Board of Directors

Since its inception, ACCUTE has operated out of Departments of English in many different Canadian universities. To promote effective regional representation, ACCUTE moves its executive office every two years, coinciding with each president’s term of office.

Members of the Board

President: 2016-18
Manina Jones, Western University|

I am a Canadian literature specialist whose work in that field has ranged from early nineteenth century to contemporary literature, and includes publications on poetry, fiction, drama, and autobiography. I also have a longstanding interest in crime fiction, and am currently at work on a book called Cross Border Crime in Fiction, Film and Television: Bodies on the Line. Since 1995, I’ve been a member of the Department of English at Western University. Before that, I worked at Carleton University and the University of Waterloo. I hear the title of “ACCUTE President who never danced” is up for grabs, and I aspire, for the sake of the dignity of the organization, to attain it.For more information, see my professional bios here and here.

Vice President: 2016-18
Madeline Bassnett, Western University

I’m a specialist in sixteenth and seventeenth-century non-dramatic literature, with a focus on early modern women’s writing. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about early modern food culture the last few years, which has allowed me to explore some unusual documentary material, such as dietaries, agricultural manuals, and recipe books. As an offshoot of my research, I also teach a seminar on food in early modern literature, which includes the assignment of choosing and making a seventeenth-century recipe. A highlight for me, and I think–despite (or because of) the challenges–for the students as well.

Contract Academic Faculty Caucus Representative: 2016-18
Ross Daniel Bullen, OCAD University

I have worked as a Contract Academic Faculty member at Western University, McGill University, Mount Allison University, and now at OCAD University in Toronto where I am a Teaching-Intensive Stream Lecturer in English. Most of my teaching experience is in the field of American literature and culture, but I’ve also taught courses in popular culture, material culture, children’s literature, and science fiction. I’m interested in writing about American literature from the nineteenth-century to the present, comparative racialization, the role of money in literature, and white elephants. You can learn more about my work by checking out my website.

 bullen accute pic
President, Graduate Student Caucus: 2016-18
Kala Hirtle, Dalhousie University

I am a Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Graduate Scholarship-funded PhD candidate at Dalhousie University. My dissertation builds on my interest in medical humanities and is tentatively titled “Altered States of Consciousness: Gender, Nineteenth-Century Medical Discourse and Gothic Literature.” My interests also include Popular Culture, Fantasy Literature, and Romanticism. I was the president of Dalhousie’s Association of Graduate Students in English for two years and president-elect of the ACCUTE graduate student caucus. I look forward to bringing what I have learned from these positions to my new gig as President for ACCUTE’s graduate caucus.

Member-at-large: 2015-17
Veronica Austen, St. Jerome’s University

I’m a Canadianist and Postcolonialist at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, ON. My research time at present is split between a project on visually experimental Caribbean poetry and a project on representations of the visual arts in Canadian literature. Having previously completed a term as the CAF Representative on the ACCUTE Exec and served on the Committee for Professional Concerns, I’m looking forward to working with ACCUTE again, this time as the Chair for the Committee for Professional Concerns.

Austen photo
Member-at-large: 2015-17
Laura Robinson, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland

My research aptly centres on happy happy girls’ stories, such as L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, and I swear it’s not because I have red hair.  I have recently relocated to the gorgeous west coast of Newfoundland to take the position of Professor and Dean of the School of Arts and Social Science, Grenfell Campus, MUN.  I have also curated a travelling and virtual exhibit on The Canadian Home Front: L.M. Montgomery’s Reflections on the First World War which you can see here:

Member-at-large: 2016-18
Brenna Clarke Gray, Douglas College

Brenna Clarke Gray holds a PhD in Canadian Literature from the University of New Brunswick. She is a full-time faculty member in the department of English at Douglas College, where she coordinates the Associate of Arts degrees. Her research areas are contemporary Canadian comics and representations of Canada in mainstream American comics.

Past President, 2016-17
Jason Haslam, Dalhousie University

My main aspiration in life was to be known as “that ACCUTE President who never danced” and the video evidence I was shown of my “dancing” proves that to have been true.  Beyond that, I study American literature and culture, with special interests in prison writings and in the fields of science fiction and the gothic, especially in relation to gender, race, and sexuality.  I teach in these areas, as well as popular culture and theory. You can see my website here.

Co-editor, English Studies in Canada (ex-officio)
Mike O’Driscoll, University of Alberta

Mike O’Driscoll is Co-Editor of ESC: English Studies in Canada, Associate Professor (English & Film Studies) and Associate Dean Research (Faculty of Arts) at the University of Alberta. He conducts research and teaches in the areas of Critical & Cultural Theory, 20th Century American Literature & Culture, and Poetry & Poetics. He not only enjoys ampersands, he also likes events that include friends, food, and fine whisky. When he’s not busy building, dwelling, and thinking, he watches Golden Age (as in 1970’s) Hollywood film.

Co-editor, English Studies in Canada (ex-officio)
Mark Simpson, University of Alberta

I teach US American culture in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. My work takes up the politics of mobility in modern life. I am currently co-editing an essay collection on ecologies of liberalism and literary history, and am part of an emerging, collaborative research project called “After Oil.” I try to find as much time as I can to make music with my band, Electricity for Everybody!.

Mark Simpson
President, Canadian Association of Chairs of English (ex-officio)

Jacqueline Jenkins, University of CalgaryJacqueline Jenkins is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English at the University of Calgary. She is the author of a number of articles and essays on medieval women and medieval texts, as well as on medieval women’s reading habits, and vernacular religious writing and saints’ lives. Her current research examines the relationships between medieval dramatic literature, saints’ lives, and the performance histories of medieval manuscript texts. For more information see here.


Office Members and non-voting Executive Participants


s200_stephanie.oliverACCUTE Coordinator: 2016-18
Stephanie Oliver, Western University

I hold a PhD in English from Western University, where I completed my dissertation Diffuse Connections: Making Sense of Smell in Canadian Diasporic Women’s Writing. My current research focuses on representations of diaspora and indigeneity in relation to the Alberta tar sands, and I have recently begun exploring the relationship between smell, affect theory, and eco-criticism. I have taught introductory and upper-year courses at Western and Huron University College, where I have recently taught courses on food and multiculturalism in Canadian literature. For more information about my research and teaching, please visit my page.