Thesis Supervisors | College of Arts

Thesis Supervisors

 

The following course instructors: Catherine Bush, Dionne Brand, Judith Thompson, Michael Winter, Kevin Connolly, Carrianne Leung and Kyo Maclear (all included below) are potential Thesis Advisors and their full bios appear on the Course Instructors page. The Associated Faculty listed below are also available for thesis advising.

A full list of University of Guelph Faculty serving as Second Readers and Committee Chairs for the CW MFA, can be found at the bottom of this page.

 


Thesis Supervisors


 

Dionne Brand

Professor, Teaching and Supervising Faculty

dionne brandDionne Brand, Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies, is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist. Her writing is notable for the beauty of its language, and for its intense engagement with issues of social justice. She received a Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction from Yale and the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing. She was Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto 2009-2012, and is the recipient of many other awards including the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize for Ossuaries, and the Toronto Boook Award for her critically acclaimed novel, What We All Long For. Her latest novel, Love Enough was short listed for the Trillium Prize for Literature, 2015. Brand’s non-fiction works include Bread Out Of Stone, and A Map to the Door of No Return, which, has been widely taken up in scholarly work on Being in the Black Diaspora.

See full bio under Course Instructors

 


Catherine Bush

Associate Professor, Full Time Faculty

catherine bushCatherine Bush is the author of five novels, including Blaze Island (2020), a Globe & Mail Best Book. Her work has been critically acclaimed, published internationally and shortlisted for literary awards. Accusation (2013) was one of NOW magazine’s Best Ten Books of 2013 and a Canada Reads Top 40 pick. Minus Time (1993), her first novel, was shortlisted for the Books in Canada/SmithBooks First Novel Award and the City of Toronto Book Award. Her second novel, The Rules of Engagement (2000) was a national bestseller and chosen as a New York Times Notable Book and one of the Globe and Mail’s Best Books of the Year. Her third novel, Claire’s Head (2004), was shortlisted for Ontario’s Trillium Award and was a Globe & Mail Best Book.

See full bio under Course Instructors

 


Margaret Christakos

Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Margaret Christakos.Margaret Christakos is a widely published Canadian poet with nine collections of poetry, including Excessive Love Prostheses (2002, ReLit winner), Sooner (2005) and What Stirs (2008), both Pat Lowther Award nominees, and Welling (2010, a Globe100 Book). Her most recent poetry is Multitudes (2013). She has also published a novel, Charisma (2001, a Trillium nominee) and an intergenre memoir, Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss & Selfies. She received an Excellence in Teaching Award from U of T (2009), including for her work curating and facilitating Influency: A Toronto Poetry Salon, and has been appointed Writer in Residence at the U. of Windsor, at Western and (in 2017/18) at the U. of Alberta. She holds a B.F.A. Visual Arts (York, 1985), and M.A. Education (U of T, 1995). margaretchristakos.com

 


Kevin Connolly

Teaching and Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Kevin Connolly.Kevin Connolly is a poet, journalist, and editor. He is the author of five collections of poetry: Happyland (2002), Drift (2005), which was the winner of the Trillium Book Award, Revolver (2008), which was shortlisted for the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, and Xiphoid Process (2017).

Connolly has served as an editor for ECW Press, House of Anansi, Coach House Books, and McClelland and Stewart. He lives in Toronto with his partner, writer Gil Adamson. Connolly runs the poetry imprint at House of Anansi.

 


Camilla Gibb

Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Camilla GibbCamilla Gibb is the author of five acclaimed novels—Mouthing the WordsThe Petty Details of So-and-so's LifeSweetness in the BellyThe Beauty of Humanity Movement and The Relatives, as well as the bestselling memoir This is Happy. Camilla has been the recipient of the Trillium Book Award, the City of Toronto Book Award and the CBC Canadian Literary Award and has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the RBC Taylor Prize. She has a Ph.D. from Oxford University and has been mentoring graduate creative writing students for the past 15 years.

 


Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer

Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer.Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer is the bestselling author of the novels All The Broken ThingsPerfecting and The Nettle Spinner and the short fiction collection Way Up. Her latest novel All The Broken Things was a finalist for the Toronto Book Award and longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads 2016. The Nettle Spinner was a finalist for the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the ReLit Award. Way Up won a Danuta Gleed Award. Kathryn's fiction has appeared in GrantaThe Walrus7X7 LASignificant Objects, and Storyville, where it won The Sidney Prize for Fiction. Kathryn teaches creative writing at various institutions, including Colorado College and the University of Toronto. She holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Toronto.

 


Carrianne Leung

Teaching and Supervising Associated Faculty

Carrrianne LeungCarrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/University of Toronto. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo, published by Inanna Publications was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her collection of linked stories, That Time I Loved You, was released in 2018 by HarperCollins and in 2019 in the US by Liveright Publishing. It received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, and was named as one of the Best Books of 2018 by CBC, That Time I Loved You was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards 2019, long listed for Canada Reads 2019 and was awarded the Danuta Gleed Literary Award 2019. Leung’s work has also appeared in the PuritanRicepaper, the Globe and MailRoomPrairie Fire and Open Book Ontario. Her third book titled, The After will be released by Harper Collins Canada in 2022.

