University of Calgary

Harry Vandervlist

  • Associate Professor

Office Hours

or by appt.

Professional Description

Harry Vandervlist writes on modernist fiction, in particular Samuel Beckett's early work. He recently spoke on "Mapping a Distinctive Literary Territory: Samuel Beckett’s Uses of the Pre-Socratic Writers" ("The Pre-Socratics in European Modernism and the Avant-Garde 1900-1950," Freie Universität Berlin.) He also publishes on Canadian literature, focusing on the Banff poet Jon Whyte (whose collected poems he edited in 2000) and literary representations of the Rocky Mountains. He has published numerous reviews and author profiles of Canadian poets in publications including Quill and Quire, AlbertaViews Magazine and FastForward Weekly, and has served on the editorial boards of the University of Calgary Press and NeWest Press. His writing on visual art includes exhibition catalogues for Alberta artists Richard Brown and Gord Ferguson, and a forthcoming essay on the 2015 Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Festival in Dawson City. Recent and forthcoming scholarly publications include the "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 2012); "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 2014); “Seeing seeing, and telling telling: Framing and Transparency in Robert Kroetsch’s The Hornbooks of Rita K. and James Turrell’s `Twilight Arch.’” George Melnyk, editor, Wilder Words: Writing on Alberta Literature. University of Calgary Press, forthcoming 2017.

Teaching Approach

My teaching and graduate supervision develop 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, and received a Great Supervisor Award from the University of Calgary Faculty of Graduate Studies in 2016.


Book Chapter


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