Retired English Prof Named to Royal Society

September 12, 2011 - News Release

University of Guelph professor emerita Elizabeth Waterston has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada, considered Canada's senior academic honour. She will be inducted at a Nov. 26 ceremony in Ottawa.

Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada is the country’s oldest and most prestigious scholarly organization. Scholars are selected for the honour by their peers and are those the society believes have had a profound impact on sciences, arts and humanities in Canada.

Waterston, professor emerita in the School of English and Theatre Studies, was honoured for her distinguished career in writing, research and teaching.

“Elizabeth Waterston has contributed to Canadian culture as a teacher, writer, editor, public speaker at home and abroad, and mentor to young writers,” according to the citation from the Royal Society. “She pioneered interdisciplinary studies and in the application of computer technology in studies in the humanities.”

An expert on Canadian authors, Waterston has fostered the study of Canadian literature in high schools and universities since the 1950s and mentored writers such as Mordecai Richler and Guelph graduate Jane Urquhart.

She taught literature at U of G for more than two decades.

Waterston is a leading expert on the life and writings of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series. Along with U of G professor emerita Mary Rubio, she has travelled the globe researching the famous Canadian author’s life and legacy.

Waterston’s book Magic Island: The Fictions of L.M. Montgomery explores the Anne stories, drawing parallels between Montgomery’s personal life and professional career and the characters in her novels. Along with Rubio, she edited The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery and wrote the short biography Writing a Life: L.M. Montgomery.

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