- Office: MOR 203
Dr. Gregory Brophy’s teaching draws upon a wide range of interests, including Victorian and Modern British Literature as well and film and visual culture. He’s studied at Trent and Queen’s University (B.Ed), and earned his Masters and PhD in English Literature at Western University.
Dr. Brophy’s class structure is shaped by a conviction that learning is a social process. Through it, students practice creating and entering into public space. Ideally, this space begins to take shape through challenging but respectful discussion, guided by the recognition and negotiation of differing points of view, and directed towards the gradual development and expression of one’s own compelling and convincing positions. He typically uses lectures to draw readings into conversation with present-day concerns, thereby helping students to map out continuities of human experience, as well as identify the irreducible differences of social and historical context that can serve to destabilize our own ideologies and assumptions.
Dr. Claire Grogan graduated with a Degree in English Literature and Language, and then a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education, from Trinity College, Oxford University. She then moved to Canada and completed a PhD at Calgary University in “Feminist Politics of British Women’s Writing in the Revolutionary Period (1780-1830).”
Dr. Grogan’s current research project considers how Elizabeth Hamilton, an influential middle-class British woman writer during the Revolutionary Period (1789-1818), negotiates social prescriptions about appropriate feminine and masculine activities, genres and intellectual pursuits by merging what are traditionally deemed “masculine” genres (Orientalism, political satire, historiography, reviews) with the more acceptable “feminine” genres (novel and education treatise). Dr. Grogan will show how Hamilton’s innovative use of genre opens up new subject areas and writing styles for later women writers and thus constitutes part of the revolutionary call for women’s rights. Furthermore, it will demonstrate how Hamilton’s use of familiar genres in unfamiliar ways challenges female readers to think carefully on a range of topics not normally brought to their attention and forces male readers to acknowledge her competence.
This study will use historicist and feminist critical approaches and while primarily a literary study will require a consideration of Hamilton’s non literary writings, newspapers, journals, and miscellanies of the period. It will complement the current reevaluation of the history of women’s writing and broaden our understanding as to how women carved new roles in society.
Dr. Grogan is currently researching Thomas Paine’s controversial political pamphlet Rights of Man. Paine is most recognizable to students and scholars of politics, economics, history and communication as a revolutionary journalist and pamphleteer, a social and political agitator, who changed the shape of modern political discourse. When Rights of Man was published in 1791, in support of the French revolution and in opposition to Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the revolution in France it became an immediate cultural phenomenon. . Paine was very critical of monarchies and European social institutions and as a result his pamphlet prompted an enormous response. Many readers were amazed and excited by the suggestion of social revolution while others were appalled. The popularity of his work was perceived as a threat to the British government who in response started a campaign to discredit Paine, his person and his work. However, once Paine’s words were out in the open there was no silencing or erasing the public debate that ensued. Dr. Grogan’s primary objective is to collect and examine material that documents Paine’s Rights of Man as a cultural phenomenon in the decade immediately following publication. She will use a wide selection of the early responses in the form of written pamphlets, caricatures and cartoons, as well as in cultural artifacts such as coins, cloth and posters of the ritual burnings of Paine’s effigy. Her interest lies not in what and how Paine wrote but rather the transformative quality of his text and its enormous reach and implications at the time. She will explore how the text was received, rebutted, reworked, revered or rejected and employ a critical analysis of the responses collected under the three topics of nationality, language and class.
Dr. Shawn Malley teaches a wide range of courses, including literary and cultural theory, postcolonial literatures, and creative writing. He earned his undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of New Brunswick. His PhD in English Literature was completed at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Malley’s teaching is broadly informed by a cultural studies approach. He encourages students to read, think, and write about texts within the cultural contexts and discourses in which they were-and continue to be-created. He believes that the critical study of texts is the critical examination of ourselves and our world.
