CIRCA:Thesis Advisors


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Thesis Advisors

Picking thesis advisors is an important component of creating your final thesis. Two strategies have been described among others, one is to find an advisor that is “nice” and will support you as you conduct your research. The second is to find an advisor who is well known in their field, which would entail that any recommendations written by the latter would be well recognized. Picking an advisor is often based off of research areas (finding someone with parallel interests to your own), but your own personal career goals (whether or not you want to continue on in academia), the temperament of the faculty member, and the “big fish vs. little fish” (is it better to go with the well-established professor, or the one who is just starting out?) issue should all play a part in your decision making as well.

Feel free to ask questions to any potential advisor. The best way to find a fit is to really explore what research a potential advisor has done, and to be serious and excited about what you want to do.

PLEASE NOTE that some of this information is out of date. It is always best to consult the department for the most current information.


Humanities Computing Program

Dr. Maureen Engel

Graduate Co-ordinator, HUCO

maureen.engel[ at ]

Dr. Engel's main research interest is in the spatial humanities and deep mapping. She also works on projects in augmented reality and locative media, cultural studies, queers studies, and feminism.

Dr. Sean Gouglas

Associate Professor, HuCo and History & Classics

sean.gouglas[ at ]

Dr. Gouglas’ primary research interest concerns coroners’ investigations of sudden and violent death on the colonial frontier of western Canada, which is funded by a SSHRC research grant. His interests also include the agricultural and environmental history of southern Ontario, the application of statistical and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies to colonial settlement histories, and more recently, the exploration of New Media narrative forms. His website is at:

Dr. Harvey Quamen

Associate Professor, HuCo and English and Film Studies

hquamen[ at ]

Dr. Quamen specializes in science studies, cyberculture, and Modern and Postmodern literature. Other current interests include representations of science in popular culture, Open Source advocacy, and literary theory. His website is at:

Dr. Geoffrey Rockwell

Professor, HuCo and Philosophy

grockwel[ at ]

Dr. Rockwell has published and presented papers in the area of philosophical dialogue, textual visualization and analysis, humanities computing, instructional technology, computer games and multimedia. His website is

Scott Smallwood

Assistant Professor of Composition, Department of Music

scott.smallwood[ at ]

Scott Smallwood is involved with research around solar electric ensembles, and interactives work which is interdisciplinary and looks to involve technology with dance, industrial design, performance, and music to create new instruments and means of conveying art.

Adjunct and Visiting Faculty

Dr. Ofer Arazy

Assistant Professor, HuCo and Business

ofer.arazy[ at ]

His research interests (broadly speaking) are in the areas of knowledge management and computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), and he uses research methods from design science to behavioural research. He worked in IT project management for 6 years, as well.

Dr. Peter Baskerville

Visiting Professor, HuCo and History & Classics

baskervi[ at ]

Dr. Peter Baskerville is a visiting researcher from the University of Victoria. His research interests include studies of the work, gender, and wealth formation that underpin the changing family in late 19th and early 20th century Canada. He is currently working with colleagues from across Canada on the Canada Century Research Infrastructure project, which digitizes systematic samples from nominal level census returns from Canadian censuses from 1911 to 1951.

Dr. Susan Brown

Visiting Associate Professor, HuCo and English and Film Studies

susan.brown[ at ]

Dr. Susan Brown is the Director of the Orlando Project, and teaches also at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Her research focuses on the application of digital methods to the pursuit of literary history, and spans aspects of text encoding, text mining, interface design and usability. Her recent work has begun to investigate the exploration and visualization of social networks as embedded in semantic encoding. She is fascinated by critical theories of technology, particularly gender analysis. She also specializes in Victorian literature, and she therefore interested in the impacts of earlier forms of media and technological innovation on modes of literary production. She has previously supervised graduate work on hypertext and on various literary and cultural studies topics. The published Orlando website is at

Dr. Richard Fletcher

Adjuct Professor, HuCo and History & Classics

rnfletch[ at ]

Dr. Fletcher specializes in South Italian, Greek and Phoenician archaeology. His research centres on the development of indigenous societies in South Italy before and during the Roman period. He also studies the Greek-Phoenician exploration of the wider Mediterranean. He is also a director of the Vultur Project. (

Library and Information Science

Dr. Ali Shiri

Associate Professor, SLIS

ashiri[ at ]

Dr. Shiri’s research interests focus on users and their interaction with information retrieval systems, new knowledge and information organization environments such as digital libraries, subject gateways, and portals. He has done work in areas such as: information retrieval interaction and user search behaviour, digital library user interfaces, visual interfaces to IR systems, social tagging trends and interfaces, knowledge organization systems in digital libraries, institutional repositories, subject gateways, portals and open archives, web-based thesauri, their interfaces and applications, metadata and internet resource organization, cross-searching and cross-browsing in digital libraries. His website is

Outside HuCo

The following list of names is of potential advisors who are not necessarily HuCo professors, but may be interested in your work, and have had associations with the department. Some of these people may be worth consulting on your work, and can point you towards more appropriate advisors, either because of more focused research interests, or because they are not yet in a position capable of supervising a thesis.


