Faculty bookshelf

Welcome to our bookshelf, showcasing books authored, co-authored or edited by members of our faculty.

Caribbean Literature in Transition, 1970–2020

Dr. Ronald Cummings

The period from the 1970s to the present day has produced an extraordinarily rich and diverse body of Caribbean writing that has been widely acclaimed. Caribbean Literature in Transition, 1970-2020 traces the region’s contemporary writings across the established genres of prose, poetry, fiction and drama into emerging areas of creative non-fiction, memoir and speculative fiction with a particular attention on challenging the narrow canon of Anglophone male writers. It maps shifts and continuities between late twentieth century and early twenty-first century Caribbean literature in terms of innovations in literary form and style, the changing role and place of the writer, and shifts in our understandings of what constitutes the political terrain of the literary and its sites of struggle. Whilst reaching across language divides and multiple diasporas, it shows how contemporary Caribbean Literature has focused its attentions on social complexity and ongoing marginalizations in its continued preoccupations with identity, belonging and freedoms.

Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies- entiled The Poetry of Hester Pulter: Revolution and Remediation

Dr. Leah Knight & Dr. Wendy Wall

This special issue of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies—entitled The Poetry of Hester Pulter: Revolution and Remediation and co-edited by Leah Knight and Wendy Wall—comprises seven essays, plus an introduction and afterword, on the verse of this long-neglected seventeenth-century writer. They contribute to a vibrant and expanding body of work on Pulter that shows how her work can refine understandings of early modern physics, natural history, ecology, philosophy, theology, mourning, astronomy, gender, political protest, and poetics.

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making
*Digital Publication*

Dr. Leah Knight

This digital collaboration aims at allowing readers to engage with multiple, different representations and readings of Hester Pulter’s striking verse. The distinctive nature of the project is that it does not adopt an editorial process that strives to establish a single, ideal edited form for these works, but instead endorses multiple, equally authorized versions as a way to foreground the complexity of Pulter’s poetics and the affordances of scholarly editing in the digital age. The Pulter Project seeks to pull back the editorial curtain to reveal to readers the often invisible decisions underwriting the making of poetry and poets.

Queer Canada
Special Issue of the Journal of Canadian Studies

Dr. Ronald Cummings

The turn of the century offered shifting horizons for queerness in relation to the Canadian nation state. The legalization of queer marriage in 2005 was arguably a landmark moment that has since been followed by a series of more recent events that complicate straightforward narratives of queer Canadian “progress.” These recent events signal an urgency to revisit questions of the social and institutional conditions of queer life in Canada and to think critically about the intersections and connections between issues of justice, vulnerability, law, race, nation and queerness.  This special issue reflects on some of the shifts and developments in the field of queer studies in Canada since the turn of the century. In thinking about these interventions and intersections, we emphasize returns and revisions rather than a discourse of progress, which is what typically defines Canadian state narratives.

1865 and the disenchantment of empire

Dr. Ronald Cummings

1865 marks a key moment in global history and in the world of the British Empire. Central to this discussion is a theorization of the concept of keydates, which is developed through a reconsideration of Raymond Williams’ important cultural studies text Keywords. Taking 1865 as an important keydate, the authors examine how temporality as an organizing hermeneutic and as a site of study might function to reorient discussions in specific fields of area studies and reimagine fixed projects (those of the nation, empire, identity, genre, geography and so on). The authors also explore the uses of the concept of disenchantment of empire as a way of contextualizing the sensibility of the age of the late 19th century and 1865 in particular. They also use disenchantment of empire as a way of rethinking structures of empire in terms of disorienting outcomes.

Romanticism, Medicine, and the Poet’s Body (The Nineteenth Century Series)

Dr. James Allard

That medicine becomes professionalized at the very moment that literature becomes “Romantic” is an important coincidence, and James Allard makes the most of it. His book restores the physical body to its proper place in Romantic studies by exploring the status of the human body during the period. With meticulous detail, he documents the way medical discourse consolidates a body susceptible to medical authority that is then represented in the works of Romantic era poets. In doing so, he attends not only to the history of medicine’s professionalization but significantly to the rhetoric of legitimation that advances the authority of doctors over the bodies of patients and readers alike.

