Ph.D., University of Guelph
MA, University of Manitoba
B Ed., University of Manitoba
I completed a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Manitoba and taught high school for several years before returning the UM to undertake a Masters degree in Canadian literature. After finishing a PhD in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph (where I worked out of TransCanada Institute), I spent the last two years as a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto. My dissertation was on Mennonite writing in Canada as a case study in migration literature, and I spent my time at UT exploring the trope of diasporic return in novels by MG Vassanji, Neil Bissoondath, Lawrence Hill, and others. My primary research interests are in Canadian literature, ethnicity, migration and transnationalism, as well as in Mennonites studies. I am also interested in professional and institutional concerns surrounding Canadian literary studies. I’m thrilled to be joining the uWaterloo’s Department of English Language and Literature as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow for the next two years. I live in Guelph with my wife, our 4 year old daughter, and two year old twins.
Rewriting the Break Event: Mennonites & Migration in Canadian Literature. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2013.
Shifting the Ground of Canadian Literary Studies. Ed., with Smaro Kamboureli. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012.
“‘Some Great Crisis’: Vimy as Originary Violence.” Shifting the Ground of Canadian Literary Studies. Ed. Kamboureli and Zacharias. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012: 125-146.
“Cynicism and / as Academic Citizenship.” Ed. and Introduction (1-3). Readers’ Forum. English Studies in Canada 38.2 (June 2012): 1-24.
“The Death of the Graduate Student (and the Birth of the HQP).” Readers’ Forum. English Studies in Canada 37.1 (2011): 4-6.
“Citizens of the Exception: Obasan Meets Salt Fish Girl.” Narratives of Citizenship:
Indigenous and Diasporic Peoples Unsettle the Nation-State. Ed. Aloys N.M. Fleischmann, Nancy Van Styvendale, and Cody McCarroll. Edmonton: U of Alberta P, 2011: 3-24.
“A Desire for the Real: The Power of Film in The Englishman’s Boy.” Studies in Canadian Literature 34.2 (2009): 245-263.
Fellowships & Awards
2013 – 2015 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship
2011 – 2013 SSRHC Postdoctoral Fellowship University of Toronto, Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies
2006 - 2010 SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
2006 Ontario Graduate Scholarship
2005 - 2006 SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship
2004 - 2005 Manitoba Graduate Fellowship
At uWaterloo, I’ll be working with Winfied Siemerling on a project that will consider Mennonite writing in North America – one of the most prominent minority literatures in Canada with a long critical tradition of being understood in international terms – to explore what is at stake for Canadian literature in the rise of hemispheric studies. Given the overwhelming influence of the United States across the Americas, many Canadian critics have worried that Canadian context will be overshadowed in hemispheric studies. Is it true that Canadian cultural production will be lost in the shuffle of a hemispheric framework? Or will a careful consideration of how Canadian literature interacts with the culture and policies of other countries enable us to explore alternate cultural geographies across the hemisphere? In a period of rapid cultural, political, and economic change, tracing these larger networks of culture will help us better understand and respond to the possibilities—and the challenges—facing Canadian cultural production today.
PhD, York University
MA, York University
BA, Trent University
Nicholas Balaisis is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Critical Media Lab, in the Department of English Language and Literature. His current research explores the intersection of new media and materiality, such as the resurgence of maker culture and "making" as an ethos in digital culture. He is also looking at the impact of new media and digital technology on the contemporary cityscape and mapping the emergence of "networked publics." His previous research examined the rhetoric of media and technology in post-revolutionary Cuba and he has published widely in the fields of film, media, and cultural studies. His work can be found in Cinema Journal, Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Cineaction, and Public.
“Hacking as a Way of Life: ‘Makers’ and Creativity at the Margins of Digital Culture,” New Media and Society (in progress)
“Commodifying Urban ‘Grit’: The Industrial Aesthetic in the Media City,” ARCHITECTURE_ MPS: Journal of Architecture, Media, Politics, Society (under review)
“Modernization and Ambivalence in Octavio Cortázar’s Por primera vez,” Cinema Journal (forthcoming)
“Transporting Viewers Beyond “the Hoe and the Machete:” The Rhetoric of Mobility in Cuban Mobile Cinema,” Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies 4.1 (Spring, 2014)
“Cuba, Cinema, and the Post-Revolutionary Public Sphere,” Canadian Journal of Film Studies 19.2 (Fall 2010): 26-42.
“The Publicness of Melodrama in the Cuban Special Period,” Public 37 (Fall 2008): 48-56.
“The Risk of Ambiguity: Reconsidering Zavattini’s Film Ethics,” Cineaction 72 (2007): 42-45.
“Aural Dialectics and Revolutionary Media,” in Film Music and National Cinemas, Ed. Germán Gil-Curiel, (forthcoming, Bloomsbury Press, 2014)
“The School for Every World: Internationalism and Residual Socialism at EICTV,” in The Education of the Filmmaker: Views from Around the World, Ed. Mette Hjort. London: Palgrave Press, 2013
2013 SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Waterloo
2008 Michael Baptista Essay Prize for outstanding scholarly paper in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, York University
2008 Ioan Davies Memorial Scholarship for outstanding research in Politics, Aesthetics and Global Culture, York University
2003-2006 Ontario Graduate Scholarships