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Image of an enchanted book spewing words


Elizabeth Popham

Professor (English)
B.A., M.A. (Manitoba), Ph.D. (Queen's)

Office: Catharine Parr Traill College, Wallis Hall 119
Telephone: (705) 748-1011 ext. 6233
E-mail: epopham@trentu.ca

Beth Popham in the News
Beth Popham in the News

My areas of academic interest are Renaissance literature and Canadian literature. In my teaching career, I have toured the continent, starting with Trent University and then moving on to the University of Alberta, Arizona State University and Memorial University of Newfoundland before settling back down at Trent in 1990. I teach a range of courses in Renaissance Literature and Book History, as well as Canadian Literature and Critical Practice.

The Letters of E.J. Pratt, the final volume in the Complete Works series, is coming out soon and I am currently editing the fiction of P.K. Page. In addition to printed editions, both of these projects have digital counterparts. Appendices to the Letters volume will appear on the E.J. Pratt hypertext site at www.trentu.ca/pratt, and eventually all published and manuscript versions of Page’s short stories and novels will be accessible on The Digital Page.

Although most of my energy is currently being devoted to editing Canadian writers like A.M. Klein, E.J. Pratt and P.K. Page, I periodically salvage time to work on a couple of ongoing projects in Renaissance literature, including a study of Elizabethan political pageantry, a hybrid dramatic form which occupies a middle ground between literature proper and politics, and which until recently has not seriously been claimed by either historians or students of literature.

Teaching Philosophy

I love literature, and love to share my enjoyment with my students, from whom I am always learning something new. I am often experimenting with new ways of approaching texts, and so my students are used to my telling them that “I have a theory!” They are remarkably tolerant – even enthusiastic – when I decide to approach Milton’s Paradise Lost through the iconography of Renaissance visual art, have them do “performance” scans of speeches from Shakespeare’s plays, ask them to construct a class “anthology” of Canadian poetry on an MLS site, or recruit them to work on the latest issue of English Renaissance Literature @ Trent (ERL@T) .

One of the great joys of teaching English at Trent University is that I also have opportunities to share the classroom with fellow instructors, who are also generally willing to try out “he said/she said” or “roundtable” lectures in team-taught courses. Since we never know quite what will emerge, these can be a bit nerve-racking, but they are also tremendously energizing. Luckily, I have chosen to spend my life reading and rereading some of the great works of literature in English – books that are always yielding new insights, even on the 40th or 50th time through. Placed side-by-side with a new text, read in a new historical context by a new generation of students, or approached through a dialogue with a colleague in the lecture-hall, new interpretations iinevitably emerge.

Student Projects

2004-05 ‒ Paradise Lost, Book 1: A Radio Play [Dir. Gord Deviliers]

2012 ‒ Nick Zawadski, A video review of Alex Cox's the Revenger's Tragedy

2012 ‒ Jasmine Rose, Dr Faustus in tweets

2012 ‒ Jasmine Rose, Amelia Lanyer's Eve's Defense in tweets

2013 ‒ Grace MacDonald, Poetic readings of The General Prologue and The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell

April 2012 ‒ "Sex and Politics in Elizabethan England," ERL@T 1.1 [papers from ENGL-4153H]

December 2012 ‒ "The Life-Cycle of Some Renaissance Texts," ERL@T 2.1 [papers form ENGL-4153H and 5203H]

December 2013 ‒ "Remediations, Cultural Capital and Gender Politics," ERL@T 3.1-2 [papers from ENGL-4153H and 5203H]

Teaching Awards

Leadership in Faculty Teaching (LIFT) Award, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU): 2007

Nominated, Distinguished Teaching Award for Educational Leadership & Innovation in Instruction, Trent University: 2006-07

Nader Nonesuch Award, Julian Blackburn College Student Association (JBCSA): 2003-04

Nominated, Symons Teaching Award, Trent University: 1990-91, 1995-96, 1998–99, 2003-04

Merit Award for Teaching and Service, Trent University: 1998, 2003

Teaching Initiatives

 “Liberated Learning” voice recognition/transcription/recording technology (Disabilities Office pilot project) – in ENGL 365H: English Canadian Poetry (Winter 2004) and ENGL 201: Milton and his Age (2004-05) – Simultaneous transcription of lectures using ViaVoice/ViaScribe technology (developed to assist students with physical and learning disabilities); audio files and edited transcriptions posted with PowerPoint slide-shows for consultation and review on WebCT following lectures.

Research Interests

Renaissance literature; Elizabethan political pageantry; Canadian literature, especially A.M. Klein, E.J. Pratt and P.K. Page; book history; technology and teaching; computers and the humanities.