After surveying trends in Romantic-era medicine and analyzing the body’s treatment in key texts by Wordsworth and Joanna Baillie, Allard moves quickly to his central subject-the Poet-Physician. This hybrid figure, discovered in the works of the medically trained John Keats, John Thelwall, Thomas Lovell Beddoes, embodies the struggles occasioned by the discrepancies and affinities between medicine and poetry.

Afterlives of the Lady of Shalott and Elaine of Astolat

Dr. Ann Howey

This book investigates adaptations of The Lady of Shalott and Elaine of Astolat in Victorian and post-Victorian popular culture to explore their engagement with medievalism, social constructions of gender, and representations of the role of art in society. Although the figure of Elaine first appeared in medieval texts, including Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, Tennyson’s poems about the Lady and Elaine drew unprecedented response from musicians, artists, and other authors, whose adaptations in some cases inspired further adaptations. With chapters on music, art, and literature (including parody, young people’s literature, and historical fiction and fantasy), this book seeks to trace the evolution of these characters and the ways in which they reinforce or challenge conventional gender roles, represent the present’s relationship to the past, and highlight the power of art.

General Consent in Jane Austen: A Study of Dialogism

Dr. Barbara K. Seeber

General Consent in Jane Austen examines the “early” and “late” novels as well as the juvenilia in the light of three paradigms: “The Other Heroine” focuses on voices that challenge and compete with the central heroines, “Cameo Appearances” examines buried past narratives, and “Investigating Crimes” explores acts of violence. These three avenues into dialogic space destabilize conventional readings of Austen. The Bakhtinian model that structures this book is not one of linearity and balance but one of conflict, simultaneity, and multiplicity. While some novels fit into only one paradigm, others incorporate more than one; Mansfield Park receives the most attention.

Fear and Loathing Worldwide

Dr. Robert Alexander

For more than 40 years, the radically subjective style of participatory journalism known as Gonzo has been inextricably associated with the American writer Hunter S. Thompson. Around the world, however, other journalists approach unconventional material in risky ways, placing themselves in the middle of off-beat stories, and relate those accounts in the supercharged rhetoric of Gonzo. In some cases, Thompson’s influence is apparent, even explicit; in others, writers have crafted their journalistic provocations independently, only later to have that work labelled “Gonzo.” In either case, Gonzo journalism has clearly become an international phenomenon.

In Fear and Loathing Worldwide, scholars from fourteen countries discuss writers from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Australia, whose work bears unmistakable traces of the mutant Gonzo gene. In each chapter, “Gonzo” emerges as a powerful but unstable signifier, read and practiced with different accents and emphases in the various national, cultural, political, and journalistic contexts in which it has erupted. Whether immersed in the Dutch crack scene, exploring the Polish version of Route 66, following the trail of the 2014 South African General Election, or committing unspeakable acts on the bus to Turku, the writers described in this volume are driven by the same fearless disdain for convention and profound commitment to rattling received opinion with which the “outlaw journalist” Thompson scorched his way into the American consciousness in the 1960s, ’70s, and beyond.


Dr. Tim Conley

Fiction. Short Stories. The short story form is unambiguously un-dead in this new album of thirty fictions from Tim Conley, coming at the reader in a variety of shapes and guises running the gamut from elliptical micro–fictions to tales of the inexplicable.

Steeped in Beckett, Borges and Nabokov, Conley’s multiple universes allow for werewolves that excite ridicule not fear, and where birthdays are an occasion for forgetting not remembering. Here, the world greets a new colouring book with the same seriousness as it might some newly discovered gospel, and struggles to embrace fictional celebrities with the same ardour it reserves for real ones. And why not a variant of origami that is used on the human form?

