Department of English

University of Toronto

Aguila-Way, Tania

Tania Aguila-WayTania
Assistant Professor; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor, University of Toronto St. George
Office Phone: 416-946-3680
UTSG Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, Room 629
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: Thursdays 10:00am - 12:00pm 

Teaching and Research Interests: Canadian literary studies; postcolonial studies; the environmental humanities.

B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (University of Ottawa)

My research focuses on the intersection between Canadian literary studies, postcolonial studies, and the environmental humanities. Currently, I am working on two book-length projects. The first one, Asian Canadian Literary Ecologies, explores the relationship between scientific epistemology and environmental anxiety in contemporary Asian Canadian literature. I argue that recent Asian Canadian writing marks an important new direction in the postcolonial critique of science by imagining ways in which decolonizing and environmental justice movements might interface with scientific knowledge to challenge emergent forms of biopolitical control and ecological degradation. My second project, Saving Seeds, Decolonizing the Commons, examines representations of seed ecologies and seed activism in contemporary Canadian literary and visual culture. It surveys burgeoning body of cultural production that draws on avant-garde and new media elements to intervene in contemporary environmental debates surrounding the erosion of the seed commons via the spread of genetically modified seeds. I argue that more than simply registering contemporary anxieties about the risks associated with the spread of GMO monocultures, these aesthetic experiments have a unique role to play in illuminating the complex environmental and social relations that seed conservation depends upon.

On the whole, I am interested in exploring how Canadian literature, as a tradition that has long grappled with questions of cultural and epistemic hybridity, can contribute to the production of an environmental ethics that draws on the resources of the humanities and the natural sciences in order to grapple with complex environmental issues.


Aguila-Way, Tania. “"Seed Activism, Global Environmental Justice, and Avant-GardeAesthetics in Annabel Soutar's Seeds.” Forthcoming in Studies in Canadian Literature/Études en littérature canadienne (SCL/ÉLC) 43.1.

Aguila-Way, Tania. “How do you Grow a Seed Commons?” The Goose 15.2 (2017). 

Aguila-Way, Tania. “Beyond the Logic of Solidarity as Sameness: the Critique of Animal Instrumentalization in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing and Marian Engel’s Bear.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 23.1 (2016): 5-29. 

Aguila-Way, Tania. “Uncertain Landscapes: Risk, Trauma, and Scientific Knowledge in Madeleine Thien’s Certainty and Dogs at the Perimeter.” Science and Canadian Literature. Ed. Janine Rogers. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 221(2014): 18-35. 

Aguila-Way, Tania. “The Zapatista “Mother Seeds in Resistance” Project: The Indigenous Community Seed Bank as a Living, Self-Organizing Archive.” Social Text 32.118 (2014): 67-94. Spring 2014.

Aguila-Way, Tania. “Griersonian Actuality and Social Protest in Dorothy Livesay’s Documentary Poems.” Double Takes: Intersections between Canadian Literature and Film. Ed. David Jarraway. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2013.

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