Part-time Professor

PhD English, University of Ottawa (2016)
MA English, University of Western Ontario (2008)
BA (Hons.) English, University of Western Ontario (2007)

Work E-mail:

Nick Milne



My research focuses on the intersections of literary and historical understandings of the past in Modern British Literature, with particular emphasis upon the different ways in which literature, literary scholarship and historiography have all contributed to the shaping of public memory. My current project is a monograph tracking the history of Anglophone literary scholarship related to the First World War, examining the ways in which critics, reviewers and literary scholars have addressed the war as a genre rather than just as an event. My doctoral thesis, The History/Literature Problem in First World War Studies, offered an evaluation of these efforts (and controversies) in the years between 1914 and 1939, with an associated analysis of their consequences to the developing scholarship of the 1960s and 70s.
I also maintain a secondary research interest in the life and works of the Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock, especially within the context of his work as a propagandist during the First and Second World Wars. I am currently developing a monograph on his status as a home-front "war-writer" within the greater field of both imperial British and domestic Canadian propaganda efforts.


Modern Language Association
International Society for First World War Studies
Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture

University degrees

2016 PhD, English, University of Ottawa. Thesis: The History/Literature Problem in First World War Studies, supervised by Prof. Dominic Manganiello

2008 MA, English, University of Western Ontario. Thesis: “Where the good tales go:” Critical and Popular Receptions of G.K. Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse, supervised by Prof. Stephen J. Adams

2007 Hon. B.A., English, University of Western Ontario

Fields of interest

  • Anglophone Modernism
  • Comparative Modern Anglophone Literatures
  • The Literary and Cultural History of the First and Second World Wars
  • The Life and Works of Stephen Leacock
  • Propaganda and/as Literature
  • Alternate-History Writing
  • The Role of Literary Coteries and Associations in Canon Formation


2015-2016 Instructor, Enrichment Mini-Course Program, University of Ottawa
2014-2016 Instructor, Continuing Education, Soloway Jewish Community Centre, Ottawa
2010-2016 Part-Time Professor, University of Ottawa
2008-2016 Teaching Assistant, University of Ottawa
2007 Teaching Assistant, University of Western Ontario
2006 Research Assistant, Canadian Poetry Project, UWO
2005-06 Research Assistant to Prof. Lisa Zeitz, English Dept, UWO

Scholarships and Awards

2013-2014 Glenn Clever Scholarship, University of Ottawa

2011-2012 Ontario Graduate Scholarship

2007-2010 Ontario Graduate Scholarship

2008 University of Ottawa Admission Scholarship

2008 University of Ottawa Excellence Scholarship

2006-2007 Audrey Brown Pritchard Award in English, UWO

2005-2006 Gilbert and Frances Award for College or University Students, The American Chesterton Society

2005-2006 Faculty of Arts and Humanities Alumni Award, UWO


Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Humour in Hell: Stephen Leacock’s First World War Writings, 1915-1919.” British Journal of Canadian Studies 31.1. 2018. [Accepted]

"‘They’ll no’ get him a’ in a book I think:’ Ezra Pound’s Christology and the ‘Ballad of the Goodly Fere.’” Christianity & Literature 66.3. 2017. [Accepted with revisions]

“A Malefactor: The Deconstruction of the Messianic Christ in Thomas Hardy’s Poems of Ancient Palestine.” English Studies in Canada. 2016

“Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse: From Conception to Critical Reception.” Mythlore 129 (34.2). 2016.

“Barbers and Millionaires: The Continuity of Stephen Leacock’s Early Humour, 1910-1914.” The Quint8.4, 2016.

“Mariposa Moves On: Stephen Leacock’s Darkening ‘Sequel’ to Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.” Canadian Literature 222. 2014.

Peer-Reviewed Chapters

"Persuasion vs. Deception: Shifting Connotations of 'Propaganda' and Their Implications for First World War Studies."  Languages and the First World War Vol. I. Eds. Julian Walker and Christophe Declercq. Palgrave Macmillan. 2016.

“The Door We Never Opened: British Alternate History Writing in the Aftermath of World War I.”  Baptism of Fire: The Birth of Modern British Fantasy in World War I.  Ed. Janet Brennan Croft. Mythopoeic Society Press. 2015.

Encyclopedia Articles

“Ezra Pound (1885-1972).” The Lost Generation: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Eds.Bob Batchelor and Kathleen M. Turner. Rowman & Littlefield. 2017.

“Dorothy Parker (1893-1967).” The Lost Generation: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Eds. Bob Batchelor and Kathleen M. Turner. Rowman & Littlefield. 2017.

“Soldiers’ Pay (1926).” The Lost Generation: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Eds.Bob Batchelor and Kathleen M. Turner. Rowman & Littlefield. 2017.