Love in the Chthulucene (Chthulucene)

Dr. Natalee Caple

In a collection grappling with #MeToo, climate change and political turmoil, Natalee Caple strives to discover a way forward in charged times. These poems look to acknowledge struggle, to re-evaluate society and to rethink our approach to art. This is a challenging collection, but also a personal one. As Caple explains in her acknowledgements, she “wrote these poems as gifts.” They were gifts to the people who have shaped her as a writer and a thinker, and now they are gifts to readers to show how one might try and find a way to keep creating that acknowledges the interconnectedness of all things, human and non-human.

Useless Joyce: Textual Functions, Cultural Appropriations

Dr. Tim Conley

Published by the University of Toronto Press.



Dr. Adam Dickinson

We talk a lot about what we’re doing to our environment, but what is our environment doing to us?

Adam Dickinson decided to find out. He drew blood, collected urine, swabbed bacteria, and tested his feces to measure the precise chemical and microbial diversity of his body. To his horror, he discovered that our ‘petroculture’ has infiltrated our very bodies with pesticides, flame retardants, and other substances. He discovered shifting communities of microbes that reflect his dependence on the sugar, salt, and fat of the Western diet, and he discovered how we rely on nonhuman organisms to make us human, to regulate our moods and personalities. The outside writes the inside, whether we like it or not.

The result is a book of poetry called ANATOMIC, an ambitious, autobiographical, and anxious plea for us to consider what we’re doing to our world – and to our own bodies.

Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Reading, Ownership, Circulation

Dr. Leah Knight and Dr. Elizabeth Sauer

Women in 16th- and 17th-century Britain read, annotated, circulated,
inventoried, cherished, criticized, prescribed, and proscribed books
in various historically distinctive ways. Yet, unlike that of their male
counterparts, the study of women’s reading practices and book
ownership has been an elusive and largely overlooked field.

In thirteen probing essays, Women’s Bookscapes brings together the
work of internationally renowned scholars investigating key questions
about early modern British women’s fi gurative, material, and cultural
relationships with books. What constitutes evidence of women’s
readerly engagement? How did women use books to achieve personal,
political, religious, literary, economic, social, familial, or communal
goals? How does new evidence of women’s libraries and book usage
challenge received ideas about gender in relation to knowledge,
education, confessional affi liations, family ties, and sociability? How
do digital tools offer new possibilities for the recovery of information on
early modern women readers?

Women’s Bookscapes is interdisciplinary, timely, cohesive, and concise.
Its fresh and revisionary approaches cultivate this burgeoning fi eld
and diversify research and analytical methods for current and future
scholars. The volume makes substantial contributions to scholarship on
early modern material culture; book history and print culture; women’s
literary and cultural history; library studies; and reading and collecting
practices more generally.

A Long the Krommerun

Co-edited by Dr. Tim Conley
(with Onno Kosters and Peter de Voogd)

A Long the Krommerun offers a selection of the best papers delivered at the XXIV International James Joyce Symposium hosted by Utrecht University, the Netherlands, June 2014.  The essays offer fresh insights into Joyce and De Stijl aesthetic movement which originated in the Netherlands, Joyce’s (language) politics, his use of multilingualism and dialects, and, by way of close readings and genetic approaches of Finnegans Wake, the intricate ways Joyce communicates with his readers.

Counterblasting Canada

Co-edited by Dr. Gregory Betts
(with Paul Hjartarson and Kristine Smitka)

In 1914, Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound—the founders of Vorticism—undertook an unprecedented analysis of the present, its technologies, communication, politics, and architecture. The essays in Counterblasting Canada trace the influence of Vorticism on Marshall McLuhan and Canadian Modernism. Building on the initial accomplishment of Blast, McLuhan’s subsequent Counterblast, and the network of artistic and intellectual relationships that flourished in Canadian Vorticism, the contributors offer groundbreaking examinations of postwar Canadian literary culture, particularly the legacies of Sheila and Wilfred Watson. Intended primarily for scholars of literature and communications, Counterblasting Canada explores a crucial and long-overlooked strand in Canadian cultural and literary history.

