July 30, 2021

The Department of English Welcomes Dr. Kit Dobson

Dr. Dobson will begin teaching as a professor of English in the fall term
Dr. Kit Dobson Photo

The Department of English is thrilled to welcome Dr. Kit Dobson to the University of Calgary! Dr. Dobson’s research focuses on Canadian literatures, and his work has been considered foundational for Canadian literary studies. He has published several books such as Transnational Canadas: Canadian Literature and Globalization, and the co-edited collaborative essay collection, Transnationalism, Activism, Art. The co-edited collection, All the Feels / Tous les sens is his most recent book, presenting research of emotion and cognition in Canadian, Indigenous, and Québécois writings. The analysis within the book is framed by affect studies, a discipline that makes vital claims about ethical impulses, social justice, and critical resistance.

Before joining UCalgary, Dr. Dobson was a professor in the Department of English, Languages, and Cultures at Mount Royal University. In 2015, he was awarded the inaugural Outstanding Scholar Award by Mount Royal University’s Faculty of Arts. In 2016, Dr. Dobson received the Eakin Visiting Fellowship in Canadian Studies at McGill University and the Rita and Charles Bronfman Award for Excellence in Teaching. Currently, he also serves on the editorial boards of the publisher NeWest Press, the journal Canadian Literature, and the journal ARIEL: A Review of International English Literatures.

Dr. Dobson will begin teaching English 302 - Introduction to Contemporary Theory in September, and will teach English 471 - Canadian Literature from its Origins to 1950 in the winter term.

We caught up with Dr. Dobson earlier in the summer:

What excites you about joining the English department at UCalgary?

I am very excited to be joining an excellent department of dedicated scholars. The University of Calgary was the first in Canada to offer students a creative PhD in English and the blend of creative and critical practices in the department is very energizing to me. I am eager to support students at both undergraduate and graduate levels on their journeys through the university. Finally, I am grateful to have an opportunity to expand and grow my research in a new environment.

What inspires you to conduct your research and work?

I am a researcher whose practice is driven by scholarly curiosity and inquiry. I am driven to work on the stories that we tell to one another and to research how these might become part of creating a different, and hopefully better, world to come. My field is the literatures created in this place currently called Canada, but my approach is a transdisciplinary one. I am always thinking about questions of the theories and methods that scholars bring to literary research. Right now, that inquiry is taking my work into theories of posthumanism, ecology, affect, and sound studies as I endeavour to better understand the landscapes of Alberta on which my family settled. I am inspired by the dedication and drive of my fellow thinkers, and especially by the work of emerging scholars.

What are your favourite books/pieces of literature?

This list could be a very, very long one! The book that I return to the most is Virginia Woolf's ‘To the Lighthouse’. It is a novel that I have read many times. Each time it brings new rewards and it affects me deeply. A more recent favourite is Ruth Ozeki's ‘A Tale for the Time Being,’ a complex novel that criss-crosses the Pacific Ocean while touching on issues of intergenerational trauma, environmental loss, and the multifaceted nature of time itself. I can't recommend that book enough.