Category Archives: Reina Green

The English Pro-Co: what is it and how can it benefit you?

by Samantha Van Norden, English Department Media Assistant,
in conversation with Dr. Reina Green, English Department Chair

Some of you may have heard about the English Professionalization Co-Curricular Record, part of the Mount’s Co-Curricular Record Program (or the CCRP), and wondered what it is and how it would benefit you as an English student. The “English Pro-Co” (for short) is a relatively new feature that English students can take advantage of to prepare for future careers. I sat down with English Department Chair, Dr. Reina Green, to ask her some questions that I thought might be useful in helping to explain the English Pro-Co.

In what way will the CCR shape a student’s preparation for their futures?

The CCRP recognizes students’ extracurricular activities and gives future employers knowledge of students’ involvement in events that may provide experiential learning and prepare them for future studies or a future career. Upon graduation, students can request their CCRP to show employers and others that they were involved in these extracurricular activities. The English Pro-Co recognizes the participation of students in our programs in designated activities in which they have engaged with the arts or scholarly community beyond the classroom.

How does the English Department decide what events count toward the English Pro-Co?

Each year faculty meet to identify and organize departmental and English Society events that can go toward the English Pro-Co. We include events that focus on scholarship and further learning such as attending the Honours Colloquium, or a presentation by a faculty member or guest speaker, as well as information sessions on our Honours program, graduate school, or possible careers. In addition, we include some English Society events and trips—attending a theatre production, for example.

Does a student need to be part of the English Society–to have a “role” within the group–in order to receive a credit on the English Pro-Co Record?

Students receive recognition through the CCRP for any executive position they hold within the English Society, but that is separate to the English Pro-Co. The only requirement to begin an English Pro-Co record is that students have declared an English Major.

 How does the CCR show on a transcript?

Students can access their Co-Curricular Record via MyMount.

 Who is going to look for the English Pro-Co: future employers, graduate school programs, or both?

Both future employers and graduate school programs are interested in what students do beyond the classroom to prepare for their future. The English Pro-Co documents that aspect of student experience.

 What sort of “edge” will a completed English Pro-Co record give a student applying for grad school?

The English Pro-Co gives students an advantage as it shows how they have engaged in the arts and academic life beyond the classroom. Attending these events is purely voluntary and the English Pro-Co demonstrates that students who have participated are willing to do more—on their own time—to further their learning.

How do students sign up for the English Pro-Co and how can they make sure that events they attend will count?

The Chair keeps a record of the students who have participated in each event and at a student’s request, can check on whether that student has qualified for the English Pro-Co which requires students to participate in at least six different kinds of activities with attendance at a minimum of one every year they are in the program. There are also checklists available so students can keep track of their own activities. You can download the checklist here.

 What do you want students to know about the English Pro-Co?

We want students to know that the English Pro-Co exists and that participating in activities organized by the department and English Society can make a difference. Students who do attend these events should also make sure that they sign in at each event so that their participation can be recognized.

We look forward to giving future graduates their English Professionalization Co-Curricular records. This May, we expect some students to be the first to receive it.

English Pro-Co checklist [pdf]








AAUEC 2018 at the Mount

LAAUEC 2018 Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conferenceast weekend, the English Department at Mount Saint Vincent University welcomed students and faculty from eleven universities across the east coast for the Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference (AAUEC), which showcases the academic papers and creative works of the region’s top English students. Founded here in 1981, this was the sixth time that the Mount has hosted the conference. Co-organized by Dr. Reina Green and Dr. Diane Piccitto along with conference assistants Katie O’Brien, Hope Tohme, and Sam VanNorden, the AAUEC 2018 was a resounding success!

Mount students at AAUEC welcome reception

Mount students at the welcome reception: Hope Tohme, Katie O’Brien, Rebecca Foster, and Courtney Francis

The conference began on Friday, March 2, in Seton Academic Centre with a Welcome Reception, where attendees participated in a lively round of icebreaker bingo – facilitated by English Society co-presidents Katie O’Brien and Hope Tohme – and heard a presentation by Formac Publishing to announce “Write to Win!” – a writing competition aimed at Atlantic Canadians 18-30 years old.