(forthcoming Liverpool University Press, 2015)
Well-known in science fiction for tomb-raiding, Nazi-battling, and mummy-wrangling, the archaeologist has been a rich source for imagining “strange new worlds” from “strange old worlds.” But more than a well-spring for sf scenarios, archaeology is also a hermeneutic tool for excavating the ideological motivations of digging up the past buried in the future. A cultural study of contemporary American science fiction film and television, Excavating the Future treats archaeology as a trope for exploring our cultural-temporal identity caught between nostalgia (what kinds of pasts appear in sf and what meanings we derive from them) and prediction (the possible trajectories of our technological selves).
The global objective is to answer the question “To what degree do contemporary science fiction televisual and cinematic representations of archaeology and their ‘scientific’ sense of the past and of cultural interaction contribute to socio-political investigation and understanding of geopolitics?” By treating sf texts as documents of archaeological experience circulating within and between scientific and popular culture communities and media, Excavating the Future develops critical strategies for analyzing sf film and television’s critical and adaptive responses to contemporary geopolitical concerns about the war on terror, homeland security, and the invasion and reconstruction of Iraq.
This project has three parts. Part 1: “Battling Babylon” investigates the cohabitation of archaeology and militarism in the feature film Stargate, the television series Stargate SG-1, the sf horror telefilm Manticore, and the block-buster film Transformers 2. Dramatizing geopolitical events and relationships with the Middle East since the First Gulf War, these sf texts narrate Western political and military intervention through paradigms of archaeological stewardship over the region’s cultural as well as natural resources.
Part 2: “Of Artifacts and Aliens” examines “ancient astronaut” theory (i.e. the notion that monuments from antiquity are of extra-terrestrial origin) in the History Channel documentary series Ancient Aliens, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and the teen drama Smallville. A figure from fringe archaeology, the ancient alien is a recurrent historical trope for imagining security and cultural anxiety in post 9/11 popular culture.
Part 3: “Cyborg Sites” opens the bio-technological image of the cyborg to archaeological investigation. In the “re-imagined” Battlestar Galactica and the films A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Prometheus, the “archaeological cyborg”—the hybrid figure of artifact and body, history and technology—is a site for critiquing teleological narratives of progress and imagining alternate possibilities for historical transformation from our material reality.
This study takes sf criticism in new directions by treating archaeology as a political as well as materialist discourse. The impact of this work will be the analysis of how archaeological knowledge is created in popular media, and how the “science fictions” of cultural custodianship being generated by archaeologists and policy makers try to legitimize for their audiences similar geopolitical agendas playing out in sf television.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Senate Research Committee, Bishop’s University
In his examination of the excavation of ancient Assyria by Austen Henry Layard, Shawn Malley reveals how, by whom, and for what reasons the stones of Assyria were deployed during a brief but remarkably intense period of archaeological activity in the mid-nineteenth century. His book encompasses the archaeological practices and representations that originated in Layard’s excavations, radiated outward by way of the British Museum and Layard’s best-selling “Nineveh and Its Remains” (1849), and were then dispersed into the public domain of popular amusements. That the stones of Assyria resonated in debates far beyond the interests of religious and scientific groups is apparent in the prevalence of poetry, exhibitions, plays, and dioramas inspired by the excavation. Of particular note, correspondence involving high-ranking diplomatic personnel and museum officials demonstrates that the ‘treasures’ brought home to fill the British Museum served not only as signs of symbolic conquest, but also as covert means for extending Britain’s political and economic influence in the Near East. Malley takes up issues of class and influence to show how the middle-class Layard’s celebrity status both advanced and threatened aristocratic values. Tellingly, the excavations prompted disturbing questions about the perils of imperial rule that framed discussions of the social and political conditions which brought England to the brink of revolution in 1848 and resurfaced with a vengeance during the Crimean crisis. In the provocative conclusion of this meticulously documented and suggestive book, Malley points toward the striking parallels between the history of Britain’s imperial investment in Mesopotamia and the contemporary geopolitical uses and abuses of Assyrian antiquity in post-invasion Iraq.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Senate Research Committee, Bishop’s University
Dr. Patrick McBrine studied Classics and Ancient History at UNB (BA), English Language and Literature at Queen’s (BA), and Medieval Studies at the University Toronto (MA, PhD). At Bishop’s University, he teaches Medieval and Renaissance Studies as well as courses on language and communication, including the History of English and Effective Writing. Beyond academia, he is Partner in a Toronto-based communications firm, where he writes copy for multi-national corporations and small businesses. In this capacity, he ghostwrites executive speeches, corporate newsletters, blogs and copy of all kinds for businesses of all sizes.
