Donald Goellnicht, PhD


Professor, Department of English and Cultural Studies; Director, The Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition
Location: Chester New Hall, Room 225/Gilmour Hall 212    
Phone: 905 525 9140 ext. 23721/23681

  • Research
  • Profile

Asian North American literature and Culture; African American literature; critical race and ethnic studies; diaspora studies; queer studies.

Donald Goellnicht started his academic career as a Romanticist, working primarily on John Keats. In this area, he has published The Poet Physician: Keats and Medical Science (1984) and several essays and journal articles on Keats, and has co-edited (with David L. Clark) New Romanticisms: Theory and Critical Practices (1994). For the last twenty years or more his research interests have shifted to Asian North American and African American literature and culture with a particular focus on the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. He has published essays and articles on the work of such writers as Joy Kogawa, Maxine Hong Kingston, Hisaye Yamamoto, Sky Lee, Fae Myenne Ng, Larissa Lai, Roy Kiyooka, Fred Wah, Winston Kam, Nam Le, and James Weldon Johnson; on African American and Asian American criticism and theory; and on the institutions of Asian American and Asian Canadian literary and cultural studies. He has co-edited with Daniel Coleman a special issue of Essays on Canadian Writing on the topic of "Race" in Canadian culture (2002); with Eleanor Ty, a collection of essays, Asian North American Identities: Beyond the Hyphen (2004); and with Stephen Sohn and Paul Lai, a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies on “Theorizing Asian American Fiction” (2010). His broad interests include critical race studies, diaspora/transnational studies, and queer studies.

Dr. Goellnicht has supervised extensively at the graduate level and most of his PhD students have gone on to tenure-track jobs at universities in Canada, the U.S., and Asia. He received the President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision in 2001 and 2013. Doctoral theses he has supervised recently include: “The Figure of the (Tragic) Mulatto in (South) African Fiction,” “Intimate Reconciliations: Diasporic Genealogies of War and Genocide in Southeast Asia,” and “Teacher, Detective, Witness, Activist: On Pedagogy and Social Justice in Asian Canadian Literature.” He served as Chair of the Department of English and Cultural Studies from 1995 to 2004 and as Associate Dean in the School of Graduate Studies from 2007 to 2013; he held a National Science Council Visiting Research Fellowship at Academia Sinica in Taiwan in 2011; and he is currently Director of the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition at McMaster.