The Slow Professor

Co-authored by Dr. Barbara K. Seeber and Dr. Maggie Berg

In The Slow Professor, Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber discuss how adopting the principles of the Slow movement in academic life can counter this erosion of humanistic education. Focusing on the individual faculty member and his or her own professional practice, Berg and Seeber present both an analysis of the culture of speed in the academy and ways of alleviating stress while improving teaching, research, and collegiality. The Slow Professor will be a must-read for anyone in academia concerned about the frantic pace of contemporary university life.

A Tour of Fabletown

Dr. Neta Gordon

In 2002, Vertigo/DC Comics published the first issue of Bill Willingham’s Fables. The series imagined the lives of fairy tale figures–Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, Cinderella and the ubiquitous Prince Charming, among many others–as they made new lives for themselves in modern-day New York City, having fled their storied homeworlds following an invasion. After 150 issues and many awards, Fables concluded its run in July 2015. This study, the first about the sprawling, complex series, discusses such topics as Fables’ status as a contemporary adaptation of folk and fairy tales; its use of conventional genres like sword-and-sorcery, crime and romance; its portrayal of social and political relationships; and its self-referential moments. Providing a detailed introduction to the themes and ideas in the series, the author explores how Fables portrays redemption, the function of community, and how our hopes and fears influence our ideal of “happily ever after.”

Tragedy and Trauma in the Plays of Christopher Marlowe

Dr. Mathew Martin

Contending that criticism of Marlowe’s plays has been limited by humanist conceptions of tragedy, this book engages with trauma theory, especially psychoanalytic trauma theory, to offer a fresh critical perspective within which to make sense of the tension in Marlowe’s plays between the tragic and the traumatic.

Dance Moves of the Near Future

Dr. Tim Conley

The 24 stories in Dance Moves of the Near Future open with a sentient cactus and close with a crash of rhinos. In between you’ll find a high–strung parrot, untenured yahoos, an amorphous, mind–controlling blob, optometrists in a strip club, a dash of Old Testament shenanigans, and weighty ontological concerns. These stories are unpredictable — even volatile — but they all share a wicked sense of humour, and a piercing eye for human (and inhuman) fallibility.

Contemporary Marxist Theory

Co-edited by Dr. Andrew Pendakis
(with Jeff Diamanti, Nicholas Brown, Josh Robinson, and Imre Szeman)

A new reader that brings together works written by international theorists since the fall of the Berlin Wall, showing how today’s crisis-ridden global capitalism is making Marxist theory more relevant and necessary than ever. This collection of key texts by prominent and lesser-known thinkers from Latin America, Asia, Africa, America, and Europe showcases an area of scholarly analysis whose impact on academic and popular discourses as well as political action will only grow in the coming years.

Reading Green in Early Modern England

Dr. Leah Knight

Green in early modern England did not mean what it does today; but what did it mean? Unveiling various versions and interpretations of green, this book offers a cultural history of a color that illuminates the distinctive valences greenness possessed in early modern culture.

Jane Austen and Animals

Dr. Barbara Seeber

The first full-length study of animals in Jane Austen, Barbara K. Seeber’s book situates the author’s work within the serious debates about human-animal relations that began in the eighteenth century and continued into Austen’s lifetime. Seeber shows that Austen’s writings consistently align the objectification of nature with that of women and that Austen associates the hunting, shooting, racing, and consuming of animals with the domination of women.

Doubtful Points: Joyce and Punctuation

Co-edited by Dr. Tim Conley
(with Elizabeth M. Bonapfel)

As unusual or esoteric as the subject might seem, Joyce’s punctuation offers a way to study and appreciate his stylistic innovations and the materiality of his textual productions. Joyce’s shunning of what he called “perverted commas” and the general absence of punctuation in Molly Bloom’s monologue are only the most infamous instances of a deeply idiosyncratic and changeable use of punctuation. The essays collected in Doubtful Points: Joyce and Punctuation investigate ellipses.

