Academic Work

Academic Interests

My academic interests include material culture or ‘thing theory,’ museums, Victorian writers, Heidegger, ekphrasis and lyric philosophy. I have a BFA in Art History and in Creative Writing from The University of Victoria, an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of British Columbia, an MSc in Writing and Cultural Politics from The University of Edinburgh and a PhD in English Literature at The University of Edinburgh. My thesis was on resonance and beloved objects in Victorian writers’ houses/museums.

I teach creative writing part-time at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, my subject areas include fiction (short and long), poetry, and creative nonfiction.

In November 2014 I was the writer-in-residence at The Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver. Previous writer-in-residence positions include a semester in the graduate departments at Lancaster University, UK, and at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and a semester at Memorial University in St John’s, Newfoundland.

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Conference Papers

‘One Thing After The Other’: In Defence of Listing the Material, presented at the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (CCWWP) Conference, Vancouver, BC, May 2014.

‘The Brontës, Materiality and Resonance: Three Ways of Looking.’ Presented at the ‘Re-Visioning the Brontës’ Conference at the University of Leeds, January 2013.

‘Ever Yours’: Victorian Writers’ Handwriting and the Indelible Self. Presented at the BAVS ‘Composition and Decomposition’ Conference at the University of Birmingham, September 2011.

Enigmatic Witness: Pet Dogs as Beloved Objects in the Victorian Era.’ Presented at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference ‘Speaking Nature’ at Pitzer College, Claremont, California, April 2011.

‘Reaching Out: Beloved Objects, Resonance, and the Necessity of Touch in Object Transformation.’ The ‘Mediated Memory Symposium’, Glasgow University, January 2010.

‘Of things for ever speaking’: The Lock of Hair in Victorian Culture. Presented at the Bodies and Things: Victorian Literature and the Matter of Culture Conference at Oxford University, September 2009.

Phenomenological Resonance: Presence and Absence in Beloved Things. Presented at the BAVS Victorian Feeling: Touch, Bodies, Emotions Conference at the University of Leicester, August 2008.

‘And So, she Appears’: Women Writers in Contemporary / Historical Poetic Space. Presented at the Adapting the Nineteenth Century: Revisiting, Revising and Rewriting the Past Conference at the University of Wales, Lampeter, August 2008.

Enigmatic Things: Books as Objects in Two Eras. Presented at the Matter and Materiality Conference at the University of York, July 2007.

‘You carved your name and I carved mine’: Presence and Absence in Postmodern Intertextual Citation. Presented at the Invisibilities: Absence and Presence in Cultural Texts and Images Conference at the University of Dundee, June 2007.

Explorations of Interior Space: The Victorian Library as a Little Theatre. Presented at the House to Home Conference at Warwick University, March 2007.

Objects as Portals in Contemporary Fiction, presented as a guest lecture at Macquarie University, Australia, September 2006.

Translating Narrative: The Appropriation of Ghosts and The Irish Gothic, presented at The Association of Writing Programs Conference (Texas), 2006.

The Construct of Memory, presented at The Association of Writing Programs Conference (Vancouver), 2005 and published as A Ragged Pen: Essays on Poetry and Memory by Gaspereau Press.