Research Statement & Activities

On the Other Side(s) of 150 Cover ImageMy research has been supported over time by ten SSHRC grants. One of these, a SSHRC Connection Grant, supported the conference, “Untold Stories,” staged at UCD in April 2017 and its fruitful extension, the volume On the Other Side(s) of 150 (WLUP 2021), which I co-edited with Dr. Sarah Henzi. The second of these was a SSHRC Insight Grant, to support my research for the biography of Jane Rule (to 2022).I am also a SSHRC co-applicant for the Richler Library Project, headed up by Dr. Jason Camlot (Associate Dean, Concordia University), for which Dr. Camlot, Dr. Martha Langford and I have developed the volume, Collection Thinking (proposal submitted to Routledge, 2020).

In March 2020, I was appointed the Designated Alternate for a Fulbright Research Chair and, between 2016-2017, awarded the Craig Dobbin Chair of Canadian Studies in Dublin, Ireland. In January 2016, with the support of a Sproul Fellowship, I served as a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, where I also researching about the  early life and writings of Jane Rule.

Moving Archives Cover

As I continue to research about the life of Rule, I produced Moving Archives (WLUP 2020), a collection of essays that examines the proliferation of archival deposits their materialization, their preservation, and the research produced about them are moving in a different way: they are involved in emotionally-engaged, emotionally-charged processes, which act equally upon archival subjects and those engaged with them.  Moving Archives grounds itself in the critical trajectory related to what Sara Ahmed calls “affective economies” to offer fresh insights about the process of archiving and approaching literary materials. These economies are not necessarily determined by ethical impulses, although many scholars have called out for such impulses to underwrite current archival practices; rather, they form the crucial affective contexts for the legitimization of archival caches in the present moment and for future use.Unarrested Archives Book Cover

From 2005-2009, I was awarded another SSHRC Grant (Standard Research) and from 2009-2013, the FQRSC Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs, for Unarrested Archives: Case Studies in Twentieth-Century Canadian Women’s Authorship (University of Toronto Press 2014), which was a finalist for the Gabrielle Roy Prize in 2015. Therein, I examine how Canadian women writers approached their own archives for the purposes of locating self-agency. I investigate how they were regulated and contained, and how they existed in or resisted both personal and professional antagonist relationships. These antagonisms generated the very divisions, the conflictual set of relations, by which women then engaged in productive disruptions.

During Jane Rule - Taking My Lifemy research for the monograph, I discovered Jane Rule’s hand-written autobiography, Taking My Life, in the University of British Columbia archives. I subsequently transcribed, edited, annotated, and prepared the autobiography for publication (Talon 2011) and also wrote the afterword. Taking My Life was shortlisted for the LAMBDA Award (2011), received a nomination for the Stonewall Book Award (2011), and garnered many positive reviews. One such review appeared in The Globe and Mail. I am drawing upon this research to write the biography of Jane Rule and to evaluate her interventions in the formation of a west coast queer culturesBasements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace.

As I worked on her monograph, I collaborated with Dr. Schagerl on editing Basements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace: Explorations in Canadian Women’s Archives (WLUP 2012), a collection of essays that assesses the negotiations—and sometimes contradictions—involved in responsibly dealing with the tangible records of women’s public and private lives, and the fact that these preserved archival documents were often not seen as part of a systematic nation-building process.

Troubling Tricksters Book Cover

This collaboration was preceded by another with Dr. Deanna Reder. Together, we co-edited the interdisciplinary collection, Troubling Tricksters (WLUP 2010), which was nominated for the Gabrielle Roy Prize in English. Troubling Tricksters is a collection of theoretical essays, creative pieces, and critical ruminations that provides a re-visioning of trickster criticism in light of recent backlash against it. T

Dr. Reder and I also worked on another collaboration, supported by a SSHRC Connection Grant (January 2014), which drew together Indigenous studies scholars and students from across thLearn, Teach, Challenge covere country to consider pedagogical approaches to Indigenous literatures. The event took place at the end of February 2014 in Vancouver, at which time Dr. Reder and I workshopped a new anthology, Learn, Teach, Challenge: Approaching Indigenous Literatures (WLUP 2016).

With Dr. LauMargaret Laurence, Jack McClelland, Lettersra Davis (Red Deer College), I published Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland, Letters (University of Alberta Press) in 2018. This book was supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant to 2015 and was positively reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement and elsewhere.