Department of English

University of Toronto

Graduate Students

MA Students | MA CRW Students | PhD Students

MA Students

Bradley Aranha

MA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Postcolonial and Queer Theory

Maha Arshad

Maha ArshadMA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Postcolonial Literature/Romanticism 

Maha Arshad graduated from University of Toronto's Master of Arts program in 2017. Her research interests are primarily geared towards Postcolonial theory, identifying how Postcolonial impacts are demonstrated in literature written in English by non-native English speakers. She is also very interested in the English language's political uses in literature, in specifically analyzing the limits of the English language in portraying non-English experiences with a focus on South Asian cultural production. By studying the power dynamics of language and completing her TESL, she hopes to use what she has learned to pursue an interdisciplinary approach towards the pedagogy surrounding second language acquisition teaching and learning.

Gianluca Bertoia 

Gianluca BertoiaMA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Twentieth Century, Comparative Literature, Art and Science, Digital Humanities

My interest is mainly in the writings of Samuel Beckett, and specifically in how a folk understanding of mathematics has informed his prose stories. In previous work, I have uncovered aspects such as the fourth dimension, geometry, and optics underpinning some of his shorter pieces. My long-term research goal is to chronicle and synthesize the evolving relationship between the writer and his various mathematical influences; until then, I am happy to indulge in other research interests, especially English-French bilingualism.

Anna Butler-Koo 

Anna Butler-KooMA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Diaspora and Transnational studies; Asian Canadian literature; Postcolonial studies; identity politics; ecocriticism

I am primarily interested in Asian Canadian diasporic writing, much of which offers fertile ground for exploring cultural and racial hybridity, including what Fred Wah terms “hyphenated” identities. Narratives of hybridity spark vital questions: what does it mean to be seen as part, not whole? As a culturally, linguistically, and racially mixed subject, where and how does one belong? My research focuses on how existing in-between may subvert problematic divides and, paradoxically, forge connections between peoples, spaces, and communities.

List of Publications:

Julia Henderson

Julia HendersonMA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Postmodern Poetry, Jewish Philosophy

Julia Henderson completed her Honors BA in English at University of Toronto, where she is currently working on her MA. Her research focuses primarily on Postmodern American poet John Ashbery, as well as Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, and W.H Auden. Rooted in an interest in the Systematic philosophy of German Idealism and 20th century Jewish philosophy, she explores the structural effects produced by the arrangement and relations of linguistic paradoxes and ambiguities. 

Riley McGuire

MA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Medieval

Medieval language, literature, and philosophy.

Stuart Oakes

Stuart OakesMA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): 20th/21st century North American Fiction and Life Writing

I am interested in exploring identity, identity construction, and the individual in recent North American life writing and fiction. I am currently writing about embodiment, purity politics, and the environmental crisis as well as identity construction, borders, and haunted houses.

Shane Radke

Shane RadkeMA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Restoration & 18th-Century Literature, Aspects of Theory, Environmental Humanities

My research centers on dramatic representations of material goods in 18th-Century British literature and its eco-theoretical intersections. I am currently working towards entrance into a PhD program wherein I aim to complete a dissertation on this topic.

My blog is available at

List of publications:


James Regan

MA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Contemporary Canadian and American literature; global literatures in English; aspects of theory; continental philosophy

James Regan is a Master’s student in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. His current SSHRC funded research works against the recent move in ecological studies to flatten the relation between humans and nonhumans. Taking a psychoanalytic and phenomenological approach, he looks at the ethical and ontological imbrication of nonnormative human subjectivities in the construction of nonhuman nature in global environmental literatures of the recent past. Marginalized human subjects are most asymmetrically impacted by the destabilizing effects of climate change, but that marginality, as a representational issue, is fertile ground to reformulate subjectivity in the face of liberal individualism that negates human and nonhuman others.


Amritpal Singh

Amritpal SinghMA Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Medieval Literature; Literary Theory and History

MA CRW Students

Andalah Ali

Andalah AliMA CRW Candidate 
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Writing well

Once I got lost canoeing in a bog.

Tyler Haché

Tyler HacheMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Poetry

Tyler Haché is an award-winning songwriter and poet from New Brunswick. His original songs have appeared in the films Magnolia’s Dollhouse (Festival de Cannes 2016) and Love Alaska (2019). His poetry has been published in The Nashwaak Review, Atlantic Canadian Poets’ Archive, ATLIS Journal, HAG MAG, and elsewhere.

Brittney Hubley

MA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Death Studies; Science, Medicine and Society; Critical Media Studies
Supervisor: Camilla Gibb

My research addresses the mediation and literary treatment of illness and injury, with a particular interest in how bodies are animated and reanimated by terminal disease and near-death experience. As well as completing a novel-length project in fiction, I am pursuing a co-collaborative specialization in Sexual Diversity Studies with the Mark S. Bonham Centre.
I received my Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Creative Writing & English with First Class Distinction from the University of Alberta in 2018. 

