Heather Evans

Heather Evans
PhD, Assistant Professor
Massey 313A
(613) 541-6000
(613) 541-6405
Department of English

College Address

Royal Military College of Canada
PO Box 17000, Station Forces
Kingston, Ontario, CANADA
K7K 7B4

Biography and Teaching Philosophy

"'Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice" after her tumble into Wonderland. "[She] was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English." The study of English literature allows me, like Alice, to pursue my curiosity and my intellectual appetites, and to engage in the adventure of discovering the world through myriad eyes and from infinite vantages, while training, disciplining, and cultivating my skills with that critical tool, "good English." As an undergraduate at the University of Ottawa in my home town, I discovered that all academic roads lead back to English literature: whether I was exploring history, art, classical mythology, linguistics, or psychology, or taking religious studies courses in such seemingly esoteric subjects as Death and Dying, or Witchcraft, Magic and the Occult Phenomena, everything I studied related to something I encountered in a poem, a short story, a novel, or an essay.

As a master's student at Carleton University and later as a doctoral candidate at Queen's University, I was fortunate to have opportunities to further explore the often-overlooked intersections and relationships between disciplines and professions, as well as between academia, business and industry, as I complemented my scholarly work with jobs in diverse fields including law, intellectual property, technology transfer, and biotechnology. That appreciation for interdisciplinarity and that sense of the interconnectedness of all things continues to inform my research and my teaching at RMC and at Queen's University. In my work with students in the ALOY program, in first- and second-year survey courses, and in specialized courses focused on such subjects as Children's Literature and War, or Nineteenth-century Gastronomy and Food in Victorian Literature, I strive to inspire and facilitate exploration, discovery, and understanding of the dynamic and complex relationships between individuals, communities, cultures, nations, and natural, scientific, and social phenomena.

I was honoured to have been selected as the recipient of the RMC Class of 1965 Teaching Excellence Award for 2010, and to have served on the Award Committee from 2010 to 2013.

I currently hold a Continuing Adjunct Appointment at Queen's University, Kingston.

Areas of Research

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, Sarah Grand and New Woman literature, children's literature, fantasy and fairy tales, graphic novels, literature of trauma and atrocity, women's writing, aboriginal literature, gastronomy, and food history.

Selected Publications and Conference Papers

  • "'Is he not solid gold?': Sacrifice, Soldiers, and Fairy Tales at the Royal Military College of Canada," Wilde's Wiles: Studies of the Influences on Oscar Wilde and His Enduring Influences in the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Annette Magid. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2013
  • "Swimming in a Minefield of Stereotypes: Teaching Richard Van Camp's 'Mermaids' at Military College" presented at "Troubling Subjects: Teaching Risky Texts," the Association for Bibliotherapy and Applied Literatures (ABAL) annual conference at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Apr. 27-28, 2011.
  • "Kittens and Kitchens: Food, Gender, and The Tale of Samuel Whiskers." Victorian Literature and Culture 36.2 (Sept. 2008): 603-23.
  • "Roly-Poly Kitchen Games: Stirring Up Gender in Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Samuel Whiskers," presented at the "Cooking Culture: Food and Consumption in the Nineteenth Century" interdisciplinary conference at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, London, U.K., July 30, 2004.
  • "Barley Broth and Puff Pastry: The Compassionate New Woman Chef and Gastronome in Sarah Grand's The Beth Book," presented at the Nineteenth Century Studies Association "Feasts and Famine" conference, New Orleans, LA, Mar. 7, 2003.
  • "'Nor Shall I Shirk My Food': The New Woman's Balanced Diet and Sarah Grand's Babs the Impossible." Nineteenth-Century Feminisms 4 (2001): 136-147.
  • "Feasting on the Fear of Feminine Feeding: Sarah Grand's Babs the Impossible as a Response to Periodical Press Assaults on the New Woman," presented at the "Feminist Forerunners" conference, Manchester, U.K., Jul. 25, 2000.
  • "Power-Eating and the Power-Starved: The New Woman's New Appetite in Sarah Grand's Babs the Impossible," Consuming for Pleasure: Selected Essays on Popular Culture. Eds. Julia Hallam and Nickianne Moody. Liverpool John Moores University and the Association for Research in Popular Fictions, 2000. 121-139.

Courses Taught

  • ENE100/110: An Introduction to Literary Studies and University Writing Skills
  • ENE101 (ALOY): An Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENE101 (DCS): An Introduction to Literary Studies: Fiction
  • ENE102 (DCS): An Introduction to Literary Studies: Poetry and Drama
  • ENE150 (ALOY): An Introduction to University Writing
  • ENE202 (DCS): Cross-Currents of Thought in 20th-Century Literature: Modernism
  • ENE210: Reading the Contemporary World; 1900 to the Present
  • ENE478: British Literature of the Victorian Period
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