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June 26, 2020 | Marie Smibert Writing Studies Student Achievement Prize Winners
The Marie Smibert Writing Studies Student Achievement Prizes honour the achievements of students in Writing Studies courses. Congratulations to the following winners:
Marie Smibert Writing Scholarship (Introductory Expository Writing 2019-20 valued at $20000) - Laura Matias
Marie Smibert Writing Prize (Highest Mark Writing 2202F/G 2019-20 valued at $700) - Jillian Cavuoti
Category 3 (Non-Fiction Manuscripts) - Akshi Chadha


June 25, 2020 | English Graduate Studies
Sara Marie Jones Memorial Scholarship
The winner of this year’s Sara Marie Jones Memorial Scholarship in English is Ileana Gonzalez Zavala for her essay “Repetition, Posthumousness and Rewriting in Shelley’s Alastor and Mary Shelley’s Mathilda”. The essay offers a fascinating exploration of echoes in and between Alastor and Mathilda that ranges across genre, structural repetition, and publication history. Ileana presents a nuanced exploration of these unsettling and ambiguous repetitions and maintains a mature and rigorous methodology throughout; the incestuous doublings and substitutions of Mathilda are treated with particular subtlety. The judges would also like to commend the other entrants for some interesting and impressive papers that made picking a winner a slightly difficult pleasure.

The Sara Marie Jones Memorial Scholarship in English is awarded annually to a PhD student in the first year of the doctoral program for an essay submitted to the competition. This scholarship honours the memory of Sara Marie Jones, who was a graduate student pursuing research in English at Western. It was made possible by generous donations from Sara's family and friends, and occurs through the good offices of Foundation Western. The Sara Marie Jones Scholarship is valued at $500.

The Graduate Studies Office would like to thank all students who submitted an essay for the competition, as well as the members of the adjudication committee, Drs Jo Devereux, James Purkis, and Aaron Schneider, for their enthusiasm and dedication to our students, and for their work on this competition.


May 19, 2020 | The Conversation
Cooking in the coronavirus crisis
Many of us are turning to cooking during lockdown as a way to connect to others and feed our bellies and soul. English Studies professor Madeline Bassnett delves into English recipe books from centuries ago and learns how cooking during the 16th and 17th centuries served similar social purposes in difficult times.


May 14, 2020 | Western News
Course announces that ‘the plague’s the thing
Theatre Studies 3206G - Shakespeare in Performance examines Shakepearean works through the lens of the insidious and invisible disease that shaped the playwright’s life.


May 12, 2020 | Western News
Read. Watch. Listen. with Manina Jones
Seek solace by immersing yourself in other-worlds when English & Writing Studies professor Manina Jones takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.


May 4, 2020 | Western News
Pandemic poetry books lighten load, raise funds
Writing Studies professor Aaron Schneider helps raise money for social agencies, independent booksellers and artists through poetry.


April 29, 2020 | Western News
Students join global effort to solve PPE shortage
Western students Betty Wang, English Literature/Ivey HBA, and Amy Wang, Computer Science/Ivey HBA join global effort to solve PPE shortage.


April 27, 2020 | Western News
Toy giant lends hand – and Banz – in COVID-19 fight
Tammy Smitham, BA’97 (Sociology and English), joined Spin Master, a leading children’s entertainment company, in 2018 as Vice President, Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility. She leads global external and internal communications, public relations, organic social media brand channels, influencer relations and corporate social responsibility.


April 26, 2020 | Community NewsMedia Association
Shalu Mehta, New Journalist of the Year
Congratulations to English Language and Literature Major and Certificate in Theatre Arts alumna Shalu Mehta for winning the Ma Murray New Journalist of the Year award! The Ma Murray Awards are an opportunity to recognize the achievements of the association’s 95 member newspapers in British Columbia and Yukon.


April 13, 2020 | Theatre Studies
Performance Beyond Theatres - Performance Action Archive
As part of their work with City Studio London this past semester, and in partnership with Leora Swartzman and her students in Psychology 3895E (Psychology in the Community), students in Kim Solga’s Theatre Studies 2202G (Performance Beyond Theatres) created four audio-based performance actions to support education and inclusivity around four key topics: Sanism, Ableism, Racism, and Xenophobia. They can be downloaded and experienced at anytime, by anyone.


April 9, 2020 | CBC Literary Prizes
The Jungle by Richard Joseph
Congratulations to Creative Writing and English Language and Literature alumnus Richard Joseph for making the CBC Short Story Prize longlist!


April 8, 2020 | Twitter | CBC
Actor Patrick Stewart gives Shakespearean shout out to Paul Werstine
Patrick Stewart has been reading a Shakespeare sonnet per day throughout the Covid-19 crisis. Here he reads one of the most famous sonnets and also acknowledges the editors of the Folger edition he is using, including our own Paul Werstine!


March 30, 2020 | Western News
Food provides outlets for students coping
Students in Melanie Chambers’ now-online Food Writing course (Writing 2222G) dissect the meaning of and our relationship with food. In the first class, they discussed how food goes beyond sustenance and nutrition; food is life and pleasure, ritual and connection.


