PhD Student Profiles

AHB = Arts & Humanities Building
IGAB = International and Graduate Affairs Building
K Abramoff
Kristi Abramoff 
BA and MA in English (University of Alberta)
My research focuses on the treatment of the “fallen woman” figure in depression era Canadian literature.


Meghan Blythe Adams 
MA (U of T), BA (Western)
My chief areas of interest include space, death and the body in video games. More broadly, I am interested in theories of play, particularly in relation to identity. My previous teaching experience includes courses on Effective Writing, the Graphic Novel, Science Fiction and Madness in Literature.

Kara Barfett
Kara Barfett 
MA (Western), BEd (Western), BA (Western)
The focus of my research is early modern non-dramatic literature and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, with an emphasis on the history of Milton criticism. I hold a gold medal from Western University, a Governor General’s academic medal, and have spoken internationally on early modern literature—most recently at the British Institute of Florence, Italy.

Madison Bettle
Madison Bettle
MA (Western), BA (Queen's)
Victorian/19C. Secondary field: Postcolonial. I specialize in adventure fiction, masculinity, and the Indian Mutiny. My secondary interests include postcolonial ecocriticism.


Donnie Calabrese
Donald Calabrese
MA (Western), BA (Cape Breton)
My primary research surrounds the manuscripts and "avant-texte" of James Joyce's Ulysses. I'm currently studying (re)naming in the Ulysses avant-texte and how it complicates the printed text of the novel. My secondary interests include Frank O'Hara, comix, Christopher Marlowe and the philosophy of language.

David Carlton
David Carlton
B.A. Hons. in English (UBC); M.A. English in Medieval Studies (UVic)
My research studies the intersection between Anglo-Saxon and Old Saxon cultural and linguistic concerns in the early post-conversion period. More generally, I'm interested in Old English and continental Germanic languages, and the relationship between hybridization theory and semantic shift in the early Middle Ages.


C Diezyn
2016-17 Graduate English Society (GES) Co-Chair
Caroline Diezyn
MA, BA (Western)
My research interests include American literature (1900-present), ecocriticism, time and temporality, sci-fi and speculative fiction, and gender and sexuality studies.


C Ezenwa
Chinelo Ezenwa
MA (University of Western Ontario), MA (London Metropolitan University), BA (University of Nigeria)

Primary Field: Postcolonial Studies.

My research examines the long-term cultural implications for Igbo Christians of following a potentially flawed translation of the Bible. I am also interested in reading and understanding Popular Culture.


Jeremy Fairall 
MA (Windsor)
My research examines how the "male gaze" might function within the context of Young Adult texts literature and film focused upon queer male characters.  More broadly, I am also interested in Canadian Literature, Children's and Young Adult Literature, Queer Theory, Popular Culture, and Film. 


S Harrison
Sarah M. E. Harrison 
MA (McMaster University), BA (Huron University College)
My research engages in an interdisciplinary approach to Madness and narratives of health or embodiment. My theoretical perspective is primarily informed by Mad Studies, Critical Disability Studies, feminist literary criticism, and public health research with a strong intersectional emphasis. I am interested in 20th and 21st century texts, but I read texts from across the UK, Canada, and the United States, including Indigenous literature. 


Mikyla A. Hindson 
BA (Lethbridge), MA (Western)
My main research focuses happiness as it appears in Romantic literature, and its connection to modern self-help. I am mainly interested in how expectations of happiness arise out of Romanticism and manifest in contemporary capitalist culture. Other areas of interest include Cultural Studies (with a focus in popular culture and music videos) and Indigenous literature and creativity. 


David Huebert
2016-17 Lead GTA
David Huebert
MA (UVic), BA (Dalhousie)
David's research examines interspecies erotics in American literature from Jack London to Joy Harjo. David's first book of poetry was published by Guernica Editions in 2015 and his collection of fiction, Peninsula Sinking, is forthcoming from Biblioasis.

Office Hours: Mondays 3-5 pm
or by appointment


Jeremy Johnston
Jeremy Johnston
MA (Windsor), BA (Laurentian)
My research interests include: Young Adult literature, American literature, constructions of adolescence, mental health, trauma theory, and post-structuralist methodologies.



Taylor Kraayenbrink
MA (Western), BA (Redeemer)
I research American literature (pre and post-1865) examining how texts contribute to a revision of traditional narratives about the rise and nature of secular culture. I suggest that modern forms of fundamentalism, Christian, Islamic, or otherwise, are a production of--not an other to--the historical formation of a secular age.


Emily L. Kring
B.A (Western), M.A (UBC)
My research focuses on contemporary Cree poetics, language, and narrative philosophy, seeking to theorize the relationship between creative production, Indigenous language revitalization paradigms, and embodied resurgence.


Hanji Lee
MA (Toronto), BA (Toronto)
Research interests: Victorian British imperialism, South Asian Postcolonial literature, Postcolonial nationalism. 


Nahmi Lee
Nahmi Lee
MA (Western), BA (Ottawa)
Research interests: I have entered this program with an interest in discourses of vision -- especially the vision-reliant, near-cinematic of rhetoric of science -- found in Victorian and early-twentieth-century fiction, with special attention to the gendered implications of this rhetoric. 


               Erica Leighton Erica Leighton
MA (Carleton), BA (Carleton)
Research interests: The entire medieval period (500-1500) with a focus on mid-late medieval England; specifically, thears memoria (art of memory) and its interpretations in the rhetorical narrative constructions of hagiography. Teaching experience: 5 years of teaching assistantships in a range of courses. I regularly teach on writing in video games, and guest lectured on Chaucer's Wife of Bath.


