David Thiessen

Educational Developer, Curriculum & Quality Enhancement
David Thiessen

Email: david.thiessen@uwaterloo.ca
Office: EC3 2012L
Pronouns: he/him

As Educational Developer, Curriculum & Quality Enhancement, Dr. David Thiessen provides support for departmental and Faculty-wide curriculum initiatives, with an emphasis on quality enhancement through support of program review, accreditation, and new program proposals.

Prior to joining CTE, David taught courses on Tolkien, Arthurian Legend, and writing for the Academy at Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Waterloo. David holds a PhD in English Literature and his research focuses on the intersections between linguistics and the interpretative role of the body in late Middle English Literature.

Originally from the living skies of Saskatchewan, David enjoys hiking, canoeing and wandering Canada’s wild places whenever he can.


  • Thiessen, David. “A Baggins Back Yard: Environmentalism, Authorship and the Elves in Tolkien’s Legendarium.” The Hobbit and Tolkien’s Mythology: Essays on Revisions and Influences. Ed. Bradford Lee Eden. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014.

Conferences and Invited Presentations

  •  “Phantoms of the Mind: Embodiment and Subjectivity in The House of Fame.” University of Victoria. Canadian Society of Medievalists Congress. Victoria, BC. 3 June 2013. Conference Paper.
  •  “The Shape of a Mind: Medieval Psychology and Embodied Cognition in Chaucer’s The House of Fame.” Wilfrid Laurier University. Canadian Society of Medievalists Congress. Waterloo, ON. 27 May 2012. Conference Paper.
  • “Medieval Mind-Scapes: The Psychology of Space in the Late Middle Ages.” Wilfrid Laurier University. 12th Annual WLU Medieval Colloquium. Waterloo, ON. 30 October 2012. Conference Paper.
  • “Tolkien’s Environmentalism: The Nature of the Elves and the Interdependence of Myth and the Environment.” Wilfrid Laurier University. 11th Annual WLU Medieval Colloquium. Waterloo, ON. 12 March 2011. Keynote Address.

Grant and Awards

  • CGS SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship (PhD) – 2012-15
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (PhD) – 2011, 2015-16
  • President’s Graduate Scholarship, University of Waterloo – 2010, 2014-15
  • SSHRC Joseph-Armand-Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (MA) – 2010
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (MA) - declined – 2010