Jennifer BLAIR


Jennifer BLAIR
Associate Professor

MHN 346

Office: 631-562-5800 ext. 1153

Work E-mail:

Jennifer Blair


Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses.

My research focuses on Canadian literature and culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with an emphasis on writing about early Canadian material worlds, urban spaces, and architecture. I am currently working on a book manuscript calledInformation Spaces: Architecture and Communication in Early Canada, which considers the relationship between the built world and information exchange in early Canadian fiction, autobiography, travel writing, and historical literature. I have also begun a second project on early Canadian religious conversion narratives. My teaching interests include Canadian literature of historical and contemporary periods, and I often situate literary texts in relation to the social conditions surrounding their production and to current discussions in critical and cultural theory. Overall, my research and teaching stem from my interest in how Canadian literature, as a unique colonial and cross-cultural tradition, contributes to—and often challenges—contemporary theoretical paradigms, particularly those concerned with subjectivity, language, space, power and materiality.  

University degrees

2006 – PhD, English, McMaster University 
2001 – MA, English, University of Guelph 
1998 – BA, English, University of Guelph 

Fields of interest

  • Canadian literature and cultural studies
  • Critical theory
  • Literature and architecture


  • 2014 – Associate Professor, University of Ottawa
  • 2008-2014 – Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa 
  • 2007-2008 – Sessional Lecturer, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • 2006-2008 – Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University
  • 2005 – Sessional Lecturer, McMaster University

Selected publications

Edited book

ReCalling Early Canada: Reading the Political in Literary and Cultural Production. Edited and introduced by Jennifer Blair, Daniel Coleman, Kate Higginson, and Lorraine York. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2005.

Recent articles and book chapters 

“Ambling in the Streets of Affect: Jeff Derksen’s ‘Happy Locally, Sad Geopolitically.’” Kootenay School of Writing. Eds. Gregory Betts and Robert Stacey. Special Issue of Open Letter 14.3 (Summer 2010): 74-91.

“In Search of the Perfect Escape: Deleuze, Movement and Canadian Postcolonialism.” Deleuze and the Postcolonial. Eds. Simone Bignall and Paul Patton. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2010. 272-296.

“‘The Postmodern Impasse’ and Guy Vanderhaeghe’s The Englishman’s Boy.” Re: Reading the Postmodern. Ed. Robert Stacey. Ottawa: University of Ottawa P, 2010. 203-228.

“Media On Ice.”  Feminist Media Studies. Commentary and Criticism Section, Topic: “Beyond Global Warming.” Eds. Jane Arthurs and Usha Zacharias. Feminist Media Studies 8.3 (September 2008): 318-323.

“Resistance is Utile.” Readers’ Forum on Getting Around To It: Revaluing Procrastination. Ed. Michael O’Driscoll. English Studies in Canada 34.2-3 (June/September 2008): 11-15.

“Fire Escape.”  Victorian Review 34.1 (Spring 2008): 52-56. 

“Surface Interiorities: Representing the Convent.” Special Issue: Interiors. Ed. Peter Schwenger. English Studies in Canada 31.1 (2005):69-95. Winner of ACCUTE’s 2007 F.E.L. Priestley Prize.

“The Knowledge of ‘Sex’ and the Lattice of the Confessional: The Nun’s Tales and Early North American Popular Discourse.” ReCalling Early Canada. Eds. Jennifer Blair, Daniel Coleman, Kate Higginson, and Lorraine York. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2005. 173-210.

“The Glove of Shame and the Touch of Rebecca Brown’s Gifts of the Body.” GLQ 11.4 (September 2005): 521-545.

“‘What We Do Well’: Writing the Pussy Palace into a Queer Cultural Memory.” Special Issue: Queer Memorializations. Ed. Sharon Rosenberg. Torquere 6 (2004): 143-167.

Courses taught

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