Laura Robinson, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English

Dr Laura Robinson

Office: Massey 325

Telephone: (613) 541-6000 ext 6253

Fax: 541-6405

Email: laura.robinson@rmc.ca

Department of English

Royal Military College of Canada
PO Box 17000, Station Forces
Kingston, Ontario CANADA
K7K 7B4

Personal and Professional Bio

I was born in Montreal but moved to North Bay Ontario when I was three months old.  My father was in the Canadian Air Force so we moved an average of every two to three years.  In addition to Montreal and North Bay, I have lived in Tucson Arizona, Toronto, Gander Newfoundland, Chatham New Brunswick, Ramstein Germany, Lahr Germany, Shearwater Nova Scotia, Wolfville Nova Scotia, Halifax, Winnipeg, Kingston, Ottawa, Kingston, North Bay, and finally back to Kingston again.  I actually like moving around, but I’m very happy to be back home.  I did my undergraduate degree at Acadia University, my masters at the University of Manitoba, and my PhD at Queen’s University.  I started teaching part-time at RMC in 1997 and took a fulltime position at Nipissing University in 2002.  When I was offered a chance to come back to RMC fulltime in 2005, I embraced it.

I’m probably the only professor on campus, potentially in the world, who has the ejection seat from a CF 101 Voodoo plane in my office.

Specialization(s):

Women’s writing, particularly Canadian; children’s literature, particularly young adult fiction; feminist and queer theory; L.M. Montgomery.

Current research or project:

Representations of women’s same-sex relationships, friendships and otherwise, in popular culture, particularly the writings of L.M. Montgomery.

Selected Recent Publications and Scholarly Activity:

  • Curated Exhibit, “The Canadian Home Front: L.M. Montgomery’s Reflections on the First World War” in Rennes France (June 2014), Charlottetown PEI (June 2014), Kingston ON (Sept 2014), Uxbridge and Leaskdale ON (October 2014), Toronto (2015), and others to be determined.
  • “‘Aggressive femininity’: The Ambiguous Heteronormativity of Eleanor H. Porter’s Pollyanna .” Eleanor H. Porter’s Pollyanna: A Children’s Classic at 100. Eds. Roxanne Harde and Lydia Kokkola. Jackson MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2014.
  • “‘Anne Repeated’: Taking Anne Out of Order.” Narrative, Repetition, and Texts for Young People. Ed. Mavis Reimer. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • Guest Editor, and Introduction: “Queerness and Children’s Literature: Embracing the Negative.” Queerness and Children’s Literature” for Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature (Winter 2014).
  • “‘Sex Matters’: L.M. Montgomery, Sexuality, and Friendship.” Children’s Literature 40 (2012): 167-190.
  • “Ode to Judith Butler.” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 40.3 (April 2011): 353. Referreed Poem
  • "Anne and Her Ancestors: Self-Reflexivity from Yonge to Alcott to Montgomery." 100 Years of Anne with an 'e': The Centennial Study of Anne of Green Gables. Ed. Holly Blackford. University of Calgary Press, 2009: 125-42.
  • "'Outrageously sexual Anne': The Media and Montgomery." Storm and Dissonance: L.M. Montgomery and Conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar's Publishing, 2008.
  • "Poststructuralism and 'The Child': A Response to Sebastian Chapleau's "Quand l'enfant parle que l'adulte se met à écouter, ou la littérature enfantine de retour à sa source.”Canadian Children’s Literature: litterature jeunesse canadienne (Spring 2008).
  • “Maxine Tynes.” Dictionary of Literary Biography 334, 21st Century Canadian Writers.  Ed. Christian Riegel.  Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
  • “'fictions of our own creation': Season One of The L Word and the Limits of  Representation.” (co-written with Sal Renshaw, Nipissing University) Media(ted)  Deviance and Social Otherness: Interrogating Influential Representations.  Ed.  Kylo Hart.  Newcastle UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007.
  • “The Burning Bush.”  Her Circle (Fall 2006) The Burning Bush: Fiction by Laura Robinson (short fiction)
  • “Remodeling An Old-Fashioned Girl: Troubling Girlhood in Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees.” Canadian Literature 186 (Fall 2005): 30-45.

Teaching Philosophy:

My primary aim is to encourage critical thinking. All literature is political; all culture has an ideological effect.  I want students to be able to engage critically with the ideologies inherent in literature.  I believe that a mixture of a formal lecture, in which students see one or two particular arguments solidly supported, and a lively discussion, where they can disagree with or expand upon the ideas presented, is integral to learning. The formal lecture demonstrates literary criticism in action and gives them a model for their own arguments, while the discussion exposes students to the joy of exploring the texts themselves and forming their own views. I encourage and engage with the students’ ideas and work with them to determine whether their interpretations can be supported.  To this end, I pose questions to which I provide no conclusive answers, although I may offer conflicting conclusions in order to stimulate debate. It is important that students regard me as an authority on the topic at hand, yet realize that no position, mine included, is authoritative. The classroom is a dynamic arena in which the students learn from me, they learn from each other, and I learn from them. 

Recent Awards:

  • 2010, Honorable Mention for David Adams Richards Prize for the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Literary Competition
  • 2004-05 Nominated, Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award, Nipissing University
  • 2001-02 W.J. Barnes Award for Teaching Excellence. Arts and Science Undergraduate Society: Queen's University, Kingston ON

Courses Taught:

  • ENE385: Introduction to Children’s Literature
  • ENE387: Contemporary Children’s Literature
  • ENE403 Gender and Literature I
  • ENE405 Gender and Literature II