Category Archives: Faculty talks

Dr Fraser to speak at Research Remixed

Dr. Graham Fraser will be one of the speakers at the Mount’s annual Research Remixed event on Tuesday, October 3rd. His talk is scheduled for 11:15 in the Multi-Purpose Room in Rosaria.  Here’s a preview of what he’ll be talking about:


Virginia Woolf, Spectro-Modernism, and the Afterlife of Things

Dr. Graham Fraser
Tuesday, October 3, 11:15 a.m.
Multi-Purpose Room, Rosaria

“Think of a kitchen table, when you’re not there” challenges Andrew Ramsay in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, distilling his father’s empiricist philosophy. Woolf’s writings are fascinated by the world of objects removed from human perception or context – objects that are abandoned, disused, broken. Yet Woolf’s own attention to inanimate (yet lively) objects is so exquisite that Michel Serres can write that in her work, “inanimate objects have a soul.” This presentation will discuss how my work traces the progress of these inanimate souls from their domestic lives in human service, through their abandonment and decay, and finally into their afterlives as ghostly, illegible debris.


Dr. Graham Fraser

Dr. Graham Fraser

You can read more about Dr. Fraser’s research here.

Research Remixed brings together researchers from across the university who present their work in short talks or posters. The event starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room in Rosaria.  All are welcome to drop in during the day.  You can download the full Research Remixed schedule here.




Dr Green on war and peace in art

Community Stories of War and Peace public lecture series

Dr. Reina Green, along with local artist Jessica L. Wiebe, will be speaking about representations of war and peace in art on Friday, September 29, at 1:30 in the Keshen Goodman Library.  Her talk is part of a series of Friday presentations organized by the Mount Network for Community-Engaged Research on War (NCERW) in collaboration with other community groups.

Dr. Reina Green

Dr. Reina Green

You can read more about Dr. Green’s research here.

The Network for Community-Engaged Research on War is interested in “exploring what stories of war and peace are being told, identifying which stories are more visible and which are marginalized, and understanding how war affects us in diverse and overlapping ways.”

All of the talks take place from 1:30 – 2:30 in the Keshen Goodman Public Library, 330 Lacewood Drive, Halifax. Other topics to be presented include military families, peace perspectives, refugee experiences, and the Halifax Explosion. For more details about future talks, please see the Community Stories poster [pdf 3.9 MB].



Farewell gathering for Dr. Susan Drain

Dr. Susan Drain

The English Department invites the Mount community to a farewell gathering for Dr. Susan Drain. Susan will give a short presentation, “The Great War Writ Small: the soldier, the scholar and the wordpress,” on editing and publishing the papers of Percy Theobald, a gunner in WWI. She notes that this project brings together everything she has learned in her eclectic academic career.

Thursday, December 15
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
McCain 105

You can find Dr. Drain’s blog, Percy’s War, here.

English Department research on display at Research Remixed

Research Remixed 2016The Mount’s annual research day will be held on Tuesday, November 15th in the Rosaria Multipurpose Room from 9:15 to 2:30. The day features short talks, posters, and booths displaying the research of Mount faculty and students across numerous disciplines. Everyone is invited to drop in, have some refreshments, and survey some of the work that goes on in our university.

A couple of English faculty and a former student will be participating. At 12:45, you can listen to Dr. Diane Piccitto‘s talk on “Reconsidering Heroism in William Blake’s Epic Poem, Milton.”  Dr. Anna Smol and Rebecca Power (B.A.Hons 2015) will be presenting a poster on “Adaptation as Analysis: Creative Work in a Literature Course,” which is based on their forthcoming essays in the book, Fandom in the Classroom (U of Iowa Press). The poster features some of the creative work done by students in ENGL 4475, Studies in Medievalism: Tolkien and Myth-making. (Poster presentations run from 9:45 – 10:55 and 1:15 to 2:30).

The event begins at 9:15 with an opening and drumming by the Mount’s Nancy’s Chair, Catherine Martin. You can find the complete schedule here: research-remixed-schedule-2016 [pdf]

Jenny Davison. Sculpture of Doors of Durin. ENGL 4475 projectTake a look at the research that led to Jenny Davison’s sculpture of the Doors of Durin, from Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring. One of several projects featured in the poster by A. Smol and R. Power. Image copyright Jenny Davison 2013.

Public lecture series with Dr. Chris Ferns


Professor Emeritus Chris Ferns is offering another series of public lectures in the Keshen Goodman public library this term. His topic is “Hard Times: Literature and the Industrial Revolution.” All the lectures are free and take place on Fridays 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. at 330 Lacewood Drive.

More about the series:

Today, the word “revolution” conjures up images of the massive political upheavals of the past — the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution — radical, violent changes that transformed society out of all recognition. Yet during the nineteenth century Britain underwent a process of transformation no less profound: the Industrial Revolution. By the end of the period it had emerged as the world’s first industrial Superpower, in control of nearly a quarter of the globe — but at an enormous cost in terms of human suffering. These lectures explore the ways in which writers of the period responded to the literally unprecedented changes taking place.


