Current News & Events

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Please note that all academic job postings are now posted only on the Human Resources website and all applications must be submitted online here. 

May 15, 2024 | The Conversation
Alice Munro followed the back roads of stories, mapping routes home to southwestern Ontario
English studies professor Manina Jones writes on the life and work of Alice Munro

May 8, 2024 | Graduate Studies
Carl F. and Margaret E. Klinck Prize
The Committee on Graduate Studies has awarded the 2023-2024 Klinck prize to Tanja Grubnic for her thesis, “Art or Con? Exploring Instapoetry at the Intersection of Creator Culture, Digital Entrepreneurship, and Artistic Innovation,” supervised by Drs. Manina Jones and Alison Hearne.

Tanja’s timely work poses questions about technology and the arts, not least in her discussion of “how minoritized poets creatively mobilize social media technologies of authorship, production, and reception.” Tanja has organized and hosted events related to her work, most recently an intellectually energizing session with Sheila Heti and Aarthi Vadde on AI and Creativity held in Conron Hall. The committee agrees that Tanja’s work makes an important contribution to scholarship in Canadian Literature and that it is very deserving of the Klinck Prize. 

May 4, 2024 | Toronto Star
From bookish kid to the top of TIFF: Cameron Bailey, BA'87, on meeting ‘Steven,’ the joy of film and moving on without Bell
TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey discovered the power of film as a Western University student. Cinema, he says, “can open you up to new ideas, new ways of seeing the world.”

April 11, 2024 | CBC Books
Phil Glennie, PhD’11 (English), made the 2024 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for The Sea Comes Pouring In
Glennie is the author of five novels, including lll Humour (2013) and Lune (2016). His short stories have appeared in Bright Flash Literary Review and Heartwood Literary Magazine. In 2019, he released the full-length folk music record Wake, which like his writing was inspired by his family's roots in Charlotte County, N.B. In 2011, he earned his PhD in English literature from Western University. He currently works as a marketing professional and lives with his family in the Old East Village neighbourhood of London, Ont.

April 10, 2024 | Department of English & Writing Studies
In Memoriam: Professor Chris Gittings
On March 30th, our department lost a colleague, friend, and a highly-respected teacher and scholar in the fields of Canadian Studies and Film Studies, Chris Gittings.

Chris obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph in 1987, followed by a Master of Arts in 1989, and a Bachelor of Education in English and History from Queen's University in the same year. In 1993, he earned his Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh.

From 1993 to 1997, Chris served as a lecturer in Canadian Studies in the Department of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham. During his tenure, he made significant contributions to the academic community, culminating in his appointment as the Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies in 1996. He came to Western as an Associate Professor in English in 2003 and helped to establish the Department of Film Studies, assuming the role of Chair of the Department in 2005.

Chris’s many and varied contributions to the study of Canadian Cinema helped to shape the field. His 2002 book Canadian National Cinema (Routledge), offered a comprehensive exploration of Canadian cinema within the context of cultural nationalism and colonialism. In the words of Graeme Turner, the book “presents a fresh and uncompromising angle on Canadian cultural history while it traces the social implications of its stories on film. What emerges is a close and sympathetic analysis which focuses on the difficulties facing a national industry dominated by its powerful neighbour, the politics of representation internal to a multi-ethnic and multi-racial society, and the positive effects of strategic investment in local stories as well as the indigenisation of international genres.” Chris’s other notable contributions to Canadian Cinema  include the edited collection Imperialism and Gender: Constructions of Masculinity (Dangaro, 1996), and articles on cultural translation, gender, sexuality, genre, postcolonialisms, postmodernisms, popular culture, national cinemas, ethnographic cinemas and race. His articles on London-raised filmmaker John Greyson are of particular note, helping to promote his importance to the study of queer cinema in Canada.

Chris was no less committed to his role as a teacher. Even while coping with the side-effects of his medical treatments, he remained active in the classroom, teaching classes in Canadian National Cinema, Reframing National Cinemas, Documentary Film, and others. As a measure of his popularity among his students, he was twice included in the USC Honor Roll for Teaching (2008-09 and 2010-11).

Chris’s last posting to social media was a quotation from Albert Einstein. It reads: “Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.”

Warm thanks to Chris Keep, Director of Film Studies, for composing this tribute.

Note: Students who require support should reach out to the mental health team at Western (who also offer same day crisis appointments - 519-661-3030)

April 2, 2024 | Western News
Artists, researchers examine the role of AI in creativity
Alice Munro Chair in Creativity, Sheila Heti, shares her experience writing with a chatbot.

