Karis Shearer, PhD

Associate Professor

English, English and Cultural Studies, Office of the Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation
Other Titles: Associate Vice-Principal Research and Innovation, pro tem; Principal’s Research Chair (Tier 2) in Digital Arts and Humanities
Office: CCS 162
Phone: 250.807.9776
Email: karis.shearer@ubc.ca

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Modern and contemporary Canadian and American poetry; literary audio; literary archives; media studies; feminist theory; sound studies; oral history; digital humanities; editing and publishing; history of higher education, particularly the development of Creative Writing as an academic discipline in Canadian universities.

Courses & Teaching

English; Digital Arts & Humanities


Karis Shearer is an Associate Professor in English & Cultural Studies at UBCO where her research and teaching focus on literary audio, the literary event, the digital archive, book history, and women’s labour within poetry communities. She is the editor of All These Roads: The Poetry of Louis Dudek (WLUP 2008), and has published essays on Sina Queyras’s feminist blog Lemonhound, George Bowering’s little magazine Imago, and Michael Ondaatje’s The Long Poem Anthology. She is the author of a chapter on gendered labour and the Vancouver Poetry Conference in the book Canlit Across Media: Unarchiving the Literary Event (McGill-Queens UP, 2020) and is co-editor with Deanna Fong of Wanting Everything: The Collected Works of Gladys Hindmarch (Talonbooks, 2020). She also directs the AMP Lab, is a Governing Board member and lead UBCO Researcher for the SpokenWeb SSHRC Partnership Grant. She held the 2010-11 Canada-U.S. Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at Vanderbilt University. Karis led the development of the Digital Arts & Humanities Theme of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program in collaboration with colleagues from multiple departments across two UBC faculties.

In her spare time she is an avid cyclist and enthusiastic age-group triathlete who has completed a number of Ironman races.




PhD, University of Western Ontario, 2008; MA, University of Western Ontario, 2004; BA, McGill University, 2003.

Research Interests & Projects

With Deanna Fong (Concordia U), Karis is pursuing research on gender and affective labour in the Vancouver literary community of the 1960s and 70s, a collaboration which has resulted most recently in a piece called “Gender, Affective Labour, and Community-Building Through Literary Audio Recordings” and Wanting Everything: The Collected Works of Gladys Hindmarch (Talonbooks 2020). Throughout their collaborative work on the literary audio archive, Fong and Shearer attend to the ways tensions around “making public” are often gendered.

She welcomes graduate student supervision inquiries in the following areas especially: literary audio, literary archives, feminist theory, sound studies, digital humanities, literary production, Canadian and American poetry, research creation.

Selected Publications & Presentations


Wanting Everything: The Collected Works of Gladys Hindmarch, Eds. Deanna Fong and Karis Shearer. Talonbooks, 2020.

All These Roads: The Poetry of Louis Dudek. Selected and Edited by Karis Shearer, with a scholarly Introduction by Karis Shearer and an Afterword by Frank Davey. Laurier Poetry Series. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008.

Articles and Chapters

“’It’s all a curious dream’: Nostalgia, Old Media, and the Vancouver Poetry Conference, 1963.” Un-Archiving the Literary Event: CanLit Across Media. Eds. Jason Camlot and Katherine McLeod. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2019. 165-82.

“In Conversation: A Corner is Never a Firm Divide.” With Deanna Fong, Erin Moure, and Al Filreis. The Capilano Review 3, no. 39 (Fall 2019): 93-98.

Gender, Affective Labour, and Community-building through Literary Audio Artifacts.” Deanna Fong and Karis Shearer No More Potlucks 50 (May 2018).  Republished April 21, 2022 with a new introduction in The SpokenWeblog.

“The Novel in English in Canada to 1950.” With Katrina Anderson. The Oxford History of the Novel in English: The World Novel to 1950. Vol. 9. Eds, Ralph Crane, Jane Stafford, and Mark Williams. Oxford University Press, 2016. 137-59.

“’Now back to your stories’: Framing the First Canadian Edition of Alice Munro’s Dance of the Happy Shades.Caliban: French Journal of English Studies 53 (2015): 195-200.

“The Poet-Editor and The Small Press: Michael Ondaatje and The Long Poem Anthology.” Anthologizing Canadian Literature: Theoretical and Cultural Perspectives. Ed. Robert Lecker. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2015. 219-52.

“The Public Reading: A Call for a New Paradigm.” With Erín Moure. Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics. Eds, Bart Vautour, Erin Wunker, Travis V. Mason, and Christl Verduyn. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2014. 271-87.

