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.

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.”

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.   

Matthew Gwathmey’s research interests are clinical psychology, philosophical phenomenology, and theories of metafiction. More specifically, the connection between literature and suicide. His dissertation will be a novel, Inside a Dog, and it will follow a modern-day everyman, Joe Strummer, as he reads a book called The FADIT, attempts to come to terms with his father’s suicide as well as his recent job loss, and seeks to solve the mystery of how the book came to him in the first place. The FADIT itself recounts the story of the day that the main character, Owen, tried to kill himself near the end of his last day of high school, a story Owen narrates in sessions with his therapist, Hazel Calvino. The major characters that show up during Owen’s retelling, fellow members of his high school senior class, are all based on other characters from literary history who committed suicide in their respective books, from Okonkwo in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, to Septimus Warren Smith in Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, to the titular Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary. 

Lisa Jodoin's research focuses on Indigenous identity, the politics of “Indian blood” in Canada, and decolonization. Her dissertation explores the role that ethnography and the Geological Survey of Canada have played in shaping past and present conceptions of authenticity and indigeneity in Canada. 

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.