Marina Klimenko

Marina KlimenkoMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Creative Writing, Canadian Lit, Ecofeminism, Postcolonialism

Marina Klimenko is a writer of short fiction and a student of Canadian literature focusing on Postcolonial and Ecofeminist theory. Her short fiction has been published online and in print both in Canada and internationally. She is currently working on a novel.

Marina's short fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Toronto Prose Mill, Patchwork Mosaic, Victoria College's Goose, Half a Grapefruit, and The Wild Word.

Maxwell Koyama

Maxwell KoyamaMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Creative Writing, American Literature, English

Maxwell's fiction caricatures historical, cultural and literary contexts spanning nations, eras and genres from the Russian novel to the hotdog eating contest in omnivorous pastiche. He can and will name all 193 sovereign states. Recently he hacked into the university mainframe and threaded bits of information about himself throughout other people’s bios, so you have to go and read all the other ones and guess which lines are actually about him.

Likes dogs. 

Jake Morrow

Jake MorrowMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Poetry
Supervisor: Liz Howard

Jake Morrow is a current poet and former brunch chef from Toronto. Jake is an English MA candidate in the field of Creative Writing at the University of Toronto where he is currently working under the supervision of Liz Howard on a collection of poetry that explores the intersections of contemporary Jewish Canadian identity and experience.
Research interests include modern and contemporary poetry, Canadian cultural studies, and the teaching of poetry and creative writing.

Fawn Parker

Fawn ParkerMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Fiction

List of Publications:

On leave of absence, returning September 2020.

Anna J. Stainsby 

Anna J StainsbyMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Fiction/Poetry

By day I work on a novel, by night I design shiny things for Neophyte Jewels. I'm a huge proponent of magical realism, oxford commas, and mixing metals.

List of Publications


Kara Toews

Kara ToewsMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Fiction, Novel

Toews is currently working on a literary fantasy novel that takes place in Victoria, BC during the 1950s. The Defiance of Dawn centres on Hadley Harker who, at birth, experiences both physical and psychological trauma. After her home is destroyed by a fire and she loses her mother to suicide, Hadley is placed in the B.C. Protestant Orphans' Home in Victoria. She navigates adolescence isolated by the burn on her face, the inability to confront her mother's death, and the blossoming depression that she formulates into the imaginary figure of Moth. The longer Hadley remains in Kairos, the more she forgets her real life, leaving her with the ultimate decision whether or not to unbury and embrace the depression that makes her who she is or continue living in a world where she can never envelope a true sense of self.

Toews plans to pursue her PhD after completion of the MACRW and return to Vancouver Island where she hopes to teach Creative Writing at the University of Victoria. 

List of Publications:

Lily Wang

Lily WangMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Fiction and Poetry

Lily Wang is currently researching Kierkegaard's theory of repetition, namely subjective repetition within the individual psyche. She is working on a novel that demonstrates how migration fractures the otherwise linear progression of one's understanding of the self.

Lily Wang received her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the University of Toronto, St. George.

List of Publications:

Aley Waterman

Aley WatermanMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Fiction
Supervisor: Sheila Heti

Aley holds an MA from MUN in Contemporary Criticism and Theory, and her area of interest in theory lies in poststructuralist poetics. She is currently working on a novel and a book of flash fiction under the supervision of writer Sheila Heti.

Publications: Aley's stories have been published in places including Bad Nudes, the Metatron short poetry blog, and the Vault.

Jordan Weir

MJordan WeirMA CRW Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Creative Writing

Mainly a poet, but currently working on more short fiction. Secondary interests in Literature & Medicine and Can Lit.

PhD Students

Sara Ameri Mahabadi

Sara Ameri MahabadiPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Medievalism/Theory
Supervisor: Alexandra Gillespie

My graduate research interest has been late medieval English literature. For my PhD project, I am both narrowing down and expanding my field to focus on the mystical writings of women in medieval Christian territories. I am also interested in postmodern theoretical frameworks, particularly those pertaining to madness and sexuality.

Erin Baldwin

Erin BaldwinPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): 20th Century British and Irish Literature; Theories of Space; Psychogeography and Urban Studies; Psychoanalysis

Dustin Batty

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Canadian literature, ecocriticism, critical animal studies
Supervisor: Nick Mount

My dissertation explores attitudes toward the urban nonhuman, as depicted in the 21st-century Canadian novels. My theoretical framework combines and challenges conventions of ecocriticism and critical animal studies.

Grant Bellamy

Grant BellamyPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): The realist novel; the long 19th century; aesthetics; the literary tradition
Supervisor: Angela Esterhammer

My research considers literary realism and modern philosophical aesthetics as dialectically related movements of the long nineteenth century. I examine how mutual investment in the concept of representation as an end in itself enabled these discrete cultural programs, despite tensions between them, to usher in conjointly not only sweeping changes in descriptive and narrative technique but also a fundamental re-conception of the purpose of art. I study the revolutionary character of these literatures and try to situate them within a broader "story of art" as it unfolds from the Homeric epic to postmodernism.

Connor Bennett

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Theory of repetition; aesthetics of silence; psychoanalysis; twentieth-century American literature

Connor is a first-year PhD student. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Toronto.