September 23. The Calm Before the Storm: Britain on the Eve of Revolution

September 30. Early Responses: Jane Austen and Walter Scott

October 7. Great Expectations? Dickens and the Industrial Revolution

October 14. The Ghosts on the Moors: Wuthering Heights and Social Change

October 21.  Maintaining Order: Middlemarch and Political Reform

October 28.  Fears for the Future: H.G.Wells and the Shape of Things to Come


All are welcome.

c-ferns-public-library-lecture-series-2016 poster [pdf]




Victorian Monsters: public lecture series

monster1Creatures like werewolves, mummies, and vampires stalked the Victorian imagination, challenging limits and disturbing certainties. The Victorians had a mania for collecting, categorizing, and accumulating what one critic has called “comprehensive knowledge.” But these systems were incomplete and unreliable. The gap between the known and the unknown suggested similar gaps in other systems that claimed to order Victorian culture. These gaps are the place of the monster.

Join Dr. Karen Macfarlane for an entertaining and eye-opening exploration of the relation between some of the more famous Victorian monster texts (Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and some lesser known works, and their place in the society that they reflect.

Where:  Keshen-Goodman Library Branch                             monster2
330 Lacewood Drive

When:    Fridays, 1:30 – 2:30.  See the schedule below.

Free public lecture  series offered in partnership with the Halifax Public Libraries.


January 22:  Victorian Culture, “Other Sciences,” the Occult, Mourning

January 29:  Victorian Culture: Empire, Knowledge and the Unknowable (Rudyard Kipling, H. Rider Haggard)

monster3February 5:  Museum Goth (Arthur Conan Doyle, H. Rider Haggard)

February 12:  Mummy Knows Best: Reanimated Mummies (Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker’s Jewel of Seven Stars)

February 19:  No lecture

February 26: “The Gods of the East”: English Bodies in Imperial Outposts (Rudyard Kipling’s Supernatural Stories)

March 4:  Invasion Scare: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Richard Marsh’s The Beetle.

March 11:  Our bodies, our Others: Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Dr. Rhoda Zuk on the Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection

Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection (artwork by Liam Osler)

artwork by Liam Osler

The EMF Centre will be hosting an Open House on Thursday, November 19th, and as part of the many events planned for the day, Dr. Rhoda Zuk will be talking about our Library’s Lesbian Pulp Fiction special collection. Everyone is welcome to attend the presentation at 4:30 p.m. in the MacDonald Room, where Dr. Zuk, along with librarians Meg Raven and Denyse Rodrigues, will explain the history and significance of these books.

All the events planned for the day are free and everyone is welcome. The Open House begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. You can tour the Writing Resource Centre, ask questions at an IT&S help desk, listen to author readings, get advice on study skills, or attend the noon-hour talk by an RCMP constable who will tell the story of how thefts of valuable items from our Library and elsewhere were tracked down and restored. These events and more are scheduled throughout the day: view the full program here. 

Meet and Greet October 14 4:30 pm

meet and greetTake the opportunity to connect or reconnect with your classmates, English Society friends, or professors in the relaxed atmosphere for the annual Meet and Greet for students in English. It will take place Wednesday afternoon, October 14th, beginning at 4:30 in Seton 404. In time-honoured tradition, refreshments will be served.

Authors-and-typewriters-Christie 015

Agatha Christie (Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Something new this year (perhaps a new tradition?) is a presentation by some of our faculty on “What we did last summer.” Find out something about the various projects undertaken by your faculty when they are not wrapped up in the routine of teaching. This may be the time to remind ourselves that the shortest way into professors’ bad books is to assume that they have months “off” in the summer, and to ask what they do with all that free time!

Zombies and the Viral Web

virusDr. Karen Macfarlane is giving at talk on this topic at the English Colloquium at Dalhousie University, on Friday January 30th.

All are invited to attend: Just turn up at 3:45 pm in Room 1198 of the McCain building.

Warning: Enthusiasm for this topic may be infectious, and interest in it may refuse to die.

Blurbs 2014: Conversations about Research

Ever wonder what English faculty and students are working on?  BLURBS is an annual event organized by Mackenzie Bartlett that features students and faculty talking about their research in brief, informal presentations, covering anything from big-picture brainstorming to the more developed stages of composition. Everyone is welcome to attend as people exchange thoughts, research tips, and other helpful pointers in a casual environment.

Thursday, November 20
4:30 – 6:00
Seton 404
(cookies provided!)

Today’s presenters include honours students who are working on their theses: Jessica Herritt on representations of evil and corruption in Tolkien’s works, Geena Kelly on gendered roles in science fiction, Shelby MacGregor on adaptation theory and representations of gender in the Hunger Games series,  and Rebecca Power on alliterative poetry and adapting Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien legends.  Along with thesis students, several faculty members will also talk about their work: Reina Green on the impact of performance space on audience-actor relationships;  Karen Macfarlane on museum gothic and zombies, and Anna Smol on doing archival research on Tolkien’s manuscripts.

Come to listen, to share your thoughts, to be inspired, or to help inspire!