The English department at St. Jerome's University has made a reputation for prolific, internationally recognized research that both enriches our teaching and contributes substantially to our academic fields.
Our expertise, in terms of periods, includes a strong commitment to the tradition of British literature and various forms of contemporary literature: Chaucer; Shakespeare; British Romanticism; early twentieth-century British literature; contemporary poetry of the United Kingdom and Ireland; contemporary American literature; contemporary Canadian and postcolonial literatures.
Within the Department of English, some of the research areas include:
- Letter exchanges during the two World Wars to examine how individuals at home and at the front expressed their emotions and negotiated such an extreme experience. (Carol Acton)
- The intersection between the visual arts and contemporary Canadian and Caribbean literatures. (Veronica Austen)
- The representation of the body, sexuality and reproduction in British Romantic writing and illustration, especially William Blake’s illuminated books. (Tristanne Connolly)
- The portrayal of gender and sexuality in North American comics. (Andrew Deman)
- The theology of Rowan Williams as a resource for understanding the making of the Christian imagination. (Norm Klassen)
- Small words of volition in Shakespeare. (Alysia Kolentsis)
- The implications of a preponderance of citations from poetry in the Oxford English Dictionary for a conception of the denotative definition of words. (David Williams)
- The interplay between contemporary American literature, theology, and environmental studies. (Chad Wriglesworth)
As well, Claire Tacon hosts the podcast Parallel Careers about the dual lives of writers who teach.
British Women and War Nursing (2020), edited by Carol Acton, provides a critical introduction and edited collection of facsimile text primary sources on British women’s war nursing from the Crimea to the Second World War. This volume is part of the Women and War, Routledge History of Feminism Series.
Beastly Blake (2018), edited by Tristanne Connolly and Helen Bruder, follows their previous essay collections Queer Blake and Sexy Blake in irreverently illuminating neglected aspects of this popular and challenging artist's work. Beastly Blake shifts focus from the "Human Form Divine" to the non-human creatures who populate Blake’s poetry and designs.
Alysia Kolentsis’s new book, Shakespeare’s Common Language (2020), demonstrates how methods borrowed from language criticism can illuminate the surprising expressive force of Shakespeare's common words. In mapping the tools of linguistics and language theory onto the study of literature, and employing finely-grained close readings of dialogue, Shakespeare's Common Language frames a methodology that offers a fresh approach to reading dramatic language.
Shakespeare On Stage and Off (edited by Alysia Kolentsis and Ken Graham, 2019) considers what it means to play, work, and live with Shakespeare in the twenty-first century. Responding to renewed calls to reassess the prominence of canonical writers, Shakespeare On Stage and Off introduces new perspectives on why and how William Shakespeare still matters.
David Williams's book, The Life of Words: Etymology and Modern Poetry (2020) studies ways in which the historical dimension of language comes alive in contemporary poetry.