The UBC English Students' Association. Whether you're Lit or Lang, a Major or Minor, we're here for you.
“The old way of love seemed a dreadful bondage”: Homoromanticism and Identity in D.H Lawrence's Women in Love

“The old way of love seemed a dreadful bondage”: Homoromanticism and Identity in D.H Lawrence’s Women in Love

“‘You can’t have two kinds of love. Why should you!’ ‘It seems as if I can’t,’ he said. ‘Yet I wanted it.’” (Lawrence 481) D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love tells the story of love and tragedy between two women struggling with their own circumstantial love affairs. However, separate from...
Gender Formation and Queer Love in Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 20”

Gender Formation and Queer Love in Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 20”

The young man, the subject of Shakespeare’s first 126 sonnets, is an ambiguous presence. Despite being written about extensively, he is never described in full. His gender, interestingly, is neither easily identifiable nor stable. In sonnet 20, the young man’s gender is confusingly put into focus and blurred. Either as...
Fire – A Current Review of a 16th Century Painting

Fire – A Current Review of a 16th Century Painting

Image: Fire – Giuseppe Arcimboldo The Milanese painter, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, was famous for his collections of outlandish portraits, often assembled not with human parts but with objects from the world of still-life, such as fruit and household items. Fire is one of a series of four separate oil-on-wood portraits that...
Applying Intersectionality to Nella Larsen’s Passing

Applying Intersectionality to Nella Larsen’s Passing

(Original Caption) The Most Populated Street in New York City – East 112th Street. General view of East 112th Street. (Getty Images)          In 1989, Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term Intersectionality to expose how the “single-axis framework that is dominant in antidiscrimination law” is insufficient when considering the “multidimensionality of...
On Kristen Renzy’s 2015 article “Dough Girls and Biscuit Boys The Queer Potential of the Countercommunal Grotesque Body within Modernist Literature”; and How I Envision Much Post-Pandemic Literature on the Human Body.

On Kristen Renzy’s 2015 article “Dough Girls and Biscuit Boys The Queer Potential of the Countercommunal Grotesque Body within Modernist Literature”; and How I Envision Much Post-Pandemic Literature on the Human Body.

Let’s start by admitting that, in recent times, we consciously veer away from other bodies in public, that we are in fear of a lot, if not everything, that comes out of mouths, and that when we touch things with our hands, it is as if we have rubbed the...
Birdsong in the Air, Lilies on the Stream: On Keeping Time and Learning from the Past in Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market

Birdsong in the Air, Lilies on the Stream: On Keeping Time and Learning from the Past in Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market

In Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, the goblins call out to young maidens “morning and evening”, offering tantalizing descriptions of fruit “sweet to tongue and sound to eye” (Rossetti 1, 30). They promise berries, peaches, pomegranates, figs; a variety of fruit, “all ripe together/In summer weather” (Rossetti 15-16). But what they...
Come Write for the ESA's Blog!

Come Write for the ESA’s Blog!

Have you ever wanted to talk about a book, but your friends have never heard of it? Or maybe, you watched a critically underrated film that boggled your mind so much that you pulled an all-nighter to write an essay. Whatever your reason may be, chances are that as an...
"It's Not Just a Dream, it Could be Our Reality"

“It’s Not Just a Dream, it Could be Our Reality”

The little things make a difference in the bigger picture. Global warming and climate change are not new concerns, but why do some of us continue to treat it as if they are topics not worth being proactive about? In Chris Van Allsburg’s Just A Dream (1990), Van Allsburg places the readers...
5 Books to Rejuvenate Your Reading List for the Springtime

5 Books to Rejuvenate Your Reading List for the Springtime

A few terms synonymous with spring would include sunshine, bloom, allergy season, and here in Vancouver: cherry blossoms. Along with spring also comes the dreaded (for some) task of spring cleaning. So get out those dusters and open the blinds. Perhaps you’ll stumble upon your bookcase as you power down...
6 TIPS TO BEAT YOUR WRITER’S BLOCK!

