This page lists the current graduate students. For a list of previous years, see Our PhD Graduates.
Becky Anderson, BA (English; French Studies, Waterloo), MA (Literary Studies, Waterloo) is a third-year PhD Candidate at UWaterloo, where she’s also pursuing a concurrent Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Science. Her research interests include new media art, fandom studies, community formation, transmedial adaptation theory, and fantasy literature. Funded by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, her dissertation examines how virtual communities are created in massively multi-player online role-playing games and explores what kinds of self-construction emerge in these digital locales and how such self-construction reciprocally affects the living culture of the game. She’s a researcher and Graphic Artist at The Games Institute, an Associate Editor at First Person Scholar, and takes pride in being a professional procrastibaker.
Office: PAS 1232
Shereena R. Aruldason- H.BA (University of Toronto) and MA (York University) is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo whose research examines the potency of early modern women’s domestic manuscript writings as a social networking tool in England from 1590-1660. Focusing on recipe books, herbal and medical texts, religious writings and mother’s advice books, Shereena’s doctoral project will examine the importance manuscript culture played in the cannon of early modern women’s writing. Influenced by the theories of pragmatic language use, spatial production and practice developed by Pierre Bourdieu, Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau, she is interested in such questions as; what are the circumstances under which women are producing these documents? How are manuscripts read and interpreted within the period? What impact do they have on a contemporary understanding of early modern women’s writing? Her dissertation will explore ways in which early modern women writers were able to create literary positions for themselves within social domains previously dominated by men, complicating the understanding of writing within the public and private domain.
Office: PAS 1062
Lacey Beer, Honours BA (WLU, 2010) and MA (uWaterloo, 2011) has previously held both Master’s and doctoral Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS). She is currently specializing in Composition Theory and Pedagogy. Her dissertation explores the intersections between translingualism and technology. More specifically, her work looks at how composing platforms surveil and constrain the languages and discourses available to student writers. Her critique of existing composing platforms and their impact on translingual teaching and learning emerges out of an ethnographic study on the composing processes of students in ENGL 109: Introduction to Academic Writing.
Office: PAS 2224
Sally Bernadette Beresford, Hon BA (English Literature; History; Philosophy, Redeemer University), Certificate de Langue Française (Sorbonne University), MA (English, University of Waterloo) is a first year PhD student in English Literature and Language at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests are on twentieth century British detective fiction, specifically by women authors Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie. Her dissertation will address how these Golden Age ‘whodunit’ stories of middle-brow fiction explore ideas of social change and gender expectations in the fluctuating ideologies of the inter-war years.
Office: SCH 227
Clare Bermingham, Honours BA (Waterloo), is a doctoral candidate whose research focuses on American queer literature and print culture. Her dissertation examines the affective and discursive construction of lesbian identity and community through literary and political discourse in the pre-Stonewall magazine, The Ladder, a project that was generously funded through a Doctoral Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS). Clare’s primary research interests are in affect, gender, and queer theory, as well as discourses of marginalization and resistance.
In addition to her doctoral study, Clare is the Director of the Writing and Communication Centre at the University of Waterloo, where she engages in projects related to Writing Centre programming, and writerly identity and self-efficacy.
Betsy Brey (BA and MA, University of Minnesota Duluth) is a PhD candidate specializing in game studies. Her research focuses on the intersections of narratological structure, social context, and gameplay. In particular, she's interested in how players understand and interpret narrative forms in role-playing games and metagames. Her work is inspired by intersectional feminism, knowledge mobilization, and accessible scholarship. Her research and projects have been supported through the ReFig grant, the IMMERSe research network, a Mitacs partnership, and The Games Institute. She is the Editor-in-Chief for First Person Scholar. Her writing has been featured in The Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric, as well as in several book chapters on player control, storytelling, and agency in games.
Office: HH 261
Christopher Cameron is a first year PhD candidate. He completed his BA and MA at the University of Windsor. Areas of research interest include Tolkien studies, constructions of national identity, walking literature, and Renaissance drama.