Daniel Bergman

Daniel BergmanPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): American literature; immigration and transnational studies
Supervisor: Naomi Morgenstern

My research focuses on parallels between narratives of maturation and narratives of citizenship acquisition in contemporary American literature. Driven by the conviction that literary scholarship can speak to wider public debates, I examine the extent to which recent fiction invites a reconsideration of the conceptions of belonging that currently structure national identity in the US and Canada.

Arlynda Boyer

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Shakespeare/Early Modern Drama
Supervisor: Jeremy Lopez

I'm exploring how actors annotate Shakespeare scripts, what their marginalia reflects or captures of rehearsal and the process of creating a character, and how these backstage texts might shape new editions of Shakespeare.

List of Publications:

Peer Reviewed: 

Theatre Reviews:

Non-Academic Publications:

Gabriel Briex

Gabriel BriexPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): American Literature, with an emphasis on Nineteenth Century
Supervisor: Paul Downes

Gabriel is a second-year PhD student, working towards a dissertation that examines the intersections of mourning, melancholia and politics in the American Renaissance. His interests range from the relation between Theory and Literature, to Film, Graphic Novels, Visual Culture and Music.

Gabriel is an international student from France, and an International Student Co-Representative for the Graduate English Association. He holds a B.A and an M.A from Paris-Sorbonne University, as well as an M.A. from the École Normale Supérieure de la Rue d'Ulm (PSL). He has taught an Academic Conversation Skills class for Non-Native English Speakers at the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication. 

List of Publications:

Charissa Chan

Charissa ChanPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Medieval Literature, Affect Theory
Supervisor: Suzanne Akbari

Charissa Chan received her BA Honours and a Masters in English at the University of Toronto, where she is currently pursuing her PhD studies. Her work explores the operations of affect within courtly discourses of love in Chaucer’s poetry.

Selected Awards and Accolades:
  • 2019/2020 Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • 2018/2019 University of Toronto Fellowship (renewed 2019/2020)
  • 2018/2019 Ontario Graduate Scholarship 
  • 2016/2017 Ontario Graduate Scholarship 
  • 2016 V. A. De Luca Memorial Fellowship
  • 2015 The William McCauley Scholarship
  • 2014 The Class of 1945 Scholarship
  • 2013 The Alastair McKinnon Scholarship

Amy Coté

Amy CotePhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Victorian Literature & Religion
Supervisor: Christine Bolus-Reichert, Mark Knight

My dissertation, "Theology and the Narrative Form of the Victorian Novel," argues that Christian theology informs how Victorian realist novelists understood what a narrator knows and how they go about telling it. Although the Victorian novel has typically been considered a secularizing form, I challenge this assumption by showing how both canonical realist writers like Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, and Thomas Hardy and philosophical novelists and theologians like John Henry Newman, James Anthony Froude, and Mary Augusta Ward used theological concepts to develop features like selective unreliability or direct address in their narrators.

I am also enrolled in the collaborative graduate program in Book History and Print Culture, and senior printer in the Bibliography Room of the Robertson Davies Library at Massey College, where I study the use and care of nineteenth-century printing technologies.

List of Publications:

Una Creedon-Carey

Una Creedon-CareyPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Medieval
Supervisor: Alex Gillespie

My dissertation researches the intersections between queer theory, posthumanism, and Old English literature. My other academic interests include medieval medicine and medieval reception in the digital age. I am also a RA for the Henry Daniel Project, where I assist in editing a transcription of Daniel's 14th century Herbal. I also founded an English palaeography reading group that is an offshoot of Alex Gillespie's Old Books New Science lab.

Apala Das

Apala DasPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Global Modernisms, Modern Asceticism, Postcolonial Theory
Supervisor: Ming Xie

I am a 3rd year PhD candidate. The topic of my dissertation is "The Politics and Poetics of Asceticism in Cross-Cultural Modernisms." I am interested in the ways in which ascetic impulses/imperatives appear in interconnected modernisms as strategies of aesthetic and epistemic detachment, disinterestedness, and denial. In non-western modernisms, such as in late-colonial South Asian modernisms, asceticism also forms the basis for diverse political praxes, from nationalist and anti-colonial mobilization to subaltern militancy. In my dissertation, I focus on the works of Samuel Beckett, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, Sister Nivedita, Mina Loy, and Wallace Stevens. I am also interested in postcolonial approaches to medieval studies and medievalisms, and in modernist receptions of the middle ages. I am currently working on an article to be presented at the MLA 2020 Annual Convention in Seattle, USA, in which I use the lens of comparative poetics to study askesis in select writings of Sri Aurobindo and Wallace Stevens.

I am also a Resident Junior Fellow at Massey College, in the University of Toronto.

List of Publications:

Articles in peer-reviewed journals:

Book review:


Daniel Direkoglu 

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Twentieth-century American Literature
Supervisor: Michael Cobb

My research focuses on the ways American writers represent experiences of pain and suffering.