 


Kyo Maclear 

Teaching and Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Kyo Maclear.Kyo Maclear is an essayist, novelist, arts writer and children's author. Her books have been translated into eighteen languages, published in over twenty-five countries, optioned for theatre and television, and garnered nominations from the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Governor General's Literary Awards, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, and the National Magazine Awards. Her most recent book is the hybrid memoir Birds Art Life(2017), winner of the Trillium Book Award. Kyo lives and works in Toronto, on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, Métis, and the Huron-Wendat. She holds an MA (Cultural Studies and Education/OISE, University of Toronto) and a PhD (Environmental Humanities/York University). In addition to the University of Guelph, she also teaches creative writing with Humber School for Writers and Banff Centre for the Arts.

 


Shani Mootoo

Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Shani Mootoo.Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland and grew up in Trinidad. She holds an MA in English from the University of Guelph, writes fiction and poetry and is a visual artist whose work has been exhibited locally and internationally. Mootoo’s critically acclaimed novels include Polar Vortex (Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist), Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab (Lambda Literary Award shortlist, Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist), Valmiki’s Daughter (Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist), He Drown She in The Sea (Dublin IMPAC longlist) and Cereus Blooms at Night (Giller Prize shortlist, Booker Prize longlist). She is also the author of the poetry collection The Predicament of Or, and the short story collection, Out on Main Street. Mootoo is a recipient of the James Duggins Mid-Career Novelist Award. She lives in Southern Ontario. 

 


Hoa Nguyen

Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Hoa Nguyen.Hoa Nguyen is author of five books of poetry including Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008 and Violet Energy Ingots which was nominated for a Griffin poetry prize. Her most recent book, released in 2021, is a poetic meditation on historical, personal, and cultural pressures pre- and post-“Fall-of-Saigon” with verse biography featuring the poet's mother, a stunt motorcyclist in an all-women Vietnamese circus troupe. Her work has been featured in Granta, PEN American Center, Boston Review, The Best Canadian Poetryseries, The Walrus, The New York Times, and the Academy of American Poets; she has performed and lectured at numerous institutions, including Princeton University, the Bagley Wright Lecture series, Bard College, Banff, Poet’s House, and Brown University. Born in the Mekong Delta and raised and educated in the United States, Hoa lives in Toronto with her family.

 


Michael Redhill 

Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Michael Redhill.Michael Redhill’s most recent novel, Bellevue Square, won the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize. His previous novel, Consolation, was long-listed for the Man Booker prize and won the Toronto Book Award. His first novel, Martin Sloane, was a finalist for the Giller Prize and winner of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Novel (Canada/Carribbean). He is also the author of Fidelity, a collection of short stories and four poetry collections. As a playwright, his most recent works are Goodness and Building Jerusalem, winner of the 2000 Dora Award for Outstanding New Play and finalist for the 2001 Governor General’s Award. He also writes mysteries under the name Inger Ash Wolfe. Redhill lives and works in Toronto.

 


Shyam Selvadurai

Teaching and Supervising Associated Faculty

Shyam SelvaduraiShyam Selvadurai's first novel Funny Boy, won the W.H. Smith/ Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Lambda Literary Award in the US. He is the author of Cinnamon Gardens and Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, and the editor of an anthology, Story-wallah! A Celebration of South Asian Fiction. His books have been published in the US, the UK and India, and published in translation in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey and Israel. His third, The Hungry Ghosts, was published in 2013 in Canada, India and Sri Lanka. Shyam wrote the screenplay of his first novel Funny Boy along with the award-winning Deepa Mehta, who also directed the film. The film was released in 2021 on CBC Gem in Canada and Netflix in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Shyam’s new novel Mansion of the Moon, a historical novel about the Buddha’s wife, will be released by Knopf in 2022.

 


Souvankham Thammavongsa

Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Souvankham ThammavongsaSouvankham Thammavongsa is the author of four poetry books and the short story collection How to Pronounce Knife, winner of the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and PEN/America Open Book Award. Her stories have won an O. Henry Award and appeared in The New YorkerHarper's MagazineThe Paris ReviewThe AtlanticGrantaNOON, and other places.

 


Judith Thompson

Professor, Teaching and Supervising Faculty

thompsonPlaywright, director, actor, dramaturge, artistic director of RARE theatre and Professor of theatre, Judith Thompson is the author of 17 published and produced plays, including The CrackwalkerI Am YoursLion in the StreetsPerfect PieLion in the Streets, Palace of the EndWho Killed Snow White, and Elektra in Bosnia. Many of her works have been translated and produced all over the world. She has also authored two feature films, Perfect Pie and Lost and Delirious, as well as several made-for-TV movies, including the award-winning Life With Billy and Turning to Stone, and numerous radio plays. She is the founder of RARE theatre.

