Claude Desmarais, PhD

Assistant Professor (Tenure)

German, Languages and World Literatures
Other Titles: German
Office: CCS 373
Phone: 250.807.8635

Research Summary

Autobiography, Intercultural Studies, Disability Studies, German Studies and the Environment

Courses & Teaching

German Studies/World Literature – German language, literature and culture; world literature in a comparative context, particularly in terms of autobiography; intercultural studies


Born into a French-speaking family, I spent seven years in Germany, studying in Canada at the University of Toronto, and in Germany at the LMU in Munich, the University of Erlangen, and the University of Greifswald. After working at York University and Mount Allison University, I took up this position at UBCO, including as Reichwald Professor for my first four years here.


BA (History/German) University of Toronto, MA (German) University of Toronto, PhD (German) University of Toronto

Selected Publications & Presentations

“The Attempted Murder Scene in Elias Canetti’s Autobiography: A Case Study for Bridging Critics’ Opposing Positions,” Ravenshaw Journal of Literary and Cultural Studies (RJLCS) 8, Special Issue on Life Writing, 2018, 46-61.

“When Worlds Collide: (Auto-)Biography, Truth, Identity and Normalcy in the Case of Elias Canetti,” Writing the Self: Essays on Autobiography and Autofiction (English Studies 5, Södertörns högskola). Stockholm: Elanders, 2015: 81-92.

A Different Germany: Pop and the Negotiation of German Culture. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014. 222 pages; and an Introduction (“Difference: Reading Progress and the Contested Spaces of ‘German’ Popular Culture”), 1-15.

“Ethnicity Frankfurt: David Arjouni’s Kayanka Detective Novels and the Minority Voices in Germany.” Different Germany: Pop and the Negotiation of German Culture. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014: 59-89.

“Creating and Measuring the Effectiveness of a Blended Learning Environment for Beginner- level Language Courses at UBC,” UBC Working Papers in Linguistics, 2014: 57-68. [Alwyn Spies, Ramine Adl, and Desmarais]

Dialogue. Tanya Ury and Claude Desmarasis.” Two Interviews with the artist, by Claude Desmarais. Imaginations (online journal), May 2012.

“Elias and Veza Canetti.” Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century, Sorrel Kerbel, ed. London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003. 109-111.


Revisiting the School of Chartres, by Edouard Jeauneau, translated by Claude Desmarais. (Series: Rethinking the Middle Ages). Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education, 2009, 125 pp.

“The Democratic Welfare State: A European Regime Under the Strain of European Integration.” Translation of Claus Offe, “Der demokratische Wohlfahrtsstaat: Ein europäisches Regime unter dem Druck der europäischen Integration.” (37 pages). Democracy Beyond National Limits. Ed., Centre for International Studies. Toronto: University of Toronto, 2000.

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees

CATG (Canadian Association of University Teachers of German)

PCA    (Popular Culture Association)


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