The afternoon included the first panel of the conference and was followed by ArtFest, held in the MSVU Art Gallery. Emceed by Alexia Major and Sam VanNordon (co-editors, with other MSVU students, of the Speakman Press), ArtFest featured short stories and poetry of participants and the work of special guests El Jones (MSVU’s Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies and poet and activist) and Chantelle Rideout (writer and MSVU English alumna), as well as a welcome address by Dr. Elizabeth Church (MSVU’s Vice-President Academic and Provost).

Day 2 – Saturday, March 3, was held in the Margaret Norrie McCain Centre, giving visitors a chance to spend time in the only building at a Canadian university to celebrate the achievements of women, highlighted in the Women’s Wall of Honour. The second day included four panels, covering topics such as ethics, bodies, politics, and trauma, and even involved one presenter from the Mount, Michelle Russell, Skyping in from Florida where she is training with the Canadian paddling team.

The afternoon ended in the Atrium with the Bad Poetry Reading, which was first begun by Dr. Chris Ferns (Professor Emeritus) in his days as an undergraduate and then initiated at the Mount in the 1980s, having since become an institution in the English Department. Dr. Ferns selected among the very worst poems written by published authors and emceed the event, charming the audience with his entertaining commentary over the course of the hour. Readers included past and current MSVU English students,  faculty members such as Professors Emeritus Dr. Susan Drain and Dr. Peter Schwenger, who performed memorable renditions of “Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight” and “The Tay Bridge Disaster,” respectively. Afterward, participants and volunteers celebrated the two-day conference with a closing-night banquet and dance party – with DJ extraordinaire Dr. Steven Bruhm (former MSVU English student and professor) in Rosaria’s Multi-Purpose Room.

Mount students at AAUEC 2018

Some of the Mount student volunteers. Front, left to right: Katie O’Brien, Nicole Martina, Alex Rudderham, Sidney Warren.  Back, left to right: Sarah Vallis, Darcy Eisan, Sam VanNorden, Megan Bruce, Hope Tohme

The conference was marked by a wonderful energy from beginning to end, creating a stimulating inter-university intellectual community for English students and faculty. See our earlier post here for a list of Mount presenters.

We would like to thank the more than 50 presenters who shared their work at the AAUEC 2018 and the faculty who accompanied students as well as our emcees, guest speakers, and DJ. Thank you also to the President’s Office and the Dean of Arts and Science for their very necessary financial support and to MSVU staff (Catering, Conference Services, Art Gallery, IT Services, Facilities, Communications, Marketing, and Recruitment, Research Office, Book Store, Print Shop, and Security). Finally, a very special thank you to our conference assistants, all of our volunteers, Tracy McDonald (English Department Administrative Assistant), as well as the entire English Department for their instrumental involvement and support over the last several months.

AAUEC dance

AAUEC dance

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].



Rhoda Zuk receives CAUT Award


Dr. Rhoda Zuk, CAUT Dedicated Service Award

Dr. Rhoda Zuk with her CAUT Dedicated Service Award

Today at the Mount’s Faculty Association general meeting, Dr. Rhoda Zuk received the CAUT Dedicated Service Award. According to CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers), the award “was established to recognize exceptional service provided by individuals at the local or provincial level.” Dr. Zuk received a certificate of recognition at the meeting, and her name will be listed in the CAUT Bulletin and on their website, as well as announced at their Council meeting.

The English Department Chair, Dr. Reina Green, read a citation for her, which is excerpted below:

[Rhoda Zuk] is not only a valued colleague, but a mentor and an inspiration. She has been involved with the union since she began working here and over the last several years she has sat on the Faculty Association executive as secretary, president, and past-president. She has been a trustee of the CAUT Defence Fund, an executive member of the Nova Scotia Federation of University Faculty Associations—the forerunner of Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers–and she has been a member of our bargaining team not once, but twice. She quietly gets on with the job—whether the job is being chair of the department, sitting on senate, or being president of the union—with little fanfare or complaint and is considerate and gracious to all….

She has the knack of identifying the heart of a problem—the injustice at the core of it all. She is an advocate in all she does for the marginalized. She has been a proponent of Fair Work Week and an adamant supporter of our part-time colleagues, and is a vociferous advocate for students struggling with inadequate support, financial or otherwise. I know that at the bargaining table she would be equally adamant about our rights as faculty members and is most deserving of this award….