Robin D'Souza (née Anderson)

Robin D'SouzaPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Twentieth Century British and Irish Literature
Supervisor: Richard Greene

D'Souza examines the use of chivalric medieval romance in twentieth century World War I literature, arguing that it is an engagement with the mythic proposition that all the values of pre-war British society were rejected by the post-war generation. The goal of some representative twentieth-century writers was not to show that the past was remote and useless: they tried to demonstrate that if the past seemed remote as a result of the war, it was certainly not useless. Her dissertation includes close readings of Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Rebecca West, David Jones and Dorothy L. Sayers. These writers used medieval pasts in defamiliarized ways in order to form new understanding of communal ethics, visionary social schemata that rescued chivalric terminology from the clutches of patriarchal propaganda.

List of Publications:


Angela Du

Angela DuPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): the Victorian novel; realism; form and genre; narrative; character; gender and sexuality; eighteenth-century literature and Romanticism
Supervisor: Audrey Jaffe

My dissertation is on Victorian novelists' attempts to write new kinds of narratives. Although they often raise the possibilities of new plots and characters in the middle of their narratives, they tend to return to more conventional plots by the ending. Thus, new possibilities are glimpsed but not realized; nevertheless, I contend that these stories not-yet written disrupt the literary conventions to which they defer. This project is particularly focused on late-century novelists, including Thomas Hardy and Sarah Grand, and narratives of female development.

List of Publications:

Nicole Dufoe 

PhD Candidate 
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Nineteenth-Century fiction
Supervisor: Audrey Jaffe

My dissertation focuses on sleep and narrative form in the Victorian novel. While I work primarily through a literary lens, my research moves beyond the fictional to explore how technological changes—including the technology of the novel—transformed patterns of sleep, attention, and labour in the nineteenth-century.

Jessica Elkaim

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Supervisor: Dana Seitler

Jess Elkaim is a PhD candidate whose dissertation focuses on representations of corpses in nineteenth-century American literature. Her academic interests include critical theory, necropolitics, materiality, media studies, and Bill Bruford's band Bruford.

Lawrence Evalyn

Lawrence EvalynPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Eighteenth Century British; Digital Humanities

Lawrence Evalyn received his M.A. in English with High Distinction from Duke University, and his B.A. in English from the University of Victoria. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Toronto, studying British literature of the 1790s with computational methods. 

List of Publications:

Refereed Articles:

Selected Conference Activity:

Selected Awards:

Lawrence's professional blog is at

Joel Faber

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Early Modern
Supervisor: Katherine Larson

Margeaux Feldman

Margeaux FeldmanPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Critical Theory, Contemporary American Literature
Supervisor: Dana Seitler

My dissertation, "Touch Me, I'm Sick: Hysterical Intimacies, Sick Theories," traces the legacy of hysteria into our contemporary moment by focusing on the figure of the "sick girl." I offer a much-needed intervention into the field of disability studies, which has tended to focus on visible disabilities, by proposing what I call "sick theories." Drawing on the fields of disability justice, the radical health movement, affect theory, queer theory, critical race studies, and feminist theory, I argue that "sickness" denotes that which is endemic, chronic, and traumatic. My dissertation reimagines how we think about mental health and care by attending to the ways in which the desires of girls and women have been and continue to be pathologized.

List of Publications:


Kate Frank

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Eighteenth-Century British Literature
Supervisor: Alan Bewell

Danyse Golick 

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Book history and American literature
Supervisor: Naomi Morgenstern

Danyse is a PhD candidate in English and the Book History and Print Culture collaborative program. Her dissertation explores the visual iconography of the female reader in the digital literary sphere. Her academic interests include digital studies, contemporary American literature, and fan studies.

Mitchell Gunn

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Digital Literature and Games, Contemporary Literature

My research examines and theorizes the forms of interactivity involved in the encounters between a reader and a literary work, especially in the developing field of digital literature. I incorporate elements of New Formalism, poststructuralism, and reader-response theories alongside the work of digital media scholars to address experimental print works, digital texts, and even video games.

Ira Halpern

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): American literature
Supervisor: Michael Cobb

Carson Hammond

Carson HammondPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Contemporary anglophone fiction; aspects of theory
Supervisor: Paul Downes

Carson Hammond’s research has mainly to do with contemporary anglophone fiction and Marxist theory, aesthetic and otherwise. He is currently laying the groundwork for his SSHRC-funded dissertation project, which orbits the concept of alienation as it appears throughout different schools of thought, homing in on three “garden varieties” of alienative experience: depression, nonsense work, and displacement—each of which may be understood in a number of senses. For the time being he is mostly preoccupied with understanding the first of these, depression, in light of the “funny-sad short story” characteristic of authors like Lydia Davis, Lorrie Moore, and Ottessa Moshfegh.

Graham Hassell 

Graham HassellPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): British and Irish Modernism
Supervisor: Garry Leonard

My research takes up questions of communication and interpretation in experimental modernist fiction. I address the ethical implications of knowability, unknowability, and the tension between them, particularly as they are expressed in literary form. 

Scott Herder

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Canadian Literature
Supervisor: Colin Hill

Scott Herder is a PhD Candidate. His dissertation, After the Event: Commemoration and Literature in Canada, examines works of literature that correspond with, and redefine, how various historical events are shaped in collective memories.

