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Conferences & lectures

Four Alumni, Four Exciting and Diverse Books

A conversation with Department of English graduates

Date & time
Thursday, November 16, 2023
4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

University Advancement


J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Wheel chair accessible


Join Francesca Scala, associate dean of graduate studies at the Faculty of Arts and Science, for an engaging panel discussion with four researchers and authors — all graduates of the Department of English — on the changing landscape and process of literary scholarly formation.

They will discuss their research as well as their recent works, ranging from art hoaxes, modernism and self-help, the language politics of Kerouac’s French and the beginning of environmental awareness in nineteenth-century literature.

Marcie Frank, professor, and Jason Camlot, professor and Concordia University Research Chair (Tier I) in Literature and Sound Studies, will moderate the discussion.


  • Heather Jessup, MA 06, assistant professor of English, Dalhousie University
  • Beth Blum, BA 05, Harry K. Weston associate professor of the Humanities, Harvard University
  • Jean-Christophe Cloutier, BA 05, associate professor of English and comparative literature, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jayne Hildebrand, MA 10, assistant professor of English, Barnard College

This will be a hybrid event. A Zoom link will be shared with registrants.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. If you require disability-related accommodations, please contact by November 14 to allow us time to coordinate your request.

Heather Jessup, MA 06

Assistant professor of English, Dalhousie University

Woman in black and brown patterned top

Heather teaches courses in creative writing and literature. Her most recent book, This is not a Hoax: Unsettling Truth in Canadian Culture (2019) is about hoaxes and the art world in Canada.


Beth Blum, BA 05

Harry K. Weston associate professor of the Humanities, Harvard University

Woman discussing her book at a microphone

In 2020, Beth published The Self-Help Compulsion: Searching for Advice in Modern Literature, which looks at the surprising convergence of the discourses of self-improvement to be found in popular handbooks and in the domain of high literature.

Jean-Christophe Cloutier, BA 05

Associate professor of English and comparative literature, University of Pennsylvania

Man in plaid shirt and navy vest

Jean-Christophe's 2019 book, Shadow Archives: The Lifecycles of Africa American Literature, won the first book prize from the Modernist Studies Association, among other prizes. He edited the comprehensive edition of Jack Kerouac’s writings in French and is completing a book about Kerouac and the archives. He will speak mainly about his recent edition of Sur le chemin (which translates to “on the path” or “on the road”), Kerouac’s longest manuscript written in Canuck French, a language akin to Québécois French. The book was just released by Gallimard this October.

Jayne Hildebrand, MA 10

Assistant professor of English, Barnard College

Woman in front of bookshelf

Jayne specializes in nineteenth-century English literature and the history of science.  She will use her new book, Novel Environments: Science, Description, and Victorian Fiction (2023) to focus on the account of her formation as a researcher.

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