6 TIPS TO BEAT YOUR WRITER’S BLOCK!

We are approaching that time of the term when we scramble to find the perfect words to use for our term papers. It could also be the moment when you’re struggling to find a way to silence the cursor on your screen that continuously taunts you every time it pulses on the...
"Why Does Everyone Like Joe Goldberg?" - Strangership and Privilege in Netflix's You

“Why Does Everyone Like Joe Goldberg?” – Strangership and Privilege in Netflix’s You

The popularity of the Netflix thriller You is garnering increasing media attention from critics, theorists, and fans alike after the second season was released at the beginning of January 2020. Falling under fire for the obsessive attention that the psychopathic protagonist, Joe Goldberg, has gotten from young fans, the depictions of stalking,...
The Power of Texts and Images in My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade

The Power of Texts and Images in My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade

NB: The metaphors are shown in capital letters as indicated by Barbara Dancygier and Eve Sweetser’s Figurative Language (2014) text. For every song a musical artist publishes, the artist creates an album cover art to represent the theme and messages conveyed in the music. In The Black Parade (2006) album, written and sung by the American...
“You, Who Have Devastated the Souls of the Living”: Heroes, Hubris, and the Victorian Gothic in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

“You, Who Have Devastated the Souls of the Living”: Heroes, Hubris, and the Victorian Gothic in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Although Christmas time and ghost stories seem to us strange bedfellows, the two were commonly found lying together in the nineteenth century. Ghouls and ghosts, seances and mystics, changelings and revenants were all immensely popular among the Victorians – and their presence was felt year-round in high society. Christmas was...
Latest entries
The Flower That Blooms in Adversity: On the Value of Gentleness and Loving-kindness in Jane Austen’s Persuasion

The Flower That Blooms in Adversity: On the Value of Gentleness and Loving-kindness in Jane Austen’s Persuasion

At first glance, the quiet and reserved protagonist of Jane Austen’s Persuasion seems to fade into the background of her own story. Even the narrator, “taking her cue from the dysfunctional family”, begins Persuasion by shining the spotlight on the “self-centered Elliots”, rather than on her main character (Judge 42). However, as her protagonist prefers...
Why I Respect Fanfiction

Why I Respect Fanfiction

Image: “A Rainbow of Books” by Dawn Endico on Creative Commons. License CC BY-SA 2.0 The criticism against fanfiction is most often centered on the rhetoric of it being poorly written, unoriginal, and too sexual in nature. However, this take fails to consider that fanfiction allows a writer to share their creative works without having...
His Place in the Sky: Family and Loss in David Chariandy’s Brother

His Place in the Sky: Family and Loss in David Chariandy’s Brother

“Toronto” by VV Nincic on Creative Commons What does it mean to grieve? That is the central question which David Chariandy’s 2018 novel, Brother, addresses. Living in post-pandemic 2021 can be so chaotic and fast-paced that the slow, careful nuances of everyday life are simply forgotten. Regardless, there is a certain something that sings between the lines of this...
Algorithms in Daily Life

Algorithms in Daily Life

Language and stories are integral to our understanding of the world around us. However, the ways we share stories have expanded significantly over time. Fewer and fewer dedicated readers regularly turn to print copies of books, instead opting for a more convenient option, such as online audiobook and podcast  services.  These new possibilities are not...

ESA Annual Colloquium 2021

The English Students’ Association is now calling for submissions to our seventh annual conference, the Colloquium! The conference features presentations from English undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members, and will be held virtually on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Our submission deadline is currently Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 at 11:59 pmIf you don’t have a...
The End of the Road: Escaping through Privilege in My Own Private Idaho

The End of the Road: Escaping through Privilege in My Own Private Idaho

“I’ve been tasting roads all my life. This road will never end. It probably goes all around the world.”-Mike Waters  Mike Waters is a tragic character. Played by the late River Phoenix, he’s a young gay sex worker whose life is perceived as a fun escape to his best friend, Scott Favor. Mike’s situation was...
“Overthinking: Am I Doing Enough? Or, Too Much?”

“Overthinking: Am I Doing Enough? Or, Too Much?”