Justin Carpenter, BA (Calgary), MA (Leeds), is a PhD candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo, focusing on aesthetics, philosophy of technology, and new media art. His dissertation, supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, contributes to the field of critical game studies as well, in particular discussing procedurally generated virtual worlds and how such play experiences challenge our notion of what it means when a text has "meaning" and how players can enact an "embodied" game criticism, which involves selecting theoretical positions, interpreting them, and playing them out through your in-game avatar as a form of "meta-gaming". Justin is the Book Reviews and Interviews Section Head for First Person Scholar, a member of the Generative Gaming Group at the Games Institute, and an award-winning poet. Justin is the winner of both the David Nimmo English Graduate Scholarship (2016/17) and the Graduate Poetry Award (2015/16) at University of Waterloo.
Office: PAS 2216
Keely Cronin, B.A (Concordia University of Edmonton) and M.A (Queens) is a PhD candidate studying representations of Canadian immigrant narratives on the popular CBC program "Canada Reads," as well as the #CanadaReads community that has developed on Twitter. She is currently writing her dissertation while also working as a Senior MBA Career Advisor at the University of Alberta. She can be reached at email@example.com
Office: PAS 1065
Morteza Dehghani is in his last year writing a dissertation which explores the aesthetics of elegiac essayistic cinema. His work addresses the question of the elegy and the ways in which it is reflected in personal/subjective essayistic films, investigating the dialogue between these two seemingly different art forms and probing the dynamics dominating films by Wim Wenders, Alexander Sokurov and Laurie Anderson. Taking his cue from Robert Hass who says “All the new thinking is about loss/In this it resembles all the old thinking” and “a word is elegy to what it signifies”, Morteza draws on and brings together poet-critics, filmmaker-critics and philosophers to meditate, in essay form, on the elegy and the elegiac and the ways in which they translate into essay films.
Evelyn Deshane's creative and nonfiction work has appeared in The Atlantic’s tech channel, Plenitude Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, StrangeHorizons, Lackington's, and Bitch Magazine, among other publications. Evelyn (pron. Eve-a-lyn) received an MA from Trent University’s Public Texts Program after completing a Gender Studies and English Literature BAH at Trent years earlier. Evelyn’s current dissertation examines adapting transgender narratives from medical texts, memoirs, and novels to film and other digital media.
Jennifer Doyle, BA (Mount Allison University), BFA (Mount Allison University), BEd (Memorial University), MA (Wilfrid Laurier University), has research interests that include ecocriticism, American Literature, psychoanalysis, and concepts of place and being. She has just begun work on her dissertation.
Judy Ehrentraut , B.A. (University of Toronto), M.A. (Carleton University) is a PhD candidate specializing in digital humanities, new media and games studies. Her research interests include agency and identity in role-playing games, immersion and interactivity, spatial theory, cybercultures, and utopian/dystopian themes in games and literature. She is particularly interested in avatars and player representation in simulated realities, and how those realities are modeled to challenge current social and political issues globally. As a member of the Games Institute, one of her current projects is the development of a generative narratology application for in-game communication and storytelling.member of the Games Institute, one of her current projects is the development of a generative narratology application for in-game communication and storytelling.
William Fast is a PhD candidate who studies modern videogame-based iterations of Victorian England. He is particularly interested in better understanding historical games' abilities to productively revise and recreate elements of the past. His current research investigates the representation of women in neo-Victorian games and their basis in the fiction of the nineteenth century. He is a member of the University of Waterloo's Games Institute as well as an editor at First Person Scholar.
Office: PAS 2213
Sara Gallagher (B.A. Hons, Trent; M.A. Public Texts, Trent) is a fourth-year PhD Candidate who specializes in American literary regionalism and print cultures, African American literature, place studies, and digital activism. Her dissertation examines the roots of the African American West in specific regions and cultures (for example, nineteenth-century San Francisco) in order to gather a more nuanced picture of how this space has evolved into contemporary conceptualizations in literature, cinema, and other media cultures. Her research has been generously-funded by Ontario Graduate Scholarships.
