English faculty


David N. Wright




Janet Allwork

BA (hons) (Simon Fraser), MA, MLS (British Columbia)


Interests: Drama, 19th Century Literature, Composition Theory.


Jason Bourget

English Faculty Jason Bourget


BA (British Columbia), MA (Leeds), PhD (Queen's)


Currently my research focuses on how political beliefs inform the conceptual preoccupations of science fiction. Having spent the past few years examining the extent to which political ideologies such as liberalism and libertarianism structure the representation of masculinity in 1960s and 1970s American science fiction, I have now shifted my attention to mapping the historical connections between the Disney company and a number of different science fiction authors. Of particular interest to me are the ideological grounds upon which writers such as Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and Cory Doctorow embrace the various conceptions of the future promoted by Disney’s theme parks, and how these authors’ often ambiguous endorsement of Disney’s particular brand of speculation influences their own science fiction.

Besides science fiction, which I routinely teach in all my literature courses, I am also interested in weird fiction, horror, and the history of fandom.

In Winter 2022, I will be teaching ENGL 1102 (Reading Literature and Culture) and ENGL 1130 (Academic Writing).


Ivanna Cikes

English Faculty Ivana Cikes


BA, BEd (British Columbia), MA (Central European), PhD (Brandeis)


For my PhD dissertation, I examined the effect the new visual technology of photography had on American writers of the 19th and early 20th century – both in terms of how they wrote and how they saw themselves as visible public figures. My 1130 course is an outgrowth of this interest in visual culture and self-identity. In other words, the questions I find most fascinating are: how do different forms of representation in popular culture affect how we view ourselves and others? How are these representations framed and narrated? How do these views affect our understanding of the world around us?

I also teach classes on Fear in Fiction (what the noir, ‘thriller,’ or suspense genres from various eras tell us about what society fears) and Gender and the Hero (a look at the role of the female hero and how this role exposes gender issues of our time).

Currently, I am revising and expanding my dissertation chapters on Frederick Douglass and Henry James for conference presentations and publication.


Roger Clark

English Faculty Roger Clark


BA (Calgary), MA (Calgary), PhD (British Columbia)


I am fascinated by history, geography, Romance languages, and travel. Recent obsessions include learning Spanish and Italian, ancient civilizations, astronomy, TV serials, and the music of Nina Zilli. I did my graduate work on writers from the US., China, and India, and I presently enjoy teaching international literature.


  • Stranger Gods (McGill-Queen’s, 2001), “Rushdie’s Other Worlds” (Critical Insights – Salman Rushdie, Salem Press, 2012)


Karen Cowan

BA (hons) (Guelph), MA (Simon Fraser)


Interests: 19th-Century Novel/Jane Austen, Women's Literature.


Richa Dwor

English Faculty Richa Dwor


BA (hons) (British Columbia), MA, PhD (Nottingham)


Before coming to Douglas College, I completed a PhD in English Literature at the University of Nottingham and I was Lecturer in Victorian Studies at the University of Leicester. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK.


My research addresses how minorities find a literature in a majority culture. In its first phase, I specialized in Anglo-Jewish women’s writing. In my monograph, Jewish Feeling: Difference and Affect in Nineteenth-Century Jewish Women’s Writing (Bloomsbury, 2015; paperback 2017) and several articles on the subject, I brought together religion, gender, and affect studies to recover women’s theological writing in literary texts during the nineteenth century. More recently, I have broadened my scope by editing an anthology on religious feeling in the nineteenth century (Religious Feeling, Routledge 2020). The anthology decenters dominant religious groups by juxtaposing sources from a wide array of established, dissenting, and minority religions and also by prioritizing writing by women and non-white writers from across the English-speaking world. This global outlook carries through into my current project on Jewish travel writing, begun while I was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia. This project advances the established conversation between diaspora and migration studies and Jewish studies by examining real and fictionalized narratives of cross-cultural journeys.


Nancy Earle

Nancy Earle


BA (Memorial), MA (Toronto), PhD (Simon Fraser)


My interests are Canadian literature and print culture. My doctoral dissertation examined the history of writers-in-residence in Canada, and I am still fascinated by what these programs can tell us about cultural policy, the relationships between creative writers and postsecondary and other institutions, and the production of Canadian literature. I recently co-edited a book, entitled The Finest Room in the Colony: The Library of John Thomas Mullock (2016), on a 19th-century library in St John’s, and I have guest edited a special issue of Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada on “Book Culture in Newfoundland and Labrador” (2010).

I teach Fiction and Academic Writing at Douglas College.


Wilhelm Emilsson

English Faculty Wilhelm Emilsson


BA (Iceland), MA (East Anglia), PhD (British Columbia) 


My interests include 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century British and American literature and culture and how they interact with world culture. Realism, aestheticism, decadence, detective fiction, and music are of particular interest to me.


