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Department of English and Cultural Studies, EnglishOther Titles: English
Office: CCS 334
Canadian literature; colonial history; prairie settler narratives; racial stereotypes and postcolonial studies; embodied and phenomenological approaches to life writing; composition theory and practice; scholarship on teaching and learning.
Courses & Teaching
ENGLISH 009: Preparation for University Writing, ENGLISH 112: Studies in Composition
Shirley McDonald combines her interests in composition theory and practice, Canadian literature and history, life writing, social justice, and environmental sustainability, in the delivery of writing instruction and literature in the classroom.
BA Okanagan University College, MA University of Calgary, PhD University of Alberta
Research Interests & Projects
My current research explores the efficacy of a systematic, practice-based, contextualized approach that integrates writing, research, grammar, and documentation instruction using low-stakes exercises and a customized booklet. My research is built on the hypothesis that students learn best how to choose, use, and document sources, not by memorizing forms out of context, but by experiential learning, that is, by working with documentation forms in context-based practical exercises.
Selected Publications & Presentations
McDonald, Shirley A. and Bob Barnetson, editors. Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism. University of Alberta Press, 2016.
Articles and Chapters:
“Embodied Foundations of Canadian Prairie Settler Life Writing.” A/B Auto/biography Studies, Vol. 33, Issue 1, 2018, pp. 135-56. doi.org/10.1080/08989575.2016.1180035
“Review of Cole Harris’s Ranch in the Slocan.” BC Studies: The British Columbia Quarterly Journal, No. 198, Summer 2018.
“Seeking Enchantment: Donna Kane’s Summer of the Horse.” BC Studies: The British Columbia Quarterly Journal, No. 198, Summer 2018, pp. 187-88.
“Georgic Themes and Myths of Entitlement in the History and the Life Writing of Prairie Settlers.” In Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism, edited by Shirley A. McDonald and Bob Barnetson, University of Alberta Press, 2016.
Dunlop, Darlene, and Shirley A. McDonald. “The Personal Experiences of an Alberta Farm Worker and Activist.” In Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism, edited by Shirley A. McDonald and Bob Barnetson, University of Alberta Press, 2016.
“Imagining the Canadian Agrarian Landscape: Prairie Settler Life Writing as Colonial Discourse.” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, Vol. 46, Issue 4, 2015, pp. 155–183.
“Finding Common Ground: Disarticulation in the Poetry of Erin Mouré.” English Studies in Canada, Vol. 41, Issue 2-3, 2015, pp. 109-31.
“Settler Life Writing, Georgic Traditions, and Models of Environmental Sustainability.” Special issue on the Nature of Canadian Studies in the American Review of Canadian Studies Vol. 45, Issue 3, 2015, pp. 283-298. DOI: 10.1080/02722011.2015.1064458.
“Canadian Prairie Settler Life Writing and Equestrianship as Acts of Governance on the Canadian Prairies.” Australasian Canadian Studies, Vol. 30, Issue 1-2, 2012 pp. 145-74.
“‘Sandra Lee Scheuer’: Silenced Voices.” In Gary Geddes: Essays on His Work, edited by Robert May, Guernica Editions, 2009, pp. 69-104.
“The Sheppard Journals: Imaginary Cowboys and Indians on the Canadian Prairie.” Prairie Forum Vol. 32, Issue 2, 2008, pp. 275-96.
“The Sheppard Journals: Gender Division of Labour on a Southern Alberta Ranch.” Prairie Forum, Vol. 26, Issue 1, 2001, pp. 47-66.
“Pears” and “The Turning.” (poems) The New Quarterly: New Directions in Canadian Writing, Vol. 18, Issue 2, 2001, pp. 167-69.
“Imperfect Ice/Turbulent Mirror: Chaos Theory and bpNichol’s Inchoate Road.” Allegheny Review: A National Journal of Undergraduate Literature, Vol. 14, 1996, pp. 14-20.
“Out of Time.” (short story) In Chasing Halley’s Comet: Winners of the Federation of BC Writers’ Festival Competition, edited by Martha Royea and Joni Miller, Laughing Willow Books, 1995, pp. 155-62.
Selected Grants & Awards
2014-2016 Centre for Teaching and Learning – University of British Columbia Okanagan Innovations in Teaching and Learning Research Grant; Co-investigator; Stopping Plagiarism Before It Starts: Minimizing Inadvertent Plagiarism By First and Second Year Students Through Enculturation. Funding Amount: $4,957
2005-2006 Roger Soderstrom Award of Distinction, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation; Principal Investigator; The Sheppard Journals, Transcription and Textual Editing. Funding Amount: $3,000
2000-2001 Roger Soderstrom Award of Distinction, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation; Principal Investigator; The Sheppard Journals, Transcription and Textual Editing. Funding Amount: $3,000
Awards & Distinctions
2018 FCCS Teaching Excellence Award
2016 FCCS Innovative Teaching Award