Office: HH 261
Kyle Gerber, BA (Laurier) MA (Waterloo) BEd (Laurier), is a PhD candidate in the department of English Language and Literature. He is working under the supervision of Dr. Randy Harris on a dissertation titled "Figures of Forgiveness: Rhetorical Foundations of the Mennonite Ethos of Forgiveness." Kyle is a recipient of the W. K. Thomas Graduate Scholarship, several Ontario Graduate Scholarships, and is the grateful recipient of a recent SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship. He enjoys teaching, and has several nominations for the TA Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is interested in rhetoric (especially Burkean) and understandings of forgiveness, as well as Canadian Literature (especially “Mennonite” writing): the question at the nexus of these interests is “what action do we symbolize when we say ‘I forgive’?” In particular, his interest has broadened to include figuration, so a central question he is pursuing is "what rhetorical figures cluster around statements of forgiveness?" When not taking up space on campus, Kyle enjoys working with his wife Tracy on their old stone house, and moonlighting as a mandolin player in his side-hustle bluegrass band.
Chris Giannakopoulos (BA, MA Waterloo) is currently in his first year of doctoral studies, specializing in rhetoric and contemporary poetry. In his research, Chris investigates the rhetorics of representation, figuration, resistance, and irreducibility in the poetry and poetics of Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, and Don Paterson. In addition to his research, Chris has interests in architecture, gastronomy, and the collected works of Roland Barthes.
Office: PAS 2218
Ian Gibson, BAH (Queen's), MA (Trent), is a second-year PhD candidate in the department of English Language and Literature. He has research interests in literary theory, in 19th and 20th century American literature and theology, and in just about any form of dialogue between literature and philosophy. His dissertation is an attempt to develop a claim about the nature of experience in the American poet Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss.
Some other interests include: the Frankfurt School (specifically Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno), philosophy of language, theology, existentialism, rhetoric, imagination, and cognitive science. And less literary/philosophical: climbing, running, camping, horror movies, video games, cartoons, and playing the drums.
Vanya Rachel Gnaniah completed her masters in English Studies at IIT-Madras, India. She was also an Erasmus Mundus scholar in the IBIES (Interdisciplinary Bridges for Indo-European Studies) programme at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her research interests include Apocalyptic Literature, Eco-criticism, Animal Studies and Digital Media Studies. She is currently exploring the connections between Heidegger’s theory on boredom and animal videos on social media.
Amna Haider is a third-year PhD student with two MPhil degrees in English Literature from University of Bristol, UK and Government College University, Pakistan. Her University of Bristol MPhil thesis, titled "Memory Remains: Dialectics of Gothic and Trauma, Hauntology and Narratology in Pat Barker's Historical War Novels" focused on the role and the purpose of the Gothic in the writing of war trauma in Pat Barker's historical novels. It evaluated the Gothic's particular effect in disturbing and destabilizing narrative constructions and historical representations to provide alternate discourses of understanding and perceiving trauma. It located and examined the lacunae present in the narrativization of history and analyzed how Barker's manipulation of the Gothic tropes deconstructs public history by privileging personal histories of traumatic estrangement and liminality. In her PhD dissertation she hopes to further her research into trauma theory and narrativization of history by focusing on African-American theater. She has publications on War trauma in Gothic Studies and War, Literature and the Arts journals.
Office: HH 261
Nicholas Hobin, BA (King's University College at WU) and MA (University of Waterloo), is a first-year PhD student curious about video games, narratology, Lovecraftian horror, and Shakespeare. He is currently pursuing questions about the figurative and narrative roles of space in virtual worlds, while considering broader questions of how video games manifest processes of conceptualization.
Office: PAS 1284
Mohsen Hosseini, BA and MA in English Literature (Shiraz University, Iran), is a third-year PhD candidate. For his master's degree, he worked on Gothic sublimity and the role of supernatural and superstition in ballads and romances of Coleridge and Keats. He has shifted to American Gothic since he chose American Literature as his primary area of study for the doctoral program. He is interested in Freud’s concept of “the uncanny” and its relationship to horror fiction.
Office: PAS 2213
Ashley Irwin, BA and MA (University of Guelph), is a third year PhD Candidate at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests include discourse analysis, gender and sexuality, critical race theory, Black Canadian literature and history, and literary theory. Her dissertation analyzes the discourse used in Canadian news media sources to marginalize anti-racist activism when framing instances of Black Canadian uprising. Ashley published an article in Borders Undergraduate Arts Research Journal entitled “Grieving the Ungrievable: Negation and Recognition in Execution Poems” (2012) and was nominated for the Associate VP Academic Teaching Assistant Award of Excellence (2014). She is the winner of the Lea Vogel-Nimmo English Graduate Professionalization Award (2017), the Arts Senate Award (2017), and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2017).