We all have had a lot to think about in 2020.  We are all juggling classes, work, extra-curricular activities, clubs, mental and physical health, and human connection while staying extremely cautious about our outings since the pandemic outbreak. The combination of all these stresses could cause us to feel overwhelmed—I know I felt that.  In...
That Distant Black Flag: The Intricacies of Familial Love in Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life

That Distant Black Flag: The Intricacies of Familial Love in Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life

“Japan” by YoTuT on Creative Commons “Let me simply bear my flesh, and blood, and bones. I will fly a flag.”(Lee 356) Chang-rae Lee’s novel, A Gesture Life, is a slow, emotional exploration of the complications that arise in the diasporic communities of the globalized last century. Chang’s quiet narrative hints at the darker complications...
Becoming a Global Citizen

Becoming a Global Citizen

Throughout my childhood I was never a person who liked to take risks, preferring to stay within my comfort zone. Two years ago I had never left the country without my parents. However, despite the unfamiliarity, I decided to embark upon a journey to a foreign place where I did not speak the language and...
Spring Will Come Again: Story, Song, and Sorrow in Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown

Spring Will Come Again: Story, Song, and Sorrow in Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown

“Orpheus with his lute made trees    And the mountain tops that freeze      Bow themselves when he did sing:    To his music plants and flowers    Ever sprung; as sun and showers    There had made a lasting spring.    Every thing that heard him play,    Even the billows of the...
A Bombastic Feminist Blockbuster: Birds of Prey

A Bombastic Feminist Blockbuster: Birds of Prey

[Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Warner Bros.] Superhero films —and blockbusters in general— are overwhelmed with stories about (mostly white) men. This doesn’t mean women are never in them; every so often they’re even allowed to star. However, modern outings of feminist blockbusters (with a few exceptions) have been tepid at best, and hollow “girl-boss”...
The Restorative Powers of Interactive Storytelling

The Restorative Powers of Interactive Storytelling

Source: Photo by: Edwin Hooper on Unsplash.  In these strange times, when social interaction outside of our small social bubble is limited to virtual and socially-distanced spaces, creators of media are driven to experiment with more creative approaches. At the beginning of the pandemic, as we were sequestered inside our individual dwellings, a trend of...
More Than Fairy Tales: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Brilliance of Children’s Literature

More Than Fairy Tales: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Brilliance of Children’s Literature

C.S. Lewis, the author of the well-loved Chronicles of Narnia, once said that “a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” There are books that we fall in love with during childhood, which, upon returning to, seem almost lifeless compared to the shining stories from...
“Is this your buying China?”: Luxury consumerism and superficiality in William Wycherley’s The Country Wife

“Is this your buying China?”: Luxury consumerism and superficiality in William Wycherley’s The Country Wife

Following increased maritime trade and a reliance on foreign goods, the commercial revolution that swept through England in the late sixteenth century resulted in an intensified desire for new and hitherto inaccessible luxury commodities. One such commodity, china porcelain, resulted in a “china fever” that continued well into the eighteenth century, introducing new notions of...
ESA'S AGM: 2020 ELECTIONS UPDATE

ESA’S AGM: 2020 ELECTIONS UPDATE

Elections will take place at our Annual General Meeting. Due to health concerns and to ensure everyone’s safety, we will hold our Annual General Meeting online. Details to be Announced. Looking for a fun opportunity to get involved with the English undergraduate community while developing leadership skills? We are officially seeking executives for next year’s ESA team....
Writing Might Save Your Life

Writing Might Save Your Life

Why do we watch movies, listen to audiobooks, and write poetry, songs, and stories?! What makes storytelling compelling to all of us regardless of our knowledge, social classes, and our wide variety of interests? In Jen Sincero’s book, You Are A Badass (2013), she shares personal anecdotes reflecting on her journey to finding her “true self” or...
Analyzing the Fahrenheit 451 Films by Truffaut and Bahrani

Analyzing the Fahrenheit 451 Films by Truffaut and Bahrani

Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury is one of my favourite books for a multitude of reasons, such as Bradbury’s use of poetic language and its’ timeless, universal themes. Although Fahrenheit 451 was originally published in 1953, over 60 years ago, many themes are still relevant today; specifically censorship, and the loss of culture through the loss of...
Creating a Story Without Words: Parallels in Story and Music-making

Creating a Story Without Words: Parallels in Story and Music-making

Music and writing have a lot in common. You may have even heard stories themselves be described in terms of music- like beats of action, the rhythm of words, and the melody, or a voice, of an author. Throughout the years, these two disciplines have helped each other to both become powerful outlets of creativity...
“Such dread as only children can feel”: Childhood trauma in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

“Such dread as only children can feel”: Childhood trauma in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

“For me,” Jane begins, following the incident in the red room, “the watches of that long night passed in ghastly wakefulness; ear, eye, and mind alike strained by dread: such dread as children only can feel” (Brontë 20). Saturated as Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is with unnerving or unsettling sensations, what is fascinating is how these...
Be Still: Slowing Down to Savour Life