Dorritta Fong

BA (British Columbia), MA (Queen's)


Teaching Interests: Academic Writing, Fiction, Children's Literature, Postcolonial Literature.

Research Interests: Gender, Popular Culture, Race, Politics.


Jon Paul Henry

English Faculty Jon Paul Henry


BA (British Columbia), MA (Simon Fraser)


Interests: Medieval; Eighteenth Century; Theory; Publisher’s Genres; History of the Novel; Film.


Jacqueline Joan Hoekstra

English Faculty Jacqueline Joan Hoekstra


BA, MA (Northern British Columbia), PhD (Simon Fraser)


I teach academic writing, children's literature, nature writing, Canadian literature, and women's literature. My field of study is ecopoetics and ecocriticism. I write poetry and I am interested in the transformative possibility of literature. I am currently exploring what William Rueckert noted in 1978, that "If we begin with the poets (who have never had any doubts about the seriousness and relevance of what they are doing), they teach us that literature is an enormous ever increasing, wonderfully diverse storehouse of creative and cooperative energy which can never be used up" ("Literature and Ecology”). I am also working on a chapbook entitled "farm poems".


Kurt Klotz

English Faculty Kurt Klotz


BA (Northern British Columbia), MA (Guelph), PhD (Glasgow)


My interests are in nineteenth-century American literature, as well as First Nations literature. My PhD dissertation was a single-author study on Edgar Allan Poe, with a focus on the way Poe depicts corporeal dismemberment at sites of colonial contact. I am currently working on research projects based on my doctoral thesis. Prior to working at Douglas College, I taught at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Red Deer College.


Trish Matson

Trish Matson


BA, MA (Simon Fraser)


I have been a faculty member since 1993, teaching in both the English department and the Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies program. My areas of focus include twentieth-century fiction and poetry, gender studies and media studies.


Elizabeth McCausland

BA (Bryn Mawr), MA, PhD (California, Irvine)


Interests: 19th Century, The Novel, Critical Theory.


Ryan Edward Miller

BA (British Columbia), MA, PhD (Simon Fraser)


My teaching interests include contemporary Canadian and American literatures. I enjoy introducing students to fiction and poetry in the classroom, particularly Canadian texts that allow us to explore relevant, interesting themes via unique lenses of experience.

My current research interests involve a renewed examination of Canadian writer Robertson Davies’s religious leanings. I am also interested in peripheral or literary-adjacent figures such as Christian William (Bill) Miller, an American party boy who frequented literary circles in America in the 1940s. As Miller was often photographed, the latter has allowed me to incorporate my love of analog (film) photography.


Jasmine Nicholsfigueiredo

English Faculty Jasmine Nicholsfigueiredo


BA, BEd (Simon Fraser), MA (Queen's), PhD (Simon Fraser)


I am a faculty member in the Department of English and the Chair of Education Council at Douglas College. I hold a BA and BEd from Simon Fraser University, an MA from Queen's University and a PhD in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from Simon Fraser University. I am an advocate of experiential learning and promoting student engagement in the community. My research interests include Urban Liveability, Medieval and Renaissance Women’s Writing, Shakespeare, Theatre, and African Literature. In addition, I enjoy travelling and to date have incorporated that love into two separate field schools for students – The Maritime Canadian Field School held at the University of Dalhousie and the Wales Field School held at The University of Wales Trinity Saint David.


Noëlle Phillips

English Faculty Noelle Phillips


BA (hons) (Victoria), PhD (British Columbia)


My primary research area is late medieval book culture and Middle English literature, particularly William Langland's poem Piers Plowman, Chaucer, and the fifteenth-century political adaptations of John Lydgate's poetry. However, I am also very interested in "medievalisms" – how later readers, including modern ones, understand, re-imagine, and use the medieval period. In my teaching, I enjoy using our understanding or interpretation of the past to illuminate our experience of the present. My most recent projects (a conference paper in 2017, a book published in 2019, and an edited collection to be published in 2021) have involved beer history and medievalism in the modern craft beer industry. My hobby of homebrewing helps my research!

Before coming to Douglas, I taught various introductory and upper-level courses at SFU and UBC and I completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Toronto's Centre for Medieval Studies. I am also involved in the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive as the editor of the electronic edition of one Piers Plowman manuscript and I'm an Honorary Affiliate Instructor at UBC.


Eve Preus

English Faculty Eve Preus


BA (hons) (Washington), MA, PhD (British Columbia)


My scholastic degrees revolved around poetry and poetics, Shakespeare, theatrical phenomenology, and rhetoric. My interest in literary imagination emerged from creative proclivities as a child and developed into a larger philosophical fascination with illusion. How does the production of illusion generate a kind of freedom? I imagine my own teaching to be another apprenticeship in this inquiry.


