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UNB first in Atlantic Canada to offer gender and sexuality in literature PhD

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Aug 17, 2022

Category: UNB Fredericton

Drawing on its 40-year history of research excellence in gender and sexuality studies, the University of New Brunswick will launch a master’s and a PhD in the specialization of gender and sexuality in literature (GSL). 

According to Dr. Stephen Schryer, the graduate program director of the English department on the Fredericton campus, looking at gender and sexuality in literature serves to examine and challenge societal norms in the literary mainstream. 

“Arts and humanities scholars have long been at the forefront of increasing awareness and security for women, minorities and LGBTQ+ people,” said Dr. Schryer. “UNB English faculty members are strong in the study of gender and sexuality in literature. Adding these academic graduate streams reflects how we can offer a unique, specialized niche in New Brunswick.” 

Students in the GSL stream will approach gender and sexuality studies through the lens of literature. They will develop a strong foundation in theoretical approaches and undertake research for a thesis on a topic of their choosing.   

Dr. Joanne Wright, dean of the faculty of arts in Fredericton, supports the new direction in English graduate studies wholeheartedly.

“The graduate program in gender and sexuality in literature signals our research excellence in this specialized area and will hold strong appeal for students whose literary interests and passions are focused on gender, sexuality and equity,” she said.

All students in who study in this specialization will take the newly developed course, Theories of Gender and Sexuality in Literature: GSL Core Course. PhD students will also complete comprehensive examinations on gender and sexuality theory or women’s and queer literature.  

“We are committed to further enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion at UNB,” said Dr. David MaGee, vice-president of research. “Dedicated social sciences and humanities academic programming helps to educate future community leaders who will drive social progress in making the world a better, safer, healthier and more equitable place for all.”  

GSL programming will begin in the fall of 2023 at UNB Fredericton and applications are now open.

Media contact: Dani Godbout