Spirit Island, Lake Maligne, Canada

Literature, Culture & Place Canadian Studies Reading Group

Canadian studies is one of the expanding areas of research activity in the School of Humanities. It's part of the larger research theme, Literature, Culture & Place.

The group consists of academic staff and postgraduate students based at Strathclyde and nearby institutions. Our regular meetings take various forms, such as presentations and responses, or group discussion of recent publications in Canadian studies.

We've recently hosted visiting scholars including Dr Victoria Kuttainen (James Cook University, Australia) and Dr Alicia Menendez-Tarrazo (University of Oviedo, Spain).

Our recent work

A selection of our recent work can be viewed in our digital showcase.

Current group members

Rachael Alexander started her PhD in October 2012. It focuses on comparisons between American and Canadian mass-market magazines in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is a graduate of the MLitt Literature, Culture & Place at Strathclyde, and her dissertation was on Canadian novelist Ethel Wilson.

Erin Despard is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Geography at Glasgow University. She has a PhD in Communication Studies, and research interests in non-verbal, visual and environmental communication; garden and landscape history; and urban landscape and new media.

Sarah Galletly (external member) was awarded her PhD in 2012.  Her project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supervised by Faye Hammill, was entitled 'Work, Class and Gender in Canadian Fiction, 1890s-1920s'. She is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at James Cook University, Australia on a project entitled The Transported Imagination.

Faye Hammill, Professor of English, currently focuses on interwar literature, print culture and the middlebrow, and has published books and articles on a range of Canadian authors. Between 2011 and 2013, she collaborated with Michelle Smith on an AHRC funded project on Canadian magazines from the 1920s to 1950s. She supervises Rachael Alexander and Zhen Liu.

Harriet Kennedy studied for her PhD (awarded in 2015) in the Centre of Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on how Bande Dessinée produced in Quebec represented the 1980 and 1995 referendums. 

Anouk Lang is a lecturer in Digital Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. She researches Anglophone modernisms and also has expertise in Digital Humanities. She has published on Australian, Canadian and British literature, and edited From Codex to Hypertext, a book on reading communities. She is building a digital edition of correspondence between Canadian modernist writers, which will allow her to investigate connections between writers in this community. This is part of the SSHRC 'Editing Modernism in Canada' project.

Zhen Liu is a graduate of the Literature, Culture and Place M Litt degree at Strathclyde, and wrote her masters dissertation on Alice Munro.  In October 2011 she began work on a doctoral project entitled 'A Liberating Inheritance: Chinese Canadian and Japanese Canadian Literature in English, 1970s to 2000s'.

Cristina Pietropaulo is a doctoral student at the University of Edinburgh, working on a project on contemporary Toronto urban fiction.

Honor Rieley is working on a D.Phil thesis at the University of Oxford, focusing on writing about emigration to Canada in the Romantic period. She has recently returned to her hometown of Glasgow to complete her project.

Michelle Smith is a poet and critic who received her doctorate from the University of Alberta for a project on Canadian Women’s Mass-Market Magazines, 1928-45.  She has since held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, and was the postdoctoral researcher on the AHRC-funded project 'Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture in Canada, 1925-1960'. A book, co-authored with Faye Hammill and emerging from this project, was published in 2015.

Will Smith is an Associate Lecturer at Lancaster University. His PhD was on representations of Toronto in contemporary literature, and he has published numerous articles on this topic. He is currently working on early twentieth-century Toronto authors.

Rosie Spooner is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow, studying the material culture of colonial encounters.

Recent & forthcoming meetings

3 May 2017: reading by Canadian author Michael Winter. The Clubroom, CCA, Sauchiehall St, 5pm

24 January 2017: discussion of The Literary Garland, led by Honor Rieley

23 November 2016: joint meeting with the Literature, Culture and Place reading group, on Arthur Schnitzler

26 October 2016: joint meeting with the Literature, Culture and Place reading group, on The Western Town: A Theory of Aggregation

9 March 2016: discussion of Bande Dessinee, led by Hattie Kennedy

2 December 2015: joint meeting with the Literature, Culture and Place reading group, on the idea of north in travel writing

11 November 2015: screening of A Newfoundland Treasury of Terms for Ice and Snow, video poem presented by author Marlene Creates. Generously supported by Canada-UK Foundation

8 July 2015: discussion of gardens in Canadian writing led by Erin Despard.

4 June 2015: discussion of Toronto writing led by Will Smith (Lancaster).

1 April 2015: discussion of the reception of Canadian literature in Spain, using the book 'Made in Canada, Read in Spain'. Led by Pilar Somacarrera (University of Madrid), with Alicia Menendez-Tarrazo (University of Oviedo).

