About Us
Veronica Austen
Veronica Austen
Associate Dean
Department of English

Associate Professor


PhD, University of Waterloo

MA, University of Waterloo

BA Honours, University of Guelph




SH 2202
Veronica Austen

Coming to St. Jerome's University as a specialist in Postcolonial and Canadian Literature represents a bit of a homecoming for me. Not only did I take ENGL 316: Canadian Drama at St. Jerome's University from Dr. Ted McGee as I was deciding if I'd pursue graduate work, but also my first term as a graduate student brought me to St. Jerome's University for a course in Canadian Poetry. Much of my current work both as a researcher and a teacher has been inspired by those early experiences. 


If I had to pick, I’d say poetry is my favourite genre to study (and to write), but my interests tend to be rather broad. My MA thesis dealt with representations of the supernatural in Canadian Children’s Literature (likely a bit inspired by the popularity of The X-Files at the time, I’m afraid) and my PhD dissertation focused on the use of visual experimentation by poets of the Caribbean diaspora (e.g., Claire Harris and M. NourbeSe Philip). I’m a bit artistic, with an undergraduate minor in Fine Arts, so my work in literary studies often deals with intersections between the visual arts and literature. My current project examines how the visual arts are used in contemporary Canadian literature to explore experiences of (un)belonging. I also very much value Canadian literature as something we live in the midst of; it surrounds us if we let it. As co-organizer of St. Jerome’s University's Reading Series, which brings Canadian writers to campus for readings, I hope to play a part in letting Canadian literature have a recognized and appreciated place among us.


The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.



“‘If I can make it there . . .’: Jann Arden’s American Dream.” Get Away From Me: Canadian Pop Music and American Culture. Ed. Tristanne Connolly and Tomoyuki Iino. Palgrave, 2017. 217-239.



Austen, Veronica J. "A Poetics of Elsewhere." Canadian Literature, no. 247 (2022): 176-83.


Austen, Veronica & Sylvia Terzian. “Locating the Traveller: Genni Gunn and Nostalgia on the Move.” Patterns of Nostos in Italian Canadian Narratives. Ed.  Gabriel Niccoli. Spec. issue of Italian Canadiana, Volume 35 (2021): 223-238. [Forthcoming]


 “Self-consumption and Compromised Re-birth in Dabydeen’s ‘Turner.’” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 3.2 (2016): 1-13.


“Spaces of Agency: Installation Art in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For.” Canadian Literature 223 (2014): 67-83.


“Empathetic Engagement in Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying.” Ariel: A Review of International English Literature 44.2-3 (2013): 29-57.


“Photography as Failed Prosthetic Self-Creation in the Writing of Dionne Brand.” MaComère 14.1-2 (2013-14): 43-61.


Zong!’s ‘Should We?’: Questioning the Ethical Representation of Trauma.” English Studies in Canada 37.3-4 (2011): 61-81.   



“Austerity and the Alt-Ac.” Introduction. Co-authored with Clint Burnham. English Studies in Canada 39.4 (2013): 1-3. 


Co-creation in an Uncertain World.” Interview of M. NoubeSe Philipco-authored with Phanuel Antwi. Jacket2 17 September 2013. Web.    


“’Haven’t We Heard this all Before?’: Contingent Faculty and the Unchanging Times.” English Studies in Canada  37.1 (2011): 13-16.



UW/SSHRC Research Incentive Fund Award-Insight Development Grant: “Artful (Un) Belonging: Expressing Racialization through the Visual Arts in Contemporary Canadian Literature” (2017-2018)
UW/SSHRC Seed Grant: "The Visual Arts and Racial/Cultural Otherness in Contemporary Canadian Literature" (2016-2018)
Faculty Research Grant – St. Jerome’s University (2013-2014)


SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship (2002-2005)
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2002-2003)
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2001-2002)


ENGL 101A: Introduction to Literary Studies

ARTS 130: Inquiry and Communication [Topic: Hungry I's]

ENGL 208M: Travel Literature

ENGL 213/LS 292: Literature and the Law

ENGL 318: Contemporary Canadian Literature

ENGL 322: Postcolonial Literature of the Americas

ENGL 486: Topics in Literatures Modern to Contemporary

ENGL 795: Studies in Selected Topics [Topic: Monstrous Hunger/Hungry Monsters]


Canadian literature

Caribbean literature

Diaspora studies

Contemporary poetry and poetics

Visual arts in literature


The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.


St. Jerome's University

President – Academic Staff Association (2017-2019)

Co-Organizer of Reading Series with Tristanne Connolly (2010-present)


University of Waterloo

Appointed Member – Senate Undergraduate Council (2016-2018)