EFS Faculty member becomes Henry Marshall Tory Chair

Congratulations to Professor Julie Rak who has been awarded a Henry Marshall Tory Chair (2019-2024).

12 November 2019

Tory Chairholders are "outstanding individuals who by their presence will enhance the reputation of the University." Named for Henry Marshall Tory, the first President of the University, Tory Chairs are typically awarded to scholars with an international reputation who are demonstrably leaders in their field of research. A Tory Chairholder must present a five-year research plan as part of their application. We asked Julie to tell us a little bit about her field of research, plus the aims and activities that she has envisaged for her time as Tory Chair:

"I am fascinated by what so-called "ordinary" people do, read, watch, and produce creatively about their lives. As a scholar and teacher working in the field of life writing-that is, the study of nonfiction and self-representation--the questions I want to answer as Tory Chair are all connected to my core educational concerns and values, which are dedicated to understanding how popular genres of nonfiction, especially autobiography and biography in digital and print media, are central to the way we understand ourselves.

As Tory Chair, I have a plan to focus on developing a scholarly network in Canada devoted to life writing research in all its forms. As part of that network building, I'll be sponsoring an international virtual conference on life writing and pedagogy, so that the robust community of life writing scholars around the world can have a chance to work on something concrete about the field, together."

You can read more about Julie and her research in this interview with Donna McKinnon from Oct. 21, 2019.