March 27, 2024 | The Gazette
Téa Mutonji, Western’s writer-in-residence, is building community
Téa, a writer and poet, is Western University’s current writer-in-residence. In her role, she hosts office hours with students to review their creative works which can include works of poetry and prose. Her last day of office hours is on Monday, April 1. Thank you, Téa, for bringing your creative energy to Western!

March 26, 2024 | Graduate Studies
English PhD students receive Arts & Humanities Graduate Awards
Megan McLennan and Amala Poli have won Alumni Graduate Awards; Adam Mohamed and Alex Morgan have won Graduate Thesis Awards; Heather McCardell has won a Lynn Lionel-Scott Award; Taylor Tomko has won a Mary Routledge Award. Congratulations!

March 21, 2024 | Western News
Game Lab: Telling stories, talking strategy and taking time for fun
Fun is the objective of this project designed by Sheila Heti, Western’s 2023-24 Alice Munro Chair in Creativity, who will give the Annual Alice Munro Lecture on April 3, 2024.

January 15, 2024 | English Studies
In Memoriam: Professor Thomas J. Collins
Thomas J. Collins, who died in Victoria, BC on 15 January after a battle with cancer, had a long and distinguished career at Western. Born in London, Tom received a BA from King’s in 1959, an MA from Western in 1961, and a PhD from the University of Indiana in 1965. He joined the English Department in 1964 and became its chair in 1974. Thereafter he was Dean of Arts and Academic Vice-President and Provost before returning briefly to teach in the Department before retiring. A specialist in Victorian poetry and poetics, especially Robert Browning, he published Robert Browning’s Moral-Aesthetic Theory,1833-55, numerous articles and reviews, and several editions, including The Plays of Robert Browning, coedited with Richard J. Shroyer. Tom was also a formidable athlete; he completed his last full Ironman at the age of 75 and entered shorter competitions until the age of 82. Until the pandemic, he and his wife Mary Louise were dedicated to long world travels from a pied-à-terre in Victoria.

January 11, 2024 | Western News
Writer-in-Residence Téa Mutonji shortlisted for CBC's Canada Reads 2024
The final stage of the contest, hosted by CBC, features five celebrities each championing a specific book. Kudakwashe Rutendo, an actor, will be advocating for Mutonji’s book in what the broadcaster describes as the “great Canadian book debate.” A campus viewing party is planned for March 4 so students, staff and faculty can watch the first Canada Reads debate together and celebrate Mutonji.

December 13, 2023 | CBC Books
Writer-in-Residence Téa Mutonji longlisted for CBC's Canada Reads 2024
The panellists and the books they choose to champion will be revealed on January 11, 2024.

November 22, 2023 | Western News
Leaders in private, public sectors honoured for leadership, vision
Kimberley A. Mason, BA’89 and Heather Desserud, BA’07 were named among Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2023, recognized for their leadership, vision and mentorship of others.

November 20, 2023 | Western News
Chinelo Ezenwa, MA’16, PhD’21, brings lived experience to new role at Western
As a former international student from Nigeria, Chinelo’s lived experience gives her a deep sense of empathy and understanding as she works to help graduate students in her role as an EDI specialist and academic advisor in Western's School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

November 2, 2023 | Western News
Words Festival marks 10th anniversary
Writer-in-residence, student writer-in-residence, Alice Munro Chair in Creativity and faculty members featured in creative arts event.

October 26, 2023 | 2023 Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction
Rebecca Campbell (PhD'15) wins 2023 Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Arboreality
In looping, linked stories that travel through generations, Campbell explores the effects of climate change on one slice of British Columbia: what might happen as the planet changes, and how regular people might remake their homes by growing together and reconsidering other, gentler ways to live in a drastically reshaped world.

October 25, 2023 | Western News
English and Medieval Studies student researchers among global winners in The Global Undergraduate Awards

October 13, 2023 | Western University
Matthew Dawkins (BA'23) is making serious waves in the literary world
An award-winning author with 350,000 reads on Wattpad, his debut novel, Until We Break—published while at Western—is receiving accolades for its raw conviction and vulnerability.

September 13, 2023 | Western News
Tilottama Rajan awarded 2023 Chauveau Medal
Congratulations to Tilottama Rajan on receiving the 2023 Chauveau Medal for distinguished contributions to an academic discipline. Rajan is a leading international scholar in Romantic literature, contemporary theory and German idealism. Rajan’s father, Balachandra Rajan, a noted poetry scholar and late professor emeritus at Western University was also given the honour in 1983.

