For our latest Campus Day Guide for prospective students, members of The English Students’ Society reflected on their professors. We provided a brief and condensed profile on each associate prof on the guide. Here, you’re about to read what else we had to say about them.
Professor Powell is one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. He may seem a bit intimidating at first, but his teaching style is truly unique. Being in his class is a real treat and he constantly encourages his students to look at texts through a critical eye while considering multiple perspectives. A moment that stuck out for me in his class was when we were discussing the novel Brideshead Revisited and students were sharing their thoughts about the relationship between Sebastian and Charles—two main characters in the novel. Professor Powell’s thoughts about the homosocial relationship between the two were eye-opening. Professor Powell is very clear and precise when giving instructions on his assignments, midterms, and exams. He encourages students to visit him during his office hours and is available on a regular basis. Overall, Professor Powell is an incredibly inspiring man. Dakota Randall
Professor Salmon is an extremely caring and supportive professor. His classes are mostly filled with discussions between him and the students. Professor Salmon often asks insightful and thought provoking questions, which his students are eager to answer. He is a very laid back professor who cares a lot about his students. A moment that stuck out for me was when Professor Salmon and I were discussing an article called “Detroit Arcadia” by Rebecca Solnit. It was very refreshing to hear his thoughts about the town and Solnit’s article. Professor Salmon’s excitement about the article was infectious, and made me eager to present on the article. Professor Salmon puts a lot of thought into choosing his course materials, and often chooses novels that deal a lot with historical or political events. Some novels in the Dystopian field that he has chosen include W.E. by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and the Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs. He gives detailed instructions on midterms and assignments, and ensures that his students are more than prepared. Overall, Professor Salmon is an incredible professor who is determined to see his students succeed. Dakota Randall
Professor Schacker’s work draws on her training as a folklorist and literary scholar and engages with developments in several related but distinct disciplines: folklore, anthropology, children’s literature, and fairy-tale studies. She encourages discussion during lectures and looks for active participation. Her courses typically favour quizzes and exams over papers. She teaches second, third, and fourth year seminars as well as a popular second year lecture on children’s literature, her specialty, where students read everything from The Cat in the Hat to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Professor Schacker wants to help you succeed: ask her questions, go to her office hours, and take advantage of her relaxed, personal teaching style. Meg Wilson
Professor Nandorfy is a thought-provoking professor. Professor Nandorfy can be a tough marker, but her classes are truly worth taking. I’ve had her for several classes and each class has made me a better student and, more importantly, a more informed citizen and critical thinker. Most of her teaching revolves around postcolonial topics and stories of the borderlands and some of the authors she taught have become new favourites of mine. Taking ENGL3040, U.S. Latino/a Literature was an amazing experience and has inspired me to do more research and writing on postcolonial texts surrounding life-writing and memoir. Her instructions for assignments are clear but she pushes her students to think critically and go beyond surface level analysis. If you’re looking for a professor who will challenge you and impact how you view the world, I strongly recommend taking any class with Professor Nandorfy. Christina Barker
Professor Ferguson’s research and teaching interests draws in an array of works that include (but are not limited to) 19th century to contemporary Canadian and American literature. Professor Ferguson’s recent undergraduate courses have focused on cultural and literary studies that examine race, Eco criticism, and subjectivity. In ENGL2120 Critical Practices, she has done a brilliant job guiding theory into reading cultural productions. For instance, we applied psychoanalyst, Marxist, and postmodernist approaches to the film Fight Club. In another one of her classes, they applied relevant theories on Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. In ENGL 4280, we examined Eco criticism in contemporary Canadian literature, which opened up a new dimension for studying the ever-morphing Canadian canon. Readers assigned from her classes are regularly cited in my other critical essays. They include Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmental Poor, Nick Mansfield’s Subjectivity, and Judith Halberstram’s Queer Art of Failure.
Professor Ferguson is an insightful teacher that will also make your writing infinitely better with her fair assessments and approachable nature. However, be prepared for discussions. In her classes, participation is more than showing up to class, it’s your investment in the content of your studies.
Currently, Professor Ferguson is completing a manuscript on the history of lynching in Canada, tentatively titled Lynching in Canaan: Race, Violence, and Cultural Memory in Canada, 1880-1950. In addition, she is also currently researching cultural representations of Canadian contributions and solidarity with the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s. Anjelica Abarra
Professor Chang’s courses examine a fantastic selection of contemporary works from all over the globe. Many of the novels and secondary readings she assigns include a mix of modernist, postmodern, feminist, and postcolonial thinkers. In ENGL 3960 Literature in History, her open-structure style of teaching based on presentations have encouraged critically invigorating discussions on historical and cultural representations in literature. In ENGL 3860 Topics in Literary and Cultural Studies, we focused on the culture and politics of reproduction in contemporary works and modes of production. With the Distance Ed format, we were able to hold online discussions and create blog posts pertinent to the course, opening digital humanities for many students. Professor Chang’s brilliantly encapsulated the essence of the course in her blog http://www.tinkererteacherbloggerspy.wordpress.com, where she experimented alongside students. In ENGL 4400 Postcolonial Literature, we examined major postcolonial works that has challenged many of our views on colonialism and globalization.Professor Chang is a very approachable and enthusiastic instructor. Her fair assessments and her insights will guide you as a writer and as an academic. To do well in her classes, you must stay on top of readings and participate in discussions.
Currently, Professor Chang’s film-related ventures are direct continuations of her work as an academic and a teacher. She is working on a scholarly book about literary adaptations for the screen and their elaborate divisions of labour. She also has a couple feature scripts under development. One script is a political thriller inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and another is a dark comedy based on the 2008 financial collapse. In addition, she is currently working on adapting her script on a supernatural mystery set in Vancouver’s Chinatown into a mini-series. Anjelica Abarra
Professor O’Quinn was the first English prof I ever had in university and I always left his class walking on a cloud, totally satisfied with my choice of school and major. He teaches dense and difficult texts—he’s not afraid to challenge first year students with Milton and Emily Dickinson, and one of his upper year seminars burrows into obscure postmodern poets—but he tilts them so they catch the light and gleam like perfect diamonds. That’s not to say that he’s a pure aesthete—his classes often delve into knotty, subtle political questions. He’s hyperarticulate, somewhat snooty, and often hilarious. He asks for lots of participation and can be quite intimidating—and he’s a tough marker to boot. But you’ll learn more in a week with him than in whole other courses. Expect to take him for core lecture courses; third-year lectures in Romanticisim, Victorianism, Literary Criticism; and fourth-year seminars in Postmodern Poetry and Orientalism. Will Wellington
Professor Campbell’s courses are something that every English student at Guelph simply must experience. Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t deny they’re unique. The agenda is flexible, his expectations are opaque, and class discussions spin off in all sorts of unlikely directions. He mixes literature with history, cinema, sociology, and the Internet, connecting disparate discourses with a wave of his hand. And he puts his money where his mouth is—his personal research involves biking through collapsing American cities to see how they feel. Following his train of thought is like trying to ride a tsunami with a boogie board. It’s exhilarating, exhausting, and totally awesome. Expect to take him for core lecture courses and seminars focused on subjects like the Sixties and American Television. Will Wellington
*List is currently tentative. More profiles will be added soon.