Jennifer Gustar

(She, Her, Hers)

Associate Professor

Cultural Studies, English, English and Cultural Studies
Office: CCS 338
Phone: 250.807.9384

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Contemporary Women’s Writing; Contemporary British Literature; Black and Minority Ethnic women’s writing (UK); women’s writing from South Asia and the diaspora. Feminist and postcolonial approaches to literature.

Courses & Teaching

ENGL 462/525: Writing as Resistance: Postcolonial Women’s Fiction in the UK; ENGL 221: Foundations: Literature in Historical Context II. British Literature 19th century to the Present


My research aims at better understanding the ways in which contemporary literature engages and reframes questions of history, subjectivity, personal agency, ethics and social change. To this end, I work on a number of different projects which are interrelated in that they move toward answering questions of how the imagination and the works of the imagination intervene in our thinking on ethical practices and provide us with imaginative possibilities for social change. My research is informed by critical, feminist and postcolonial theory and explores the contribution of contemporary women writers, in particular.  I’m currently engaged in two major projects:  one, a co-edited edition of essays on Angela Carter, entitled Laughter and the Ludic:  Play as a Feminist Strategy in the Fictions of Angela Carter. The second project is a book-length study of women writing in Britain today, which explores the work of 5 novelists: Kamila Shamsie, Helen Oyeyemi, Zadie Smith, Bernardine Evaristo, and Andrea Levy.


B.A. and M.A. English, University of Victoria, BC, Ph.D. English, University of Toronto

Selected Publications & Presentations

Book Chapters

Haunting Legacies: The Imbrications of Canadian and Indian History in Anita Rau Badami’s Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?” At the Crossroads of Culture and Literature. Eds. Suchorita Chattopadhyay & Debashree Dattaray. Delhi: Primus Books, 2016.  (101-117). [PRINT] REFEREED.

“Language and the Limits of Desire in the Novels of Jeanette Winterson”. Reading Jeanette Winterson. Ed. Sonya Andremahr. United Kingdom: Continuum, 2006. 23 pages.  [PRINT]. Peer-reviewed.

Journal Articles

“Second-Hand’ and ‘Hardly Used’: Gendered Violence and Rape Culture in Angela Carter’s Shadow Dance.”  Women: A Cultural Review Vol. 26, Issue 4, 2015 (December). (402-426). [PRINT] [ONLINE: March 26, 2016]

“The Tempest in an English Teapot: Colonialism and the Measure of a Man in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth.” Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, Volume 17 Issue 4 (December 2010). [PRINT]

“Text Messaging: Angels and Other Messengers in Elizabeth Knox’s Fiction”. Les Cahiers du CICLaS. Martine Piquet, Editor. Special Issue: New Zealand, the Pacific and France: 15pp.  2008. [PRINT]

“The Body of Romance: Citation and Mourning in Written on the Body“. Aesthethika: International Journal on Culture, Subjectivity and Aesthetics 2.1 (2005): 25 – 41 [ON-     LINE]

“Remembering Cassandra, or Oedipus Gets Hysterical: Contestatory Madness and Illuminating Magic in Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus“. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature. 23.2 (Fall 2004): 339 – 69.   [PRINT]

Exhibition Catalgogue Essay

“Blue Prints for Homework.”  Catalogue Essay for Pulp Fiction Paper Jam, by Carin Covin. Lake Country Art Gallery, August, 2018. (5-17 with       illustrations). [PRINT]

literary Interviews 

“Putting History in Its Place:  An Interview with Bernardine Evaristo” with “Introduction” by the       author. Contemporary Women’s Writing 9:3 (433-448).  [PRINT] [ONLINE May 2015].   Peer-reviewed.

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees

Contemporary Women’s Writing (CWW): Member of the Board

Reviews Editor, Contemporary Women’s Writing

Graduate Supervisions

Jannik Eichenaar. IGS PHD 2015: “The im(proper) name of Salman Rushdie : hybridity, migrancy, and the Rushdie persona.”

Francesca Gimson.  MA English, 2017. “’No One is Condemned to be Changeless’: Rereading Threatened Homespace and Lost Landscape in Sarah Hall’s Lakeland Trilogy.”

Snigdha Maduri.  MA IGS 2012 (co-supervision with J. Leblanc): “Women’s bodies as sites of signification and contestation: an analysis of Deepa Mehta’s critique of narratives of home, nation and belonging in the elemental trilogy.”

Robyn Padwicki.  MA IGS, 2007. “The Future of History: The Fiction of McEwan and Swift.”

Undergraduate Honours Supervisions

Nour Sallam, 2019, (Women Writers of WWII–in progress)

Dana Penney. 2018, “Making Room: Gender, Space, and Place in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.

Elan Paulson, 2004, “A Hybrid Text: Gothic Motifs and Autobiographical Form in Maxine Hong Kingston.”


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