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Harry Vandervlist

  • Associate Professor

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Professional Description

For many years my research and publications focused on modernist fiction, in particular Samuel Beckett?s early work. My most recent work in that area examined the unpublished correspondence between Beckett and the French poet and critic Alain Bosquet. More recently I have published on Canadian literature (especially the Banff poet Jon Whyte, whose collected poems I edited in 2000) and on the literary representation of the Rocky Mountains. This area has recently begun to include ecocritical approaches, as in the 2012 book chapter ?The challenge of writing bioregionally: performing the Bow River in Jon Whyte?s Minisniwapta: Voices of the River? (The Bioregional Imagination, edited by Cheryll Glotfelty, Karla Armbruster and Thomas Lynch, U. of Georgia Press), and in the forthcoming chapters "Re-Envisioning epic in Jon Whyte?s Rocky Mountain poem The Fells of brightness" (Sustaining the West, ed. L. Piper and L. Szabo,Wilfrid Laurier University Press) and ?There is no such place as away?: confronting the abject in ecology and poetry? (Under Western Skies, ed. Boschma, Trono. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Environmental Humanities Series.)

I?ve also been an active literary journalist, publishing frequent reviews, author interviews and magazine pieces on literature, university issues and teaching, in Quill and Quire, AlbertaViews, Avenue, Swerve, The Calgary Herald and FastForward Weekly. From 1997 to 2003 I wrote ?Bookends,? a weekly column on Calgary?s busy literary community, for FastForward.

 From 2004 to 2007 I was Associate Head of the English Department?s undergraduate program. I?ve been a Director of Alberta?s NeWest Press since 2003 and have served on the editorial board of the University of Calgary Press, including editorship of the ?Open Spaces? poetry series. As an active member of the Board of the University of Calgary Faculty Association for several years, I served for a time as Public Relations officer advocating for Alberta universities during the (quite combative) 1990s. 

Teaching Approach

My teaching and graduate supervision develop all of the research interests mentioned above. Frequently taught courses have included ?Poetry? (a course on poetry analysis for English majors; Teaching Excellence Award nominations in 2004 and 2005);  ?Introduction to Contemporary Theoretical Practices? and ?British Literature Since 1900.? I also teach introductory courses on fiction and poetry each year. I enjoy undergraduate teaching and constantly try to develop new and better ways to make my courses effective for students. One way I?ve pursued this is by completing the University?s Faculty Teaching Certificate, and by training as a facilitator for the Instructional Development Workshops which form part of this program. Recent or upcoming graduate courses include ?Theorizing Late Modernism,? ?British Fiction from Modern to Postmodern? and ?Historicizing Beckett.? I often participate in graduate examination and supervisory committees on modernism, poetry, theory and Canadian literature. In 2012 my supervisory work led to a nomination for the Graduate Student?s Association Supervisory Excellence Award.


Book Chapter


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