Leni Robinson

BA, MA, PhD (British Columbia)


Teaching Interests: Fiction, poetry, literature prior to the eighteenth century, Canadian literature, academic writing.

Research Interests: Seventeenth-century literature; natural philosophy; vitalism in both early modern and recent literature; the relationship between Nature, the self and the sense of place in literature; dance history in literature.


Louise Saldanha

English Faculty Louise Saldanha


BA (hons), MA (Alberta), PhD (Calgary)


Research areas include the following: critical approaches to young people’s texts and cultures, race, pedagogy, space, diaspora, indigeneity, and gender in both Canadian and international contexts.

Teaching areas include the following: children’s literature, Canadian literature, Aboriginal literature, critical theory, gender studies, postcolonial literature, popular culture, critical disability, academic writing.


Naava Smolash

English Faculty Naava Smolash

BA (hons) (Trent), MA (Guelph), PhD (Simon Fraser)


Research areas include contemporary Canadian literature, poetry and poetics, nationalism, race theory, and print news media. My work has appeared in Studies in Canadian Literature, West Coast Line, the University of Toronto Quarterly's special issue Discourses of Security, "Peacekeeping" Narratives and the Cultural Imagination in Canada, and Briarpatch. My essay "The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture" is used in counselling centres and university classrooms worldwide and has been translated into multiple languages. Current projects include papers on representations of land, nation, and borders in Canadian fiction, examining Sinclair Ross' As For Me and My House, Maria Campbell's Halfbreed, Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach and Ethel Wilson's The Innocent Traveller; a book on Nurturance Culture, and a speculative fiction novella entitled Cipher.

I teach: 

Canadian Literature (1101/2101) Reading Poetry (1114) Literature and Social Justice (1102) as well as English 1099 and English 1130

Previously, I taught:

Studies in Canadian Literature: BC Literature (359) and  Canadian Literature Since 1920: Prairie Literature (357)  at Simon Fraser University.

Nancy Squair

English Faculty Nancy Squair


BEd (Alberta), MA (Arizona)


My degree is in the area of rhetoric and composition, with an emphasis on the teaching of academic writing. I think that the first-year writing classroom should be a space where we de-mystify the assumptions of academic culture and make college-level learning accessible to all.

My research has focused on the rhetoric of literacy crises, and how the framing of what literacy involves creates certain types of power. I have presented at national conferences on historical and modern aspects of literacy crisis rhetoric. As part of this research, I focused on nineteenth-century working-class autobiographies, which led to my current teaching and research focus on life writing. I teach life writing courses on coming-of-age narratives, as well as travel narratives. I’m fascinated by the ways travel writing works on social, cultural, and political levels to shape world views.

In addition to my teaching specialties, I have a background in tutoring and tutor training. I work as a faculty trainer for tutors in the Douglas College Learning Centre and am pursuing a research project on the long-term benefits of tutoring for the tutors themselves.


Mike Stachura


MA (Aberdeen), MLitt (Stirling), PhD (Simon Fraser)


My interests include Scottish, Arctic, and Frontier Literature. My doctoral dissertation examined the links between modern Scottish Literature and the emerging field of ‘Arctic Discourses’. I love any genre of literature that is dark, growly, and full of grit. I think Cormac McCarthy is wonderful.

My teaching interests here at Douglas are Academic Writing, Fiction, and British Literature.


Ryan Stephenson

English Faculty Ryan Stephenson


BA, MA (British Columbia), PhD (Ottawa)



I’ve been teaching academic writing and literature courses consistently for the past several years, both at Douglas College and at universities in the Lower Mainland. I’ve also developed upper-level courses on Romantic, Victorian, and 20th-Century literature.


My research focuses on popular literacy and the representation of reading and writing in Victorian prose, looking specifically at how the presence of a mass audience, beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century, changed the way writers defined and discussed the practices of reading and writing. I study Victorian schoolbooks, periodicals, and the fiction of George Eliot, George Gissing, and others.


  • “The Manly Reader and His Other: Bookworms, Book-Butterflies, and Crises of Masculinity in Gissing’s ‘Spellbound’ and ‘Christopherson’.” Writing Otherness: The Pathways of George Gissing’s Imagination. Ed. Christine Huguet. Haren: Equilibris, 2011. 201-16.
  • “Mr. Baker and Miss Yule: Popular Literacy and the Complexity of Reading and Writing in Gissing’s New Grub Street.” The Gissing Journal 43 (2007): 3-26.


