American Literature Research Collaborative

The American Literature Research Collaborative is a forum for scholars of American literatures and cultures to share resources, research, and conversation. We seek to facilitate innovative, inclusive, and interdisciplinary research through collective engagement. 

We are committed to promoting collegiality, highlighting new research, and offering professional support to junior scholars. Each year, our topics and approaches emerge from our membership.

Our program for 2019-2020 will be guided by the theme: (re)imagining the American archive.

Chelsea Latremouille |
Stephanie Redekop |
Facebook group:

Canadian Literature Group

The Canadian literature group was established in 1999. The group aims
to foster conversations among students at different stages of study (and interested faculty) who specialize in Canadian literature. It offers a forum in which to discuss literary and theoretical works, to share research resources and pedagogical approaches, and to workshop conference papers, dissertation chapters, publications and job talks.  We will meet monthly (or every five weeks) throughout the term.

Dustin Batty |
Kelly Whitehead |
Facebook group:

Children’s Literature Theory Reading Group

We welcome anyone with a critical interest in children’s literature! We meet approximately once a month to discuss a theoretical text about children’s literature, sometimes alongside a primary text. Previous texts and topics have included Jacqueline Rose’s The Case of Peter Pan, or The Impossibility of Children’s Literature, Farah Mendlesohn’s Rhetorics of Fantasy, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, time travel and transvestitism in historical children’s fiction.

Joanna Krongold |

Contemporary Experimental Poetry Reading Group

The CEPRG reads contemporary experimental poetry, broadly construed, and without a specific national focus. We meet twice a semester to discuss individual texts, share research papers, and possibly host poetry readings or events. Previous poets have included: Sina Queyras, Rita Wong, Fred Moten, Joshua Whitehead, and Billy-Ray Belcourt.

Max Karpinski |
Kyle Kinaschuk |

Contemporary Literature Research Group

Contemporary Literary Research Group (CLRG) at the University of Toronto provides a forum for interdisciplinary investigations into all aspects of contemporary literature and culture outside of traditional genre and national boundaries. Housed within the Department of English, CLRG is open to all faculty and graduate students at Universities from around the GTA. CLRG regularly invites UofT faculty and Visiting Scholars to present their ongoing research in an informal setting.

Henry Ivry |

Decolonial Disruptions: Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour Solidarities

Continuing last year’s reflections on challenging settler colonialism and on what it means to be good kin and good relations, this year’s iteration of the Decolonial Disruptions reading group will focus on the theme of Indigenous, Black, and People Of Colour solidarities and coalition-building. From September 2019 to April 2020, we will meet on a monthly basis to discuss literary works, scholarly writing, and grassroots pieces written by Indigenous, Black, and People Of Colour that take up this theme. These readings will address and help us to unpack the following questions for discussion and incorporation into our own scholarly, community-based, and organizing work: How does settler colonialism enact violence to community kinship and relationality? How are local Indigenous communities, Black communities, and settlers of colour in colonially-called Canada working collectively to confront and dismantle settler colonialism and to centre Indigenous sovereignty and Indigenous laws? What are the disciplinary and community-engaged research methods that can help foster new and decolonizing kinship routes grounded in Indigenous, Black, and People Of Colour ancestral routes? Our objective is to come to understand what responsible and respectful Indigenous, Black, and People Of Colour solidarity and coalition-building might look like and how settlers of colour can challenge and dismantle their own complicity in perpetuating settler colonial legacies. This reading group will meet at the University of Toronto on the unsurrendered territories of the Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinaabe peoples, and is in partnership with Anakbayan Toronto. Monthly gatherings are open to anyone interested in respectfully working towards dismantling settler colonialism and in allyship and solidarity work.

Contact: Ashley Caranto Morford (she/her) |

Eighteenth-Century Reading Group 

New students are welcome to join the eighteenth-century reading group! A few times each semester, we meet to discuss short readings from the long eighteenth century. Last year we read Francis Coventry’s Pompey the Little, a hilarious biography of a lapdog, and selections from Samuel Johnson’s Rambler, among other things. We also eat delicious snacks and talk about our own work. Please come out to our first meeting in September, when we’ll plan for the year ahead.