The following are professors who are associated with the CIRCA project.

Sean Caulfield

Professor and Canada Research Chair, Fine Arts & Design

stc[ at ]

Sean Caulfield is interested in studio art with a focus in printmaking, drawing, artist’s books and inter-media. He holds an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Alberta, and is also Canada Research Chair. His website is

Maria Whiteman

Assistant Professor, Fine Arts & Design

mwhitema[ at ]

maria.whiteman[ at ]

Maria Whiteman holds an MFA from Pennsylvania State University. Her areas of research interest include photography, new media, drawing, art theory and criticism, cultural studies, and Visual Culture. Her current art practice explores two main themes: relationships between industry, community and nature; and the place of animals in our cultural and social imaginary. She has taught in areas such as Multimedia, Studio Art and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Her website is at and will be fully functional on April 1st.

Keavy Martin

Assistant Professor, English and Film Studies

keavy[ at ]

Keavy Martin’s research interests revolve around Indigenous literatures and literary theory, with a focus on Inuit literature and the Canadian context. She is happy to work with students interested in any aspect of Indigenous literatures and/or intellectual traditions, including (but not limited to) oral histories and oral traditions, Aboriginal rights in Canada, studies of nation, locality, and literary history; and Indigenous politics, aesthetics, and languages.

Dr. Kirsten C. Uszkalo

Assistant Professor (Adjunct), Simon Fraser University

CIRCA Scholar

kirsten[ at ]

Dr. Uszkalo is a specialist in seventeenth-century literature, early modern cultural studies, and women’s writing. Her PhD research looked at the intersections of witchcraft and prophecy in early modern English culture. Currently, her work combines theories taken from Cognitive Science and Social Neuroscience with tools and research practices borrowed from Digital Humanities to help unpackage the tensions and interplay between diverse spiritualities of 16th and 17th century England and their provocative intersections with scientific, medical, and cultural institutions of the period. She is also studying how digital textualities, platforms, and visualizations function to facilitate pattern tracing and user comprehension in university level research.

Paul Hjartarson

Professor, English and Film Studies

paul.hjartarson[ at ]

Dr. Hjartarson’s areas of research interest revolve around nineteenth and twentieth century Canadian literature and in print culture. He is also involved in the Editing Modernism In Canada (EMIC) project.

Andre Plourde

Professor of Economics

Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Arts

andre.plourde[ at ]

Andre Plourde’s research interests include energy economics, Canadian Energy Policy, and Energy and the Environment. His website is

Dr. Ken Munro

Professor & Senior Director of Interdisciplinary Studies

ken.munro[ at ]

Involved with the Department of History and Classics, Dr. Munro’s expertise and research interests lie with French Canadian History, Political Biography, and the Canadian Crown.

Cezary Gajewski

Assistant Professor, Design Studies

gajewski[ at ]

Cezary Gajewski’s areas of research interest include the industrial design process, human computer interaction, virtual reality environments, form and function, visual and spatial reasoning in design, design theories and methods, 3-D form, computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, and design education. His website is

Dr. John Newman

Professor (and Chair), Department of Linguistics

john.newman[ at ]

Dr. Newman has done a lot of work with linguistics and computers. His website is

Dr. Eleni Stroulia

Professor, Department of Computing Science

stroulia[ at ]

Dr. Stroulia has involved herself with research that focuses on the technical and socioeconomic concerns around building software systems for the purpose of service delivery. She has worked with the Smart-Condo, the CWRC (Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory), and the GRAND (GRaphics, Animation and new meDia) Network of Centres of Excellence.

Imre Szeman

Professor, English and Film Studies

Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies

imre[ at ]

Imre Szeman conducts research on the areas of social and cultural theory, film and visual culture, globalization and nationalism, and Canadian Studies. He is interested in supervising students working on topics and issues in social and cultural theory (1850 to the present) and on the politics of contemporary culture (including postcolonial fiction, science fiction, film, and the visual arts.)


