Lakehead Orillia professor named Fulbright research chair

A Lakehead University professor is the recipient of a Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). The Canadian Studies Program is an interdisciplinary campus initiative to promote research on and instruction of Canada. The four-month post started in January.

At the California campus, Dr. Cheryl Lousley, associate professor of English and interdisciplinary studies at Lakehead Orillia, will take a look into the ways in which environmental concerns have been woven into the narrative of Canadian fiction. Her research will focus on the study of contemporary Canadian novels and short stories.

“We talk about a number of great losses and sacrifices made in the development of our country, such as during war, but environmental losses, such as from polluted waterways, mining and climate change, do not tend to have the same profile and public memory,” Lousley said, in a news release. “We always think that environmental problems are going to come in the future and that contributes to us carrying on in denial of climate change.”

In particular, Lousley hopes her research will unveil the ways that different Canadian contemporary writers have been intervening in the narrative of Canada by the way in which they talk about our environmental past – writing stories back into awareness so that we can remember the ecological suffering that also happened during the development of our nation.

“It’s a great honour and I’m very excited,” she added. “UCSB has a centre for literature and environmental research that brings together faculty from a variety of fields and departments, so I’m looking forward to developing further international collaboration with colleagues in my field.

Lousley began her career at Lakehead University in January 2011. Previously, she has been a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Munich, Germany, and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Leeds (UK). She received her PhD in 2006 in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and her Master of Arts at the University of Toronto. She is also the editor of the Environmental Humanities series with Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Fulbright Canada is a foundation administering educational exchange between Canada and the United States. Their mandate is to identify the best and brightest minds in both countries and engage them in residential academic exchange.

Photo courtesy of Lakehead University

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