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Faculty and Staff

Humanities Faculty

Humanities General Office: AQ 5112
Telephone: 778-782-4094 Fax: 778-782-4504

Eleanor (Ellie) Stebner  

Department Chair
Associate Professor and J.S. Woodsworth Chair
BA (U of A), MDiv (Moravian), MA (Marquette), PhD (Northwestern)

Eleanor Stebner teaches courses on religion, culture, and ideas; taught at the Chicago Theological Seminary and the University of Winnipeg Faculty of Theology before coming to SFU. Publications focus on women and religion, Jane Addams, and movements for social change. She is currently pondering the texts and lives of select Nobel Peace laureates.



Ian Angus
BA, MA Waterloo, PhD York

Ian Angus teaches modern European thought and Canadian intellectual history. He teaches in both these areas in the Humanities Department. In 2007 and 2008 he was Director of the Prague Field School, which is based in the Humanities Department. His intellectual formation began with the 20th century European philosophies of phenomenology and the Frankfurt school of critical theory. His first book, Technique and Enlightenment (1984) probed the historical sources of the ‘instrumental reason’ that legitimates the modern advance of technology and argued for a form of technology assessment that is not only ethical but pertains also to the construction of human identity. A significant turn in Angus’ work occurred when he began a critical engagement with the history of English Canadian social and political thought, which resulted in A Border Within: National Identity, Cultural Plurality and Wilderness (1997), which was widely reviewed in both the academic and popular press. (Dis)figurations: Discourse/Critique/Ethics (2000), Primal Scenes of Communication: Communication, Consumerism, Social Movements (2000), and Emergent Publics: An Essay on Social Movements and Democracy (2001)—have presented his positions with regard to contemporary political philosophy and communication theory. His most recent book Identity and Justice was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2008.



Paul Crowe
Associate Professor (joint appointment with Asia-Canada Program)

BA, MA (Calgary), MA, PhD (UBC)

I am very interested in how we can create space for intercultural conversation and mutual understanding through encounters with great texts of Asia. In the courses I teach, time is spent reflecting on the challenges associated with translating important terms and the value of this process for bringing to light our hidden cultural assumptions. The basic cultural categories of “religion” and “philosophy” as constructed in Asia, and Europe and North America are very different and this fact becomes obvious in seminar discussions. In the Humanities and Asia-Canada courses I teach, students are encouraged to engage in interdisciplinary discussion and to write papers that explore humanistic themes across cultures.

My work is in the dual domains of classical Chinese Daoist, Buddhist and literati ("Confucian") texts, and the study of modern Chinese religious institutions in Canada and Hong Kong. Presently my research is divided between two major projects: The first is an English translation of a seminal thirteenth century Daoist inner alchemy (neidan) text based on the version included in the fifteenth-century Zhengtong Daoist Canon. This work will provide insight into the dynamic and complex religious and intellectual interplay of ideas among Yuan dynasty elites during a time when the Mongol minority had taken control of China. The second project, in its early stages, will lead to to a book on the history of a small network of Daoist organizations in Canada and Hong Kong. Preliminary work was begun in Hong Kong in the summers of 2008 and 2011, which included interviews, participant observation and the gathering of many "spirit writing" texts. These are new scriptures recorded by individuals, usually women, who are able to communicate with popular deities. While in a deep meditative state texts are "dictated" in a ritual context and written in sand before transcription to paper. Based on my translation work, interviews and participation in Daoist ritual the book will examine the literature, liturgy and institutional configuration of these groups in Hong Kong and Canada and examine both continuities and innovation in light of the history of migration. This work will provide a rich portrait of these groups which will shed light on how varying historical circumstances of successive waves of migration to Canada affect adaptation, broad social engagement and spiritual practice. 

Publications details at Academia.edu.
AQ 5114


Stephen Duguid

BA (Illinois), MA, PhD (SFU)

Areas of Teaching: enlightenment studies, educational evaluation, culture and ecology
Curriculum Vitae
AQ 5116


Paul Edward Dutton, FRSC
Jack and Nancy Farley University Professor in History

B.A. (Hons.) UWO, MA PhD Toronto, MSL MSD Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.

Areas of Teaching: Western Civilization, Medieval Studies, Carolingian Civilization, Twelfth-Century-Renaissance, History of the Book. Research: seven books published, editor of three series. Currently preparing a textbook on western civilization, making a critical edition of William of Conches's twelfth-century Philosophia, and writing a book of micro-medieval studies.