Veronica Litt |

Latin Reading Group

This group was formed to support students whose research involves reading and translating Latin literature. We meet once a month to practice our translation skills in an informal setting and welcome medievalists, early-modernists, and classical-reception scholars alike! Students who are working with texts that stump them can bring specific passages to our sessions and we will tackle them together. If no particular help is needed, we have some fun selections of Latin poetry and prose — such as chapters from Lucius Apuleius’ picaresque novel The Golden Ass, mythic tales from Walter Map’s De Nugis Curialium, and excerpts from Horace’s Satires — with which to keep ourselves entertained. Contact Dustin Meyer, below, if you wish to be added to the mailing list or have any questions. 


Middle English Working Group

The Middle English Working Group aims to facilitate conversations about later medieval England and its literatures, primarily those in Middle English while also remembering England’s multilingualism. In monthly meetings, we offer a chance for graduate students to discuss texts, present various aspects of their research, and workshop their writings on related topics.

Julia Mattison |


Pronounced “merge,” MRRG is the graduate modernist reading and research group. A venue for the discussion of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century British, American and Irish material, it remains open to other literatures of the same period, with room for cross-period investigation of relevant issues, as well as discussions of film, theatre, photography and visual art. Our monthly meetings feature discussions of texts chosen by MRRG members, discussions of relevant issues in the field, and presentations of research by group members.

Illusha Nokhrin |

Nineteenth-Century Reading Group

As eclectic a group as the century it explores, the nineteenth-century reading group (NRG) welcomes students both new and returning. Monthly meetings offer both Romanticists and Victorianists a chance to read relevant texts and articles (of short length) and participate in dynamic discussions, to workshop essays and seminar ideas, and to explore a number of professional associations in the field (NAVSA, NASSR, VSAO).

Social events are as much a part of the group as its more scholarly activities: this year we will be hosting monthly showings of beloved BBC miniseries, accompanied by tasty treats!

Angela Du |
Nicole Dufoe |
Emily Halliwell-MacDonald |

Pedagogy Reading Group

The Pedagogy Reading Group is focused on graduate students’ development as teachers, and aims to further our pedagogical skills collaboratively through study and peer learning. We meet two or three times per semester (approximately once/month) to discuss pedagogy-related readings, various challenges we face in our classrooms, and effective teaching techniques. Each meeting has two elements: a discussion of a theoretical topic (such as how we conceptualize our classrooms, mentor good student writing, or develop learning objectives), and a more workshop-style conversation about successful practices or techniques we’ve used in the classroom. We undertake some more-or-light reading from teaching-focused journals and academic blogs, but no preparation is necessary. Everyone is welcome, regardless of teaching experience!

Joel Faber |

Postcolonial Theory and Literature Reading Group

The Postcolonial Theory and Literature Reading Group aims to close-read the “canonical” texts of Postcolonial Theory and reassess their significance in contemporary practices of literary criticism. We also aim to situate Postcolonial Studies within a broad range of interrelated disciplinary approaches including aesthetics and poetics, theories of immigration and diaspora, cultural studies, Marxist studies and global modernist studies. We will read a variety of texts and we welcome students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and interests such as media studies, visual arts, comparative literature, and area studies to join us in our productive and enriching discussions.

Apala Das |
Daniel Bergman |

Reading Religion Group

The “Reading Religion” group is a network of graduate students and faculty from English, the Department for the Study of Religion, the Centre for Jewish Studies, St. Mike’s College, Victoria College, and other areas within the university. We are an interdisciplinary group broadly focused on the ways in which religious belief is mediated in texts and how religion might inform methods of reading and interpretation. We meet approximately 3 times per semester to discuss work-in-progress pieces and pre-circulated readings. Topics of discussion at our meetings may include complicating the “secularization thesis” and what it means to be engaged in “post-secular studies,” the religious imagination, theological reading practices, and the relation between the sacred and the secular. We warmly welcome new participants. 

Amy Coté |