The 5th Annual Colloquium: Presenters and Abstracts

The English Students’ Association is excited to present our fifth annual Colloquium! This conference will feature presentations from English undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members. It provides a great opportunity for those in the department to share their work and research.

Download our event agenda by clicking here. Paper copies will also be distributed at the event.


Get your RSVP tickets now for the Colloquium!
Non-members can attend by donating any amount of money, which will go towards the literary charity Room to Read (suggested donation: $3 – 5). Members can attend for free, although they are still welcome to donate. Donations will be accepted at the door.
Membership will also be available for purchase at the door.

Dodson Room (#302, 3rd Floor), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 5pm – 8pm

The English Students’ Association recognizes and acknowledges that this event is taking place on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the ʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nation.


Fandom, Forgery, and Oscar Wilde

Dr. Gregory Mackie

“All may be Forgery:” The canonisation of adaptation as history in William Shakespeare’s King Lear and Nahum Tate’s The History of King Lear

Aiden Tait

Shakespeare and Tate’s adaptations of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s adaptation of ancient British “history” participates in a greater network and perpetuation of historical adaptation, bringing to light questions of how certain narratives of history become “legitimate” and “authoritative” and the manner in which the canonisation of adaptations as history complicates these matters further. When we regard adapters like Geoffrey of Monmouth as providing “authoritative” accounts of history, the perpetuation and adaptation of those accounts in the works of prolific playwrights in part establish a specific canon of the narrative history in question through the circulation and popularisation of those playwrights’ respective adaptations. For William Shakespeare and Nahum Tate, their interpretation and manipulation of the canon of the King Lear narrative in their works King Lear (c. 1604-1606) and The History of King Lear (1681), respectively, are subject and contribute to an extensive palimpsestic practice of canonising certain adaptations of narratives of British “history.”

Indigenous Reclamation of Urban Space in Tracey Lindberg’s Birdie

Lea Anderson

In urban space Indigenous subjects are particularly vulnerable to racism,
settler-colonial violence, and over-policing, all with the ultimate intention of making the Indigenous subject disappear. While the women of Tracey Lindberg’s novel, Birdie , are subject to the settler-colonial forces described by Razack, rather than enacting the alienation and forced disappearance dictated by such discourses, Bernice and her mother Maggie create a different narrative. In this analysis I will demonstrate how Lindberg uses these characters to confront the dichotomy between urban and Indigenous space in order to create a new narrative of Indigenous community building and land reclamation within urban landscapes.

Displacement, Alienation and Refuge: Urban Dystopias and Outlets of Resistance in Wayde Compton’s The Outer Harbour and Kevin Chong’s The Plague

Mabon Foo

The Vancouver settings evoked by Wayde Compton’s The Outer Harbour and Kevin Chong’s The Plague both exhibit elements of what urban studies theorists consider as dystopic cityscapes through their exploration of social stratification and the oppression of marginalized groups. While the stories in The Outer Harbour center on characters affected by these issues, The Plague’s reliance on middle class perspectives lends a more distanced approach. Nevertheless, both texts resist a purely dystopian interpretation, with Compton’s collection offering spaces of escape and Chong’s text demonstrating opportunities for hope and unity.  

Gender Non-conformity and Self-Representation Through the Medium of Graphic Memoir in Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince

Jessica Kim

Liz Prince’s journey of self-discovery and acceptance through her childhood gender non-conformity in her graphic memoir Tomboy provides much more insight into tomboyism gender-identity. While there are other graphic memoirs representing gender non-conformity, the memoirists focus on their identification of congenital sexual inversion such as homosexuality and transsexuality as the cause or justification of gender non-conformity. However, this ironically enforces the “othering” of queer individuals by supporting the stereotype where gender norm defiance is associated with sexuality and therefore justified. Liz Prince in Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir represents her childhood gender non-conformity and defiance of societal norms as self-identity and a challenge to the masculine superiority culture through her journey of redefining the gender norm by utilizing triple narratives, visual metaphors, and the diary-like qualities of the graphic memoir.

Seeing Double

Clare Skillman

In both The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the authors create characters that lead double lives in order to reveal hypocrisy within contemporary societal norms. Dr. Jekyll and Dorian Gray are both men who are perceived as first-rate by their society, yet secretly commit an array of crimes and sins. The duality of their nature examines the efficacy and legitimacy of the expectations of masculinity, thereby giving the reader permission to reconstruct their own definition of a ‘good man’. In addition, both men’s inherent narcissim and motivation to retain their public image becomes a nexus through which Wilde scrutinizes aestheticism and Stevenson analyzes science.


To keep updated, be sure to click “Interested” on our Facebook event page! We hope to see you at the event!

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