In Calamity’s Wake

Dr. Natalee Caple

Set in the badlands of the North American west in the late 1800s, In Calamity’s Wake tells the story of orphaned Miette’s quest to find her mother, the notorious Calamity Jane. Miette is reluctant to meet the woman who abandoned her—whom she knows only as an infamous soldier, drinker and exhibition shooter—but she sets out nonetheless across a landscape peopled with madwomen, thieves, minstrels and ghosts, many of whom add a thread to the story of her famous mother.

Catching the Torch

Dr. Neta Gordon

Catching the Torch examines contemporary novels and plays written about Canada’s participation in World War I. Exploring such works as Jane Urquhart’s The Underpainter and The Stone Carvers, Jack Hodgins’s Broken Ground, Kevin Kerr’s Unity (1918), Stephen Massicotte’s Mary’s Wedding, and Frances Itani’s Deafening, the book considers how writers have dealt with the compelling myth that the Canadian nation was born in the trenches of the Great War.

Strange Jeremiahs

Dr. Carole Stewart

Strange Jeremiahs analyses the writings of three American authors whose lives span over 200 years. Jonathan Edwards, Herman Melville, and W. E. B. Du Bois challenged and redefined civil religion through the lenses of a revolutionary performative act. Through their different temporal and cultural locations, they queried the simple patriotism associated with the tradition of the jeremiad, the prophetic judgment of a people for backsliding from their destiny.

The Polymers

Dr. Adam Dickinson

The Polymers is a bold new work from one of our most ambitious poetic minds. Structured as an imaginary science project, the varied pieces in this collection investigate the intersection of poetry and chemicals, specifically plastics, attempting to understand their essential role in culture. Through various procedures, constraints, and formal mutations, the poems express the repeating structures fundamental to plastic molecules as they appear in cultural and linguistic behaviours such as arguments, anxieties, and trends.

Milton, Toleration, and Nationhood

Dr. Elizabeth Sauer

John Milton lived at a time when English nationalism became entangled with principles and policies of cultural, religious, and ethnic tolerance. Combining political theory with close readings of key texts, this study examines how Milton’s polemical and imaginative literature intersects with representations of English Protestant nationhood.

Burning City

Co-edited by Dr. Tim Conley
(with Jed Rasula)

Burning City acts as a “multisensory Baedecker” to the many incarnations of international modernism from 1910-1939. Inspired by the abandoned plans of the early avant-garde poet Yvan Goll to write a history of modernity through the poetry of that era, scholars Jed Rasula and Tim Conley have carried out Goll’s project, scouring the small journals and magazines of the period for both lost and seminal texts.

Doctor Faustus

Dr. Mathew Martin

Doctor Faustus is one of early modern English drama’s most fascinating characters, and Doctor Faustus one of its most problematic plays. Selling his soul to Lucifer in return for twenty-four years of power, wealth, knowledge, and sex, Doctor Faustus is at once an aspiring Renaissance magus and the hardened reprobate of Protestant theology. The introduction, annotations, and appendices of this edition, which is based on the 1616 B text, situate the play in the dynamic cultural changes of the early modern period.

Avant-Garde Canadian Literature

Dr. Gregory Betts

In Avant-Garde Canadian Literature, Gregory Betts draws attention to the fact that the avant-garde has had a presence in Canada long before the country's literary histories have recognized, and that the radicalism of avant-garde art has been sabotaged by pedestrian terms of engagement by the Canadian media, the public, and the literary critics. This book presents a rich body of evidence to illustrate the extent to which Canadians have been producing avant-garde art since the start of the twentieth century.

Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England

Dr. Leah Knight

Contemplating the textual gardens, poetic garlands, and epigrammatic groves which dot the landscape of early modern English print, Leah Knight exposes and analyzes the close configuration of plants and writing in the period. She argues that the early modern cultures and cultivation of plants and books depended on each other in historically specific and novel ways that yielded a profusion of linguistic, conceptual, metaphorical, and material intersections.