March 19, 2020 | Undergraduate Studies 
Message from Emma Donoghue
Students from English 2501E - Canadian Literature Survey were studying Emma Donoghue's Room as classes and the Grand's production were cancelled. The novel/play/film's theme of confinement was not lost on any of them. The divine Ms. Donoghue generously recorded a message of support for all our students.


March 12, 2020 | CBC
Three-minute thesis
Western University students Trent Gordon, Sheetala Bhat and Li Li are gearing up to deliver their three-minute thesis tonight. The students join London Morning to share even more condensed versions of their work.


March 9, 2020 | Faculty Research
English and Theatre Studies professor M.J. Kidnie gave the George Kiddell Memorial Lecture at the Fisher Rare Book Library in Toronto last week. It was an hour-long talk called, "'Some dozen or sixteen lines': In the Playhouse with Hamlet".


March 2, 2020 | Western News
Dr. Zane Cohen among Order of Ontario honourees
Hearty congratulations to Dr. Zane Cohen, who has been named to the Order of Ontario. Dr. Cohen, along with Mr. B. Franklin Shostack, continues to make the Lillian Kroll Prize in Creative Writing available each year, in memory of the late Lillian Kroll. The Lillian Kroll Prize award was first presented in 1990.


March 1, 2020 | Forest City Open Mic for Poetry
Former poetry students share their poetry
Congratulations to Sueda Cam, Akshi Chadha, and Caitlyn Dubé who will be featured at the Forest City Open Mic for Poetry on March 10th, 7pm at Mykonos Restaurant in London. Come and be inspired by fabulous young talent as recommended by their poetry prof and unforgettable London poet Kathryn Mockler.


February 26, 2020 | CBC
Black writers and the Great Lakes region
Professor Alyssa MacLean discusses “Black Thought in the Great Lakes Region, 1790-1890", an exhibit she and her grad students organized at Western Libraries - Western University for Black History Month. Listen to the interview and check out the exhibit through April.


February 3, 2020 | Western News
Black history’s Great Lakes connections on display
Under the supervision of professor Alyssa MacLean, English and Writing Studies graduate students prepared an exhibit at The D.B. Weldon Library highlighting published writings by African-American and African-Canadian authors with a connection to the Great Lakes region on both sides of the border. Part of the Western Library Archives and Special Collections, the writings range from newspapers and pamphlets to autobiographies and biographical novels written from about 1790-1890. Students used them to highlight transnational conversations that took place during that time.


January 28, 2020 | Graduate Studies
Sheetala Bhat, winner of the International Federation for Theatre Research’s Helsinki Prize
Congratulations to Sheetala for her winning essay "In-Between Love: Performance of Intimate Love as Making of Counterpublics in Mandeep Raikhy's Queen-size"! "The prize is awarded on the basis of academic merit and strives to promote the exchange and networking of new scholars in developing regions, and to encourage research in the field of theatre in their countries." In addition to the honour, Sheetala’s expenses are paid for a trip to Galway, Ireland for the IFTR annual conference.


January 21, 2020 | CBC
Have feelings about climate change? Write about it!
Creative writing professor Kathryn Mockler is working with a team of editors to compile an ongoing publication on climate change-inspired poetry, prose and artwork for an anthology she hopes will build community and spark action. You can also listen to her interview on Afternoon Drive with Chris del Torre here


January 17, 2020 | CBC
Barnett collection subject of WEMS presentation
The Barnett collection, which was donated to Western more than 100 years ago by John Davis Barnett, was the subject of the Western Early Modern Society (WEMS) presentations by Scott Schofield (Huron) “Rare Editions and Unique Copies: Untold Stories from the Barnett Shakespeare Collection” and Ian Rae (King’s) “What Good Are All those Books: Barnett as City-builder and Public Intellectual”, and Blake Robertson, “Princes, Prayers, and Politics ‘too much presented’: the function of pencil markings in Fletcher and Massinger’s Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt.”


January 9, 2020 | Western News
Poetry anthology looks to inspire climate action
Edited by English Professor Kathryn Mockler, a new online poetry and prose anthology has dedicated itself to confronting the climate crisis. In mid-2020, Coach House Books plans to publish the works, collectively called Watch Your Head, with all proceeds donated to climate justice and Indigenous groups.


December 23, 2019 | CBC
'From syrup to source': a poem about winter light to mark the solstice
Pujita Verma, Mississauga's Youth Poet Laureate and student enrolled in "Renewing Your Poetic License: Introduction to Writing Poetry" (Writing 2220F), reads a poem about light, stars and the solstice on CBC's Metro Morning.


December 19, 2019 | Canadaland
Is The Agony Of Twitter Worth It For Young Journalists?
Student Writer-in-Residence Gabrielle Drolet talks with CANADALAND about how journalists engage with Twitter.


November 18, 2019 | Western News
Alumna puts sting back in classic Marvel character
Since graduating from Western a decade ago with a BA in English Language & Literature and Film Studies, [Sam] Maggs has written an ever-growing number of books, comics, and video games featuring some of the biggest names in pop culture including Captain Marvel, Spider-Man and Captain Kirk.


