Jennifer BAKER

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Jennifer BAKER
PhD Candidate

2010-present – PhD, English Literature/Specialization in Canadian Studies, University of Ottawa 2007-2009 – M.A., English Literature, Concordia University
2003-2007 – B.A. Hons., Media, Information and Technoculture / English Language and Literature, University of Western Ontario


Work E-mail: jbake060@uottawa.ca

Jennifer Baker

Biography

PhD Candidate, Department of English
Email: jbake060@uottawa.ca

Memberships

British Association for Canadian Studies
Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures
Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada

Current Research

My SSHRC-funded dissertation, “Reading Agrarian Work in Canadian Literature: An Ecocritical Perspective,” brings together literary and cultural history, post-Marxist theories of labour, and socioeconomic studies of Canadian agriculture to provide a more complex and critical history of representations of agriculture in Canadian literature and culture. The commonplace and prevailing cultural myth of agrarian labour in Canada is that it is anti-technological, anti-modern, and anti-industrial. Prose fiction as diverse as Frances Brooke’s The History of Emily Montague (1759), Mazo de La Roche’s Jalna series (1927) and Ernest Buckler’s The Mountain and the Valley (1954); and narrative poetry from Oliver Goldsmith’s The Rising Village (1825) to Robert Kroetsch’s Seed Catalogue (1986) express a myth of agrarian labour that carries the complex literary legacy of the post-enlightenment georgic and its conflation with pastoral and American agrarian discourses. Within this cultural tradition, farm labour is associated with normative gender roles and family units, representations of labour are often anachronistic or idealized, and representations of rural landscapes often elide labour relations even as they render the rural landscape productive in the interest of nation building. Drawing on contemporary critiques of globalization (Hardt & Negri) and of local bioregionalist movements (Heise), my thesis will show how Canadian literature has contributed to and perpetuated the agrarian myth that has served to obfuscate the material realities of agriculture in Canada both historically and in our present time.

University Degrees

2010-present – PhD, English Literature/Specialization in Canadian Studies, University of Ottawa
2007-2009 – M.A., English Literature, Concordia University
2003-2007 –  B.A. Hons., Media, Information and Technoculture / English Language and Literature, University of Western Ontario

Fields of Interest

  • Canadian Literature
  • Cultural Theory
  • Ecocriticism
  • Literature and Work
  • Georgic and Pastoral 

Courses Taught

2011-present – ENG1120, Introduction to Prose Fiction, Department of English, University of Ottawa
2008-2009 – English Composition I, Department of English, Concordia University

Other Employment

Spring/Summer 2013 – Research Assistant, Department of English, University of Ottawa
2010-present – Teaching Assistant, Department of English, University of Ottawa
2007-2008 – Teaching Assistant, Department of English, Concordia University
2006-2007 – Research Assistant, The Canadian Poetry Press, University of Western Ontario

Scholarships and Awards

2013-2014 – SSHRC Doctoral Award
2013-2014 – University of Ottawa Excellence Scholarship
2010-2013 – University of Ottawa Admission Scholarship
2010 – David Clever Memorial Award
2009 – David McKeen Award for Literary Interpretation
2009 – Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Master’s)
2007-2009 – Concordia University Arts and Sciences Fellowship
2007 – Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Declined)
2006-2007 – Richard Ivey Foundation Scholarship

Publications

“Review: Tenderman by Tim Bowling and Embouchre by Kevin McNeilly.”Journal of Canadian Poetry. Ed. David Staines. 30 (2012). Print.

Conference Presentations

Co-Chair/Co-Organizer of Panel, “Work, Workers, and Community in Canadian Writing,” with Dr. Robert Stacey. Association of Canadian and Quebec Literatures, Congress 2012. Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo. May 28, 2012.

“‘Light fiction, being closer to real life, knows better’: Class and the conventions of ‘chick lit’ in Carol Shields’s Unless.” The Worlds of Carol Shields. Canadian Literature Symposium. University of Ottawa. April 29, 2012.

Tristram Shandy, the collapsing ‘cultural memory storehouse,’ and the impulse to satire.” The Immaterial Eighteenth Century: La Culture immatérielle au dix-huitième siècle. ABS / CSECS / NEASECS. McMaster University. October 27-29, 2011.

“Not Quite Pastoral: Representations of Class and Gender in Rural Ontario Literature.” Concordia Feminist Conference. Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University. April 12, 2008.

 “Small Sources of Power: Servants in 18th Century British   Literature.” Anatomy of Passions Graduate Conference. Concordia University. March 23, 2008.

“Exploring Postmodern Feminism through Parody.” Flaunting It III: Annual Undergraduate Conference on Gender and Sexuality. University of    Western Ontario. April 4, 2007.

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