Chaucer, Gower, and the Vernacular Rising

Dr. Lynn Arner

Chaucer, Gower, and the Vernacular Rising examines the transmission of Greco-Roman and European literature into English during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, while literacy was burgeoning among men and women from the nonruling classes. This dissemination offered a radically democratizing potential for accessing, interpreting, and deploying learned texts.

Gender at Work in Victorian Culture

Dr. Martin Danahay

Offers a solid introduction to important issues surrounding the definition and division of labor in British society and culture. ‘Work,’ Danahay argues, was a term rife with ideological contradictions for Victorian males during a period when it was considered synonymous with masculinity. Male writers and artists in particular found their labors troubled by class and gender ideologies that idealized ‘man’s work’ as sweaty, muscled labor and tended to feminize intellectual and artistic pursuits.

The Broadview Introduction to Literature

Co-edited by Dr. Neta Gordon
(with Lisa Chalykoff and Paul Lumsden)

Designed for courses taught at the introductory level in Canadian universities and colleges, this new anthology provides a rich selection of literary texts. Unlike many other such anthologies, it includes literary nonfiction as well as poetry, short fiction, and drama.

Temperance and Cosmopolitanism African American Reformers in the Atlantic World

Dr. Carole Lynn Stewart

Temperance and Cosmopolitanism explores the nature and meaning of cosmopolitan freedom in the nineteenth century through a study of selected African American authors and reformers: William Wells Brown, Martin Delany, George Moses Horton, Frances E. W. Harper, and Amanda Berry Smith. Their voluntary travels, a reversal of the involuntary movement of enslavement, form the basis for a critical mode of cosmopolitan freedom rooted in temperance.

Both before and after the Civil War, white Americans often associated alcohol and drugs with blackness and enslavement. Carole Lynn Stewart traces how African American reformers mobilized the discourses of cosmopolitanism and restraint to expand the meaning of freedom—a freedom that draws on themes of abolitionism and temperance not only as principles and practices for the inner life but simultaneously as the ordering structures for forms of culture and society. While investigating traditional meanings of temperance consistent with the ethos of the Protestant work ethic, Enlightenment rationality, or asceticism, Stewart shows how temperance informed the founding of diasporic communities and civil societies to heal those who had been affected by the pursuit of excess in the transatlantic slave trade and the individualist pursuit of happiness.

By elucidating the concept of the “black Atlantic” through the lenses of literary reformers, Temperance and Cosmopolitanism challenges the narrative of Atlantic history, empire, and European elite cosmopolitanism. Its interdisciplinary approach will be of particular value to scholars of African American literature and history as well as scholars of nineteenth-century cultural, political, and religious studies.

Staging Pain, 1580–1800: Violence and Trauma in British Theater

Dr. Mathew Martin & Dr. James Allard (Editor)

Staging Pain, 1580–1800: Violence and Trauma in British Theater

Dr. James Allard

Bookending the chronology of this collection are two crucial moments in the histories of pain, trauma, and their staging in British theater: the establishment of secular and professional theater in London in the 1580s, and the growing dissatisfaction with theatrical modes of public punishment alongside the increasing efficacy of staging extravagant spectacles at the end of the eighteenth century. From the often brutal spectacle of late medieval mystery plays to early Romantic re-evaluations of eighteenth-century appropriations of spectacles of pain, the essays take up the significance of these watershed moments in British theater and expand on recent work treating bodies in pain: what and how pain means, how such meaning can be embodied, how such embodiment can be dramatized, and how such dramatizations can be put to use and made meaningful in a variety of contexts. Grouped thematically, the essays interrogate individual plays and important topics in terms of the volume’s overriding concerns, among them Tamburlaine and The Maid’s Tragedy, revenge tragedy, Joshua Reynolds on public executions, King Lear, Settle’s Moroccan plays, spectacles of injury, torture, and suffering, and Joanna Baillie’s Plays on the Passions. Collectively, these essays make an important contribution to the increasingly interrelated histories of pain, the body, and the theater.