Be Still: Slowing Down to Savour Life

“When we lose our sense of wonder we become dissatisfied with who we are,” Madeleine L’Engle says in her book on creation and human identity (Madeleine 51). When I came back to her words this month, I connected just as strongly to them as I had the first time I read them. Madeleine L’Engle is...
The Polar Express: The Train You Need to Ride Every Year

The Polar Express: The Train You Need to Ride Every Year

Many of Chris Van Allsburg’s books have been projected into a motion picture film such as Zathura (2005) and Jumanji (1995). Van Allsburg’s most memorable book to film project is The Polar Express(1985) which has gained the status of being a Christmas film played each year like Frosty the Snowman (1969) and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). But why?   The Polar Express (1985)...
Transgressive social mobility in Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood”

Transgressive social mobility in Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood”

“Once upon a time, deep in the heart of the country,” begins Charles Perrault, “there lived a pretty little girl whose mother adored her, and her grandmother adored her even more. This good woman made her a red hood like the ones that fine ladies wear when they go riding. The hood suited the child...
LITERATURE TO LIFE: WE EAT TOO MANY PAPER PLATES

LITERATURE TO LIFE: WE EAT TOO MANY PAPER PLATES

Thinking beyond ourselves has become a dominant theme in my Canadian Environmental writing course that influences my decisions on a day-to-day basis. It is annie ross’ collection of poems from Pots and Other Living Beings(2019) that inspires me to reflect on my consumption of food, clothing, and other materialistic items. I am not insisting to start...
Literature to Life: Three Timeless Must-Know Gift-Giving Tips You Need

Literature to Life: Three Timeless Must-Know Gift-Giving Tips You Need

From my previous post “Literature to Life: We Eat Too Many Paper Plates,” I analyzed annie ross’ Pots and Other Living Beings (2019) to continue ongoing discussions pertaining to recent climate strikes. With the upcoming Black Friday sale and holidays next month, I want to suggest a few alternatives for everyone to think about when...
A Tribute to Stephen King

A Tribute to Stephen King

To say that Stephen King is a good writer would be an understatement. With nearly 100 books selling over 350 million copies and stories transformed into television series and movies that have left an indelible mark on our pop culture, Stephen King is a capital “G” Great writer. I paid a visit to one of...
Colloquium 2020: Call for Editors!

Colloquium 2020: Call for Editors!

Interested in gaining editing experience? Looking to take part in an enriching academic conference? The ESA is looking for editors to assist with the 2020 Colloquium! Editors will have a hand in selecting the pieces that will be presented at the conference, as well as work closely with those selected to refine their work. Some...
Society’s Biggest Joke: Put on a Happy Face

Society’s Biggest Joke: Put on a Happy Face

Both heroes and anti-heroes share a common goal in life to find his or her form of happiness by conquering any problem he or she faces to achieve his or her goal. In Todd Phillips’ film, Joker (2019), the audience is challenged to perceive the protagonist Arthur Fleck, a party clown and failed comedian, as an example...
The 2020 Colloquium!

The 2020 Colloquium!

The English Students’ Association is hosting our sixth annual academic conference, The Colloquium! This conference features presentations from English undergraduate students and faculty members. The Colloquium offers the opportunity to share your work and discuss ideas with other students and faculty members in the English Department. Please see below for more detailed information! Event Information...
"A salvatory of green mummy": John Webster and Corpse Medicine

“A salvatory of green mummy”: John Webster and Corpse Medicine

Jacobean dramatist John Webster approached the taboo and the questionable with inexhaustible determination, plunging the contemporary reader into those dark, uncomfortable spaces we prefer to skirt around, never lingering for too long for fear of what we might uncover. For Webster, a preoccupation with the gruesome side of mortality manifests particularly strongly in his references...

2021/2022 Elections!

Looking for a fun opportunity to get involved with the English undergraduate community while developing leadership skills? We are officially seeking executives for next year’s ESA team. This is a great way to develop new skills, meet new people, and have an influence on campus. The executive team collaborates to plan everything from ice cream cake socials to...

The 2021 Colloquium: Meet our Presenters!

The English Students’ Association is hosting our seventh annual academic conference, The Colloquium! This conference features presentations from English undergraduate students and faculty members. The Colloquium offers the opportunity to share your work and discuss ideas with other students and faculty members in the English Department. Please see below to read the abstracts and to...