Lori Maddigan
MA (English); BA (English & Creative Writing); BA (Phil & Psych) - Western

I work with Canadian Indigenous literature and theory, focusing on the intersection of language, storytelling, cultural reclamation, and addiction recovery.


Riley McDonald
MA (Dalhousie), BA (Trent)
Contemporary horror and science fiction, with specific emphasis on virality and its influence on political and social movements. 


F Nakhaie
Farrah Nakhaie
BA in English Literature and Language and Logic (Windsor), MA in English (Waterloo)
I study republication in the Modernist period. My dissertation project looks at the significance of republication in recreating or representing the literary object: as a work that interacts with literary and social culture, as a commodity, and as representing the author.


K Niles
Kristen Niles
MPhil (Memorial), BA (Trent)
My research interests are in contemporary Irish-Canadian literature and the intersections between feminism, nationalism, and cultural identities in diaspora studies. I primarily work with authors such as Jane Urquhart, Peter Behrens, Emma Donoghue, and Caroline Pignat.

Meghan O'Hara
Meghan O'Hara
MA (Western), BA (McMaster)
My research focuses on contemporary British theatre and performance practices, including immersive and participatory theatres. Studying works by such companies as Forced Entertainment and Punchdrunk, as well as plays by Martin Crimp, and David Greig, my dissertation studies the relationship between temporality, liveness, and affect in live performance.

Christine Penhale
Christine Penhale
My research focuses on the development of the nineteenth-century literary symbol through an exploration of floriography in E.B. Browning, Alfred Tennyson, and John Ruskin. My secondary research interests include literary theory and detective fiction.

George Ramos
George Ramos
MFA (Michigan at Ann Arbor), BA (Dartmouth College)
Interests: Early Modern English Literature, Creative Writing (Poetry and Playwrighting)

Jackie Reed
Jackie Reed
M.A. in English Literary Studies (University of Denver), B.A. in English (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Interests: Studying portrayals of women in novels by postwar British women writers, especially Muriel Spark and Barbara Pym, with a focus on novels published or set in 1945-1959.



Cameron Riddell
Cameron Riddell
MA & BA (Western)
Interests: I am interested by: American Modernism, Hilda Doolittle, Philip K Dick, Mythology, Biblical Revelation, Science Fiction, Psychoanalysis, Disease, Alternate Realities. 


Shazia Sadaf
Shazia Sadaf
PhD (University of London UK); MA (King's College London UK); MPhil (University of Peshawar Pakistan)

Primary Field: Postcolonial Studies (South Asian) 

My research focuses on the conversation between post 9/11 Pakistani Anglophone literature and studies in terrorism, Islamization, and human rights.

AHB 0N85

Diana Samu-Visser
MA (Western), BA (Calgary)
My research concerns the cultural, socio-political, and ethical dimensions of technologies through which embodiment and archivization intersect, that is, the ways in which we literally and figuratively preserve the dead. Such technologies include cadaver plastination, postmortem photography, practices of deathcare, and material proxies for absent bodies. Other foundations and considerations include necropolitics, abjection, eroticism, death sentences, the ethics of necrography, the corpse in systems of circulation, and implicit/explicit depictions of necrophilia.

Megan Selinger
Megan Lynn Selinger
MA (York), BA (York)
My primary research in early modern drama investigates how performance disrupts the stability of play endings and enhances the narrative of the plays themselves. I also have interests in contemporary theatre and Shakespearean adaptation. My secondary field is the 19th century. Teaching experience: Shakespeare, Introduction to English, The Contemporary Gothic, and Madness and Culture.

Mohammad Sharifi
Mohammad Sharifi
MA, BA (University of Tehran)
My research engages with the modern grotesque in fiction as a genre that emerges as the expression of schizophrenia and paranoia in American literature, although its scope is wider than that.  I am interested in psychoanalysis and schizoanalysis, 20th century American fiction, comparative literature, and also Persian Literature.


Kevin Shaw
MA (Windsor), MLIS (Western), BA (Western)
My dissertation considers how contemporary Canadian literature represents the state's inter- and intranational borders as discursive sites of censorship and/or disclosure regarding expressions of sexuality and gender of LGBTQ subjects. I am also interested in creative writing, composition, and pedagogy.


Nidhi Shrivastava
Nidhi Shrivastava
MA (UMich), MA (Western), BA (U Connecticut)
I am interested in the representations of rape and sexual violence in India from the Partition to the contemporary times, especially in lieu of the recent polemic cases that have taken place in India. Specifically, I want to address the themes of silence and honour and the ways in which these elements shape a middle class Indian woman's subjectivity through a close analysis of novels, films, and online media.


Thomas Sorensen
Thomas Sorensen
MA, BA (Carleton)
American literature, particularly the Transcendentalist-Pragmatist tradition; New Formalism; aesthetics; hermeneutics and method; OOO.


Jason Sunder
Jason Sunder
MA (Western), BA (Simon Fraser)
My thesis investigates how the British Raj's legacy of imperial power shaped, and continues to shape, the lives of animals in India, and how stories about animals by Indian authors influence the way we think about this legacy today. The thesis is part of a larger project that interrogates the "logocentric presumptions" at which species boundaries coincide with the legal mechanisms that legitimate imperial power as a racist practice. My other interests include biopolitics, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and speculative fiction.