Melissa Jacques, PhD

Associate Professor of Teaching

English, English and Cultural Studies, Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
Office: CCS 172
Phone: 250.807.9573

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Trauma theory; queer theory; popular culture (crime fiction and graphic memoir); life writing and creative non-fiction; Holocaust Studies; the scholarship of teaching and learning; narrative medicine/medical humanities

Courses & Teaching

English; composition and rhetoric; critical theory; cultural theory; popular culture; graduate studies (ENGL and IGS)


As a first-generation university graduate who grew up in an isolated community in Northern Manitoba, Melissa Jacques understands both the value of a university education and the challenges faced by many students entering the academy. This dual perspective informs both her teaching and her research. During her PhD, she wrote a dissertation that read experimental representations of the Holocaust through the lens of trauma theory. She has taken this interest in trauma and its aftermath into her research and her teaching of popular texts, including vampire narratives and crime fiction. She is currently developing courses in Narrative Medicine, and is especially interested in the sub-field of Graphic Medicine. In addition to her academic work, she also writes and publishes creative nonfiction. She is the recipient of four teaching awards.


PhD, English, University of Alberta; MA, English, UBC Vancouver; BA, English, UBC Vancouver

Selected Publications & Presentations

“Call and Response.” Malahat Review, no. 170, 2010, pp. 29-34. (Winner of the Open Season Award for nonfiction; nominated by Malahat Review for a National Magazine Award.)

“Authentic Imposters: Molding the Mini-Me.” On Site, no. 23, 2010, p. 26. (Cultural Criticism)

“Making, Cruising, Dwelling: Motion as Shelter in the Work of David Wojnarowicz.”Performance Research, vol. 10, no. 4, 2005, pp. 155-169.

“Marrow: 1-9.” Tessera, nos. 33/34, 2003, pp. 71-80. (Creative Nonfiction)

“The Indignity of Speaking: The Poetics of Representation in Erin Mouré’s ‘Seebe.’” Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents, Reviews, no. 47, 2000, pp. 70-83.

Recent Conference Presentations

“After the End: Interminable Grief in the Graphic Memoirs of Anders Nilsen.” Chronicity and Crisis, Montclair State University. October 2019.

“Maureen and Melancholia: Violence, Misogyny, and Power in the Garnethill Trilogy.” Captivating

Criminality 4, Bath Spa University, July 2017.

“The Ballad of the Carrot and the Stick (or, the Uncanny Vicissitudes of Tenure).” Precarious Academic Labour in the Age of Neo-Liberalism. Okanagan College, Kelowna, BC, May 5-6, 2017.

“Narrative Reciprocity as Pedagogy.” CAWS Spring Colloquium, Campus Alberta Writing Studies, University of Calgary, April 28, 2017.

“Mid-Century Modern and the Aesthetics of Fascism.” Noir in the North, Centre for Studies in Memory and Literature, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, November 16-17, 2016.

“Narrative Knowledge as Practice in the Nursing Classroom,” The European Conference on Education. Brighton, UK, June 29-July 3, 2016

Graduate Supervisions

Kyla Morris, “Mirrors, Medusas, and Mad Mothers: Theorizing Heterotopic Motherhood in Angela Carter,” MA Thesis, co-supervised with Dr. George Grinnell, 2019-21.

Grace Cleveland, “Unsettling Pedagogies,” MA IRP, co-supervised with Dr. Allison Hargreaves, 2014.

Undergraduate Honours Supervisions

Alexandria Hofer, “Genre, Gender, and Trauma in Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” 2017.

Gillianne Hardy-Legault, “Creating Culture through Commodities: Identity Formation in High Fidelity and Confessions of a Shopaholic,” 2018.

Selected Grants & Awards

2015              FCCS Award for Excellence in Teaching, UBC Okanagan

2010              The Malahat Review’s Open Season Award for Creative Nonfiction

2009              William Hardy Alexander Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, University of Alberta (one granted per year, across the university)

2009              Faculty of Arts Contract Instructor Teaching Award, University of Alberta

2003              Faculty of Arts Graduate Student Teaching Award, University of Alberta

2000-2001         Province of Alberta Graduate Fellowship, University of Alberta

1998-2000         SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, University of Alberta

1998-2000         Honorary Izaak Killam Memorial Fellowship, University of Alberta

1998-2000         Walter H. Johns Graduate Fellowship, University of Alberta

1996-1998         Province of Alberta Graduate Fellowship, University of Alberta

1996-1998         University of Alberta PhD Scholarship

1995-1996         University of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship


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