September 5, 2023 | English Studies
In Memoriam: Professor Donald S. Hair
Don's contribution to the intellectual formation of our department and to his scholarly fields were inestimable. A Victorianist by training, with books on Tennyson, Robert Browning, and Elizabeth Browning, Don was instrumental in the integration of courses on Canadian literature and culture into the university and was an innovator in international teaching. His scholarly production continued long after his retirement from the university. Don recently published a personal and institutional memoir of the Department of English at Western, A Professor's Life, as well as a family history/exploration of Southwestern Ontario culture, Souwesto Lives: John Hair and Alice Runnalls. In 2020-2021 Don was honoured with the Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching. Read former student Jillian Horton's op ed about Don's rigour as a teacher from the Oct. 19, 2022 L.A. Times.

August 16, 2023 | Western News
Western welcomes Téa Mutonji as new Writer-in-Residence
Award-winning poet, author ─ and student ─ brings relatability to role. Beginning September 12, Mutonji will be holding office hours on Tuesdays from 10 am-1 pm (Western) and 3-6 pm (London Central Library, 251 Dundas St). Please email to book an in-person meeting to discuss your creative projects.

August 9, 2023 | Western News
Sheila Heti named new Alice Munro Chair in Creativity
A former writer-in-residence at Western (2011-2012), Heti was recognized with one of Canada’s highest literary honours for her latest novel, Pure Colour, winning the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction. In addition to her novels, Heti has published plays, long-form essays, short stories and children’s books.

Heti will teach English 2099F - The Creative Moment, described as “an experimental, improvisational course in artistic creation and the development of the creative personality.” It’s open to students who are interested in creative writing or, more generally, the creative process. She will hold the prestigious chair until 2025, leading creative culture at Western.

August 8, 2023 | School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS)
Chinelo Ezenwa, English PhD'21 joins SGPS
Chinelo also holds a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from London Metropolitan University in the UK. She has recently worked as an instructor and writing specialist at Fanshawe College, Lambton College, and King’s University College. Working as a community connector with the City of London as well allowed her to be actively involved in designing and carrying out accessible community outreach programs to reach diverse communities in London.

In her new role as the Graduate Academic Advisor & EDI Specialist, Chinelo will support graduate students, especially those from equitydeserving groups, in all matters related to their academic studies. Drawing on this studentcentred lens and the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, antiracism, and decolonization, she will also advise SGPS leadership and programs on strategic modifications to all components of graduate education at Western.

August 1, 2023 | English Studies
In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Stephen J. Adams
Stephen was widely known, respected, and loved by a variety of communities: many of us knew him as a scholar, a teacher, a musician, a poet, and someone who was at the very heart of the life and ethos of the department. He has authored 5 books throughout his lifetime as he was a man with epic knowledge and endless information. Extremely modest of this, he was also the kindest, sensitive, and wisest humanist man.  Aside from caring foremost for his wife, family, and his literary nature, he enjoyed many wonderful operas.

August 1, 2023 | CBC
Mark Kearney publishes new book, "Al Christie: Hollywood’s Forgotten Film Pioneer"
Long-time instructor, Mark Kearney recently published a book with Bear Manor Media on the biography of Al Christie, a silent film pioneering director who was born and raised in London, Ont. In 1911, Christie directed the first-ever comedy film in the town of Hollywood. Five years later, Christie set up his own studio in Hollywood and produced hundreds of short films through the 1910s and 1920s. He died in 1951 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

July 11, 2023 | Electric Lit
PhD alum Rebecca Campbell's novel Aboreality shortlisted for the Ursula K. LeGuin Prize for Fiction
The $25,000 prize, in its second year, celebrates book-length works of imaginative fiction.

July 10, 2023 | Western News
Summer reads: Recent releases, award-winning works from Western writers
New releases from Writing Studies professors Tom Cull, David Barrick and Aaron Schneider are featured in this summer’s reading list by Western News.

July 10, 2023 | Western News
Summer Shakespeare returns to Western with new graduate director
Female and gender non-conforming cast to present Much Ado About Nothing.

July 3, 2023 | Writing Studies
I messaged my high school bully 35 years later — and we're now friends
Writing Studies professor Melanie Chambers, right, was nervous about meeting her high school bully Kendra Coady, left. To her surprise, they’re now friends.

LISTEN: Mainstreet NS Jeff Douglas connects with Melanie and Kendra