Fenn Stewart

English Faculty Fenn Stewart


BA (hons) (McGill), MA (British Columbia), PhD (York)


I teach literature and academic writing and research; prior to coming to Douglas, I taught in the Department of English, and in the Coordinated Arts Program, at UBC. My research on colonialism and decolonization in "Canadian" literatures has appeared in the journals ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, Law, Culture and the Humanities, and Contemporary Verse 2. From 2018-2019 I was the editor of The Capilano Review. My literary publications include poems in Open Letter, The Arcadia Project, The Goose, and eleven eleven; three chapbooks; and Better Nature (2017). I'm currently working on my first scholarly monograph, and on a collaborative research-creation project about bird-human histories in Vancouver.


Diane Stiles


BSc, (McGill), MA, PhD (British Columbia)


I have taught English at Douglas since 2002. For the past few years I have been teaching the preparatory course (1099) for Academic Writing (1130), and both second year survey courses (2116 and 2117: “Beowulf to Virginia Woolf”). I have also been developing and teaching a first year literature course (1102) that explores social, psychological, existential and scientific/medical constructs of identity.


Nate Szymanski

English Faculty Nate Szymanski


BA (Dartmouth), MA (Concordia), PhD (Simon Fraser)


My research analyses ideas of community, rivalry, and fellowship in Renaissance poetry and drama, and my work has appeared in publications such as Spenser Review and English Literary Renaissance. A recent area of scholarly interest is in depictions of sport and competition in literature, a focus that combines my love of books with my past experiences playing hockey.

While my research centers on the Renaissance, I enjoy teaching a range of topics, including contemporary Canadian fiction, animal and ecological literature, and the contemporary essay. Prior to teaching at Douglas, I taught English literature and/or writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Simon Fraser University, and Concordia University.


Kim Trainor

English Faculty Kim Trainor


BA, MA (British Columbia), PhD (McGill)


My teaching interests include poetry, poetics, ecopoetics, climate justice, science fiction, and world literature with a particular focus on war and the body. I teach literature from the perspective once voiced by Adrienne Rich: "I have never believed that poetry is an escape from history, and I do not think it is more, or less, necessary than food, shelter, health, education, decent working conditions. It is as necessary" (What is Found There). I'm on the Sustainability Policy Committee at the College, and serve on FPSE's ad-hoc climatic action committee. I've also taught at McGill, Concordia, and UBC (for 12 years).

I'm a poet. My second book of poetry, Ledi (Book*hug, 2018), was a finalist for the League of Canadian Poets' Raymond Souster Award. Bluegrass is forthcoming with Icehouse Press (Goose Lane, 2022). I write poetry reviews and essays for ARC Poetry Magazine and Prism Online, and help to run the Poets Corner Reading Series (poetscorner.ca). My current project has the working title, Tell me, where do we go from here? It documents organisms and human artefacts which offer resilience in the face of climate change.

Courses I teach: 
English 1130, Academic Writing: Climate change + climate justice
English 1102, Literature and Culture: Wild
Please see my website for course descriptions and reading lists.


Peter Wilkins

BA, MA (British Columbia), PhD (California, Irvine)


Interests: North American Literature, Critical Theory.


David N. Wright

English Faculty David Wright


BA (hons), MA (Concordia), PhD (McGill)


I usually teach English 1130 (Academic Writing), 1102 (Reading Literature and Culture), 1106 (Reading Fiction), and sometimes 2313 (Studies in Major Writers), 3190 (Topics in Literary Modernism).

My current research focuses on three main areas:

  • An examination of burlesque performance and its relationship to the aesthetic practices of modernist writers. The study focuses on a diverse range of early Twentieth Century practitioners in a variety of media, but spends the most time on E. E. Cummings, Hart Crane, George Herriman, Gilbert Seldes, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Djuna Barnes.
  • I am engaged with several discussions already underway in establishing methodologies for emerging trends in the digital humanities. I am particularly interested in pedagogical applications of digital technologies, the intersection of coding and writing, digital literature and the implications of "open source," and facilitating spaces for the digital dissemination of academic work.
  • Comic books. I am interested in the superhero, its role in shaping cultural narratives (particularly those around masculinity), and how comic books offer a way of understanding narrative as it responds to external political and social pressures. I write a monthly post at Graphixia.



Faculty Emeriti

Susan Briggs

BA, MA (British Columbia) Biblical and Classical Literature, Urban Studies



Lorna McCallum

BA (Carleton), MA, PhD (Alberta) 19th-Century Literature, Poetry, Composition Studies.



Susan McCaslin

BA (hons) (Washington), MA (Simon Fraser), PhD (British Columbia) Romanticism, 20th-Century Poetry and Poetics, Religious Studies.



Susan Wasserman

BA, MA (British Columbia)  Canadian Literature, Comedy in Literature, Theories of Comedy.




Affiliated Faculty

Meg Stainsby