See full bio under Course Instructors

 


Michael Winter

Teaching and Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Michael Winter.Michael Winter has published two collections of stories, five novels, and one work of non-fiction. He has won the CBC short story contest, the Winterset Award, and received the Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award. He has served as a juror for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, held the Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence position at the University of Toronto, and been both an editor and mentor to a wide range of writers, from community literacy workshops to MFA creative writing programs. He currently lives in Toronto.

 

 


Thesis Defence Committee Second Readers

Second Readers marked with an asterisk below also have the capacity to serve as Committee Chairs.


 

Paul Barrett*

Assistant Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Canadian literature, critical race studies, digital humanities

 

Julie Cairnie*

Professor and Acting Graduate Coordinator, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Southern African literature (South African and Zimbabwean), land crisis and the crisis of childhood through Zimbabwean literature and other cultural texts, Canadian Indigenous-Settler relationships, postcolonial sport

 

Elaine Chang*

Associate Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Critical studies of race, ethnicity, and gender; contemporary cultural theory; 20th and 21st-century anglophone prose fiction; Asian North American cultural studies; film and media cultures

 

Jade Ferguson*

Associate Professor and Acting Director, School of English and Theatre Studies

19th to mid-20th century Canadian literature, Civil Rights Movement literature and photography, New Southern Studies, Critical Race Theory

 

Mark Fortier*

Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Shakespeare; Law and Literature; Theatre Theory

 

Sky Gilbert*

Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Experimental theatre, Shakespearean rhetoric, euphuism and ‘the queer feminine style', dramaturgy and playwriting, sexuality and the stage, theatrical cross-dressing, male femininity in playwrighting, avant-garde directing, confessional theatre, and realism/anti-realism

 

Stephen Henighan

Professor, Spanish and Hispanic Studies, School of Languages and Literatures

Areas of Specialization: 20th & 21st Century Spanish American Fiction, Lusophone African Literature

 

Lawrence Hill

Faculty, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Black history in Canada and around the world, slavery and freedom, human rights, migration, the search for home, mixed-race identity, blood as a marker of individual and collective identity, and the experiences of refugees.

 

Karen Houle

Professor, Philosophy

 

Troy Hourie*

Assistant Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: scenography/performance design, installation art, mediated performance creation, augmented realities, puppetry, storytelling, art history, architecture and theatre design; current work revolves around the themes of wonder, immersion, spectatorship and intermediality

 

Mark Lipton

Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Digital knowledge production, Culture, Communication, Media, Technology, Education, Teaching, Learning, Pedagogy, English Education, Writing Across the Curriculum, Literacy, Media Literacy, Activism, Educational Technology, Digital Divides, Social Inclusion, Digital Storytelling, Research-Creation, Social Media, Digital Humanities, Social Justice, Confronting Sexism, Health, Wellness, Digital Policy Literacy, Privacy, Surveillance, Visual Communication, Bio-Hacking, Bio-Art, Perception, Performance, Identity, Queer Theory, LGBTQ+ Youth, Camp

 

Danny O’Quinn*

Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: European relations with the Ottoman Empire, British-India, and on various trans-Atlantic topics are part of the ongoing re-evaluation of British imperial culture. His research on theatre and sociability, historical analysis of race, class, sexuality, and gender, genealogies of present norms regarding the body and social relations.

 

Pablo Ramirez*

Associate Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Law and Literature, Latinx Literature and Cultural Production, Memory Studies, Nineteenth-Century Literature of the Supernatural and the Occult, Creative Writing

 

Jennifer Schacker*

Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: folk narrative and history of folklore study; fairy tale and theatre; children's literature and culture; material culture, craft, costume

 

Ann Wilson*

Associate Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: issues relating to constructions of gender and masculinity in the context of the middle class in late Victorian and Edwardian England; formations of middle-class heterosexual masculinity and the demise for this mode of masculinity in the latter part of the 19th-century; the theatrical expression of gender and sexuality in plays written the late 19th and early 20th-centuries, with attention to how such interests are manifest through performance; contemporary Canadian and British women playwrights

 


Thesis Defence Committee Chairs

Second Readers marked with an asterisk above also have the capacity to serve as Committee Chairs.


 

Dionne Brand

Professor & University Research Chair, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Literature and creative writing, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, social justice, issues of gender and race

See full bio under Course Instructors

 

Gregor Campbell

Assistant Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: American Literature, Literary Theory, Media Studies,  Harlem Renaissance, Postmodernism

 

Michelle Elleray

Associate Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Victorian literature, particularly in relation to: literature of empire, the South Pacific, children's literature, missionary culture, and ecocriticism

 

Martha Nandorfy

Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of specialization: postcolonial; decolonization; environmental literature, climate crisis and feminist ecocriticism; comparative epistemologies; creative nonfiction

 

Judith Thompson

Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies

Areas of Specialization: Playwrighting, Devising, Acting, Theatre Creation

Judith Thompson is a widely recognized playwright, director, screenwriter, actor and artistic director/producer, with work that has garnered national and international awards and has been widely studied and praised by critics throughout her career.

See full bio under Course Instructors