Sarah Howden

Sarah HowdenPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): American Literature
Supervisor: Naomi Morgenstern

Sarah Howden is a SSHRC Doctoral Student. She graduated with Honours in English from Mount Royal University in 2016 and received her Masters in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick in 2018. Her current research interests are American literature, psychoanalysis and the environmental humanities. Her dissertation focuses on climate change denial and American literature from mid nineteenth century to present day. Additionally, she is working within the environmental humanities on a project centred around the legacy of uranium mining communities and abandonment. Her creative work can be found in “Drifting like a Metaphor: Calgary Poets of Promise” (2018) and FreeFall Literary Magazine.

Jordan Howie 

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): American literature, 19C and 20C
Supervisor: Dana Seitler

My dissertation research examines how sexuality intersects with risk in American narratives about modern forms of transportation and mobility. My broader research interests include literary modernism and naturalism, history and theories of mobility and urbanization, cinema, and gender/sexuality/queer theory.

Tiffany Humble

Tiffany HumblePhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Romantic and Victorian Literature
Supervisor: Cannon Schmitt

Tiffany is a second-year PhD student whose dissertation focuses on representations of minuscule organisms and undervalued natures in Romantic and Victorian literature. Her research interests include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, ecocriticism, history of science, aesthetics, animal studies, Gothic fiction, affect theory, history of sensation, and poetics.

Christine Jacob

Christine JacobPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Early modern literature, poetry & poetics, health humanities, affect theory

During my master's degree at the University of Oxford, I focused on early modern literature and developed skills in palaeography, textual editing, and archival research. My dissertation examined the rhetorical uses of a melancholic pose and the therapeutic potentials of poetry in the manuscripts of two late seventeenth-century women writers. As a PhD student at the University of Toronto and a recipient of the Canada Graduate Scholarship, I plan to explore further the relationship between poetry and medicine in early modern literature, the history of poetry therapy, and the mercurial genre of lyric.  

Zak Jones

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): American Literature

Zak Jones completed his Honours BA in English, MA in English [In the Field of Creative Writing] at University of Toronto, where he is currently a Ph.D. student studying narratives of defeat in American "epics."

Academic Conferences and Publications:

Creative Publications:

Scholarships and Awards:


Max Karpinski

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Canadian Literature; Ecocriticism; Experimental Poetics
Supervisor: Smaro Kamboureli

Max Karpinski is a doctoral candidate in the University of Toronto’s English Department. His dissertation reads the ways contemporary poets in Canada compost the pastoral in order to compose with its forms and thematics. Max is scheduled to defend his dissertation in early December and will hold an Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta in January 2020.

List of Publications:

Christopher Kelleher

Christopher KelleherPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): British Romanticism; New Imperial Histories
Supervisor: Daniel E. White

Dissertation: "Global Romanticism, Imperial Circulation: Culture, Credit, and Colonialism in British and Anglo-Indian Literature, 1790-1830"

Chancellor Jackman Junior Fellow.

List of Publications:


Kyle Kinaschuk

PhD Candidate
Email: kyle.kinaschuk@mail.utorontoKinaschuk1
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Canadian Literatures; Poetry and Poetics; Critical and Cultural Theory; Pedagogy and the University
Supervisor: Smaro Kamboureli

Kyle Kinaschuk’s research is nested in Canadian literary studies, poetry and poetics, critical and cultural theory, and questions of pedagogy and the university. His dissertation investigates the poetics and politics of the lament form as a mode of complaint. The project is largely concerned with a recent surge of contemporary poetry in Canada that reworks colonial documents to repatriate the many unacknowledged presences that exist within texts of degradation. He is also the author of a chapbook, COLLECTIONS-14 (above/ground press, 2019). His poetry has appeared in The Capilano Review, Contemporary Verse 2, filling Station, PRISM international, The Puritan, and elsewhere.



Anna Kozak

Anna KozakPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): American Literature
Supervisor: Naomi Morgenstern

I am a PhD student in English with a collaborative graduate specialization in Sexual Diversity Studies. My research interests include contemporary American literature, autobiography, queer theory, and affect theory.

I have also presented my work at various conferences and have several creative non-academic publications.

List of Publications:



Joanna Krongold

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Holocaust literature; children's and young adult literature; postwar American literature
Supervisor: Andrea Most

Lilika Kukiela

Lilika KukielaPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): 21st-Century American; Asian North American; Creative Nonfiction; Aspects of Theory

Lilika received her B.A. and M.A. from the Department of English at McGill University where she focused on cosmopolitan structures of feeling in Asian Canadian poetry. Her current research explores the affects of online personal essays by Asian North American writers. She is interested in reconfiguring racialized affects with a focus on the personal essay as a literary form that fluctuates between aesthetic and ethical affect production. More broadly, she is interested in how technology, creative nonfiction, and affect theory intersect.

Chelsea Latremouille

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): American Literature; nineteenth-century; realism
Supervisor: Neal Dolan

My research considers the concept of solitude in the age of realism.