Current Projects

Co-editor, with David Pitt. The Letters of E.J. Pratt [published by University of Toronto Press].

Editor. The Fiction of P.K. Page [to be published by Porcupine’s Quill].

A book-length study of the cross-fertilization of political pageantry and canonical literary texts by Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare.

Representative publications

“Capstone and Cornerstone: Creating a Virtual Research Centre iin Honours and Graduate Courses in Renaissance Literature.” Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme (50th   Anniversary Special Issue). Editor. A.M. Klein: Letters. Toronto:University of Toronto   Press, 2011.

“‘Myself in Time … and Space’: The Letters of A.M. Klein,” Failure’s 

Opposite: Listening to A.M. Klein. Edited by Norm Ravvin and Sherry

Simon, 2011. 52-68 Co-editor, with Zailig Pollock. The Complete Poems and Letters of E.J. Pratt: A Hypertext Edition/Archive. A sample edition is posted at www.trentu.ca/pratt, 1998-2002.

Co-editor, with Zailig Pollock. A.M. Klein: The Second Scroll. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.

“Arcadian Fiction,” The Spenser Encyclopedia, Ed. A.C. Hamilton, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990, 1992; 2nd edition, 2006.

Conference papers

“‘A more continuall shew of our love and obedience’: Spectatorship as Testimony in the Norwich Entertainment of 1578,” Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies. University of Victoria: June 1, 2013.

“Creating a Virtual Research Centre in Honours and Graduate Classes,” Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies. University of Victoria: June 1, 2013.

“Rethinking the Hypertext Complete Letters of E.J. Pratt: Exploring the Digital Threshold,” Beyond Accessibility: Textual Studies in the 21st Century. Sponsored by the Textual Studies team of INKE (Implementing New Knowledge Environments), University of Victoria Electronic Textual Cultures Lab: 8-10 June 2012.

 “The Invention of the Public Voice,” Enwayaang 2011: An Event About Extraordinary Ideas (“Extraordinary ideas of Trent University’s most distinguished teachers”).First People’s House of Learning, Trent University: 11 October 2011.

“Mixing Media: The Evolution of E.J. Pratt’s Behind the Log.” Editing Modernism in Canada - the 46th Annual Conference on Editorial Problems. University of Toronto: October 23-24, 2010.

“Apologia pro vita sua: The Letters of A.M. Klein,” The Poet as Landscape: A Portrait of A.M. Klein Today (International Conference) – Concordia University: October 18-20, 2007.

“Editor as Glossator: Unrolling A.M. Klein’s The Second Scroll,” Editing Religious Texts, Christianity and Literature Study Group – Association of College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE). Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. University of Saskatchewan: May 29, 2007.

“Teaching Milton in the Electronic Age: Pros, Cons and Complications,” Eastern Ontario Symposium on Educational Technology (EOSET). Trent University: May 3, 2005.

Public Lectures

“The Stratford Festival 2006 – Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing, “The Shaw-Stratford Noon Hour Talks at “Trent in Oshawa,” UOIT-  Durham College: April 4, 2006.

 “Elizabeth Tudor: The Making of a Image,” Durham Regional Lifelong Learning Association (June 2001).

“The Immortal Bard and the Virgin Queen 400  Years  Later,” with Zailig Pollock, Rooke Lecture Series (Oshawa Public Library: Co-sponsored by

Julian Blackburn College, the Trent English Department and Friends of the McLaughlin Library, March 2000).

Digital Humanities Training

“A Collaborative Approach to XSLT,” Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) / Digital Editing of Modernism in Canada (DEMiC). University of Victoria: 1-7 June 2014.

“Coding for Digital Editions,” Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) / Digital Editing of Modernism in Canada (DEMiC). University of Victoria: 3-8 June 2012.

“Theory” (17-21 May 2010) and “Practice,” Textual Editing and Modernism in Canada (TEMiC). Trent University (24-28 May 2010).

Creating Electronic Texts and Images – Summer Institute 1998. Instructor: David Seaman (University of Virginia Electronic Text Center). University of New Brunswick Libraries: 16-21 August 1998.

Research interests

Renaissance literature; Elizabethan political pageantry; Canadian literature, especially A.M. Klein and E.J. Pratt; book history; computers and the humanities; teaching and technology

Current Research Projects

I have recently submitted the manuscript of the Letters of E.J. Pratt to the University of Toronto Press, and am revising The Complete Letters of E.J. Pratt: A Hypertext Edition (http://www.trentu.ca/pratt) to function as a “companion” to the print edition. I am also working on print and digital editions of The Fiction of P.K. Page. My ongoing project in the English Renaissance is a study of the cross-fertilization of political pageantry and canonical literary texts.