English Faculty

Chair

David N. Wright

wrightd@douglascollege.ca

Faculty

Jason Bourget

Jason Bourget

PhD, Queen's University
MA, University of Leeds
BA, University of British Columbia
bourgetj@douglascollege.ca

 

My research focuses on how political beliefs structure the conceptual preoccupations of science fiction. Having spent the past few years examining the extent to which political philosophies such as liberalism and libertarianism influence the representation of masculinity in 1960s and 1970s American science fiction, I have now shifted my attention to exploring how speculation about networking and artificial intelligence informs representations of novel forms of anarchism and socialism in Alastair Reynold's postcyberpunk space opera and to mapping the ideological relationships between the Disney company and science fiction authors such as Philip K. Dick and Cory Doctorow.

 

Besides science fiction, which I routinely teach in all my literature courses, I am also interested in weird fiction, horror, and the history of fandom.

 

I also regularly take students on field school and, in Summer 2024, will be teaching ENGL 1109 (Reading Fiction, Poetry and Plays) as part of the .

 

Ivanna Cikes

Ivana Cikes

 

 

PhD, Brandeis University
MA, Central European University
BEd, University of British Columbia
BA, University of British Columbia
cikesi@douglascollege.ca

 

For my PhD dissertation, I examined the effect the new visual technology of photography had on American writers of the 19th and early 20th century – both in terms of how they wrote and how they saw themselves as visible public figures. My 1130 course is an outgrowth of this interest in visual culture and self-identity. In other words, the questions I find most fascinating are: how do different forms of representation in popular culture affect how we view ourselves and others? How are these representations framed and narrated? How do these views affect our understanding of the world around us?
 

I also teach classes on Fear in Fiction (what the noir, ‘thriller,’ or suspense genres from various eras tell us about what society fears) and Gender and the Hero (a look at the role of the female hero and how this role exposes gender issues of our time).
 

Currently, I am revising and expanding my dissertation chapters on Frederick Douglass and Henry James for conference presentations and publication.

 

Richa Dwor

Rich Dior

 

 

PhD, University of Nottingham
MA, University of Nottingham
BA (hons), University of British Columbia
dworr@douglascollege.ca

 

Before coming to 鶹ýAV, I completed a PhD in English Literature at the University of Nottingham and I was Lecturer in Victorian Studies at the University of Leicester. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK.

 

My research addresses how minorities find a literature in a majority culture. In its first phase, I specialized in Anglo-Jewish women’s writing. In my monograph,  (Bloomsbury, 2015; paperback 2017) and several articles on the subject, I brought together religion, gender, and affect studies to recover women’s theological writing in literary texts during the nineteenth century. More recently, I have broadened my scope by editing an anthology on religious feeling in the nineteenth century (, Routledge 2020). The anthology decenters dominant religious groups by juxtaposing sources from a wide array of established, dissenting, and minority religions and also by prioritizing writing by women and non-white writers from across the English-speaking world. This global outlook carries through into my current project on Jewish travel writing, begun while I was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia. This project advances the established conversation between diaspora and migration studies and Jewish studies by examining real and fictionalized narratives of cross-cultural journeys.

 

Nancy Earle

Nancy Earle

 

 

PhD, Simon Fraser University
MA, University of Toronto
BA, Memorial University
earlen@douglascollege.ca
 

My interests are Canadian literature and print culture. My doctoral dissertation examined the history of writers-in-residence in Canada, and I am still fascinated by what these programs can tell us about cultural policy, the relationships between creative writers and postsecondary and other institutions, and the production of Canadian literature. I recently co-edited a book, entitled The Finest Room in the Colony: The Library of John Thomas Mullock (2016), on a 19th-century library in St John’s, and I have guest edited a special issue of Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada on “Book Culture in Newfoundland and Labrador” (2010).
 

I teach Fiction and Academic Writing at 鶹ýAV.

 

Wilhelm Emilsson

Wilhelm Emilsson

 

 

PhD, University of British Columbia 
MA, University of East Anglia
BA, University of Iceland
emilssonw@douglascollege.ca
 

My interests include 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century British and American literature and culture and how they interact with world culture. Realism, aestheticism, decadence, detective fiction, and music are of particular interest to me.