Dr. Heather Zwicker

Associate Professor, English & Film Studies

Associate Dean (Graduate Studies)

heather.zwicker[ at ]

Dr. Zwicker’s research interests lie in 21st century cultural studies, especially feminism, queer theory, digital media and public intellectuals. She also has interests in postcolonial fiction and theory, cultural studies, contemporary African / Canadian / Northern Irish literature, and the Troubles. Her website is

Dr. Stephen Reimer

Professor, English & Film Studies

Stephen.reimer[ at ]

Dr. Reimer is interested in Humanities Computing, and teaches in the areas of Middle English literature, and the history and structure of the English language. He is happy to supervise students interested in aspects of medieval literature in modern medievalisms.

Dr. David Miall

Professor, English & Film Studies

david.miall[ at ]

Dr. Miall is interested in supervising students in two areas: British Romantic writing (1789 – 1832) and empirical and theoretical studies of literary reading. He is also interested in Humanities Computing.

Previous Thesis Supervisors for HuCo Students

Edward Bishop

Professor, English
and Film Studies

ebishop[ at ]

Dr. Bishop writes and teaches in the areas of Modernist literature, print-culture history, and creative non-fiction. He has authored and edited books on Virginia Woolf, published articles on James Joyce, archives, and motorcycle travel.

Rick Bowers

Professor, English and Film Studies

rick.bowers[ at ]

Dr. Bowers supervises students interested in any aspect of Elizabethan and/or Jacobean drama and culture.

Wes Cooper

Professor, Philosophy

wes.cooper[ at ]

Now a Post-Retirement Contract Professor, Wesley Cooper is interested in ethics; social and political philosophy; philosophy of law; philosophy of mind; theory of rational choice; pragmatism; philosophy of computing; and computing and culture. His blog can be found at

Fred Judson

Professor, Political Science

fred.judson[ at ]

Dr. Judson’s research interests fall under areas such as critical international relations theory, international political economy, the “Global South” and Latin American Studies. You can find out more at

Kaori Kabata

Associate Professor, East Asian Studies

kaori.kabata[ at ]

Dr. Kabata is interested in cognitive representations of polysemous words, especially grammatical morphemes such as particle and auxiliaries, and their acquisition processes in both first and second languages. She has done a great deal of research on the Japanese language, and is also interest in cross-linguistic study of semantic distributions of similar grammatical morphemes. She has also been involved in research dealing with CALL in Japanese teaching. Her website is

Claudia Kost

Associate Professor: German Applied Linguistics, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies

ckost[ at ]

Claudia Kost’s research interests lie in second language acquisition, especially computer-mediated communication; CALL; teacher training and professional development; and vocabulary acquisition.

James Mulvihill

Professor, English and Film Studies

james.mulvihill[ at ]

Dr. Mulvihill is happy to supervise students interested in authors and topics relating to English Romanticism. (1789 – 1832)

Julie Rak

Professor, English and Film Studies

julie.rak[ at ]

Dr. Rak can supervise theses in: autobiography and life writing, cultural studies and popular culture, English Canadian literature and book history. She has previously supervised theses on Gender Identification Discorder and queer theory, Gertrude Stein and autobiography, blogs as corporate learning tools, mountaineering writing and Gilles Deleuze, blogs as identity projects, feminism and Louise Erdrich, mountaineering literature and postcolonial theory, and Oprah Winfrey as a public intellectual.

Bonnie Sadler Takach

Associate Professor, Art & Design

sadler.takach[ at ]

Bonnie Sadler Takach is interested in visual communication design, design research methods, participatory design, health information design, and design education.

Graduate Coordinators, etc.

Seeking out professors from related departments to your research topic can lead to potential thesis advisors as well, who are able to give you insight into a specialty other advisors might not. A good place to start is by asking the graduate co-ordinator of the department for advice. Certain departments I’ve identified as potentially useful to the class of HuCo 530 are listed down below.

Computer Science

Russ Greiner

Professor / Associate Chair (Graduate)

greiner[ at ]


Dr. Winnie Vanderkloor

MES Admissions Manager

Winnie.vanderkloor[ at ]


Terrance M. Nearey

Professor & Graduate Coordinator

LingGrad[ at ]

Japanese Studies

Tsuyoshi (Yoshi) Ono

Graduate Coordinator

tono[ at ]

Fine Art and Design

Steven Harris

Graduate Studies and Research

steven.harris[ at ]


Kim Brown

Graduate Programs Administrator

kim.brown[ at ]

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