Rhoda Zuk is the fourth English Department member to receive this award, joining Susan Drain, Chris Ferns, and David Monaghan among the Mount’s previous recipients.

The Department extends its congratulations to Rhoda for this well-deserved award!

Congratulations to graduating students!’s Fall Convocation at the Mount this Sunday, November 1st.  Congratulations to the students who will be graduating with a B.A in English:

Stephanie Carr    and    Alysha Wellon

The honorary degree recipient for the B.A. convocation will be Catherine Banks, an award-winning Nova Scotian playwright who has visited our university several times in recent years. You can find more information about Catherine Banks on the Mount website.

Dr. Reina Green will present Catherine Banks for the honorary degree. This will also be the last convocation in which Dr. Susan Drain will be the mace bearer, one of her duties as the Secretary of Senate.

Susan Drain mace bearer

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!

Recent Research Activities – Fall 2013

We usually post recent publications by English faculty on the bulletin board in the English Corner (Seton 5th floor between rooms 510 and 511). You have a couple of days left in which to read the first article posted this semester: Rhoda Zuk‘s essay (co-written with Donna Varga) on “Golliwogs and Teddy Bears: Children’s Popular Culture and ‘Innocent’ Racism” which was published in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Popular Culture.  You can also hear Dr. Zuk talking about her research in an interview on BBC Radio’s “Thinking Allowed” program, which aired a couple of times this summer.

Next up on the Recent Publications bulletin board will be Reina Green‘s essay, “Educating for Pleasure: The Textual Relations of She’s the Man.”  This article presents Dr. Green’s research on Shakespeare, film, and fanvids, and appears in Reinventing the Renaissance: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries in Adaptation and Performance, edited by Sarah Annes Brown, Lynsey McCulloch, and Robert Lublin, published by Palgrave (2013).  The essay will be available in the English Corner until the end of the fall term.

Members of the English Department have also been busy this semester giving talks and conference papers. Most recently, Karen Macfarlane gave a talk to a packed house at Hal-Con on November 8.  She was on a panel, along with Dalhousie professors Jason Haslam and Julia Wright, called “Creature Feature: The Meaning of Monsters.”  The week before on November 1st, she gave a talk in the Dalhousie English Department’s Speaker Series on “Life’s a Scream: American Horror Stories.”

A few weeks ago on October 26, Anna Smol gave a paper at the Annual Atlantic Universities’ Teaching Showcase at Mount Allison University.  Her presentation, “Voicing Interpretations: Peer Learning and Self-Assessment in a First-Year Literature Assignment,” discussed a recitation and review assignment that her English 1170 students do every year. An abstract is available here.

Clare Goulet gave a guest lecture on October 24 at the University of King’s College on metaphor/nonmetaphorical thinking and scientific discovery, for a seminar in Contemporary Aesthetic and Critical Theory – Lyric Philosophy.

As part of Celebrating Writing / Publishing Week last month, the English Department sponsored its annual “Blurbs: Conversations about Research and Writing” session organized by Mackenzie Bartlett — an informal gathering in which faculty and students talk briefly about their research in progress. This year’s session on October 17 included a “blurb” by Tina Northrup, who talked about a large interdisciplinary project she is planning to conduct on the relationship between ecopoetics and ecopedagogies in Canada, exploring the intersections between poetics, education, and environmentalist discourses. Honours student Skye Bryden-Blom talked about her thesis research on film adaptations of Jane Eyre, particularly on how the relationship between Jane and Bertha is presented in terms of Lacan’s theory of the gaze. Charlotte Kiddell discussed her directed study project, supervised by Dr. Northrup, on the politics of poetic language, with a specific focus on feminist and anti-racist scholarship.

If you’re interested in our department’s research, you can find a  more complete list of faculty publications and conference papers on our Recent Research Activities webpage and on some individual Faculty Profiles.  And don’t forget to check the English Corner bulletin board regularly for new publications; we have quite a lineup for the new year, which will see work posted by Jackie Cameron, Lynne Evans, Clare Goulet, and Anna Smol.

Responding to the Theatre of War: Celebrating Writing Monday highlight

Students in Dr. Reina Green’s ENGL 4405: Contemporary Canadian Drama and the Theatre of War will present their creative responses to representations of war on stage and what that representation motivates us to think and do.

