Areas of expertise

Faculty members in Waterloo English have research expertise in a wide variety of fields that span literature, rhetoric, professional communication, and digital media.

Faculty member Research areas of expertise
Katherine Acheson
  • Early Modern literature and culture
  • Visual culture
  • Visual rhetoric
Carol Acton
  • War in literature and life-writing
  • Autobiography
  • Modern British writers, especially non-canonical women writers

Lamees Al Ethari

  • Life Writing/Women’s Life Writing
  • Arab and Arab North American literature, history, and culture
  • Diaspora and Postcolonial Theory
  • War and Trauma Theory and Literature
  • Transnational and Immigrant Literature
  • Ethnic American Literature
Veronica Austen
  • Canadian literature
  • Caribbean literature
  • Diaspora studies
  • Contemporary poetry and poetics
  • Visual arts in literature

Aparajita Bhandari

  • Critical Algorithm/critical data studies
  • Feminist media studies
  • Social media studies
  • Cultural theory
  • Community engaged and participatory research
  • Media and materiality 
Jennifer Clary-Lemon
  • Writing Theory and Pedagogy
  • Material Rhetorics/Rhetorical New Materialism
  • Environmental Rhetorics
  • Methods and Methodology
  • Rhetorics of Location and Place
Frankie Condon
  • Cross-cultural and antiracist rhetorics
  • Critical race theory and rhetoric
  • Public rhetorics and social change
  • Writing theory, practice, and pedagogy
Tristanne Connolly
  • British Romantic literature and culture (especially poetry)
  • William Blake
  • Erasmus Darwin
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Medical writing and illustration
  • Literature and science
  • Religion and literature

Bruce Dadey

  • Rhetorical theory and history
  • Professional Communication
  • Composition theory
  • American literature
  • Non-fiction prose studies (particularly American writers)
  • Graphic narratives

Andrew Deman

  • Graphic Narrative
  • Fan Culture
  • Comics
  • Science Fiction
  • Chris Claremont
Stacy Denton
  • Representations of Rurality and Class
  • Postwar US Literature and Film
  • Studies in Media and Popular Culture
  • Interdisciplinary Methodologies
  • Feminist Pedagogy
Danielle Deveau
  • User Experience Design
  • Content Strategy
  • Urban Economic Development
  • Cultural Scenes and Creative Cities
  • Cultural Mapping

Chrysanne DiMarco

  • Computational rhetoric
  • Computational linguistics
  • Human language technologies
  • Health informaticas
  • Persuasive language technologies
Jay Dolmage
  • Rhetorical theory and history
  • Composition theory and pedagogy
  • Disability studies
Fraser Easton
  • Eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century literature
  • Defoe, Smart, Edgeworth, and Austen
  • Gender, sexuality, and class
  • Political economy
  • Popular culture
Lai-Tze Fan
  • Digital media, history, and representation
  • Storytelling across media forms
  • Technological cultures and infrastructures (especially materiality, sustainability, and gendered labour)
  • Critical and creative digital humanities (including electronic literature)
  • Post-1945 and contemporary American and British literature
Clive Forrester
  • Discourse analysis
  • Language and gender
  • Language in advertising 
  • Language and the law/forensic linguistics

  • Creole Linguistics & Caribbean language

Kenneth Graham
  • Renaissance and Reformation Literature, including Shakespeare and Milton
  • Poetry
  • Literature and rhetoric
Dorothy Hadfield
  • Canadian Drama and Theatre
  • Fin-de-Siecle Literature and Drama (British and Canadian)
  • Historiography and Politics of Literary and Theatrical Production
  • Composition Pedagogy
  • Online Pedagogy and Learning
Jennifer Harris
  • Nineteenth-century American Literature
  • African American Literature
  • Cultural studies

Randy Harris

  • Rhetoric (especially computational and cognitive rhetoric, rhetoric of science, history and theory of rhetoric)
  • Professional communication (especially document design, usability, and multimedia)
  • Interaction design (especially speech)
  • Linguistics (especially cognitive linguistics and history of linguistics)
  • Cognitive Poetics (especially the affective dimensions of linguistic and textual form in literature)
  • Construction Grammar (especially the intersection of everyday expressions and rhetorical schemes)
Ken Hirschkop
  • Cultural and literary theory (especially Bakhtin, the Frankfurt School, Marxist theory, Raymond Williams)
  • Politics and language
  • Modern philosophy of language
  • Critical media studies
  • Urban culture
Shelley Hulan
  • Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Canadian writing.
Andrea Jonahs
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Critical race theory
  • Race and new media
Norm Klassen
  • Chaucer
  • Medieval English literature
  • Medieval humanism
Alysia Kolentsis
  • Shakespeare
  • Early modern drama and poetry
  • History of English