Dr. McBrine’s area of expertise is the study and translation of ancient and medieval languages, in particular Classical and Medieval Latin and Old and Middle English. He has also served for many years on administrative committees assigned to oversee Composition programs and Writing across the Curriculum.
Dr. McBrine’s research involves the study of ancient and medieval languages, in particular the impact of language development on intellectual history. He has contributed numerous translations to books, and his most recent work, Biblical Epics in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (UTP, 2017), studies the evolution of Latin biblical epic in late antiquity and its influence on the emergence of Christian writing in early England (in Anglo-Latin and Old English). He has also published on dominant themes in Old English literature and later Medieval Latin poetry, in particular the writings of Hrotsvit of Gandersheim. For the Old English Newsletter, one of the oldest publications in that field, he writes annual reviews of all works published in the area of Anglo-Latin literature.
Dr. Linda Morra is a Full Professor of English at Bishop’s University. She served as the Craig Dobbin Chair of Canadian Studies at University College Dublin for the 2016-2017 year. During her term in Dublin, she conceived of and staged ‘Untold Stories of the Past 150 Years’ (April 2017), from which she is co-editing a volume of papers. In January 2016, with a Sproul Fellowship from the Institute of Canadian Studies, she served as a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. She currently holds three SSHRC grants, one of these a Connection Grant for the ‘Untold Stories’ conference and another an Insight Grant to support her research for Jane Rule’s biography.
Her most recent book, Unarrested Archives: Case Studies in Twentieth-Century Women’s Authorship (University of Toronto Press in December 2014), was a finalist for the Gabrielle Roy Prize in English in 2015. Awarded a SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2005-2009) and the FQRSC Etablissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs (2009-2013) for research that undergirds this book, she examines how Canadian women writers approached their own archives for the purposes of locating self-agency. She then investigates 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 her research for the latter book, she discovered Jane Rule’s hand-written autobiography, Taking My Life, in the University of British Columbia archives. She subsequently transcribed, edited, and prepared the autobiography for publication (Talon 2011) and also wrote the afterword. Taking My Life was shortlisted for the LAMBDA Award (2012), received a nomination for the Stonewall Book Award (2011), and garnered many positive reviews. One such review appeared in The Globe and Mail. She is drawing upon this research to write the biography of Jane Rule, her current research in progress.
As she worked on her monograph, she also collaborated with Dr. Jessica 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.
This collaboration was preceded by another with Dr. Deanna Reder. Together, they co-edited the interdisciplinary collection, Troubling Tricksters (WLUP 2010). Dr. Reder and she collaborated on another book, which comes out of support by a SSHRC Connections Grant (January 2014) and which drew together Indigenous studies scholars and students from across the country to consider pedagogical approaches to Indigenous literatures. The event took place at the end of February 2014 in Vancouver, at which time she and Dr. Reder workshopped their new anthology, Learn, Teach, Challenge: Approaching Indigenous Literatures (Wilfrid Laurier University Press 2016).
She is also at work with Dr. Laura Davis (Red Deer) on a book, forthcoming with the University of Alberta Press and which is titled, Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland: Letters (forthcoming 2018). The project was supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant to 2016. She has received a contract for a volume of papers she edited, titled Moving Archives (WLUP), submitted in 2017.
