Department of English

University of Toronto

McGill, Robert

Robert McGillRobert McGill 
Associate Professor of English; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor 
Office Phone: 416-946-8798
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, Room 716
Robert McGill's Homepage:
Faculty Bookshelf
Office hours and/or leave status: On research leave 1 July 2015 to 30 July 2016

B.A. (Queen’s), M.Phil. (Oxford), M.A. (East Anglia), Ph.D. (Toronto)

McGill’s research focuses on Canadian literature and issues related to creative writing. In his book The Treacherous Imagination, he addresses people’s sense of betrayal when they believe they have been turned into characters in novels or stories. His current research project, “The Vietnam War and the Language of Canadian Nationalism,” examines how the war influenced Canadian literature and identity through to the present day. This project has a counterpart in his novel Once We Had a Country, which tells the story of Americans in Canada during the war era, and which he began as a Junior Fellow with the Harvard Society of Fellows. He wrote his previous novel, The Mysteries, as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of East Anglia. The Mysteries was named one of the top five Canadian fiction books of 2004 by Quill & Quire and won the Western Reads program in 2006. Robert has also published short fiction in Toronto Life, The Journey Prize Anthology, Grain, The Dalhousie Review, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, and Descant. His article “‘The Germs of Empires’: Decivilization and Conrad’s Discontent” (The Conradian 27.1) won the Juliet McLaughlin Prize of the Joseph Conrad Society, and “The Sublime Simulacrum: Vancouver in Douglas Coupland’s Geography of Apocalypse” (Essays on Canadian Writing 70) won the George Wicken Prize in Canadian Literature.

Faculty Bookshelf
Once We Had a Country. Toronto: Knopf, 2013.

The Treacherous Imagination: Intimacy, Ethics, and Autobiographical Fiction. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2013.

The Mysteries. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2004.

Selected Articles
“Somatic Nationalism and Spectacle in Hugh MacLennan’s Barometer Rising.” Studies in Canadian Literature 37.2 (2012): 213-29.

“Biographical Desire and the Archives of Living Authors.” a/b: Auto/Biography 24.1 (2009): 129-45.

“No Nation but Adaptation: ‘The Bear Came Over the Mountain,’ Away from Her, and What It Means to Be Faithful.” Canadian Literature 197 (2008): 98-111. 

“‘A Necessary Collaboration’: Biographical Desire and Elizabeth Smart.” English Studies in Canada 33.3 (2007): 67-88.

“Somewhere I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: Alice Munro’s Fiction of Distance.” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 37.1 (2002): 9-29.

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