 

Dorritta Fong

 

MA, Queen's University
BA, University of British Columbia
fongd@douglascollege.ca
 

Teaching Interests: Academic Writing, Fiction, Children's Literature, Postcolonial Literature.
 

Research Interests: Gender, Popular Culture, Race, Politics.

 

Kurt Klotz

Kurt Klutz

 

 

PhD, University of Glasgow
MA, University of Guelph
BA, University of Northern British Columbia
klotzk@douglascollege.ca
 

My interests are in nineteenth-century American literature, as well as First Nations literature. My PhD dissertation was a single-author study on Edgar Allan Poe, with a focus on the way Poe depicts corporeal dismemberment at sites of colonial contact. I am currently working on research projects based on my doctoral thesis. Prior to working at 鶹ýAV, I taught at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Red Deer Polytechnic.

 

Elizabeth McCausland

 

PhD, University of California, Irvine
MA, University of California, Irvine
BA, Bryn Mawr College
mccauslande@douglascollege.ca
 

Interests: 19th Century, The Novel, Critical Theory.

 

Ryan Edward Miller

 

PhD, Simon Fraser University
MA, Simon Fraser University
BA, University of British Columbia
millerr@douglascollege.ca
 

My teaching interests include contemporary Canadian and American literatures. I enjoy introducing students to fiction and poetry in the classroom, particularly Canadian texts that allow us to explore relevant, interesting themes via unique lenses of experience.
 

My current research interests involve a renewed examination of Canadian writer Robertson Davies’s religious leanings. I am also interested in peripheral or literary-adjacent figures such as Christian William (Bill) Miller, an American party boy who frequented literary circles in America in the 1940s. As Miller was often photographed, the latter has allowed me to incorporate my love of analog (film) photography.

 

Jasmine Nicholsfigueiredo

Jasmine Nicholsfigueiredo

 

 

PhD, Simon Fraser University
MA, Queen's University
BEd, Simon Fraser University
BA, Simon Fraser University
nicholsfigueiredoj@douglascollege.ca
 

I hold a BA and BEd from Simon Fraser University, an MA from Queen's University and a PhD in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from Simon Fraser University. I am an advocate of experiential learning and promoting student engagement in the community. My research interests include Urban Liveability, Medieval and Renaissance Women’s Writing, Shakespeare, Theatre, and African Literature. In addition, I enjoy travelling and to date have incorporated that love into two separate field schools for students – The Maritime Canadian Field School held at the University of Dalhousie and the Wales Field School held at The University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

 

Noëlle Phillips

Noelle Phillips

 

 

PhD, University of British Columbia
BA (hons), University of Victoria
phillipsn2@douglascollege.ca
 

My primary research area is late medieval book culture and Middle English literature, particularly William Langland's poem Piers Plowman, Chaucer, and the fifteenth-century political adaptations of John Lydgate's poetry. However, I am also very interested in "medievalisms" – how later readers, including modern ones, understand, re-imagine, and use the medieval period. In my teaching, I enjoy using our understanding or interpretation of the past to illuminate our experience of the present. My most recent projects (a conference paper in 2017, a book published in 2019, and an edited collection to be published in 2021) have involved beer history and medievalism in the modern craft beer industry. My hobby of homebrewing helps my research!
 

Before coming to Douglas, I taught various introductory and upper-level courses at SFU and UBC and I completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Toronto's Centre for Medieval Studies. I am also involved in the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive as the editor of the electronic edition of one Piers Plowman manuscript and I'm an Honorary Affiliate Instructor at UBC.

 

Eve Preus

Eve Press

 

 

PhD, University of British Columbia
MA, University of British Columbia
BA (hons), University of Washington
preuse@douglascollege.ca
 

My scholastic degrees revolved around poetry and poetics, Shakespeare, theatrical phenomenology, and rhetoric. My interest in literary imagination emerged from creative proclivities as a child and developed into a larger philosophical fascination with illusion. How does the production of illusion generate a kind of freedom? I imagine my own teaching to be another apprenticeship in this inquiry.

 

Leni Robinson

 

PhD, University of British Columbia
MA, University of British Columbia
BA, University of British Columbia
robinsonl3@douglascollege.ca
 

Teaching Interests: Fiction, poetry, literature prior to the eighteenth century, Canadian literature, academic writing.
 