25 March 2015: joint meeting with the Literature, Culture and Place reading group, on the Italian play 'Noise in the Waters' by Marco Martinelli. Led by Claudia Gualtieri (University of Milan).

4 March 2015: discussion of 2 essays: Laurie Ricou's 'Binder Twine' in Canadian Literature (2013) & Will Straw's 'Cross-border Visualities and the Canadian Image' in Imaginations (2010). Led by Faye Hammill. At this meeting we welcomed five external visitors to Strathclyde.

11 February 2015: joint meeting with Literature, Culture and Place reading group, on the work of Timothy Morton. Led by Rune Graulund (University of South Denmark)

26 November 2014: joint meeting with Literature, Culture and Place reading group, on representations of Barcelona. Led by Beatriz Caballero Rodriguez.

29 October 2014: joint meeting with Literature, Culture and Place reading group, on women and walking. Led by Kerri Andrews.

9 June 2014: presentation by Anouk Lang: 'Canada Reads, Canada Tweets: Literary Value and Reader Behaviour in Digital Spaces.'

4 March 2014: reading and discussion with the Canadian poet Alice Major.

12 February 2014: paper by Rachael Alexander: 'Advertising Perfection: Self-Improvement, Consumption, and Ideals of Femininity in the Ladies' Home Journal and Canadian Home Journal.'

5 February 2014: presentation by Sarah Galletly on LM Montgomery and the short story.

27 November 2013: Presentation by Zhen Liu: 'A Symphony of Noises: Chinese Canadian Anthologies.'

8 July 2013: meeting on the theme of gardens in Canadian literature, led by Erin Despard. Readings: Shelley Boyd, Garden Plots; Catharine Parr Traill, The Backwoods of Canada.

12 March 2013: Presentation and discussion led by Dr Victoria Kuttainen, James Cook University, Australia, who is Visiting Researcher at Strathclyde during February and March 2013.

12 February 2013: Session on Alice Munro led by Isla Duncan. Focus on the story 'Family Furnishings'.

8 November 2012: Discussion of short stories and extracts by Chinese-Canadian and Japanese-Canadian authors, chosen by Zhen Liu. Authors studied were Sui Sin Far (Edith Eaton); SKY Lee; Evelyn Lau and Hiromi Goto.

13 June 2012: Presentations by Michelle Smith ('The Pursuit of Elegance: Advice and Advertisements for Parisian Travel in Canadian Magazines of the 1920s and 1930s') and Faye Hammill ('Modes de Paris: Literature, Fashion and Excess in Dispatches to Canadian Periodicals). These papers were subsequently presented at the Editing Modernism in Canada colloquium, Exile's Return, in Paris (June 28-30 2012).

12 March 2012: Presentation by Sarah Galletly on J.G. Sime, and particularly her novel Our Little Life (1921), set in Montreal during WWI. Sarah focused on her representation of the working-class spinster and the mature working woman. She also discussed the early reception of Sime's work (including the response to her 'unseemly' representations of middle-aged passion) and the more recent critical positioning of Sime between 'New Woman' fiction and modernism. 

This reading group meeting was followed by a presentation by visiting speaker Professor Kathy Mezei (Simon Fraser University), entitled: 'Translation Effects: the making of modern Canadian culture'.

19 January 2012: Presentation by Michelle Smith on Leslie Gordon Barnard, one of the authors who regularly published in the magazines we are studying for the AHRC project. We read Jody Mason's article 'Anti-Modernist Paradox in Canada: The Graphic Publishers (1925-1932) and the Case of Madge MacBeth' from Journal of Canadian Studies (2011). We also discussed the new issue of Canadian Literature (no. 209) on 'Spectres of Modernism,' ed. Dean Irvine.

25 November 2011: Presentation by Ashley Harper, former research student at Strathclyde, on Robert Stead. We also read Irene Gammel's chapter 'Staging Personalities in Modernism and Realism', from The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature, ed. Howells and Kröller (2009).

7 November 2011: Presentation by Anouk Lang, 'Mapping John Glassco's Memoirs of Montparnasse.'  This included a demonstration of Anouk's digital map of Glassco's Paris. She later presented a version of the talk at the European Social Science History conference, Glasgow, 11-14 April 2012.

19 October 2011:  Presentation of an outline of the 'Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture in Canada 1925-1960 project. This talk was subsequently given by Hammill and Smith at the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory conference in Toronto (27-29 October 2011). We also read and discussed Candida Rifkind's article 'Too Close to Home: Middlebrow Anti-Modernism & the Poetry of Edna Jacques.' J of Canadian Studies 39.1 (2005). 90-114.