrance and that the floor is strong enough to support it). My team and I fly to the Middle East every month for a week and meet regularly with everyone from the architects (Foster + Partners), the builders, senior stakeholders and other sub-contracted consultants such as Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. This project is important because it brings in substantial revenue to the museum at a time when government funding for the arts is being cut."
To graduate students who wish to pursue non-academic careers, Stephanie notes:
"It is perhaps worth mentioning that whilst I have been managing large arts programmes (£5- £35 million) in the UK since 2006, the year I spent in managing international projects in the corporate sector allowed me to break into the arts. In my current job, my PhD is perceived merely as an interesting embellishment; it was my professional qualifications and experience in project and programme management which supported my application. My advice to anyone wishing to leave academia is to gain skills and qualifications to offset those associated with a PhD and to be strategic about moving on and upwards professionally."
Eugene Johnson (Queen's PhD) is now Manager of Strategic Initiatives, in the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of British Columbia's Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. He writes, "My work is combination of creating annual documents for the branch (business plan, annual report) and coordinating special projects for the Assistant Deputy Minister. These projects can include staff engagement focus (i.e. running workplace environment discussion groups), external stakeholder relations (i.e. organizing an open industry meeting for the horse racing industry), or developing proposals within government (i.e treasury board submissions). Gambling evolves constantly, but it maintains a high media profile, so I have to remain flexible as my priorities and focus can shift from week to week depending on the needs of the branch."
To those students seeking non-academic careers, Eugene offers this advice:
"In transitioning from academics to public service, I've made extensive use of my writing and research skills and have been able to 'sell' that skill set to prospective employers. However, reading and writing aren't enough. Employers in public service are always looking for people who can demonstrate the ability to adapt to change, work well with others, make thoughtful decisions, and be proactive in solving problems. It's hard to demonstrate these skills to a prospective employer through academic course work or the limited range of responsibilities as a teaching assistant. So my advice is to take some time away from your studies and get involved in projects (volunteer or otherwise) at Queen's where you can make use of teamwork and problem solving."
Jen Knoch (Queen's MA) is an Associate Editor at ECW Press, a mid-sized Canadian publishing house that releases 50 books a year. As an in-house editor, her regular responsibilities include copyediting, proofreading, photo research, project management, and some ghostwriting, as well as managing social media projects. Jen entered the publishing industry through the Creative Book Publishing program at Humber College. She also runs the popular book blog, the Keepin' It Real Book Club, which has been featured by CBC Books, the National Post and Quill & Quire.
Ying Lee (Queen's PhD) is a novelist whose books include The Agency: A Spy in the House (Candlewick, 2010) and The Agency: The Body in the Tower (Candlewick, 2010). These novels concern a young female detective working in Victorian England--a setting with which Lee is intimately familiar from her thesis on Victorian literary culture, which was published as Masculinity and the English Working Class: Studies in Victorian Autobiography and Fiction (Routledge, 2007). See YING'S BLOG for her account of how she got her first book published.
Angela Mills (Queen's PhD) left academe for her current position as Editor and Communications Officer in the Public Affairs Branch of the Canada Revenue Agency. The book she co-edited with Mary Chapman, Treacherous Texts: U.S. Suffrage Literature, 1846-1946, will be coming out from Rutgers UP in April 2011.
Alice Petersen (PhD) is an editorial assistant for the International Journal Social Science & Medicine, where she manages the peer review process in the branch offices of Health Psychology and Social Epidemiology. Head Office is in the UK and Alice’s Senior Editors are spread out at McGill, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. Alice works at the dining room table in Montréal. Working in the cyber world has enabled Alice to raise two children and to develop her interest in writing fiction. Alice’s first collection of stories, All the Voices Cry, will be published by Biblioasis in 2012.
If you want to be a writer, don’t squash that thought, but if you also want to be a parent, find a day job that, without draining your energy, enables you to both pay the bills and to keep the best hour of the day for your writing work. Think of the great writers as kindly mentors. Learn from them what it is to work hard.
Linda Quirk is the Assistant Special Collections Librarian, tenure-track, in the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library at University of Alberta. Her PhD dissertation was entitled “Breaking New Ground: The First Generation of Women to Work as Professional Authors in English Canada (1880–1920).” She is currently preparing a book of selected writings by E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) for Eschia Press (an Aboriginal publisher established to satisfy the need for accessible books about the Aboriginal people of Canada) and a scholarly edition of Sara Jeannette Duncan’s A Social Departure (1890) for the Canadian Critical Editions series at Tecumseh Press.
Page last updated 19 April 2012