Office: PAS 2218
Zahra Jafari, B.A and M.A (University of Isfahan), M.A (UWaterloo), is a second year PhD Candidate in the department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. Her interests include rhetoric, women studies, Shakespeare, metaphor studies, film studies and audiovisual translation.
Office: HH 261
Monique Kampherm, BA Administrative and Commercial Studies – Public Administration, Public Policy, and Political Science (Western University), MA Political Science (Western University), MA Multimedia Journalism – Television, Radio, and Online (Bournemouth University, England, UK), MA English – Rhetoric and Communication Design (University of Waterloo), is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Waterloo.
In combination with her diverse educational background, Monique’s past professional experiences as a policy advisor for the infrastructure and realty arm of the Government of Ontario, journalistic experience with Sky News Business and BBC Watchdog in England, and educational experience as a course director in the Writing Department at York University, partial-load professor in English at Seneca College, and partial-load professor in English at Sheridan, have helped shape her research interests.
Monique’s doctoral research focuses on rhetoric, digital media, and democratic engagement. She is examining the rhetorical influence of social networking in persuading democratic participation during elections.
Chitra Karki is first year PhD student, Department of English Language and Literature. He received an MA in English Language and Literature in 2002 from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and an MA in Rhetoric and Communication Design in 2015 from the University of Waterloo. His research interests are: Critical Race Theoretical Praxis, African American Rhetoric, Critical Pedagogy, Postcolonial Studies, Nuances in South Asian Diaspora(s) and Critical Sociolinguistic.
Somayeh (Sam) Kiani
Office: PAS 2215
Sam Kiani completed her BA and MA in English Literature in Iran. She is currently working on her PhD dissertation under the supervision of Dr. Heather Smyth. Her research focuses on the dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, and diaspora in Anglophone Caribbean literature. Her interests include postcolonialism, Caribbean Literature, Diaspora studies, and women's writing.
Jin Sol Kim
Jin Sol Kim is a first-year PhD candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo, with a BA (Honours English Literature and Rhetoric, Minor Speech Communication) and MA (Rhetoric and Communication Design) from the University of Waterloo. Her areas of research include contemporary rhetoric and composition, digital media studies, visual rhetoric and photography studies, and the rhetoric of dissent. Her dissertation will focus on digital media and marginality to consider how the underlying politics of digital technologies work to perpetuate and reinforce current systems of oppression.
During my undergraduate studies at Carleton I double majored in English Literature and Linguistics, and played a lot of video games. During my Masters in English Literature at Carleton I specialized in science fiction and dystopia, and played a lot of video games. At some point I realized that I ought to combine these interests.
Video games are everywhere now: in books, in film, on your TV, on your phone, in the classroom, in the workplace. I want to make sense of their impact on our lives. People today spend as much time playing games as they might have spent reading books fifty years ago. How does that restructure our cognition? McKenzie Wark summarizes that “Games are no longer a pastime, outside or alongside of life. They are now the very form of life, and death, and time itself." So "play" isn't just about play anymore. Play has become work.
I believe that it's essential to understand how we are using what we learn in games to approach challenges in our real lives. To plead ignorance is to allow external forces to co-opt those influences and manipulate them in their favour. Nick Dyer-Witheford and Grieg de Peuter warn that "video games are a paradigmatic media of empire." To this I ask: what is our alternative? How can we take this cognitive capital back from the gamified office and leverage it positively? Big questions. I can't answer them on my own. That's why I'm here at the University of Waterloo.
Tommy Mayberry is a PhD candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature. He holds a Joint Honours BA in English Literature and Fine Arts: Studio Specialization (with Dean’s Honours) from the University of Waterloo and an MA in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University. He has been the recipient of two Ontario Graduate Scholarships and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) Doctoral Fellowship, and he also was one of the recipients of the 2015 Amit & Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student. His research-creation dissertation, “Gods and Monsters: William Blake’s Drag/Trans- Bodies,” focuses on Romantic Period and contemporary transgender visual culture as he “drags up” his academic writing to embody his research.