AQ 5125



Anne-Marie Feenberg-Dibon

Graduate Chair

PhD (University of California, San Diego). Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees (University of Paris)
Areas of Teaching: the Enlightenment, 19th & 20th c. European fiction, history

AQ 5111


Samir Gandesha 
Associate Professor

Director, Institute for the Humanities

BA (UBC), MA, PHD (York)

Samir Gandesha was a SSHRCC post-doctoral fellow at UC (Berkeley) in 1995-6 and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Potsdam in 2001-2, before joining the faculty of the Humanities department at SFU in 2003. He specializes in modern European thought and culture, with a particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. His work has appeared in Political Theory, New German Critique, Kant Studien, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Topia, the European Legacy, the European Journal of Social Theory, Art Papers, the Cambridge Companion to Adorno and Herbert Marcuse: A Critical Reader as well as in several other edited books. He sits on the steering committee of the Institute for the Humanities and is director of SFU’s Prague Field School.

AQ 5113


Tsuyoshi Kawasaki
Associate Professor 
(Asia Canada Program, joint appointment with Political Science)

LLB (Doshisha), MA (Toronto), MA, PhD (Princeton)

Areas of teaching: Japanese culture, politics and economy, Asia-Canada interaction

AQ 6037



Shuyu Kong
Associate Professor (joint appointment with Asia-Canada Program)
BA and MA, Peking University; Ph.D, University of British Columbia

Before joining Humanities SFU in 2008, Shuyu Kong taught at the University of British Columbia, University of Alberta and University of Sydney. Her teaching areas include Chinese literature, film and popular culture, as well as Asia-Canada Studies. Shuyu’s research interests encompass both Chinese literary and cultural studies and Chinese diaspora studies. Besides numerous articles in referred journals such as Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, Asian Cinema, China Journal, and Modern Chinese Literature & Culture, Shuyu is the author of two books Consuming Literature: Bestsellers and the Commercialization of Literary Production in Contemporary China (Stanford University Press, 2005), and Popular Media, Social Emotion and Public Discourse in Contemporary China (Routledge, 2014).  She is also co-translator of Beijing Women (with Colin S. Hawes, Merwin Asia, 2013). Shuyu’s current research project focuses on Chinese-language television in Canada.

Publications details at Academia.edu (http://sfu.academia.edu/shuyukong)
homepage (http://www.sfu.ca/~shuyuk/)
AQ 5121


David Mirhady
(On Leave)
BA, MA UBC, PhD Rutgers, in Classics

David Mirhady teaches courses on the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, including Classical Mythology, an Introduction to the Ancient World, and courses on key moments and texts from ancient Athens and Rome. His research interests have mainly focused on ancient Athenian law and rhetoric and on the “School of Aristotle”. He published Influences on Peripatetic Rhetoric in 2007.




Emily O'Brien
Associate Professor
 (joint appointment with History)

BA (UofT), MA, PhD (Brown)

Renaissance Italy is the focus of Emily’s teaching in the Humanities Department and her central field of research. She teaches both lecture and seminar courses on Italian Renaissance art and literature (HUM 211, 311 and 312-W). Her research centers primarily on fifteenth-century Italian humanism and on the extensive writings of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (later Pope Pius II, 1458-64). She has published articles on Pius’s literary and historical works and is currently completing her book manuscript on his autobiography and a Latin-English edition of his and other humanists’ novelle. Her new research project focuses on Renaissance Italian historical epics.








Teresa Kirschner

Antonio Gomez-Moriana

Kathy Mezei mezei@sfu.ca

Jan Walls

Jerald Zaslove


Christine Jones MA, PhD (McGill)
Areas of teaching: religion and culture; philosophy of literature

Peter Kingsley



  Yosef Wosk



Lynn Elen Burton

Publications and Speeches

Dolores Clavero 

Donald Grayston

Laurence Kitching
Thalia-Germanica website 

Mary-Ann Stouck





































































































































































Humanities Staff




Alice Muir-Hartley
Manager, Academic & Administrative Services
Student Advisor

AQ 5115

Drop-In Advising Hours:
Alice is currently on leave. Please contact Tracey Anbinder at hummgr@sfu.ca for advising.

Students must bring an up-to-date printout of their Advising Transcript (available on the Student Information System) to all advising appointments.





Katie Nordgren
Graduate Program Assistant & Secretary to the Chair 
AQ 5112





Barbara Middleton-Smith
Departmental Assistant 
AQ 5116





Dr. Eleanor (Ellie) Stebner, Associate Professor




Anne-Marie Feenberg-Dibon, Professor

AQ 5111

J.S. Woodsworth Chair

Dr. Eleanor (Ellie) Stebner, Associate Professor




Alessandra Capperdoni
BA, MA, Foreign Languages and Literatures (Bologna)
PhD, English,(SFU)

Alesandra teaches courses on modern and contemporary literature, literary and critical theory (semiotics, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, Marxism and Feminism), ancient Greek epic and theatre, and Italian Renaissance poetry and art.