Timothy Lem-Smith

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): 20th/21st-century American Literature; Critical Theory; Genre; Critical Race Theory; Postmodernism
Supervisor: Paul Downes

Tim is working on a dissertation project on paranoid reading and contemporary American fiction.

Iona Lister

Iona ListerPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Medieval Literature
Supervisor: William Robins

Also a student of the Book History and Print Culture program (BHPC), I investigate how literature in the Middle Ages evolves and changes over time. My dissertation centres around the voice and talking body parts in Anglo-French, Old English, and Middle English secular literature, particularly in the Old English riddles of the Exeter Book, Anglo-French fabliaux and the Lais of Marie de France, and the Middle English romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. My research interests extend to Medieval Revival, and I am currently working on a conference paper concerning how medieval conquest narratives such as the Vinland Saga are being used to feed white supremacist movements in North America. For my interdisciplinary work at the BHPC, I am planning a digital project that aims to recover some of the lost medieval vocal music in the Fisher Antiphonary manuscript.

Veronica Litt

Veronica LittPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Eighteenth-Century Literature, Book History
Supervisor: Simon Dickie

I study what eighteenth-century England thought of as popular culture: bestselling novels, fan fiction, newspaper op-eds, and tell-all memoirs. By prioritizing commercial success, I show how popular books influenced social debates on hot topics like proto-feminism and the relationship between chastity and morality. As a member of the collaborative Book History and Print Culture program, I study the print marketplace and pay special attention to readers and reading experiences, revealing how books influenced eighteenth-century readers to experiment with startlingly modern sexual politics.

My research also reveals the strange construction of supposedly "British" literature by integrating popular French novels and translated novels. Often sidelined by scholarship, these books were  enormously successful in eighteenth-century Britain.

My dissertation is committed to recognizing how everyday people (like readers and workaday reviewers) shaped enormous literary debates. In alignment with this impulse, I am committed to public scholarship. During my undergraduate and Master's degrees, I hosted a successful YouTube channel about literature and worked as a freelance writer. As I enter the later stages of the PhD program, I now work as a content editor at a website about pop culture and co-host a podcast about feminism and film.

List of Publications:



Public-Facing Work:

Austin Long

Austin LongPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Anglo-Modernism and Book History

I am interested in the intersection between experimental realist novels and book history during the interwar period. In particular, I research the works of Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and the members of their respective literary circles, and their influence on press employees, markets, etc., and vice versa.

Karl Manis

Karl ManisPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Contemporary fiction, 20th and 21st century American literature, media theory, narrative
Supervisor: Naomi Morgenstern, Larry Switzky

Karl Manis is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the intersection of narrative form, literary realism, and media theory in contemporary fiction. His dissertation project, which was awarded a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, examines “embedded media”: instances where a narrative in one medium invokes, references, or incorporates other media (e.g., novels that invoke found manuscripts, photographs, or emails; films that incorporate printed texts or digital screens). Tethering narrative form to material practices, embedded media combine metafiction’s attention to how fictional realities are constituted with realism’s orientation toward the world outside the text. This project draws on contemporary legacies of postmodernism, feminist materialisms, and an intermedial approach to literary studies. When he isn’t reading, writing, and teaching about 20th and 21st century literature and storytelling in a variety of media, Karl enjoys cooking, baking, camping, and building and riding bicycles.

J. R. Mattison

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Medieval literature and material culture
Supervisor: Alexandra Gillespie

My research focuses on the language, literature, and material culture of late medieval England. In particular, I am interested in reading practices and medieval manuscripts. My doctoral thesis traces the relation between French language and its material form in manuscripts in England, c. 1380-1508. I argue that manuscripts in French--both insular and continental--allowed English readers to formulate ideas about language and provoked a series of reading practices that united disparate texts and manuscripts through their shared language. In additon to my work on French manuscripts in England, I also study the role of paratextual features in Middle English manuscripts, ideas of the books and the development of bibliographic thinking in the Middle Ages, and the relationship of text and image.

List of Publications:

Colleen McDonell

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Victorian literature, with a focus on supernatural fiction; class and representations of domestic workers; periodicals and print culture; short stories; digital humanities
Supervisor: Cannon Schmitt

My research is on the representation of female servants in British ghost stories published from 1845 to 1905. As part of the collaborative Book History and Print Culture program, I study Victorian print culture and periodical publishing. More broadly, I am also interested in fairy tales and fantasy literature, women's writings, and digital remediations of texts.

I am the Canadian Graduate Student Representative for the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) and the co-chair for UofT's 2020 Graduate English Conference.

Jenna McKellips

Jenna McKellipsPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Medieval English Drama

My current research concentrates on embodied performances of femininity in late medieval East Anglian drama. I'm interested in exploring gender as a type of performance, and in comparing lived and theatrical medieval performances of gender.

I've previously presented conference/colloquium papers on Old English poetry (York University Interdisciplinary Conference), early modern stage technologies (Ridgeview Colloquium Series), and using drama to teach medieval studies to secondary schoolers (Kalamazoo International Congress on Medieval Studies).