Dr. Morra has won several teaching awards, including the Departmental teaching Award (2008-2009) and Best Professor of the Humanities (2007-2008 and 2009-2010), and has been nominated for several others, including the William and Nancy Turner Teaching Award (2010-2011). She was also awarded the Faculty Evaluation Committee Merit Award for Research/Teaching in 2010 and then again in 2013.
She served as the President of the Quebec Writers’ Federation (2014-2016), for which she developed their Youth Prize, and sits on the advisory board for Guernica Press, Canadian Literature, and Studies in Canadian Literature. She runs the Morris House Reading Series at Bishop’s University and the Student Writing Week/End in the Eastern Townships (SWEET). Visit her website.
Dr. Linda M. Morra is working on research related to Jane Rule (1931-2007). Novelist, short story writer, essayist, activist, and contributor to the queer liberation periodical, The Body Politic (1971-1987), Rule made an enormous contribution to the literary and socio-cultural production of, and enlargement of space for, the queer community during her lifetime. This research grew out of her most recent book, Unarrested Archives: Case Studies in Twentieth-Century Women’s Authorship, which recalibrates current scholarly perspectives on Canadian women writers’ agencies in the twentieth century by historicizing the emergence of the notion of unhindered female authorship and by examining how their literary archives came to be forged within, against, or outside centralized repositories of official records. She is also editing a volume of essays, forthcoming in 2016, titled Moving Archives, in which contributors assess the affective, digital, and contextual processes that affect how archives are shaped and change shape over time.
Dr. Jessica Riddell is a Full Professor in the English Department at Bishop’s University specializing in late medieval and early modern dramatic and non-dramatic literature. Dr. Riddell teaches a wide range of courses, including medieval romance, medieval drama, Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Sixteenth and Seventeenth century poetry and prose. She is also the inaugural Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence: in this capacity, she explores innovative teaching and learning practices, creates mentorship opportunities for students and faculty, mobilizes knowledge around learning in higher education (with a particular focus on the humanities), enhances professional development initiatives for her colleagues, and participates in a wide range of visioning and consultations at the national and international levels. She is the VP Canada on the Board of ISSoTL (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) as well as a Board member for the 3M National Executive Council. Dr. Riddell is the faculty columnist of University Affairs and her articles appear in a series called “Adventures in Academe.” Dr. Riddell was awarded the 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2015, the first recipient of the award at Bishop’s University. She was also awarded the William and Nancy Turner Award for Teaching Excellence (2011-2012), the most prestigious recognition of teaching excellence at Bishop’s. Dr. Riddell earned her MA and PhD in English Literature from Queen’s University.
Dr. Riddell’s research interests encompass late medieval and early modern literature, performance and ritual theory, and the articulations of subjecthood in courtly and civic drama from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. Her disciplinary research theorizes that sixteenth-century drama provides well-documented intersections between politics, performance, and power. Her SSHRC Insight Development Grant enabled her to investigate how technologies in the sixteenth century (the printing press, illuminated manuscripts, heraldic scrolls, portraits) recorded and shaped identity and gender, especially pertaining to political leadership in Elizabeth I’s court. Her recent work has examined early Tudor representations of sovereignty in theatrical, visual, and verbal forms in order to argue that there is significant and strategic generic experimentation in the recording of royal, aristocratic, and civic spectacle – spectacle designed to advance the political agendas of the monarch, the aristocracy, and the civic authorities. She is currently working on a book length project on Elizabeth I that probes 1) the manner in which the queen and her male courtiers commissioned innovative and hybrid genres; 2) the representational strategies within these genres by means of which gender is contested and re-formed; and 3) the modes of dissemination of these hybrid performance-texts (i.e. manuscript and print). By examining how performance is textualized in these new genres, Dr. Riddell’s work attempts to expose the tensions animating the often fraught relationships among the Queen, her nobility, and the civic populace.
Dr. Steven Woodward has wide-ranging interests in the areas of film and media studies. He grew up in England, fully expecting to become a secret agent as an adult, but the closest he’s come to that is publishing an article on villains in the James Bond movies. After studying at Queen’s University, Ryerson University, and the University of Toronto, he taught at Nipissing University, the University of Toronto, and Clemson University (South Carolina).
