People Collection

DF

Danielle Fuller, PhD (Leeds), MA (Leeds), BA (Durham)

Professor

Arts

English and Film Studies

About Me

I'm a Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, and I live and work on Treaty 6 and Metis territory. My major areas of research are contemporary cultures of reading, Canadian literature and interdisciplinary research methods that combine textual and empirical modes of investigation.  I have other interests in popular culture, and book history and publishing.  Before arriving at the University of Alberta in July 2018 I worked for nearly 21 years at the University of Birmingham, UK, in the Department of American & Canadian Studies (1997-2014) and then in the Department of English Literature (2014-18).

I am an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Current Research Projects and Grants

2016-2018 (PI) £537,225, ESRC, UK: ‘Death Before Birth: Understanding, informing and supporting the choices made by people who have experienced miscarriage, termination, and stillbirth.'  ES/N008359/1. Co-Is Professor Jeannette Littlemore (English Language & Applied Linguistics, U of Birmingham) [PI from May 2018] and Dr Sheelagh McGuiness (Law, U of Bristol). Partners: Human Tissue Authority; SANDS; Miscarriage Association; Ante-Natal Results and Choices.

2017-18: (PI) £15,000, Arts Council England. Grants for the Arts. 'Babbling Beasts: Telling Stories, Making Digital Games. Creative Reading and Writing for Life.' R&D Pilot project. Co-Is John Sear (Games Designer, Museum Games), Roz Goddard (poet- educator), Prof. DeNel Rehberg Sedo (MSVU, Canada). Partners: Old Hill Primary School, Sandwell, BMAG, U of Birmingham.

2017-2018: $25,000, SSHRC Partner Engage.  'Making the Move: Reading Memoirs of Migration.'  PI Prof Julie Rak (U of Alberta);Co-Is, Fuller, Prof Amy Kaler (U of Alberta), Prof DeNel Rehberg Sedo (MSVU, Canada) and Dr Anna Poletti (Utrecht). Partner: World University Service of Canada (WUSC).


Research

What I research

I have always been interested in the ways that people make sense of their everyday lives and how lived experience is a type of knowledge that is often ignored or side-lined by people with the most power in a society. Everything I investigate is shaped in some way by these concerns and by an approach to research that might broadly be described as that of feminist epistemology.  

So far, my research career has been comfortingly unpredictable and continuously unsettling: fruitful conditions for knowledge production, I believe. Things that I think about and work on include: questions of literary and cultural value within and beyond writing and reading communities; enquiries about the role reading plays in peoples’ lives; understanding the decisions and choices people make after pregnancy loss about the disposal of remains.

How I research

I was trained as a literary studies scholar and began my academic career as a Canadian Studies specialist. Over the years my research became more like cultural sociology in its use of empirical methods, but I remain committed to work that combines these with textual methods – and indeed, with other ways of working, doing and knowing from multiple disciplines. My absolute favourite thing intellectually speaking is working with interdisciplinary scholars and arts practitioners to investigate complex contemporary social and cultural issues. 

How I make sense of what I do:

My research projects and publications can be grouped into four areas:-

Reading Communities and Cultures of Reading in the USA, Canada and UK

Making Digital Things – Building as Reading Research

Atlantic Canadian Literary Culture

Mixed Methods Research and Feminist Epistemology

Supervision

I have supervised postgraduate research on Maritime Canadian short fiction; on the publishing history and institutionalisation of Margaret Atwood’s work in Central Europe; South-East Asian Canadian literature; Canadian film; Asian-American film, and an inter-textual study of Canadian women’s writing. More recently I have supervised PhD work on the outport novel as a core genre in Newfoundland literature; US lesbian feminist textual communities and lesbian pulp fictions (1950s); a study of globalisation in the oeuvre of Douglas Coupland; ‘Marketing Exoticism’: Mixed Race Identities and Contemporary British Fiction, and an examination of contemporary diasporic YA fiction.

I would particularly like to encourage you to contact me if you are interested in:

• Readers and reading in the contemporary period

• Book events, book festivals and arts organizations involved with print culture and/or online publishing

• Canadian prose writing (including US/Canadian contemporary comparative projects)



Teaching

The 'sage on the stage' is not a teaching style that sits well with who I am or what I believe.  For many years I have been using learning and teaching activities that can broadly be grouped under the approach described as student-centred learning.  Put simply, I try not to blurt on for too long during any teaching session and I frequently integrate hands-on activities and small group work to stimulate discussion.  I also design courses so that students can learn, consolidate and demonstrate different skills.  Reading and writing are both fundamental but critical thinking, creative design, the ability to be an independent researcher and team-work are among the skills I think you can develop during an English Studies degree.

Undergraduate courses I taught at the University of Birmingham, UK included:  Introduction to Canadian Studies, Research Skills in American & Canadian Studies, Contemporary Canadian Writing, The North American 1920s, Reading & Popular Culture, and, at the MA level, Textualities and Materialities.

I have supervised final year undergraduate dissertations (a bit like Honors Tutorials) on a wide range of topics including popular genre fiction (from romance to crime fiction); the ways that social media has shaped the relationship between fan-readers and authors; reading for well-being; young adult readers; the representation of mental illness in popular television series; indigenous Canadian anthologies; many twentieth- and twenty-first century American and Canadian literature topics; and Canadian Studies subjects from visual art to politics.