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Jesyka Traynor


Jesyka Traynor (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She holds a BA and MA in English Literature and her work examines contemporary Californian literature, with a focus on representations of the Californian landscape and mythology by Californian authors. Jesyka also does research on true crime. Her work on women in twenty-first century true crime has been published in Crime Fiction Studies. Jesyka is the co-creator and Co-Editor-in-Chief of True Crime Index. She is also an Assistant Editor with PopMeC Research Collective. Find her on Twitter and Goodreads.  

Research Interests

Contemporary American Literature, Californian Literature, True Crime, American Studies

Selected Publications

Friars, Rachel M and Jesyka Traynor. “‘Dogged, Insightful, and Humane’: Writing Women’s Lives in Twenty-First-Century True Crime.” Crime Fiction Studies, vol. 3, no.1, 2022, Edinburgh University Press.

Traynor, Jesyka. “An Unbroken Chain Reaction: Los Angeles and the L.A. Riots.” PopMeC Assocation for U.S. Popular Culture Studies, 2021.

Conference Presentations 

[Forthcoming] 2023: ACCUTE, York University, Toronto, Ontario
“Indifferent machinery teeth": Landscape and Destruction in Helena María Viramontes' Their Dogs Came With Them

[Forthcoming] 2023: ACCUTE, York University, Toronto, Ontario 
Panel: CAAS-"Making Exceptions, Taking Refuge" 
Paper: “Events without memory. Bones without flesh": Canadian Exceptionalism and The Way the Crow Flies

2022: Framing Serial Killing: Changing Narratives, International Virtual Conference 
Paper: "They walked, like living people": Demythologization and Boys Enter the House 

2022: Joan Didion: Life and/with/through words, International Virtual Conference
Paper: “The California of milk and honey": Legacy and Mythology Joan Didion’s Run River

2022: ACCUTE, Montreal, Quebec
Panel Organizer/Panel Chair: “American Literary Geographies”

2021-ACCUTE, Virtual Conference.
Paper: “This is how you are a citizen”: Sounds and Silences in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric

2020-ALA, San Diego, California. 
Panel: “Alternative Realities in American Texts” 
Paper: “There’s more than one way to lose your life to a killer”: Tracking Reproduction and Adaption in Fincher’s Zodiac and Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (conference cancelled)

2020-CAAS, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Paper: “The past, if there is such a thing, is mostly empty space”: 9/11 and Disaster in Teju Cole’s Open City (conference cancelled)   

2020-CAAS/CCLA, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Panel: “Los Angeles Literature and Culture”
Paper: “A place and a predicament”: True Crime Depictions of South Central Los Angeles (conference cancelled)

2019-ACCUTE, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
Paper: “I was trying not to be a lot of types of guys back then”: Hegemonic Masculinity and Selfhood in Lynn Coady’s The Antagonist

2019-The Age of Anxiety: Literary Studies in a Culture of Risk, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario (attended)

2018-(De)Composing Death, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Paper: “And I am not resigned”: Tracing Joan Didion’s Magical Thinking 

Graduate Supervision

My dissertation focuses on contemporary Californian authors. Specifically, my project examines representations of Californian landscape and mythology by John Steinbeck, Joan Didion, Helena María Viramontes and Karen Tei Yamashita.

Department of English, Queen's University

Watson Hall
49 Bader Lane
Kingston ON K7L 3N6

Telephone (613) 533-2153



Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.