“‘Faster than a Speeding Thought’: Lemon Hound’s Archive Unleashed.” With Jessica Schagerl. Basements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace: Explorations in the Materiality and Ethics of Canadian Women’s Archives. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012. 47-63.

“Masculinities in Canadian Literature.” With Jane Tolmie. Canadian Perspectives on Men and Masculinities. Ed. Jason Laker. Don Mills ON: Oxford UP, 2012. 92-113.

Imago: The Cultural Work of George Bowering.” Spec. Issue on George Bowering. Ed. Ian Rae. Open Letter 14.4 (2010): 13-29.

“Jane Urquhart: Arbiter of the Aesthetic.” Resurgence in Jane Urquhart’s Oeuvre. Eds, Marta Dvorak and Héliane Daziron-Ventura. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2010. 145-58.

“Digital Translations: A Conversation with Frank Davey.” Interview. Matrix 84 (Fall 2009): 36-39.

“Schlemiel and the Cat in the Hat.”  With Frank Davey.  Spec Issue: Dialogues on Poetics and Public Culture. Open Letter 13.7 (Fall 2008): 72-92.

Gray Literature

Co-author. Felicity Tayler, Marjorie Mitchell, Chantal Ripp, and Pascale Dangoisse. Data Primer: Making Digital Humanities Research Data Public.  Press Books, 2022. SSHRC-funded, peer-reviewed OER.

Lead co-author. The AMP Lab Handbook, 2022.


“Press Play: Making SpokenWeb Research Data Public.” Making Research Data Public: Workshopping Data Curation for Digital Humanities Projects.” Digital Humanities Summer Institute, Technologies East. University of Ottawa (Zoom). 21 and 28 May, 2021.

“Feminist Close Listening in the Audio Archive.” Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, UK.  12 February, 2020.

“’But you can’t put that in a book’: Feminist Close Listening in the SoundBox Collection” with Deanna Fong. TEXT/SOUND/PERFORMANCE: Making in Canadian Space. University College Dublin. Dublin, Ireland. 25-27 April, 2019.

“Pedagogies in the Digital Archive” with Megan Butchart and Amy Thiessen. Sound Pedagogies Panel (co-organizer with Jason Wiens) at TEXT/SOUND/PERFORMANCE: Making in Canadian Space. University College Dublin. Dublin, Ireland. 25-27 April, 2019.

“The Literary Audio Archive: Teaching Poetry Off the Page.” Kanada Konkrete: Material Poetries in the Digital Age. University of Ottawa. May 4-6, 2018.

“Framing Alice Munro.” Journée d’études Alice Munro. L’université Toulouse Jean Jaurès II, Toulouse France. April, 2015.

“Robert Creeley’s Canadian Conversations and the Audio Archive.” With Lee Hannigan. The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900. University of Louisville. 23 February, 2013.

“Daphne Marlatt, Making Public(s).” Approaching the Poetry Series, SpokenWeb colloquium. Concordia University. 4-5 April., 2013

“The Public Poetry Reading: A Call for a New Paradigm.” With Erin Moure. Public Poetics Conference. Mount Allison University. 20-23 September, 2012.


I host and co-produce SoundBox Signals, a podcast that brings literary archival audio to life through close-listening and conversation.

“Is Robin Here?” is our latest episode. Have a listen!

Selected Grants & Awards

UBCO Excellence Fund (2019-2021)

Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant (2019-2020)

Humanities and Social Sciences Small Research Grant (2019-2020)

Raymond Klibansky McGill University Library Fellowship (2019)

FCCS Teaching Innovation Award (2013)

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2008-2010)

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship (2005-2008)


Current Primary Graduate Supervisions

Ahlam Bavi. Ph.D. Digital Arts & Humanities Theme. (Co-supervision with Dr. Hussein Keshani). “Including Blind and Partially-Sighted Museum Visitors with 3D Printing.”

Ahlam Bavi’s doctoral research is supported by a PRC Doctoral Fellow position.

Sarah Cipes. Ph.D. Digital Arts & Humanities Theme. “Canned Laughter: Technology and Gender in Audience Perception of Humour”

Sarah Cipes’s research is supported by a PRC Doctoral Fellow position and a SpokenWeb SSHRC RAship.

Jon Corbett. Ph.D. Digital Arts & Humanities Theme. (Co-supervision with Dr. Christine Schreyer). “Ancestral Code: Towards an Indigenous Computing Framework.”

Jon Corbett’s doctoral research is supported by a SSHRC Joseph Armand Bombardier Doctoral Fellowship, NIB Trust Fund scholarship, First Peoples’ Fellowship, and UBC Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship.

