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Sophia Charyna


Hi, I'm Sophia! I am a third year PhD student at Queen's. After completing my comprehensive field exam in Modern Popular Culture in the fall of 2022, I have turned my attention towards my dissertation project. 

My doctoral project considers how fantasy and science fiction (SF) authors of the twentieth- century created new religions in their story-worlds in response to upheavals and anxieties of modernity. I demonstrate how authors make subtle or significant deviations from the doctrines or practices of traditional expressions of religion—predominantly normative western Christianity—and read these changes as unspoken critiques of the old institutions. I use the phrase “trauma of modernity” broadly to identify forces that contributed to the unrest of the period: war, growing awareness of ecological damage, and gendered social upheaval as traumas addressed by British and American authors in fantasy and SF in the mid-twentieth century.

See my personal website and blog here:

Selected Publications

Other refereed contributions

“Healing Backwards: Heather Love’s Feeling Backwards, Samuel Delany’s Empire Star and Textual Queer Temporality,” Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) Annual Conference, May 2023, Toronto.

 “Imagining New Divinities in 20th Century Fantasy and Science Fiction: Tolkien’s Silmarillion,” Midwest Popular Culture Association, Graduate Conference, March 2023.

“Samuel Delany’s Empire Star & Textual Queer Temporality,” EGSS Incomplete (Eco)Systems Conference, March 2023, Université de Montréal.

 “The Sublime in James Thomson’s Spring” Queen’s University ENGL 330 Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature, Guest Lecture, March 2022.

“Deconstructing Oppressive Structures: Three Non-Conforming Female Figures in Canadian Drama,” University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Research Journal, Vol.7, No. 2, 2021.

“Seeking Transcendence and Immortality through Consciousness and Memory in Virginia Woolf’s The Waves,” Queen’s University, Graduate English Society Works in Progress Conference, March 2021.

“‘can’t be known except in the words of its making:’ Denise Levertov’s Balance of Symbolic and Material Action in ‘Making Peace,’” University of Saskatchewan, Department of English Honours Colloquium, February 2020.

Forthcoming contributions

“Ecological & Religious Worldbuilding in Frank Herbert’s Dune” (working title). Queen’s University GEOL 290 Worldbuilding, Guest Lecture. Forthcoming 2024.

"That which is believed in, Is.: Frank Herbert's Dune and Alternate Divine Imaginations." Critical Insights in Science Fiction: Exploring Posthumanism, Alternate Realities, and Cyberculture. Forthcoming. 

"Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it:” Dune and Pedagogical Potential," Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) Annual Conference, June 2024, Montreal.

Awards and Recognition
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). (2023-4)
R. Samuel McLaughlin Fellowship. (2021-2)
Graduate Supervision

Sharday C. Mosurinjohn (School of Religion)

Areas of Study
Religious Studies
Genres and Forms
Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Popular and Genre Fiction

Department of English, Queen's University

Watson Hall
49 Bader Lane
Kingston ON K7L 3N6

Telephone (613) 533-2153


Telephone (613) 533-6000 ext. 74446 extension 74446


Telephone (613) 533-6000 ext. 74447 extension 74447

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