In addition to his doctoral study, Tommy is also an Educational Developer in Open Learning and Educational Support (OpenEd) at the University of Guelph. He is also the Associate Director for the Science Library Project at the University of Pittsburgh with Dr. Sarah Ruffell, and together, they have been awarded an Innovation in Education Award from the University of Pittsburgh’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE) for their writing and multimodal communication science assessment project.
Lindsay Meaning is a PhD student in the English department of the University of Waterloo. She previously studied English Literature at Wilfrid Laurier University, and completed a Master’s in Experimental Digital Media at Waterloo. Her research lies in the field of Game Studies, focusing on representations of imperial ideologies and colonial practices in strategy and role-playing video games. Further interests include digital life writing, fan communities, and Victorian women’s writing.
Office: PAS 1061
Philip Miletic is a PhD Candidate whose research fields include twentieth-century American literature, media studies, and digital life writing. His Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship funded dissertation, "Only Connect: The Virtual Communities of Gertrude Stein and David Foster Wallace," is a comparative study that examines Stein's engagement with radio and Wallace's engagement with the Internet, and the autobiographical practices this engagement elicits from readers.
He has published and presented papers on Octavia Butler, online reading groups or events (such as Canada Reads, #occupygaddis, and Infinite Summer), Wallace, and Stein. With Stephen Trothen, he created a radio installation that presents several readers reading from Gertrude Stein's *Everybody's Autobiography* (you can see a video and read about it here.
Recently, he has worked for the middle-state game studies publication, First Person Scholar, as the Associate Editor of the Commentaries section and as Section Editor of Book Reviews. He is also the author of three poetry chapbooks: "marginal prints" (above/ground press), "mother2earth" (wordsonpages press), and with Craig Dodman "World 1-1" (poetry will be made by all!).
Diana Moreno Ojeda
Devon Moriarty completed her BA (Psychology) and MA (English, Rhetoric and Communication Design) at the University of Waterloo. She is now a third-year PhD student (English, Rhetoric) pursuing a concurrent Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Science, and is the recipient of a UW Provost Graduate Scholarship (2015-2016), a Jack Grey Fellowship Award (2016-2017), and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2017-2018). Devon is investigating the political implications of the rhetoric of popular culture, and specifically how viral artifacts curated by social voting communities such as Reddit, can influence Canadian ideologies, and promote rhetorical citizenship via public deliberation and civic engagement. She is working to find ways to leverage virality in these established, democratically-oriented online communities to the benefit of a more inclusive democracy in Canada where citizens can participate meaningfully in political life by capitalizing on the affordances of virtual platforms.
R. Travis Morton is a game studies scholar pursuing his PhD at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, studying collective identity-building online through ostention and legend-tripping. He is also an online journalist, writing articles for Lost Hemisphere and other online periodicals.
Dhruba Neupane I am a PhD candidate writing my dissertation that explores translingual-transliterate practices of a South Asian immigrant population in Southern Ontario. Drawing primarily on immigrants’ own literacy practices and on new literacy and composition studies, postcolonial theories, transnational and diaspora studies, with a special attention to non-western rhetorical traditions and communicative practices, this study will expose various strategies, often unnoticed or elided in academia, that immigrant writers adopt as they participate in and challenge the standard literacy.
I have my MA from University of Louisville, where I took courses in Rhetoric and Composition that I developed into my current study and research. I have presented in Conference on College Composition and Communication, Watson Conference, and a few others. In addition to writing dissertation, I am teaching undergraduate courses at uWaterloo’s English, and writing papers. One such paper titled “The Net Work of Diaspora Network as a Learning Community” looks at how labor and victim diasporic subjects teach themselves, making unique choices and challenging established codes, primarily from their exposure to social media. My upcoming presentation at 4Cs titled “The Importance of not Meaning: Linguistic Others and a Critique of Intention” reevaluates existing understandings of agency in writing studies to include a complex site of agency—from the other of linguistic others.