November 15, 2019 | Undergraduate Studies
Fall 2019 Scholarship Recipients
We were delighted to recognize the academic achievements of our outstanding students during our annual Undergraduate Awards Reception. Congratulations to all of our award winners!


November 13, 2019 | Western News
Writing 2219F Word Travels: Introduction to Travel Writing encourages student ‘travel’ across London
Professor Melanie Chambers wanted to create an assignment that encouraged students to break through ‘The Western Bubble’ and explore a wider London in hopes that the students would find some surprising discoveries after much research and exploration.


November 8, 2019 | Theatre Studies
Professor Kidnie highlights why students enroll in Theatre Studies 3900G - Destination Theatre
“I think the inherent value of an intercultural experience is that it develops personal qualities such as empathy and compassion. Going on a trip like [Destination Theatre] is demonstrable evidence that you’re someone who is willing to engage with other people, other communities on their own terms - and not only that, but you’re a person who’s willing to take a bit of a risk to do it.”


November 11, 2019 | Western News
English alumna’s memoir explores race, city and self
Eternity Martis, BA’14 (English Language and Literature/Women’s Studies), will release her debut memoir, ‘They Said This Would Be Fun,’ next spring. The book that captures her difficulty of navigating white spaces as a woman of colour.


October 28, 2019 | Western News
Western leads celebration of Whitman legacy
English professor Josh Schuster will help celebrate American poet Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday, as part of the annual Words: London’s Literary and Creative Arts Festival, taking place Nov. 1-3 at Museum London. Schuster is delivering a public lecture, Legacies of Walt Whitman’s Summer on Nov 2.


October 25, 2019 | Graduate Studies
Discovery of Witches
With assistance from Western's librarians and archivists, Caroline Diezyn, PhD Candidate, has curated an exhibit on books from Western's archives about witchcraft. Stop in at Weldon Library to see the exhibit to get into the spooky spirit!


October 21, 2019 | Western News
Shakespeare course fuelled fire for Executive Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival
When Anita Gaffney, BA’90 (English Language and Literature), MBA’02 was enrolled in an undergraduate Shakespeare course in which she didn't get the grades she aspired to -- it became an obsession with her to work hard and face the challenges of the Shakespeare texts, providing a formative experience for her in her journey towards her current position.


September 30, 2019 | Western News
Journey into the 'Dark'
Take a journey into the not-so-distant past and future, along with a ‘Dark’ present that wrestles with both, when English and Writing Studies professor Chris Keep takes his turn on Read. Watch. Listen.


August 21, 2019 | Western News
Western rediscovers, revives long-lost abolitionist newspaper
English professor Alyssa MacLean, a specialist in countercultural political movements of the 19th Century, said the paper’s preservation and rediscovery is remarkable. More coverage >>


August 19, 2019 | Western News
University’s role at heart of new course
Starting January 2020, English and Writing Studies Professor Jane Toswell will teach This University, a new online/in-class course intended to be an academic look at what universities are – and are not – against the backdrop of Western.


July 30, 2019 | Western News
Poetry, journalism mix for Student Writer-in-Residence
Gabrielle Drolet, a fourth-year English and Writing Studies student, is Western’s 2019-2020 Student Writer-in-Residence.


July 29, 2019 | CBC
Camille Intson BA'19, wins Best in Fringe
Intson - recent grad, former Student Writer-in-Residence, and playwright, director and producer of WE ALL GOT LOST - wins Best in Fringe, the award for the most attended show at the festival. The show walked away with three awards in total, including Best New Play and Best in Venue.


July 23, 2019 | CBC
English student finds sense of belonging
Kriti Mehra, an LGBTQ+ student who moved from Mumbai to London to study in Western English and Writing Studies says that finding their own community was different in ‘a nice way’ when they came to Western. They were happy to find people who they could talk to who could relate to their experiences.


July 12, 2019 | Keats-Shelley Association of America
The Cenci 2019
To mark the bicentenary of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s drama, The Cenci, the Keats-Shelley Association of America interviewed Professors Monika Lee and Jo Devereux. This production will be staged by students in our popular undergraduate course English 2041F (Fall Theatre Production) from December 4-7, 2019.


July 12, 2019 | English Graduate Studies
Sara Marie Jones Memorial Scholarship
Congratulations to Melanie Byron, winner of the Sara Marie Jones Memorial Scholarship for her essay "'Now that’s medicine’: Disability and Healing in The Marrow Thieves". The committee received submissions from five students, and awarded the prize to this essay for “its strong, original argument, expressive quality, and argumentative clarity.” The committee read the submitted essays without knowledge of their authorship.

The Sara Marie Jones Memorial Scholarship in English valued at $500, is awarded annually to a PhD student in the first year of the doctoral program for an essay submitted to the competition. This scholarship honours the memory of Sara Marie Jones, who was a graduate student pursuing research in English at Western. It was made possible by generous donations from Sara's family and friends, and occurs through the good offices of Foundation Western.

The Graduate Studies Office would like to thank the members of the adjudication committee, Drs MJ Kidnie, Jamie Johnston, and Kim Solga, for their enthusiasm and dedication to our students, and for their work on this competition.