Heather Love

Assistant Professor

Photo of Heather Love.
PhD, Indiana University
MA, Queen’s University
BA, University of Victoria
​BMus, University of Victoria

Extension: 42555
Email: heather.love@uwaterloo.ca


I grew up in a small B.C. town on the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, completed a BA in English and BMus in Piano Performance on the west coast (at the University of Victoria), and then moved east for my graduate work in English (MA, Queen’s University; PhD, Indiana University). I then worked for three years as Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where my teaching ranged from courses on American literary history, early twentieth-century American and transatlantic modernism, literature and science, and introductory composition. In July 2018, I joined the University of Waterloo’s English faculty.

Because I embrace interdisciplinary approaches to literary scholarship, my research and teaching often bring literature into dialogue with ideas from fields like science and technology studies, the medical humanities, and sustainability. My first book project looks at the ways in which experimental modernist literature constitutes a cultural precursor to the technical and mathematical disciplines of information management that emerged during World War II; I have collaborated with faculty from medical programs to create courses that help future practitioners account for narrative elements of health and illness; and when I teach writing to students across different disciplines—particularly the sciences—I draw from my years of non-academic work experience developing public interpretive programs for Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks and writing scripts for the Indiana Public Media radio show “A Moment of Science.”

Beyond the classroom, I am committed to advocating for the importance of humanities perspectives in contexts often dominated by scientific, applied, or technical approaches—such as the world of engineering. To this end, I have been affiliated with the IEEE’s Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) since 2014 in a variety of capacities that range from organizing conferences to guest editing special issues of the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine. I also edit the organization’s monthly newsletter and was elected to a three-year term on the SSIT Board of Governors beginning January 2018.

Selected Publications

“The Cluster as Interpretive Gesture.” thresholds, vol. 2, March 2018, http://openthresholds.org/2/clusterasinterpretivegesture

“The Ikehara Correspondence: Norbert Wiener’s Japan Connections.” IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, June 2017, pp. 44-49, doi: 10.1109/MTS.2017.2697062, http://technologyandsociety.org/the-ikehara-collection-norbert-wieners-japan-connections/

“Speaking Out Against Socially Destructive Technologies: Norbert Wiener and the Call for Ethical Engagement.” Co-authored with Katina Michael and Judy Wajcman. Guest Editorial for IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, June 2017, pp. 13-17, 26, doi: 10.1109/MTS.2017.2705779, http://technologyandsociety.org/speaking-out-against-socially-destructive-technologies/

 “Novels, Newsreels, and Cybernetics: Reading the Random Patterns of John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 40, no. 2, 2017, pp. 112-131, doi: 10.2979/jmodelite.40.2.07

“Cybernetic Modernism and the Feedback Loop: Ezra Pound’s Poetics of Transmission.” Modernism/modernity, vol. 23, no. 1, 2016, pp. 89-111, doi: 10/1353/mod.2016.0020

 “Guest Editorial: 21CW: Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century.” Coauthored with Phillip Hall and Shiro Uesugi. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, vol. 34, no. 3, 2015, pp. 33-34, doi: 10.1109/MTS.2015.2461174, http://technologyandsociety.org/21cw-norbert-wiener-in-the-21st-century/

Fellowships & Awards

  • Keats and Shelley Association of America “Romantic Bicentennials” Grant and South Dakota Humanities Council Grant (to fund the University of South Dakota’s Frankenstein 200! Symposium), with Dr. Lisa Ann Robertson, 2017.
  • College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum Transformation Grant (to enhance Diversity Across the Curriculum), University of South Dakota, 2015, 2017
  • Center for Teaching and Learning Grant (competitive funding to bring speakers to campus), University of South Dakota, 2015 & 2017

Current Research

My research focuses on early twentieth-century American and transatlantic modernism, and I emphasize cross-disciplinary connections between literature and technology. I am currently completing a book titled Cybernetic Aesthetics: Modernism’s Networks of Information and Data. The project bridges a range of fields, including modernist literature, media studies, and the history of science and technology, to contend that early twentieth-century experimental works by modernist authors like Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, Sophie Treadwell, and James Joyce resonate with—and often prefigure—the technological discourses of information management that became codified as “cybernetics” following World War II. Articles based on this book have appeared or are forthcoming in Modernism/modernity, the Journal of Modern Literature, and the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.

More recently, I have begun new research towards a project focused on modernist literature’s engagements with twentieth-century medical technology. I am particularly interested in the ways that authors incorporate references to medical innovation in order to show how these scientific discourses are implicated in hierarchies of race, gender, and ability.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

  • Twentieth-century literature
  • American and transatlantic modernism
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to literary study
  • Literature, science, and technology
  • Literature and medicine/medical humanities