Interests: Trasnation, Translation, Translanguage; Diaspora, Immigration; Literacy, Rhetoric and Writing Studies; Postcolonial Studies; Body, Affect and Lifewriting; Ethics and Politics of Representation; Practice and Agency
If you have questions about my experiences at uWaterloo’s English (as an international student), and if you are interested in collaborating on book projects, online journals, and sharing ideas, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Office: PAS 1238
Graeme Northcote, homo sapien sapien (occasionally living up to the name), BA Honours (English and Philosophy, University of Guelph), MA (North American Literature, the University of Guelph), is a second-year PhD student here at the University of Waterloo, with a dual specialty in rhetoric and media studies. When he isn’t referring to himself in the third person, he is working to apply ecocritical and semiotic systems of analysis to discussions of modern technostructures. His research aims to explore the mythological rhetoric of communication and transportation infrastructures.
Specifically, he seeks to critically engage with how these technologies operate as highly concentrated symbolic matrices that encode powerful and pervasive cultural narratives of what it means to be human and our place in relation to non-human animals and the rest of the living world.
Office: HH 261
Patricia Ofili, MA, Rhetoric and Communication Design, (Waterloo, Canada), MA, English Language, (Unilag, Lagos, Nigeria), Masters in Public Admin, (LASU, Lagos, Nigeria), and BA, (English, Ekpoma, Nigeria). Recipient 2011 CIGI (Center for International governance Innovation) Graduate Research Grant, with a publication on the rhetorical/language dimensions of conflict on CIGI website. Her research interests include rhetoric of conflict/conflict resolution, and the examination of rhetoric as a tool for interrogating ideologies surrounding politics, gender, race and culture in literature, films, folktales and socio-political interactions. Her doctoral project will study Mandela’s subtle rhetoric as a peculiar cross between Augustinian and Quintilian rhetorical models, the framing and reframing of his identity over the decades, and his strategic employment of legal logic to unsettle apartheid ideologies.
Office: PAS 1064
Meredith Powell, BA (Wilfrid Laurier University) and MA (Wilfrid Laurier University), has research interests in gender studies, digital media theory and design, and post-colonial theory and literature. Her Ph.D. dissertation research embraces all three areas in a study of children and digital technologies.
Jay Rawding, BA (University of New Brunswick, Saint John) and MA (University of Toronto), has interests in Canadian literature and ecocriticism. His research analyzes existing literary works that have originated from, and are about, northern Alberta. By studying how the land, history, and culture have previously been represented in texts, he establishes connections with contemporary narratives that characterize this highly contested region. Other interests include romanticism, postcolonial literature, and American literature.
Meghan K. Riley (BA and MA, University of Michigan-Flint) is a doctoral candidate studying the ways in which writers of colour in speculative fiction represent the tensions between essentialism and hybridity, as well as how the reading and watching of speculative fiction can be utilized to improve the ways secondary and postsecondary students and instructors can think and talk about race and gender together. Currently her research projects include an article on depictions of race, gender, and reproduction in shows such as Star Trek, Continuum, and Orphan Black, and an article on the relevance of fMRIs on postpartum depressed women and men to provide a model for feminist science. Meghan's research has been generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Scholarship and Ontario Graduate Scholarship.
Meghan's research interests and career trajectories have been influenced by her secondary school and adult education teaching history. At the University of Waterloo, Meghan has continued to engage with student-centred learning and student services through employment at the Student Success Office and Centre for Teaching Excellence, and through founding a teaching support network for English grad students: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ENGLteachingnetwork/
Office: HH 261
Samuel Rowland (BA, MA Trent University), is a PhD Candidate in English Literature at the University of Waterloo. His Doctoral research examines how the senses figure into African-American literature that came out of Harlem in the 1940s and 50s, and specifically the ways that smell, sight, and sound informed African-American identity and the construction of racial difference. His other research interests include transgressive fiction, synaesthesia narratives in Young Adult novels, and historical video games that rewrite and play with history.
Office: PAS 1238
Douglas Sikkema, BA (Redeemer University College), MA (University of Ottawa), BEd (University of Toronto), is currently doing work in 20th century American literature and ecocriticism. His work explores the idea of "disenchantment" and how this has affected the way we think about (and use) language, how we understand the human mind and consciousness, and how we live on the earth. Doug is using the poetry of Christian Wiman and the prose of Wendell Berry and Marilynne Robinson to explore just how the "disenchantment" narrative is breaking down and new avenues are being opened up. Doug has written book chapters on Wendell Berry and Wallace Stegner and on ecocriticism and enchantment.