Research Interests: Seventeenth-century literature; natural philosophy; vitalism in both early modern and recent literature; the relationship between Nature, the self and the sense of place in literature; dance history in literature.

 

Louise Saldanha

Louise Saldanha

 

 

PhD, University of Calgary
MA, University of Alberta
BA (hons), University of Alberta
saldanhal@douglascollege.ca
 

Research areas include the following: critical approaches to young people’s texts and cultures, race, pedagogy, space, diaspora, indigeneity, and gender in both Canadian and international contexts.
 

Teaching areas include the following: children’s literature, Canadian literature, Aboriginal literature, critical theory, gender studies, postcolonial literature, popular culture, critical disability, academic writing.

 

Naava Smolash

Naava Smolash

 

PhD, Simon Fraser University
MA, University of Guelph
TWS, Simon Fraser University
BA (hons), Trent University
smolashn@douglascollege.ca
 

Research areas include contemporary Canadian literature, poetry and poetics, nationalism, race theory, and print news media. My work appears in academic and popular publications including Studies in Canadian LiteratureEnglish Studies in Canada, the University of Toronto Quarterly's special issue Discourses of Security, "Peacekeeping" Narratives and the Cultural Imagination in Canada, West Coast Line, LitHub, Room Magazine, and Briarpatch. My essay "The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture" is used in classrooms and counselling centres worldwide. Recent projects include Turn This World Inside Out (AK Press, 2019), papers on representations of land, nation, and borders in Canadian fiction, examining Sinclair Ross' As For Me and My House, Maria Campbell's Halfbreed, Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach and Ethel Wilson's The Innocent Traveller, and a speculative fiction novella entitled Cipher.

 

I teach: 

  • Canadian Literature (1101, 2101) 
  • Reading Poetry (1114) 
  • Literature and the Political Imagination: Hope in Hard Times (1102) 
  • Academic Writing Skills Review (1099) 
  • Academic Writing (1130)
     

Previously, I taught:

  • Studies in Canadian Literature: BC Literature (359), Canadian Literature Since 1920: Prairie Literature (357) at Simon Fraser University;
  • Introduction to Media Studies (Medi 112) at Vancouver Island University.

 

Mike Stachura

 

 

PhD, Simon Fraser University
MLitt, University of Stirling
MA, University of Aberdeen
stachuram@douglascollege.ca
 

My interests include Scottish, Arctic, and Frontier Literature. My doctoral dissertation examined the links between modern Scottish Literature and the emerging field of ‘Arctic Discourses’. I love any genre of literature that is dark, growly, and full of grit. I think Cormac McCarthy is wonderful.
 

My teaching interests here at Douglas are Academic Writing, Fiction, and British Literature.

 

Ryan Stephenson

Ryan Stephenson

 

 

PhD, University of Ottawa
MA, University of British Columbia
BA, University of British Columbia
stephensonr@douglascollege.ca
 

Teaching: 

I’ve been teaching academic writing and literature courses consistently for the past several years, both at 鶹ýAV and at universities in the Lower Mainland. I’ve also developed upper-level courses on Romantic, Victorian, and 20th-Century literature.
 

Research: 

My research focuses on popular literacy and the representation of reading and writing in Victorian prose, looking specifically at how the presence of a mass audience, beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century, changed the way writers defined and discussed the practices of reading and writing. I study Victorian schoolbooks, periodicals, and the fiction of George Eliot, George Gissing, and others.
 

Publications: 

  • “The Manly Reader and His Other: Bookworms, Book-Butterflies, and Crises of Masculinity in Gissing’s ‘Spellbound’ and ‘Christopherson’.” Writing Otherness: The Pathways of George Gissing’s Imagination. Ed. Christine Huguet. Haren: Equilibris, 2011. 201-16.
  • “Mr. Baker and Miss Yule: Popular Literacy and the Complexity of Reading and Writing in Gissing’s New Grub Street.” The Gissing Journal 43 (2007): 3-26.

 

Diane Stiles

 

 

PhD, University of British Columbia
MA, University of British Columbia
BSc, McGill University
stilesd@douglascollege.ca
 

I have taught English at Douglas since 2002. For the past few years I have been teaching the preparatory course (1099) for Academic Writing (1130), and both second year survey courses (2116 and 2117: “Beowulf to Virginia Woolf”). I have also been developing and teaching a first year literature course (1102) that explores social, psychological, existential and scientific/medical constructs of identity.