Sean McPhail

Sean McPhailPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): The Great War, Twentieth Century British, Memoir and Autobiography
Supervisor: Garry Leonard

Sean's dissertation focusses on the relationship between kinship and commemoration in the war-poetry, memoirs, and autobiographies of Siegfried Sassoon. Other scholarly interests include twentieth-century German fiction and the short story.

List of Publications:

Dustin Meyer

Dustin MeyerPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Early modern drama; Shakespeare and his contemporaries; classical reception; Humanism; book history
Supervisor: Jeremy Lopez

Dustin Meyer's research examines questions of classical reception in early modern English drama. He is primarily focused on the ways in which Shakespeare's use of Roman authors was shaped, in part, by the wider diffusion of classical texts in England. His research touches on Humanist pedagogy, intertextuality, and the English book trade. He is also interested in Shakespeare's comparatively understudied contemporaries such as George Chapman and Thomas Heywood. Dustin is also the Rare Books Fellow at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies.

Ashley Caranto Morford

Ashley Caranto MorfordPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Anti-colonialism; Indigenous studies; Pilipinx studies; digital humanities
Supervisor: Alexandra Gillespie

Ashley Caranto Morford (she/her) is a Pinay-British scholar-activist. Her work is accountable to and in relationship with Indigenous studies, Pilipinx studies, anti-colonial methods and praxis, and digital humanities. Ashley is completing a SSHRC-funded doctoral thesis entitled Decolonial Routes through Ancestral Roots: Indigenous-Settler Pilipinx Solidarities (Re)Creating Digital and Land-Based Elsewheres. She is currently the research lead for the SSHRC-funded Twitter Collaboratory project, which runs out of Dr. Jeffrey Ansloos’ Indigenous Life Promotion and Social Action Network labs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is a co-instructor of the Pedagogy of the Digitally Oppressed: Anti-Colonial DH Critiques and Praxis course at DHSI, alongside colleagues Arun Jacob and Dr. Kush Patel; they have brought this course in diverse iterations to various digital humanities communities, including DH@Guelph, GlobalDH, HASTAC, and DHSI. She is also co-facilitating the 2019-2020 Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour Solidarities reading group, a partnership between emerging and established scholars and community activists at U of Toronto, Ryerson U, and Anakbayan Toronto.

List of Publications:


Aesha Nananso 

Aesha NanansoPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): African-American Literature; Black Feminist Thought; Slavery and Race; Popular Culture 

My research investigates the relationship between slavery, Black womanhood, and Black motherhood. I seek to uncover and theorize the complex histories of Black women in twentieth-century American neo-slave narratives to consider how Black women writers fostered important changes in the way they organized their resistance to racism and sexism, and redefined their roles at the end of the Civil Rights Movement and post-movement era.

Tracy O'Brien

Tracy O'BrienPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Early Modern Literature; Early Modern Women Writers; Linguistic Approaches to Literary Study; Book History & Print Culture 

MA (English), Memorial; MA, BA (Linguistics) Memorial

Sim Wee Ong

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Early Modern

Sim is a PhDU 1 student who intends to specialize in Early Modern English literature. She is keen on exploring curiosity, doubt and skepticism in the 16th and 17th Centuries, especially when expressed through interrogatives. She is also interested in epics (particularly that of Dante and Milton) and tragedy (Renaissance and beyond). She is from Singapore by way of New York, obtaining her BA in English and American Literature from New York University.

Julie Prior

Julie PriorPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Early modern drama, Shakespeare, eighteenth-century drama and literature
Supervisor: Jeremy Lopez

Julie Prior is a senior PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. Her SSHRC-funded doctoral research examines the intersection of culture, gender, and social (dis)enfranchisement in Shakespeare's plays, emphasizing how, through adaptation, theatre paves pathways for social change. Using the emergence of the actress on the English stage in 1660 as a starting point in connecting theatre to women's contributions to social justice, Julie's research positions The Taming of the Shrew as a guiding text for tracing the actress' representation of female agency in Renaissance, Restoration, and eighteenth-century plays.

Stephanie Redekop

Stephanie RedekopPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): 20th Century American Literature; Literary Nonfiction
Supervisor: Randy Boyagoda (supervisor), Andrea Most (co-supervisor)

Stephanie Redekop is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English and the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the relationship between the literary essay and public discourse in twentieth-century America, with an additional interest in religion and literature. She is a Junior Fellow at Massey College and the Co-Director of the American Literature Research Collaborative at the University of Toronto. She holds a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

List of Publications:

Michael Reid

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Eighteenth-century British literature
Supervisor: Simon Dickie

My dissertation project explores the literary culture of male homosexuality in eighteenth-century England.

Kimberly Rodda

Kimberly RoddaPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Victorian Literature and Religion
Supervisor: Cannon Schmitt

My dissertation examines representations of doubt in nineteenth-century women's writing, with chapters on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Alice Meynell, and Olive Schreiner. I am especially interested in the way doubt and form interact within the constraints of different literary genres.

