Cameron Anstee - I have found community here, one that challenges me in productive ways

My Research

Cameron Anstee - PhD Candidate - reading

My research focuses on the reciprocal and combative relationships that developed between booksellers, small press activists, and scholars attempting to establish the field of Canadian literature as a research discipline in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. It positions the bookseller as a cultural agent who not only collected and distributed vital bibliographic data, but also actively intervened in establishing the symbolic and economic capital of the material objects of Canadian literature.

Why uOttawa?

As a Canadianist, I was drawn to the Department of English for its rich history in the field, the scholarship produced by faculty and graduate students, the long-running annual Canadian Literature Symposium, as well as the opportunities it afforded to develop a well-rounded CV. The Department is small enough that I have been able to develop an identity and contribute to Department life, but large enough to offer wonderful opportunities to young scholars. I have co-organized two conferences, published, presented my work widely, served on numerous committees, and gained experience as not only a teaching assistant, but as an instructor.

From the time that I received my offer of admission, I was made to feel as though the Department was invested in whether or not I accepted. The financial package was substantial and Departmental support was instrumental in winning my SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS, but more than that, I was made to feel like a human being who counted. That impression proved true upon arrival. I have received support from a huge number of faculty members within my field and without. It is a collegial environment among faculty and the same is true among graduate students. I have found community here, one that challenges me in productive ways. I know that I have grown as a scholar, but I have also grown as a member of the greater academic community.

The Department has also been enormously supportive of my extra-curricular interests. Situated at UofO, I have been able to remain active in Ottawa’s fertile literary community and develop a symbiotic relationship between my theoretical and practical work. I have been able to build both an academic publishing record (including two peer-reviewed articles as well as co-editorship on a journal issue) and a creative publishing record. Ottawa’s vibrant literary scene is a boon to the Department of English, one that I am proud to help connect to the University.

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