Eleanor Ty is Professor of English at Laurier and writes on novels, memoirs, films, and graphic narratives by contemporary writers. She has published eleven books: on Canadian literature, cultural memory, Asian American and Asian Canadian writing, and 18th century British women novelists. Her chapters and articles engaged with questions of gender, identity, trauma, abjection, digital media, youth, diaspora, and life writing. She is fond of BBC dramas, Netflix shows, and Jane Austen.
Her new book, Asianfail: Narratives of Disenchantment and the Model Minority (2017) looks at how a new generation of Asian Americans and Asian Canadians struggle with the expectations, work ethic and self-sacrifice of their parents. Rejecting an ethos obsessed with professional status and accruing money, the protagonists of recent narratives are disenchanted with their lives and seek fulfillment by prioritizing relationships, personal growth, and cultural success, questioning outmoded notions of the "model minority." It was awarded best adult non-fiction book for 2017 by APALA: Asian Pacific American Librarians Association.
Ty has been awarded Laurier's University Research Professor in 2015. The recipient of four Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council research grants and two SSHRC conference grants, she has been a visiting professor at Universität Trier, Philipps-Universität Marburg and the University of Saarland, Saarbrücken in Germany.
In 2017 she served as Program Co-Chair for the Association for Asian American Studies (Portland 2017); has served as Academic Co-Convenor of Congress 2012; Chair of the Department of English and Film Studies from 2004-2009; Graduate Officer for the Department of English, 2000-2003; Women’s Studies Program Coordinator, 2000-2003; and President of the Canadian Association of Chairs of English from 2008-2009.
Ty's undergraduate courses include Enriched Literary Studies, Growing Up Canadian, Life Writing and Digital Media, Globality and 21st Century Narratives, Contemporary British Novels, 18th Century Literature, The Monsters We Imagine, Reading Fiction, Diasporic Cinema, Literary Theory, The Novel After 1900, Asian Canadian Literature, Survey of Major British Authors. Her graduate seminars include The Graphic Novel, Canadian Literary Pluralities, Asian American Narratives.
My recent research has focused on Asian Americans and Asian Canadians and the ways their narratives (novels, films, memoirs) represent their diasporic identities. Some of the topics I have worked on include memory, invisibility, globalization, second-generation immigrants and failure. Before 2000, I worked on late 19th-century British women writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Hays, Amelia Opie, Elizabeth Inchbald and others. I looked at how these female authors used the sentimental novel to recast stereotypes of the feminine – the seduced woman, the passive wife, or the obedient daughter — and how their novels empower women. I have published 11 books to date (5 monographs and 6 edited volumes).
I have research assistantship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in contemporary ethnic American and Canadian literature and culture. In the past, I have hired student assistants to help me with organizing conferences, editing and proofreading book manuscripts, and compiling bibliographies. Contact me for more information.
I am willing to supervise graduate students in 20th-century and contemporary literature and culture, especially those focusing on questions of ethnicity, gender, race, life writing, popular genres, memory and identity. In addition, 18th-century British literature, especially fiction by women, remains an area of interest for me.
The Graphic Novel (EN 692A)
Canadian Literary Pluralities (EN 636)
Feminist Theory and Women’s Writing (EN 610)
Voices of the Diaspora: Contemporary Asian North American Writers (EN 641)
Revolutionary Feminism: Women Novelists of the 1790s (En 609)
Precarious Worlds: 21st Century British Fiction (EN 309s)
Life Writing and Digital Media (EN 420A)
Globality in 21st Century Narratives (EN 460q)
Growing Up Canadian Narratives (AF 101Q)
The Monsters We Imagine (AF 101Y)
Enriched Literary Studies (EN 165)
Literature and Crime (EN 111)
Reading Fiction (EN 119)
English Literary Tradition II: Post 1660 (EN 246)
Women Novelists of the 1790s (EN 410f)
Asian Canadian Literature and Film (EN 460G)
Diasporic Cinema (FS 343R): Atom Egoyan, Deepa Mehta, Ang Lee
Literary Theory (EN 291)
Feminist Theory and Critical Practice: Fiction by Minority Women (EN 325)
Restoration and 18th-Century Literature (EN 388, EN 355)
Women and Identity (WS 201)
18th and 19th Century Novel (EN 345)
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