Jessica Van de Kemp

Sessional Lecturer

Photo of Jessica Van de Kemp.
PhD, University of Waterloo
MA, University of Waterloo
B. Ed, Western University
BA, University of Waterloo



Dr. Jessica Van de Kemp (aka Dr. V) is a multi-award winning English teacher at the University of Waterloo known for her commitment to teaching excellence, leadership, and mentoring. She is also a celebrated playwright and poet. In 2015, her poem “Slant of the Girl” was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, and published in the Global Poetry Anthology (Véhicule Press). In 2017, her play Hatching in a Cage was a finalist at the National Play Festival. For her doctoral dissertation, Dr. V drew on theories of adaptation and intertextuality to examine portrayals of gender and violence in drama TV series, and called for better representation of women on screen as experts and leaders in their fields. This scholarly work inspired her both creatively (to perform original spoken word poetry at the community-level to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion) and professionally (to complete leadership/management training).

Selected Presentations and Publications

“‘The Snowball Effect’: Toxic Masculinity and Sexual Violence in Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.” Comic and Tragic Films (Cinematic Codes Review 5.1), edited by Dr. Anna Faktorovich, Anaphora Literary Press, 2020, pp. 64–72. Book chapter.

“‘I Intend to Make My Own Way in the World’: Queer Female Artistry and the Noble Nature of Gerwig’s Little Women.” Comic and Tragic Films (Cinematic Codes Review 5.1), edited by Dr. Anna Faktorovich, Anaphora Literary Press, 2020, pp. 59–63. Book chapter.

“Resilience Education: Spoken Word Poetry as a Tool for Restorative and Healing Justice.” Tri-University Symposium, University of Waterloo, 2019. Conference paper presentation.

“Disability on Screen: Intertextual Doubling in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Do The Right Thing.” Interviews with a Photographer and a Filmmaker (Cinematic Codes Review 2.2), edited by Dr. Anna Faktorovich, Anaphora Literary Press, 2017, pp. 90–111. Book chapter.

“Digital Storytelling in the Composition Classroom.” Teaching and Learning Conference, University of Waterloo, 2017. Conference paper presentation.

Fellowships and Awards

  • Independent Graduate Instructor Award for Excellence in Teaching (2018)
  • President’s Graduate Scholarship (2016–2019)
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2016–2019)
  • Teaching Assistant Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015; 2016)

Current Work

Dr. V currently teaches online courses on academic writing, professional communication, and rhetorical theory. Her research continues to focus on media portrayals of gendered violence, through the lens of adaptation theory, in order to shed light on the intertextual devices at work in films and TV shows that reinforce harmful gender stereotypes (e.g. of violence and aggression). She is also at work on a full-length poetry manuscript, a new play, and other creative projects.

Research and Teaching Areas

  • Adaptation Theory
  • Creative Writing
  • Media and Gender
  • Modernist Literature
  • Rhetorical Theory
  • Teaching and Learning

Courses Taught

ENGL 101B: Introduction to Rhetorical Studies
ENGL 109: Introduction to Academic Writing
ENGL 119: Communications in Mathematics and Computer Science
ENGL 193: Communication in the Life Sciences