PhD Student Research

Phillip Crymble is currently interrogating recent trends in contemporary American poetry with the express purpose of revealing both the problems and benefits inherent to Hybridity and the other new poetries of inclusion that have emerged in the first two decades of the twenty first century.   His dissertation will investigate the claimed achievements of the new “hybrid” poetries in order to assess whether or not the more flexible approaches they have developed to incorporate New Formalism and Language poetry alike have brought a legitimate close to the poetry wars of the late twentieth century.  It will also evaluate accusations that “hybridism” has merely paved over real poetical and political conflicts by presenting a poetry that puts forward a liberal pretence of diversity, but, in essence, is largely homogenous.

Bethany Daigle's research focuses on postsecular interpretations of post-Partition novels written by South Asian diasporic authors. Her dissertation will consider the potential for postsecularism to serve as a practical extension of postcolonial theory in its capacity to analyze secular and religious tensions relating to/resulting from (neo)colonialism, migration, and globalization.

Kitty Elton's main area of interest is nineteenth-century British writing that reflects the radical destabilization of traditional belief systems by scientific research and the widening tensions between the arts and sciences as they competed to authoritatively describe life. Her doctoral dissertation, "George Eliot's Mind/Marian Evans's Head: Nineteenth-Century Realism and Science," examines the rising influence of scientific thought and how it is reflected in both the writing and the life of the Victorian realist writer George Eliot (Marian Evans).

Javad Ghatta studies English Renaissance literature with particular emphasis on drama. His specific research interests include representations of political violence and coercion in the tragedies, Persianate studies with a focus on Anglo-Islamic exchanges in the drama of the period, humanities computing, and textual scholarship. His doctoral dissertation  “A Cultural Poetics of Terror and Terrorism in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama” proposes the early modernity of political terrorism and investigates its staged manifestations during England’s great age of terror and theatre.   

Lisa Jodoin's current research interests are gothic literature and contemporary Canadian literature, particularly by First Nations and Mixed-Blood writers. Her dissertation, tentatively titled "Homesick: The (Un)homely Body in First Nations and Métis Gothic Literature in Canada," examines the relationship between gothic conventions in First Nations and Mixed-Blood writing and the racial politics of 'Indian Blood' in Canada. Her other research interests include postcolonial literature, gender studies, and queer theory. 

Ashlee Joyce's project explores the concept of literature as witness to collective trauma, with a particular focus on British novels written around the turn of the millennium that take stock of the violence of the 20th century, while looking ahead to the century to come.  She is interested in the transformations that collective trauma and collective anxieties (e.g., war, genocide, terrorism, and the proliferation of gene-altering technologies) undergo when they are represented/re-presented as fiction.

Specifically, Ashlee is investigating what she sees as a resurgence of Gothic conventions in 5 late 20th-/early 21st-century British novels: Martin Amis’s London Fields (1989), Margaret Drabble’s The Gates of Ivory (1991), Ian McEwan’s Atonement (1999), Pat Barker’s Double Vision (2003), and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005), arguing that while the Gothic conventions (e.g., hauntings, the uncanny, the abject, the sublime, the monstrous) within these novels “trope” otherwise unspeakable collective anxieties (upholding the commonly accepted “anxiety model” of the Gothic that connects the genre to trauma fiction), the Gothic’s voyeuristic impulses also work to complicate certain assumptions that underpin literary trauma theory: most notably that of the fundamental empathy of the reader/witness.

Svetlana Ehtee's (nee Nedeljkov) research focuses on the poetry of high modernism and the influence of sociopolitics on the inclusivity of modernist texts. Her doctoral dissertation, tentatively titled “Ezra Pound and the Shadowy Politics of Inclusivity,” investigates the influence of Ezra Pound's political agenda on his magnum opus, The Cantos, by paying special attention to the long poem's aesthetic and semantic “openness.”

Rebecca Salazar studies ecocritical feminism and intersectionality in relation to contemporary Canadian poetry and creative writing. Her dissertation will examine the development of intersectional ecopoetics in Canada, and will include the creation of a poetic text addressing the entanglement of human bodies in volatile ecological regions, such as mining towns in Northern Ontario. Her research aims to develop an intersectional ecopoetics capable of challenging the hegemonic discourses that have characterized Canadian nature writing and environmentalism.