Public Humanities at WesternWestern Arts and Humanities


group of students

philPhillip Glennie, Program Coordinator

Philip Glennie is a graduate of the Ph.D. English program at The University of Western Ontario, and currently works as a freelance editor and teacher, performing work for organizations like Statistics Canada and the Ontario Telemedicine Network, among others. He is also an active member of the London community, serving as a registered member of Pillar – London’s major not-for-profit network – and in September of 2011, acting as one of the head organizers for Oh!Fest, a free music festival held in conjunction with London’s wonderfully successful Car-Free Fest. While studying at The University of Western Ontario, he focused his dissertation on the role of therapeutic drugs in early 20th-Century Literature, exploring the tenuous relationship between the unsettling aspects of critical thinking and the individual’s desire for “thoughtless” chemical comfort. Over the course of his graduate education, he wrote and completed five novels and over forty short stories. He has been a recipient of four Ontario Graduate Scholarships, as well as a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council doctoral fellowship.


rita Rita Ieshu, Program Coordinator

Rita Ieshu recently graduated from the Arts & Science program at McMaster University. She is currently an MA student in the Department of English & Writing Studies at Western University. Her involvement with disability studies began during her undergraduate career, where she worked to develop an online resource for instructors at McMaster University in their compliance with accessible teaching standards. She has also won the Ontario Service Award and the Hamilton Health Sciences Volunteer Education Scholarship for her dedication to hospital service. Her interests in illness and disability narratives continue with her current work in narrative medicine.

Public Humanities Alumni

donnieDonnie Calabrese, Program Coordinator

Donald Calabrese is a PhD candidate in the department of English at Western University.  His primary research surrounds the manuscripts and "avant-texte" of James Joyce's Ulysses. He is currently studying (re)naming in the Ulysses avant-texte and how it complicates the printed text of the novel. His secondary interests include Frank O'Hara and New York School collaboration, comix, Christopher Marlowe and the philosophy of language. Spending the last five years as a musician based in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Donald collaborated on a variety of community projects including a successful (and ongoing) public speaker series, a hyper-local community newspaper, and public space reclamation endeavors. Informed by the work of the Antigonish Movement, Donald is fiercely devoted to cooperative labour and education and is currently working on a graphic biography of the founder of the Antigonish Movement, Moses Coady.

samSamantha Angrove, Program Coordinator

Samantha Angove is from Thunder Bay, Ontario and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in Psychology from Lakehead University. She completed a portion of her B.A. at Charles Sturt University in Australia. Currently, she is completing her Master of Arts degree in Art History at Western University, Canada. Samantha has volunteered at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and was a mural painter for the NPO Action Neighbourhood Change. She has also worked as a researcher for a NPO that has a goal of establishing a national museum/science centre for Canada’s grain trade history. Samantha recently co-curated an exhibition from the McIntosh Gallery’s permanent collection in London, Ontario. Accompanying the exhibition was the catalogue publication Negotiation within the Frame: textual and pictorial connections in art. The research for her M.A. thesis focuses on contemporary indigenous artists who explore settler colonialism in their work, and contemporary art exhibitions that navigate the complexities of postcoloniality through references to popular culture.

lauraLaura Kelvin, Program Coordinator

Laura Kelvin is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at Western University. Her research employs community archaeology strategies to examine the history of Banks Island, NWT. In collaboration with the Inuvialuit community of Sachs Harbour, Laura plans to design a website that will feature Inuvialuit and archaeological interpretations of the past to explore how digital space can be used to facilitate multivocal analyses She will also use oral history and ethnohistorical research to examine how previous archaeological and anthropological research has impacted the community, and how archaeologists and community members can work towards the decolonization of archaeological practices. Previously, she completed a BA at the University of Western Ontario in anthropology with a minor in First Nations studies and a MA in archaeology at Memorial University. Her MA thesis, The Inuit-Metis of Sandwich Bay: Oral Histories and Archaeology, examined the ethnogenesis of the Labrador Metis community. During this work Laura lived in Cartwright, Labrador where she conducted oral history interviews with the community’s Elders to learn about their past settlement and land use practices. Laura is also an active member of the Committee for Women in Anthropology.

jamieJamie Rooney, Program Coordinator

Jamie Rooney is currently a Scholar’s Elective undergraduate student, pursuing an Honors Specialization in English at Western University and SciencesPo, Paris. He specializes in trauma, mourning and melancholia in contemporary literature and theory and has published in The Word Hoard. After completing a volunteer exchange to Mozambique and a cross-Canada cycling fundraiser for Canada World Youth, Rooney served on the organization’s Board of Directors from 2010-2012. Additionally, he is currently the International Director of AJUDE Mozambique Rooney has delivered keynote addresses on civic engagement and experiential learning at conferences and events across Canada; his audiences have included high school and university students, Canadian and international NGOs, the Prime Minister, Governor General and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Internationally, he has addressed events including the International Orphanage Conference in Mozambique and the African Regional Learning Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2012-2013, Rooney was awarded the Scholar’s Program Scholarship, Diana Beattie Exchange Scholarship, Memorial Scholarship, Marguerite Torney Scholarship and the UWO Faculty Association Scholarship and has been a past winner of the Global Changemaker Award given by the Ontario Council for International Cooperation.

cierraCierra Webster, Program Coordinator

Cierra Webster completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from Queen’s University with a double major in art history and history. Currently, she is a Master’s of Arts student in the department of visual arts at Western University. Cierra’s thesis analyses how contemporary North American art practices mobilize queer methodological frameworks to unsettle the canon of art history. She specifically focuses on concepts of homonormativity, homonationalism, and queering settler colonialism through an examination of the Smithsonian Hide/Seek exhibition, Kent Monkman’s paintings, and General Idea’s FILE Megazine project. In addition, she received a Queen’s University Excellence Scholarship and has worked at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Museum London. Outside of the art world, Cierra has also worked extensively with social justice and activism programs, oftentimes working with youth. Of these include social issues theatre groups, education-based programs and conferences, fundraising events, and anti-oppression workshops. 

khanJaxson Khan, Program Coordinator

Named one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20 young leaders, Jaxson is an undergraduate student at Western University studying at Huron College. Jaxson is a leader of the Young Diplomats of Canada, which represents Canada in the International Diplomatic Education Association, and engages the country's top young professionals in global forums and opportunities. Jaxson co-founded and is the Chair of the Board of Student Voice Initiative, a Canadian movement which has successfully advocated for student leadership policies across the nation. Jaxson co-chairs the national AstraZeneca Young Health Program, a global community investment initiative which helps young Canadians in need deal with mental and physical health issues, and he co-founded The Globe and Mail Student Advisory Council, which informs and writes student-authored editorials for a national publication with a readership of more than 3.5 million. He has travelled to and conducted research in fifteen countries across four continents, including the UK, Belgium, Israel, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, and represented Canada at the United Nations in New York City as well as the 2013 G8 Youth Summit. Jaxson is an Ambassador of One Young World, and a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

chrisChris Bundock, Program Coordinator

Chris Bundock took his doctorate at Western in 2010 and is currently a SSHRCC post-doctoral fellow at Duke University. His post-doctoral project, The Melancholia of Messianism: 'Judaism' and Discontinuous History in William Blake, Percy Shelley, and George Eliot, develops and extends his dissertation's analysis of Romantic prophecy as a phenomenon responding to a novel experience of time and history emergent in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He has published essays in European Romantic Review, Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, Romantic Praxis, Review of English Studies, and Rethinking British Romantic History, 1780-1840. In 2009 he received the Graduate Essay Prize from the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism and in 2011 was the recipient of the Governor General's Gold Medal.