Organizing Committee

Local Organizing Committee


Irene Gammel

Chair of Organizing Committee

Irene Gammel is a professor in Art, Literature, and Culture at Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly known as Ryerson University, specializing in modernism, gender identities, and the avant-garde. She is also the director of the Modern Literature and Culture (MLC) Research Centre, which is dedicated to the study and preservation of early twentieth-century literary texts, images, and artifacts. Her research has helped uncover the earliest roots of modern and feminist performance art and has helped shape our understanding of multimodal art practices through the lenses of gender studies, modernism, and theories of the body. She has helped consolidate L. M. Montgomery Studies as an academic discipline, and her recent work explores battlefield artist Mary Riter Hamilton.


Follow her on Twitter: @MLC_Research

Read more about her work:


Melba Cuddy-Keane

Melba Cuddy-Keane is Emerita Professor, University of Toronto-Scarborough and an Emerita Faculty Member of the University of Toronto’s Graduate Department of English. Her research areas are modernism, narratology, book history/print culture, and cognitive studies; her publications include Virginia Woolf, the Intellectual, and the Public Sphere (Cambridge UP, 2003), the Harcourt annotated edition of Woolf's Between the Acts (2008), and, co-authored with Adam Hammond and Alexandra Peat, Modernism: Keywords (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014). Her recent work pursues connections between narrative and neuroscience, focusing specifically on cognitive flexibility, movement, and space. She has also served terms as the president of the Modernist Studies Association and the International Virginia Woolf Society respectively.



Jim Drobnick

Jim Drobnick, associate professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at OCAD University, focuses on performance, sound, the senses, and postmedia artistic practices. His scholarly work has appeared in journals such as Angelaki, High Performance, Performance Research, Public, and Senses & Society, where he is now an editor. He is also a cofounder of DisplayCult, a creative curatorial collaboration with Jennifer Fisher for interdisciplinary production in the visual arts, including exhibitions, conferences, publications and site-specific events.


Read more about his work:

Adam Hammond

Adam Hammond

Adam Hammond is an assistant professor of English at the University of Toronto whose research includes British modernism, literature and technology, and digital humanities. His work investigates the dynamic between literature, technology, and politics, exploring the manner in which dialogic or multi-voiced literature “models” democratic modes of thought, particularly in the work of Virginia Woolf. Hammond also analyzes the relationship between independent production (small-press publication, DIY recording, indie video games) and the development of experimental artistic styles. In his digital work, he collaborates with computer scientists to develop new literary applications of natural language processing.

He is author of Literature in the Digital Age: An Introduction (Cambridge UP, 2016) and co-author of Modernism: Keywords (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014). His work has appeared in journals such as Modernism/modernity and Literature Compass and collections such as Reading Modernism with Machines and Translocated Modernisms.


Read more about his work:

Academic Advisory Committee

Laura Fisher
Assistant Professor, English, Ryerson University (American modernism; urban literature)

Gerd Hauck
Professor of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Ryerson University (Beckett and performance; performance and digital media)

Lesley Higgins
Professor of English, York University (author of The Modernist Cult of Ugliness: Aesthetic and Gender Politics [Palgrave, 2002])

Susan Ingram
Associate Professor, Humanities, York University (author of Zarathustra’s Sisters: Women’s Autobiography and the Shaping of Cultural History [University of Toronto Press, 2003])

Garry Leonard
Professor of English, University of Toronto (20th-century British and Irish literature, James Joyce)

Alice Maurice
Associate Professor, English and Cinema Studies, University of Toronto (cinema studies, narrative, American literature)

Daniel Aureliano Newman
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Toronto (modern and contemporary fiction, narratology and scientific writing)

Janet Poole
Associate Professor, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto (Korean literature and global modernism)

Dale Smith
Associate Professor, English, Ryerson University (modernist poetics and creative writing; rhetoric and public culture)

Simon Stern
Associate Professor, Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, English, and Book History, University of Toronto  (law and literature)

Suzanne Zelazo
Editor, educator and publisher in the visual and literary arts, as well as in sports

John Zilcosky
Professor of Comparative Literature and German, University of Toronto (European modernism)

Graduate Student Support

The following students are affiliated with Ryerson University’s Modern Literature and Culture (MLC) Research Centre. For information on the MLC, including upcoming exhibits, current research projects, members and more, please visit our website at:

Cameron MacDonald (MA, BA English) is the research coordinator at the MLC Research Centre. His scholarly interests revolve around modernist, postwar and contemporary poetics, particularly through the lenses of sound studies, psychoanalytic theory and visual culture. For MSA Toronto 2019, Cameron assists with the events planning.

Warsan Amin (MA, Professional Communication) is the social media lead at the MLC Research Centre and she assists MSA Toronto 2019 with social media outreach. Her research interests include theories of orality and its impact on oral communication and knowledge preservation.

Myriam Couturier (PhD Candidate, Communication and Culture, Ryerson) explores the relationship among fashion, gender, and material and visual culture. She assists MSA Toronto 2019 with archival management, copyright permissions, and editing.

Holly Lock (BA, English) is the MLC’s social media RA, assisting with the Centre’s brand interests in Canadian literature and culture, including digital culture with focus on the avant-garde and the culture of the First World War.

Jaclyn Marcus (PhD Candidate, Communication and Culture, Ryerson) applies contemporary literary theory, fashion theory and identity theory to examine fashion’s impact in modernist literature.

Scott Sparrow (MA, BA, English) is a research assistant lead at the MLC. His main academic interest is in prose modernism, with a specific focus on the works of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. His involvement in MSA Toronto 2019 is centred on assisting with budgeting, events planning, and outreach.

Ben Lee Taylor (PhD Candidate, English, York University) is a graduate assistant whose doctoral dissertation analyzes the use of satire in the works of Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes, and Wyndham Lewis. Ben’s role in MSA Toronto 2019 involves outreach and events planning.

Conference host

The Modern Literature and Culture (MLC) Research Centre was the host of MSA Toronto 2019. Stay up-to-date with the Centre’s research initiatives, projects, and events.

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