Margie O’Brien Faculty Lounge (Seton 404).  Monday, November 12. 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Lady Gaga, Victorian seance rooms, Canadian theatre, and more….recent research by faculty and students

Ever wonder what professors are doing when they’re not teaching? In addition to the work involved in preparing and delivering courses, professors are also expected to contribute to the administration of the university and to do research. In fact, a professor’s teaching is informed by her or his research. Our Recent Research Activities page will give you details on what faculty — and some students — have been up to since classes ended last April.

Ashgate CompanionFor example, you will find two recently published articles on our Recent Research page that share a Gothic theme. “Mirth as Medium: Spectacles of Laughter in the Victorian Seance Room” by Mackenzie Bartlett has been published in The Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism and the Occult. And Karen Macfarlane‘s article, “The Monstrous House of Gaga,” is one of the essays in The Gothic in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture: Pop Goth.

In addition, Reina Green has published  “’No good. Go home’: Past Lives and Disrupted Homes in Catherine Banks’s Three Storey, Ocean View” in Theatre Research in Canada.

Full bibliographical details about these articles are posted on our Recent Research Activities page. You can also read these articles if you check out the English Corner bulletin board (between Seton 510 and 511).  Dr. Macfarlane’s article has been posted there for several weeks and will be there for another week, and then Dr. Bartlett’s essay will be available from late October into November; Dr. Green’s article will be posted in January.

At the Borders of Sleep: On Liminal Literature

Professor Emeritus Peter Schwenger has a new book coming out from the University of Minnesota Press: At the Borders of Sleep: On Liminal Literature. Follow the link to learn more about Dr. Schwenger’s book and his previous publications.

While professors are doing research and preparing for publication, they often present conference papers on those topics as a way of sharing their preliminary research and seeking feedback. You will find on our Recent Research Activities page that since the end of classes in April English faculty — and a couple of students —  have been busy at various regional, national, and international conferences.

Back in April, for example, Rhoda Zuk spoke about her children’s literature research at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association in Boston, specifically about white girl owners of black male dolls.

May is always a busy conference month for English faculty. Early in May, David Wilson, who has created an app for the study of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, spoke about using apps in class to the Creative Learning and Teaching conference at Dalhousie. Chris Ferns, who has extensive experience in collective bargaining in Nova Scotia universities, gave a paper at the Canadian Industrial Relations conference in Calgary. Susan Drain, along with Writing Minor student Kim Dunn, gave a presentation at the Canadian Association for Language and Learning, which met in Toronto near the end of May.

May is also the month in which many professors attend the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, which brings together over sixty Canadian scholarly associations for their annual meetings in a selected university. The 2012 Congress was held in Waterloo, Ontario at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.  As part of the Congress, Reina Green gave a paper on the Canadian playwright Catherine Banks to the Canadian Association for Theatre Research; Karen Macfarlane spoke about her Lady Gaga research to the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English and gave a talk to the Canadian Association of Chairs of English. English student Kim Sheppard delivered her first Congress paper, also to the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, on the topic of  “The Epistemology of the Plus-Sized Closet: Fatness as Being, Fatness as Meaning.” Finally, the Canadian Society of Medievalists heard Anna Smol speak about children’s versions of Beowulf.

In June, Graham Fraser gave a paper at the Interdisciplinary/ Multidisciplinary Virginia Woolf Conference in Saskatoon.

The conference season continues into the current academic term. In September, Anna Smol gave a paper on J.R.R. Tolkien’s influence on criticism of the Old English poem Battle of Maldon at the Atlantic Medieval Association conference at Acadia University. Both Clare Goulet and Reina Green spoke in October at the Atlantic Universities Teaching Showcase conference in Fredericton. Clare Goulet’s presentation was titled “The Thirty-Minute Talking Cure” and Reina Green spoke about  “Workin’ Groups: Strategies for Successful Cooperative Learning.”

These have been busy months for English Department researchers who, even when not presenting at conferences or publishing articles, are engaged in their individual research programs. You can find out more about faculty research in the Faculty Profiles on our website and on our Recent Research page. You can also visit this blog regularly for updates on recent research in the English Department.