 

Nate Szymanski

Nate Szymanski

 

 

PhD, Simon Fraser University
MA, Concordia University
BA, Dartmouth College
szymanskin@douglascollege.ca
 

My research analyses ideas of community, rivalry, and fellowship in Renaissance poetry and drama, and my work has appeared in publications such as Spenser Review and English Literary Renaissance. A recent area of scholarly interest is in depictions of sport and competition in literature, a focus that combines my love of books with my past experiences playing hockey.
 

While my research centers on the Renaissance, I enjoy teaching a range of topics, including contemporary Canadian fiction, animal and ecological literature, and the contemporary essay. Prior to teaching at Douglas, I taught English literature and/or writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Simon Fraser University, and Concordia University.

 

Kim Trainor

Kim Trainor

 

 

PhD, McGill University
MA, University of British Columbia
BA, University of British Columbia
trainork@douglascollege.ca

 

My teaching interests include poetry, poetics, ecopoetics, climate justice, science fiction, and world literature with a particular focus on ecology, the wild, war, and the body. I teach literature from the perspective once voiced by Adrienne Rich: "I have never believed that poetry is an escape from history, and I do not think it is more, or less, necessary than food, shelter, health, education, decent working conditions. It is as necessary" (What is Found There). I'm on the DCFA and FPSE’s climate action committees. I've also taught at McGill, Concordia, and UBC (for 12 years).

 

I'm a poet. My most current book of poetry is A thin fire runs through me, (ice house poetry / Goose Lane Editions, 2023). My second book of poetry, Ledi (Book*hug, 2018), was a finalist for the League of Canadian Poets' Raymond Souster Award. A blueprint for survival is forthcoming with Guernica Editions in 2024. It documents organisms and human artefacts which offer resilience in the face of climate change. I also make collaborative poetry films with 鶹ýAV faculty member Hazel Fairbairn. I write poetry reviews and essays for ARC Poetry Magazine and Prism Online, and help to run the Poets Corner Reading Series (). I’m currently working on a scholarly monograph on ecopoetics. 

 

Please note: I will be on educational leave in the Fall of 2023. 
 

Courses I teach: 
English 1130, Academic Writing: Climate change + climate justice
English 1102, Literature and Culture: Wild
English 1114, Reading Poetry
Please see for course descriptions and reading lists.

 

David N. Wright

David Wright

 

 

PhD, McGill University
MA, Concordia University
BA (hons), Concordia University
wrightd@douglascollege.ca

 

I usually teach English 1130 (Academic Writing), 1102 (Reading Literature and Culture), 1106 (Reading Fiction), and sometimes 2313 (Studies in Major Writers), 3190 (Topics in Literary Modernism).
 

My current research focuses on three main areas:

  • An examination of burlesque performance and its relationship to the aesthetic practices of modernist writers. The study focuses on a diverse range of early Twentieth Century practitioners in a variety of media, but spends the most time on E. E. Cummings, Hart Crane, George Herriman, Gilbert Seldes, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Djuna Barnes.
  • I am engaged with several discussions already underway in establishing methodologies for emerging trends in the digital humanities. I am particularly interested in pedagogical applications of digital technologies, the intersection of coding and writing, digital literature and the implications of "open source," and facilitating spaces for the digital dissemination of academic work.
  • Comic books. I am interested in the superhero, its role in shaping cultural narratives (particularly those around masculinity), and how comic books offer a way of understanding narrative as it responds to external political and social pressures. I write a monthly post at Graphixia.

 

 

Faculty Emeriti

Susan Briggs

MA, University of British Columbia
BA, University of British Columbia
briggss@douglascollege.ca

 

Lorna McCallum

 

PhD, University of Alberta
MA, University of Alberta
BA, Carleton University
mccalluml@douglascollege.ca

 

Susan McCaslin

 

PhD, University of British Columbia
MA, Simon Fraser University
BA (hons), University of Washington
mccaslins@douglascollege.ca

 

Susan Wasserman

 

MA, University of British Columbia
BA, University of British Columbia
wassermans@douglascollege.ca