Dr. Woodward has edited two books about Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski and has written articles about the use of colour in Kieslowski’s films, the import of Hungarian film theorist Bela Balazs, architecture in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and murderous girls in the movies, amongst other subjects.
Dr. Woodward directs the Bishop’s University Film Festival and is currently executive producer of the BU175 documentary-film series.
Dr. Woodward’s long-term research project focuses on the phenomenon of cringe comedy, or simply “cringe.” Cringe is so extreme in its violation of taboos and narratological conventions of identification that it initially embarrasses its audience before allowing them any kind of comic relief in laughter. TV shows such as Fleabag, The Office, and Curb Your Enthusiasm and movies such as Team America and Borat are good examples. Dr. Woodward’s research, already presented in numerous conference papers, explores cringe comedy on three fronts: first, in the context of traditional comedy in general and screen comedy in particular; second, in relation to the social and cultural milieu in which it has flourished; and third, in terms of the social and psychological functions it might fulfill.
Professor Nolan Bazinet earned his B.A. in English Literature at York University. After working for a number of years in broadcast television, he returned to the academic world by earning his M.A. in Canadian Comparative Literature at the Université de Sherbrooke. He is currently completing his PhD degree in Education, also at the Université de Sherbrooke. Nolan’s teaching is informed by the use of unconventional texts in the classroom, be they graphic novels, works of digital literature, or digital games. He is particularly interested in how these texts afford multiliteracy development at various levels of education.
Adam Budd has been making films and teaching for the last 15 years. After graduating from the University of Regina with a BFA in Fine Arts, he began Arid Sea Films with Simon Nakonechny and directed and produced four films that screened at film festivals such as Toronto International and Slamdance. Completing his MFA in Film Production from Concordia University, he has taught at Concordia, Bishop’s University, Champlain College Lennoxville, and Oxford Spires Academy in England.
Born in Montreal, but raised in Vancouver, Heather Davis completed her Bachelor of Education at the University of Victoria and her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. She teaches children’s literature, creative writing, and effective writing at Bishop’s and at Université de Sherbrooke. She has published in The Globe and Mail and Canadian Living Magazine and won the Quebec Writer’s Federation’s 2012 Carte Blanche Prize. She has written a number of textbooks for adult education in Quebec including Indispensable Grammar. She has led local creative writing workshops since 2010, is a member of the Townships Tellers, and has been a correspondent for both the Sherbrooke Record and CBC radio. She believes that everyone can be creative and that nobody is too old to be touched by a picture book.
Born and raised in the western United States, Chad earned his B.A. in mass communication from the University of Utah. He spent the next 10 years as a writer working in broadcast news, public relations and corporate communications. Chad received his M.A. in English from Boise State University where he specialized in composition/rhetoric theory and nonfiction literature, with emphasis on the writings of Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe, and other New Journalists. Chad teaches journalism courses at Bishop’s and a recent addition focusing on another passion of his, the graphic novel.
Prior to coming to Bishop’s, Dr. Pfefferle taught at the University of Saskatchewan, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and McGill University, where he earned his PhD in 2015. His areas of teaching and research interest include transnational modernism, mid-twentieth century British and American literature, cultural studies, and cinema—with a particular focus on documentary. He is currently working on a few research projects: one, about James Bond’s paranoid reading habits; another, about representations of English pub culture in novels and films of the 1930s and 1940s; and a book-length study of “adaptogenic narratives” in British and American literature and film between 1938 and 1960.
Dr. Peter Webb is a contract instructor at Bishop’s, specializing in Canadian Literature, American Literature, and Popular Culture. He has a Ph.D in English and Canadian Studies from the University of Ottawa and a Master’s in English from Queen’s University. Research interests include modernism, war literature, and popular music. Dr. Webb won the 2015 Dean’s Award of Excellence in Teaching.