Alice Kuzniar


  • Cinema studies
  • Queer studies
  • Animal studies
  • History of medicine
  • Psychoanalytic approaches to literature and film
George Lamont
  • Translation theory
  • Structure of the English language
  • Rhetoric
  • Communications in Engineering and the sciences
Victoria Lamont
  • American literature
  • Popular culture
  • American women’s writing
Kate Lawson
  • Victorian literature and culture, especially fiction from the 1840s and 1850s.
Heather Love
  • Twentieth-century literature
  • American and transatlantic modernism
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to literary study
  • Literature, science, and technology
  • Literature and medicine/medical humanities
Michael MacDonald
  • History and Theory of Rhetoric
  • Media Studies
Kevin McGuirk
  • American literature and culture after WWII (especially poetry)
  • Post-romantic poetics
  • Twentieth-century literatures and film
Andrew McMurry
  • Ecocriticism
  • Environmental rhetoric and/or literature
  • Genres of professional writing
  • New media theory and design
  • Nineteenth-century American literature
  • Semiotics and discourse analysis
  • Science fiction

  • Comics and graphic novels

Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher
  • Rhetoric (history and theory of rhetoric, rhetoric of science and technology, digital rhetoric, rhetorical genre studies)
  • Communication studies (science communication, environmental communication, organizational communication, media theory)
  • Professional and technical communication, especially scientific proposal writing and notions of expertise in socio-technical spheres of discourse, and also emerging online genres
  • Qualitative methods
Brad Mehlenbacher
  • Rhetoric
  • Cognition and learning theory
  • Instructional technology and communication design
  • Technical, engineering, and science communication
  • User experience, human-computer interaction, usability
  • Game studies and learning design
Aimee Morrison


  • Information technology in literature
  • Electronic textualities
  • Digital media
  • History and theory of media
  • Popular cybercultures
Carter Neal


  • American Literature
  • Emerson Studies
  • Fuller Studies
  • Transcendentalism

Vinh Nguyen

  • Asian Diaspora Literatures
  • War, Refugee, and Migration studies
  • Affect theory
  • Cultural Studies
John North
  • Victorian literature
  • Bibliography
  • Children's literature
  • Literature and the Bible
  • C.S. Lewis and his circle
Marcel O'Gorman
  • Critical theory
  • Media theory
  • Digital humanities
  • Digital art and design
  • Posthumanities
  • Cyberculture
  • Techno-Romanticism
  • New critical methodologies
Neil Randall


  • Game studies
  • Virtual worlds
  • Rhetoric and semiotics of Human-Computer Interaction
  • Semiotics of games and game design
  • J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Practice and analysis of various genres of professional writing: technical documentation, magazine journalism, multimedia production

John Savarese​

  • Romantic literature
  • Poetry and poetics
  • History and philosophy of science
Megan Selinger
  • Renaissance & Reformation drama and literature – especially Shakespeare
  • Performance Studies
  • Narrative theory
  • Canadian drama
  • Professional writing and communication – especially document design, usability, and multimedia production
  • Victorian literature
  • Gothic studies
Winfried Siemerling
  • Canadian literature and culture, North American literatures and cultures
  • Black North American writing (including francophone Quebec)
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Postcolonial writing
  • Diaspora writing
  • Hemispheric studies
  • Literary and critical theory (including Frankfurt School)
  • Jazz and literature
Heather Smyth
  • Postcolonial literatures and theory
  • Caribbean literature
  • Feminist theory
  • Canadian literature
  • Postcolonial queer studies

Imre Szeman

  • Environmental communication
  • Energy justice
  • Literary and critical theory
  • Cultural studies
Sarah Tolmie
  • Middle English literature and historiography
  • Middle Scots literature and historiography
  • Premodern theory of mind and embodiment
  • Creative writing
  • Cognitive poetics

Paul Ugor

  • Modern African Literature
  • African Cinema/Nollywood 
  • Black Popular Culture
  • Cultural Theory 
  • African Youth Studies
  • Postcolonial Anglophone World Literatures
Linda Warley
Associate Professor Emerita
  • Canadian literary studies in all genres (especially post-WWII to the present);
  • Auto/biography studies generally;
  • First Nations and Métis literatures.

Brianna I. Wiens

  • Feminist media studies  
  • Feminist and queer affect studies
  • Feminist new materialisms and posthumanisms
  • Digital activisms and networked social movements
  • Social media cultures
  • Rhetorics of design
  • Design equity, data feminism, and data justice
  • Critical approaches to technology
David-Antoine Williams
  • Poetry and/or poetics
Chad Wriglesworth
  • Twentieth century American literature
  • Ecocriticism and place studies
  • Religion and American culture
  • Native American literature
  • Literature and the American West

Vershawn Young

  • African American Performance (drama and theatre, performance of everyday life, performance of gender [masculinity])
  • African Americans Studies (esp. African Americans and U.S. Law after Jim Crow)
  • Composition and Rhetoric (Translingual Writing, Code Meshing, Code Switching, Relationship between speech/oral communication and writing/composition)
  • African American literature (Dramatic Literature of the Harlem Renaissance, Late 20th/21st Century Authors, James Baldwin)