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Lisa Szabo-Jones

  • Scholar 2009
  • Alumni
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English Department
John Abbott College, Quebec

    Lisa completed her Bachelor (2004) and Masters (2007) of Arts in English at the University of British Columbia and her PhD in English at the University of Alberta (2014). Her PhD thesis, Going Local in the Global: A Canadian Literary Bioregional Turn, offers theoretical and pedagogical approaches to ethical human relations with the biophysical environment. Her research, a literary and cultural study, draws on intersections between eco-phenomenology, feminist materialisms, and habitat studies. Lisa’s Masters thesis, Wildwood Notes: Music, Nature Writing, and Newspapers, presents a discourse and genre study of daily newspaper nature columns. She has presented her scholarly research across Canada, the United States, and in Europe as conference proceedings and invited guest lectures. She is a co-founder and co-Editor of The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Literature, and Culture in Canada (est. 2005), a semi-annual, online publication housed with Wilfrid Laurier University Press. She currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy.

    She has articles, creative nonfiction, and review publications in Canadian Literature: A Quarterly Criticism and Review, ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, Greening the Maple: Canadian Ecocriticism in Context, English Studies in Canada, Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Literature, and Alternatives Journal. Her essay “Adventures in Habitat: An Urban Tale” was shortlisted for the 2014 Canadian Literature Best Essay. She has two co-edited book collections, Sustaining the West: Cultural Responses to Western Environments (WLUP, Environmental Humanities Series, with Dr. Liza Piper) and Activating the Heart: Storytelling, Knowledge, and Relationship (WLUP, Indigenous Studies Series, with Trudeau Scholars Julia Christensen and Christopher Cox). With Dr. Travis V. Mason and Dr. Elzette SteenKamp, Lisa co-edited a special issue of ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature titled Postcolonial Ecocriticisms among Settler-Colonial Nations. Lisa’s most recent publication, the short story “The Change,” is featured in Trudeau Foundation Fellow Catriona Sandilands’ edited collection Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times (Caitlin Press, 2019).

    Lisa’s research practice is arts-based combining fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and digital and 19th century photographic processes. Her current projects focus on urban ecology, industrial edge effects, and salt marshes.

    Lisa teaches literature at John Abbott College, as well as coordinates and teaches for the college’s first-year transition program for Indigenous students.


    Experience as a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar

    For Lisa, a 2009 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Doctoral Scholar, the Trudeau Scholarship represents a means for cultivating and sustaining optimism in and dedication to making an equitable and healthy world. The collaborative opportunities with Trudeau Foundation community members and networks established through the Foundation not only added new layers of enquiry to her research, but also solidified her conviction on the vital necessity for nonpartisan and interdisciplinary collaboration among academics, non-scholars and wider communities. The Trudeau Foundation has been exemplary on this last point: bringing together a dynamic mix of political backgrounds and creating a forum in which to discuss and debate issues important to Canada and beyond. This is the foundation of the Trudeau Foundation. This eclectic mix has cultivated Lisa’s mentorship as a public intellectual and helped her to connect to diverse groups and find common ground on which to shape and build a praxis of respectful and ethical engagement.