Department of English


English Language and Literature

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Heather Macfarlane

Heather Macfarlane

Associate Professor

MA, PhD University of Toronto

  • Canadian, Indigenous, diaspora and Québécois literatures
  • comparative literature: land, nationhood and territoriality
  • cultural studies
  • pedagogy

It was when I first learned of the 1997 Delgamuukw vs. British Columbia case that I became aware of the extent to which narrative influences our lives. In the landmark land-claim the Supreme Court eventually ruled that traditional Indigenous story—narrative—was admissible in court as evidence of land ownership. Narrative frames every aspect of our existence. There is no element of knowledge left untouched in the study of literature, and in my opinion nothing can teach you more about the diverse worlds we live in. This is what ultimately led to my interest in theories of community and territoriality in Canadian, Indigenous, diaspora and Québécois literatures, which form the basis for my scholarship within the department.


2020-21 Courses

  • ENGL 466 001-7/3.0 Topics in Modern/Contemporary Canadian Literature I – Diaspora Writing in Toronto
  • ENGL 467 001-4/3.0 Topics in Modern/Contemporary Canadian Literature II – The Literary Road Trip
  • ENGL 874 Topics in Canadian Literature IV: Literature, Nationality and Territoriality

Recent Publications

Divided Highways: Road Narrative and Nationhood in Canada. University of Ottawa 
Press, 2019.

 “The Resurrection of Chanie Wenjack” Canadian Literature. No. 236, 2019. 92-110.

“To Reconcile or not to Reconcile: the Case for Comparing Canadian and Indigenous 
Literatures.” Canadian Comparative Literature eds. Irene Sywensky and Susan Ingram. Forthcoming, Lexington, 2019.

An Introduction to Indigenous Literary Criticism in Canada. Co-editor, with Armand Garnet 
Ruffo. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2016.