Erin Scott. Ph.D. Digital Arts & Humanities Theme. (Co-supervision with Dr. Emily Christina Murphy).Tuineadair: Mobilizing Research-Creation to Reconcile Disparate Identities as a Settler Canadian.”

Erin Scott’s doctoral research is supported by a BC Arts Council Award, a British Columbia Graduate Scholarship, and a PRC Fellow position.

Completed Primary Graduate Supervisions

Judith Burr. M.A. Digital Arts & Humanities Theme. 2022. (Co-supervision with Dr. Greg Garrard). “Listening to Fire Naturecultures: A Feminist Academic Podcast of Fire Knowledges in the Okanagan Valley.” Listen to Judith Burr’s academic podcast.

Judith Burr’s research was supported by a SpokenWeb SSHRC PG RAship and the NFRF Living with Wildfire grant. She is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at UBC’s Vancouver campus.

Yasaman Lotfizadeh. M.A. Digital Arts & Humanities Theme, 2022. (Co-supervision with Dr. Hussein Keshani). “Representing Nature in a Khamseh of Nezami Illustrated Manuscript.”

Yasaman Lotfizadeh is now Department Head and Lead Instructor at the Centre for Arts & Technology in Kelowna, B.C.

Mathieu Aubin. Ph.D. IGS, 2019. “Here and Queer in Vancouver: Queer Poetry, Small Presses, and the Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement, 1963-1989.”

Mathieu Aubin’s PhD research was supported by a SSHRC doctoral fellowship, Graduate Dean’s Entrance Fellowship, Kent Haworth Archival Research Fellowship, and R. Howard Webster Foundation Fellowship. He held a Horizon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Concordia University, was Senior Research Associate at HESA, and now works as Business Development Specialist with Mitacs.

Caitlin Voth. M.A. English Independent Research Paper. 2018. “Mutilated Book Objects: The Artist’s Book as Feminist Rewriting of the Conventional Book Form.”

Caitlin Voth is the Graduate Awards and Projects Officer in the College of Graduate Studies at UBC Okanagan.

Cole Mash. M.A. IGS, 2018. (Co-supervision with Anne Fleming). “The ’59 Sound: A Fictional Historiography of the TISH Poetry Movement.”

Cole Mash is presently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University, co-executive director of the Inspired Word Café, and member of the SpokenWeb research partnership.

Undergraduate Honours Supervisions

Amy Thiessen. Honours English Thesis, 2020. “My woods are charred”: An Ecocritical Study of Sharon Thesen’s “The Fire.”

Thiessen’s thesis was awarded the HSBC Bank of Canada Prize offered in memory of the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire. She recently completed her B.Ed. at UBC Okanagan and teaches in SD23.

Megan Butchart. Honours English Thesis, 2020. “A Re-Centering of Student Experience at the 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference”

Megan Butchart is presently an M.A. English student at the University of Alberta.

Caitlin Voth. Honours English Thesis, 2017. “Comparing Impressions: The Canadian Small and Private Press.”

Brittney Broder. Honours English Thesis, 2014. “A New Language for Writing Sustainability On and Off the Page in Expressway by Sina Queyras and Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists by a.rawlings.”


The SpokenWeb Podcast: Changing How We Look at Literature and Research.” By Rachel Pickard. The Phoenix. September, 2021

UBCO students, professors podcast about half-century-old artistic recordings.” 18 May, 2020.

“’The staying power of analog magnetic tape’: Lee Hannigan Alumni Spotlight.” Our Stories: UBC Okanagan. 17 January, 2020.

UBC, Exeter collaborate in the study of Digital Humanities.” 20 March, 2019.

Protecting access to archival audio.” KelownaNow, 21 November, 2017.

Summer literary institute gives insider perspective on writing, editing.”  UBC Okanagan News, 17 July, 2014.

Canada’s top poets read from their work at UBC event.” UBC Okanagan News, 29 July, 2013.

UBC Hosts ‘Editing Modernism On and Off the Page.’” FCCS News, 10 July, 2013.

Breaking the Classroom’s Fourth Wall.” The McGill Daily. 1 October, 2009: 12.


Creative-Critical Exchanges: A Conversation with Deanna Fong and Karis Shearer about their recent edition of writing by Gladys Hindmarch.” Interview by Eric Schmaltz. The Angle: ACCUTE Newsletter. Winter (2021): 15-19

Teaching the Poetic Event,” appears on the prominent American site The Poetry Foundation in the Harriet blog

“Women in Art: Karis Shearer on curating the canon and collaborating with new Canadian writers.” Kick Action “Women in Art Series.”


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