Book Reviews

"In Flanders Fields, 100 Years: Writing on War, Loss and Remembrance, ed. Amanda Betts; Knopf Canada, 2015. The Bull-Calf 6.2.

Saving the City: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 by Richard Roberts; OUP, 2013.  Studies in the Humanities 42.2.

Catching the Torch: Contemporary Canadian Literary Responses to World War I by Neta Gordon; WLUP, 2014.  The Bull-Calf 4.3.

Web-Based Publications

Regular contributions to WW1C, the University of Oxford’s Open Educational Resource project on the World War One centenary. 2013-2016

“1914 British Authors’ Declaration.”  Slate.  Oct. 20, 2014.  Online.

Other Publications and Performances

“Marian Engel’s Bear.” Tin House #68: Sex, Again. Essay. Editorial review. Print. 2016

“Hell and Back: Man Struggles with Nature in ‘Young Goodman Brown.’”  The Semi-Colon: Arts and Humanities Essay Journal 1 (2007): 80-85.  Essay.  Editorial review.  Print. 

Dieppe: An Opera (with Matt Tozer).  Performed April 12, 2006, in the Von Kuster Hall at the University of Western Ontario, Pratik Ghandi conducting, and May 30-31, 2008, at the Walmer Center Theatre in Toronto, Brian Wismath conducting.  Print; recording; performance.

Media coverage

2016 Expert consultation. 1914-1918: The Cultural Front. BBC Radio 4.

2016 Interview/performance. "Shakespeare 400." All in a Day. CBC Radio. April 1.

2015 Interview. The Writers' Propaganda Bureau. BBC Scotland. July 8

2014 Interview. “King Albert’s Book.” In Tune: WWI Musical Stories. BBC Radio 3. June 23.

2014 Interview. "Literary Politics of 1914." 1914-1918: The Cultural Front – Episode I: Words for Battle. BBC Radio 4. March 8.

Conference Presentations

"The Aesthetics and Economies of Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town as Literary Artifact." Beyond the Oceans: Canada in the World – Book and Print Culture Unbound – 2017 Convention of the Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture / L'Association Canadienne pour l'étude de l'histoire du livre; Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences; Ryerson University, Toronto. May 30-31, 2017. [Forthcoming]

“Recovering the First World War Illustrated Gift-Book in a Digital Environment.”  Digital Humanities Summer Institute Colloquium.  University of Victoria, Victoria.  June 8-12, 2015 

“The Illustrated Gift-Book in the First World War.”  Print and Capital – 2015 Convention of the Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture / L'Association Canadienne pour l'étude de l'histoire du livre; Capital Ideas – Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences; University of Ottawa, Ottawa.  June 1-2, 2015.

"The Futility of Historical Narrative and 'The Garden of Forking Paths'."  2015 Modern Language Association Convention -- International Conference, Vancouver.  January 7-12, 2015.

“Humour in Hell: The First World War Writings of Stephen Leacock.” Canadian Literature of World War I – International Conference at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa.  July 31-August 3, 2014.

“Persuasion vs. Deception: The Connotative Shifts of ‘Propaganda’ and Their Critical Implications.” Languages and the First World War – University of Antwerp and the British Library, Antwerp and London.  June 18-20, 2014.

“Strange Meeting: The First World War’s (Literary) History at the Centenary.” Boundaries of Historical Inquiry – Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association; Borders without Boundaries – Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines.  May 26-28, 2014.

"First World War Literary Studies and Modern Historiography." NeMLA Convention 2014. Northeast Modern Language Association’s 45th annual convention. April 3-6, 2014. 

"Doing Their Bit: Children's Literature at War, 1914-1918." Children’s Literature and Imaginative Geography Past, Present, and Future. English Department Symposium. October 12, 2012. University of Ottawa. 

“Blood and Steel: The Men Who Loved the Great War.” Violence in Theory and Practice: University of Ottawa English Graduate Student Conference. March 24, 2012, University of Ottawa.

“The War That Never Was: Alternate Histories of the Great War.” The Great War: From Memory to History. November 12, 2011, London, On. 

“Masterman’s Irregulars: England’s Authors Go to War, 1914-1918.”Co-Op Mode: University of Ottawa English Graduate Student Conference. May 22, 2011, University of Ottawa.

“‘A new heaven and a new earth’: Leacock’s Apocalyptic Sequel toSunshine Sketches of a Little Town.” Canadian Literature Symposium: Rediscovering Early Canadian Literature. May 9, 2010, University of Ottawa.

“Circle, Cycle and Cross: Two-and-a-Half Readings of Frost’s ‘The Black Cottage.’” Repetition and Return: 10th Annual Graduate Conference. March 8, 2008, University of Western Ontario.  

Courses Taught

ENG2131 Fantasy, Myth and Language
ENG1120 Introduction to Prose Fiction
ENG1100 Workshop in Essay Composition

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