The Department of English Honours Colloquium
Fri, Feb 4, 2022
The annual English Honours Colloquium presents some of the best work of students graduating from the undergraduate Honours program in the Department of English.
9:30 Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr. Brent Nelson, Head, Department of English
9:35 - 10:45 Crossings: Media, Spaces, Places
Chair: Dr. Peter Robinson, Professor, Department of English
More than Meets the Eye: The Role of Photography in Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through Slaughter
In his novel Coming Through Slaughter (1976), Michael Ondaatje explores the limits of photography’s representations of reality, as he imagines the life of jazz legend Buddy Bolden in a way that questions ideas of truth. Additionally, the commentary on the photography in the novel provides a portrait of Bolden as a self-divided artist figure with the power to both create and destroy.
Establishing Player Connectivity: The Unification of Gameplay and Narrative in Final Fantasy XIV
Role-Playing-Games (RPGs) are a genre of video games that are intrinsically linked to the idea of connectivity. Final Fantasy XIV is an RPG that demonstrates how the synthesis of narrative and gameplay is used in the creation of connections both inside and outside of these online spaces.
Banished Messengers: The Spatial Semiotics of Dissent
Blending the epistolary and the critical mode, this paper considers the sociospatial paradigms of dissent, examining textual resonance and (dis)possession in urban, digital, and fictional spaces. I argue that marginalized authors of actual, virtual, and imagined spaces transgress via textuality the isolation and invisibility of their social exteriority.
Reading Large-Scale Agricultural Literature Through an Eco-Critical Lens
Large-scale agriculture is a prominent part of Saskatchewan’s economy and reality and is increasingly controversial due to it being a considerable factor in climate change. As large-scale agriculture is all around us, I have found a new realm of analysis, and grounds for optimism, in reading agricultural literature through an eco-critical lens.
10:45 - 11:00 Refreshment Break
11:00 - 12:00 Moral Explorations
Chair: Dr. Kylee-Anne Hingston, Assistant Professor, Department of English
Comparing Pride in Beowulf to Ofermode in “The Battle of Maldon”
This paper explores the theme of pride in the Old English poems Beowulf and “The Battle of Maldon” by comparing the actions of each story’s central character. I argue that both stories present pride as leading to downfall and ruin and will explore how these thematic elements were influenced by both Germanic and Christian culture.
London, The Plague, Con Artistry, and Alchemy in Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist
Ben Jonson's play The Alchemist (1610) links the play itself to the city of London, the city to the plague, the plague to con-artistry, and finally con-artistry to alchemy. Through this elaborate series of connections, Jonson criticizes the vices of the city.
“Many other questions equally interesting and well-bred”: Classes and Subversions of Writing in Evelina
In the novel Evelina (1778), Frances Burney depicts a subversive dimension to the act of letter writing. Instead of merely recording events, the titular Evelina provides vivid records of conversation which allow her to editorialize the words of those who oppress her, demonstrating the unique power letter-writing presents to both Evelina and Burney.
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Break
1:00 - 2:00 Identity, Intersectionality, Power
Chair: Dr. Jenna Hunnef, Assistant Professor, Department of English
“The socially ostracized of two races”: Mixed-Race Identity in Mourning Dove’s Cogewea, The Half Blood
Mourning Dove’s novel Cogewea, The Half Blood (1927) depicts a biracial woman as its heroine. Mourning Dove deconstructs her era’s prevalent notions of mixed-race identity and anticipates discourse concerning intersectionality by portraying Cogewea’s experiences of marginalization by Caucasians, alienation from her Indigenous identity, and the converging of both her racial identities.
Echoes of Justice in the Work of Audre Lorde
This paper contends that Audre Lorde’s essay “Poetry is Not a Luxury” (1977) and her poems “Power” and “A Litany for Survival” (1978) are multiple combinations of the same argument, deriving from a layered metaphor: deep inside women – especially women of color – lies untapped power that requires poetry to be accessed and then channeled into action.
The Representation and Function of Decolonial Love in Joshua Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed
In the novel Jonny Appleseed (2018) by Joshua Whitehead, Jonny and his loved ones continually resist colonial standards by supporting each other beyond what conventional roles dictate. This decolonial love allows Jonny to reconcile his queer identity with his Indigenous identity, thus defining his own spirituality and his own path in life.
2:00 - 3:00 Shifting Women
Chair: Dr. Wendy Roy, Professor, Department of English
“two shadows to one shape”: Ambiguous Intersectionality in Dekker and Middleton’s The Roaring Girl
The confident, cross-dressing heroine of Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton’s play The Roaring Girl (1611) offers a glimpse into the social upheaval and anxieties surrounding class, fashion, and gender in seventeenth-century London. Based on the infamous criminal and urban legend Mary Frith, the character Moll Cutpurse demonstrates a multi-faceted complication of early modern conventional binaries.
Hope, Despair, and Confidence: The Conclusion of As for Me and My House
The vagueness of the final line of Sinclair Ross’s novel As for Me and My House (1941) has led to many linear interpretations of the central character, Mrs. Bentley. However, Ross left the conclusion open so that within the same seven words three simultaneous, yet conflicting, meanings are contained: one hopeful, one resentful, and one self-assured.
Too Many Years Lost in His-Story: An Anachronistic and Literary Examination of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s Feminism in Six
Despite their reputations from the mnemonic rhyme, “Divorced / Beheaded / Died /Divorced / Beheaded / Survived,” Henry VIII’s six queens are often forgotten. This paper explores how Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss attempt to rectify Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Catherine Parr’s lack of recognition with their musical Six (2017).
3:00 Closing Remarks
Dr. Peta Bonham-Smith, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences