Lorraine York, PhD


Professor of English and Cultural Studies
Senator William McMaster Chair in Canadian Literature and Culture
Location: Chester New Hall, Room 304
Phone: 905 525 9140 ext. 23739

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Contemporary Canadian Literature, celebrity and culture

Lorraine York is a contemporary Canadian literature specialist with a particular interest in theories of celebrity and authorship. Her first book, The Other Side of Dailiness, (ECW Press, 1988) examined the role of photography in postmodern Canadian literature. Front Lines: The Fiction of Timothy Findley (ECW Press, 1991) was a study of systems and discourses of war as intertexts in Findley’s work. She also edited a collection of essays on Margaret Atwood, Various Atwoods, for Anansi Press in 1995. Her book, Rethinking Women’s Collaborative Writing, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2002, reaches beyond Canadian literature to examine the workings of power, difference and property in collaborative works by women in English, American, Italian and French as well as Canadian literary and theoretical texts. Collaborators include: Michael Field, Edith Somerville and Martin Ross, Daphne Marlatt and Betsy Warland, the Milan Women’s Bookstore Collective, Carol Shields and Blanche Howard, Helene Cixous and Catherine Clement, and Suniti Namjoshi and Gillian Hanscombe. Along with Jennifer Blair, Daniel Coleman and Kate Higginson, she coedited ReCalling Early Canada: Reading the Political in Literary and Cultural Production (University of Alberta Press, 2005). Her 2007 book Literary Celebrity in Canada brings theories of celebrity drawn from film and cultural studies to bear on the celebrity of earlier Canadian figures like L.M. Montgomery, Mazo de la Roche, Stephen Leacock, Pauline Johnston, as well as contemporary writers Michael Ondaatje, Carol Shields and Margaret Atwood. It was nominated for the Raymond Klibansky Prize for the best English-language book in the Humanities published that year.  Her most recent book, Margaret Atwood and the Labour of Literary Celebrity appeared with the University of Toronto Press in the spring of 2013 and was shortlisted for the Gabrielle Roy Prize. She is currently working on two books: one on a theory of reluctant celebrity, and one on Nobel Prize-winning author Alice Munro as a reluctant celebrity whose reluctance constructs her as a model citizen of a nation that imagines itself peculiarly resistant to celebrity’s attractions.

Dr. York’s Margaret Atwood and the Labour of Literary Celebrity is reviewed in “Margaret Atwood, Inc.: A subtle examination of being the queen of CanLit” in Maclean’s.
<i>Literary Celebrity in Canada</i> by Lorraine York, a professor of English & Cultural Studies, examines the Canadian author as media star.