She is currently working on a book manuscript, Shifting Geographies: Poetics of Citizenship in the Age of Global Modernity. A second project examines the role of literature and culture in relation to war and violence. Articles have appeared in Translation Effects: The Making of Modern Canadian Culture; Tracing the Line: Reflections on Contemporary Poetics and Cultural Politics in Honour of Roy Miki; Trans/acting Culture, Writing, and Memory: Essays in Honour of Barbara Godard; Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada; Translating from the Margins/ Traduire des marges; Convergence and Divergence in North America: Canada and the United States; and the journals Canadian Literature Journal, Open Letter, TTR: Traduction, traductologie, redaction, and West Coast Line.




Gordan Djurdjevic

Gordan Djurdjevic holds a PhD from the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. He is co-editor of the anthology of critical studies Occultism in a Global Perspective (Acumen, 2013), and the author of Masters of Magical Powers: The Nath Yogis in the Light of Esoteric Notions (VDM, 2008); India and the Occult: The Influence of South Asian Spirituality on Modern Western Occultism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); and Sayings of Gorakhnath (Oxford University Press, forthcomining).


Wayne Knights


Wayne Knights has taught a variety of courses in the Humanities; he has also taught history extensively at both the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser Programs in Federal Prisons. His interests include European Intellectual History and the problem of historical time.



Eirini Kotsovili

Eirini's research interests and teaching revolve around the use of the auto/biographical element and fall under the thematic spheres of identity, theory, politics, gender, myth; how writers reflect on and present their overlap in given cultural, socio-political, historical contexts while drawing material from lived experiences. She teaches 20th century literary/philosophical texts that serve as reflections on identity, culture and memory in an inter/national context

Niall Mackenzie

Niall MacKenzie holds an undergraduate degree in History from Washington and Lee University and a doctorate in English from the University of Cambridge, where he was among the last research students to be supervised by the late Howard Erskine-Hill.  Before coming to SFU, he was a Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UBC.

Niall’s publications on literary-historical matters have appeared in a number of journals and edited collections, including Scottish Gaelic Studies, Éigse, Studia Neophilologica, The Review of English Studies, and The Age of Johnson.  He is a grandson of Kate MacKenzie (Caitrìona Uilleim Iain mhic Artair, 1876-1979), a noted Cape Breton Island tradition bearer.


Antone Minard

Born and raised in San Diego, Antone received his PhD in folklore and mythology from UCLA.  His specialty is Celtic languages and literature.

After completing his PhD, he lived for a while in Aberystwyth, Wales, where he was a research fellow at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and contributed to An Atlas for Celtic Studies: Archaeology and Names in Ancient Europe and Early Medieval Britain and Brittany as well as an ecyclopedia called Celtic Culture. Locally, he works with the Centre for Scottish Studies and offers a Welsh language course through the Vancouver Welsh Society.

Beyond Celtic studies, he has a strong interest in other traditions' folk narrative (myths, legends and folktales) and folk beliefs -- especially superstitions and beliefs about the natural world. He is also a book collector.



Michael Newton

Michael Newton's connection with Japan started when, at age 12, he joined a Japanese martial arts class at a local YMCA. "That class began a journey which shaped th rest of my life," he says. He lived for about nine years in Japan, first as a martial arts student, then as a graduate student studying Japanese religions, and finally as a teacher and translator.

His area of specialty is Japanese culture and religion, but he is also interested in Japanese aesthetics and art. He has taught undergraduate courses at SFU on Japanese history and culture, Asian Studies, Buddhism, Zen, and other religious studies. Recentlly, he finished writing a chapter on Japanese religions in British Columbia for a book on Asian religions in BC which will be published by UBC Press.

Michael Newton is an ordained Zen Buddhist priest and a member of a meditation group in Vancouver.


Brook Pearson

I like to call myself an 'interdisciplinary philosopher' -- my PhD work was originally oriented entirely towards New Testament studies, but the process took me latrally into phenomological philosophy, and more broadly into classical civilization. Since undergoing that process in the late 90s I taught in the UK from 1997 to 2004 and have been teaching at SFU in Humanities.

Philosophically speaking, although I have a great deal of appreciation for Wittgenstein, my general touchstones are found in non-Anglo-American philosophy, particularly Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze and Guattari. In the ancient world, I'm particularly interested in Plato and Stoicism and the social and political contexts in which these philosophies were embedded.