Joel Rodgers

Joel RodgersPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Early modern poetry, politics, law
Supervisor: Paul Stevens

My dissertation examines the complex effects of early modern corporate culture on English literature at the turn of the seventeenth century, when modern conceptions of the corporation were first taking shape. I focus in the particular on the works of Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, and Jonson. My broader research interests include poetic, legal, and political conceptions of citizenship and the city; law and literature; early modern republicanism and nationalism; as well as early modern literature's reception in contemporary popular culture.

List of publications

Alexander Sarra-Davis

Alexander Sarra-DavisPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Global Anglophone Experimental Fiction
Supervisor: Neil ten Kortenaar

Alexander Sarra-Davis is a 4th-year PhD candidate currently completing the second chapter of his dissertation. He holds a BA Honours from the University of British Columbia, where he studied digital rhetoric under Professor Judy Segal, and an MPhil from Cambridge, where he wrote about the constrained literature of Twitter under the supervision of Dr Sarah Dillon.

His research interests lie in the adaptation of old ideas to new media as well as the ethics of representation. Alexander's undergraduate dissertation investigated the construction of a new kind of multi-subject ethos on Wikipedia, where thousands of contributors are self-policed to maintain a style of detachment. His master's dissertation explored the formal and historical connections between the French experimental group Oulipo and the surge of literary writing on Twitter in the early 2010s.

Alexander's current dissertation sits at the intersection of authorial intrusion, the ethics of readership, and the exploded identities of trans-national literature. His latest chapter is an investigation of how J. M. Coetzee may be inserting himself into his fiction to explore and deflect questions of representation and agency in postcolonial literature.

Jasleen Singh

Jasleen SinghPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): African American literature
Supervisor: Naomi Morgenstern

Jasleen Singh is a PhD student in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. Her primary research field is twentieth and twenty-first century African American literature, with additional interest in twentieth-century American literature and critical race theory. Her doctoral project investigates how we theorize humour and satire in American literature, and specifically in the African American canon. In her thesis, she seeks to identify the language and categories that will allow us to more fully understand the way satire—and humour more broadly—function in African American writing. Her research focuses on a range of black American writers (Paul Beatty, Zora Neale Hurston, Ishmael Reed, among others) and comedians such as Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle. In additional to receiving funding from the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), Jasleen is the recipient of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Top Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto.

Jasleen is also a Writing Centre consultant at the university’s Graduate Centre for Academic Communication (GCAC).
You can learn more about her role at GCAC here:

Laina Southgate

Laina SouthgatePhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Early Modern Literature

At the core of my research is an interest in the connection between literature and the development of national identity. I’m currently researching the influence of Shakespeare on Finnish literature during the National Romantic Movement in the 19th century. In terms of broad research themes, I am interested in Shakespeare Reception history, Early Modern and nineteenth century colonialism, National Romanticism, archipelagic studies, and Finnish translation.

Ryan Stafford

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Modernism
Supervisor: Dana Seitler

Interests: modernism, misanthropy, sound recording, un/popular music, Platonism, fascism, illiteracy, decadence, European languages.

Brandon Taylor

Brandon TaylorPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Ecocriticism
Supervisor: Andrea Most

My current line of research involves an ecocritical analysis of the Bildungsroman genre (primarily in British Literature, but also throughout North America and the world) as a means of unpacking and understanding the ways in which the idea of the self or the individual has been shaped and reshaped throughout literature.

List of Publications:

Christina Turner

Christina TurnerPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Indigenous literature, Canadian literature, law and literature
Supervisor: Smaro Kamboureli

My dissertation project examines how contemporary Indigenous writing published in Canada critiques Canadian legal definitions of Indigenous land rights.
I am also books editor at alternative Canadian online magazine

List of Publications:

Joel William Vaughan

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Eighteenth Century/Romantic British Print Cultures
Supervisor: Angela Esterhammer

My research seeks out the ways graphic design and print-processes influenced the composition and reception of Romantic texts, especially in the conventionally printed works of William Blake. I am currently completing a typographic facsimile of Blake's unpublished 1791 "French Revolution" on a Washington handpress, reproducing the steps involved in producing a Romantic publication so as to grapple with printing as an experiential, pedagogic activity. I am the Managing Editor of Book Arts Canada, and volunteer with Black Creek Pioneer Village's Victorian printing collection as a Restoration Assistant.

List of Publications

Walter Rafael Ramos Villanueva

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Canadian literature, disability studies

Katherine Walton

PhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Medieval

My area of interest concerns primarily medieval devotional literatures and the vernacularization of religioius thought in Europe and especially England during the later Middle Ages.
I have also worked in the field of art history, with visual arts produced during the second half of the twentieth century.

List of Publications:

Kelly Whitehead

Kelly WhiteheadPhD Candidate
Area of Specialization/Research Interest(s): Canadian literature, topics in psychoanalysis and memory studies
Supervisor: Smaro Kamboureli

Kelly Whitehead is interested in contemporary Canadian literature and topics in critical theory. Her dissertation considers the role of intergenerational memory in articulating collective trauma through Canadian women's writing. Focusing primarily on works by diasporic Canadian and Indigenous women, her work decenters the notion of a singular traumatic event to argue for an intergenerational understanding of trauma.

List of Publications:


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