In addition to his research, Doug has a passion for editing and public policy research. He has published research on health care and education in Ontario and Canada and continues to explore arguments that bolster the institutions that mediate the individual from the State and the Economy.
Christin Taylor, MFA (Antioch University of Los Angeles), BA (Indiana Wesleyan University), is interested in the way identity development theory informs the teaching of composition, as well as exploring how composition studies can best serve transcultural and translingual students in the composition classroom.
David Thiessen, BA and MA (Waterloo), is interested in the intersections between neuroaesethetics, the interpretive role of the body in cognition, and late medieval artifacts and Middle English Literature. His research focuses on the medical, theological, and psychological models of subjectivity employed by late medieval authors and readers to better understand the process of linguistic interpretation in the period. He is currently preparing to defend his dissertation.
Masa Torbica completed her BA (Criminal Justice and Public Policy;English) and MA (English and Theatre Studies) at the University of Guelph. She is currently in her third year of the PhD program, specializing in Canadian literature and the history of rhetoric.
Strongly influenced by her interdisciplinary academic training, her dissertation examines affordances for decolonizing communication within contemporary Canadian society (specifically focusing on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and the Idle No More movement). Her research is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Jessica Van De Kemp
Office: PAS 2216
Jessica Van de Kemp, BA (St. Jerome’s), B.Ed (Western), MA (Waterloo), is a fourth-year PhD Candidate specializing in rhetoric and media war. Her research interests include adaptation theory, information warfare, television studies, and visual rhetoric. Funded by several Ontario Graduate Scholarships, her dissertation examines how Internet culture is depicted in American crime-drama television series, and explores how these depictions of cybercrime, online identity, and the virtual world model violence against women. A member of the Ontario College of Teachers, Jessica’s passion for pedagogy has been recognized with three Awards for Excellence in Teaching. A member of the South Simcoe Arts Council, she is a talented public speaker, an emerging playwright, and the author of the poetry chapbooks Daughters in the Dead Land (Kelsay Books, 2017) and Spirit Light (The Steel Chisel, 2015).
Office: PAS 1238
Elise Vist, (BA, MA English, Carleton University) is a PhD candidate studying queer fans and their relationships to each other and their fandoms. Her research is grounded in contemporary feminisms, queer theory and queer phenomenology, as well as fan studies and literary theory, but is most importantly ethnomethodological. She has written about queer games, queerbaiting, and immersion, and is currently researching fanfiction about hockey players (Hockey RPF).
Office: PAS 1238
Emma Vossen, BA and MA (Carleton University) is a PhD Candidate specializing in the representation and treatment of marginalized people in games and games culture. She is the retired editor-in-cheif of FirstPersonScholar.com and co-founder of the Games Institute Janes (GI Janes) an organization looking to bring those who identify as women together to play and talk about games in safe and supportive environments.
She has published research about topics varying from Joe Shuster's fetish art, to The Walking Dead, to Fifty Shades of Grey, to harassment and consent in game play practices. She is the co-editor and co-author of the upcoming volume "Women in Games, Feminism in Play," to be published in the spring of 2018."
Office: HH 261
Hannah Watts is a first year PhD candidate in English Literature focussing on modern and contemporary North American poetry and disability studies. She received her BA Hons. and MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor, with a minor in Classical Studies.
Office: Pas 1238
Benjamin Woodford, BA Dalhousie University, MA Queen’s University, PhD (History) University of Cambridge, UK, is a fourth-year PhD student at the University of Waterloo. He is interested in seventeenth-century British literature, especially the prose and poetry of John Milton. His research centres on Milton’s understanding of freedom, particularly the difference between political and religious freedom. His first monograph, Perceptions of a Monarchy without a King, was published with McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2013. He has also published several journal articles on seventeenth-century literature, culture, and history.
Office: PAS 1061
John Yoon (BA Honors English, Alberta), MA (Literary studies, Waterloo) is a first year PhD candidate at Waterloo. His research interests include narratology, the narrative of sports, eSports, online gaming culture, and digital media studies. His dissertation will examine the narrative structure of traditional sporting broadcasts and of online eSports leagues. John is a member of the Games Institute and a copy editor at First Person Scholar. And in his free time, John enjoys cooking.