Canadian literary critics

Posted Oct 28, 2009
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  1. Margaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood


    Margaret Eleanor Atwood, CC OOnt FRSC (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, winning once, and has been a finalist for the Governor General's Award several times, winning twice. In 2001 she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. She is also a founder of the Writers' Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada's writing community. Among innumerable contributions to Canadian literature, she was a founding trustee of the Griffin Poetry Prize.

  2. Northrop Frye

    Northrop Frye


    Herman Northrop Frye, CC FRSC (July 14, 1912 – January 23, 1991) was a Canadian literary critic and literary theorist, considered one of the most influential of the 20th century.

  3. Marshall McLuhan

    Marshall McLuhan


    Herbert Marshall McLuhan, CC (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980) was a Canadian professor of English, philosopher of communication theory and a public intellectual. His work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory, as well as having practical applications in the advertising and television industries. He was educated at the University of Manitoba and Cambridge University and began his teaching career as a Professor of English at several universities in the U.S. and Canada, before moving to the University of Toronto where he would remain for the rest of his life.

  4. Peter Swirski

    Peter Swirski


    Peter Swirski (born 1966) is a Canadian scholar and literary critic featured in Canadian Who's Who and Amazon's #1 Bestseller in American Literary History and Criticism and in Canadian Literary History and Criticism. Specialist in American literature and American Studies, he is the author of fifteen books, including the prize-winning Ars Americana, Ars Politica (2010) and the staple of American popular culture studies From Lowbrow to Nobrow (2005). His other well-known studies include American Utopia and Social Engineering (2011), Of Literature and Knowledge (2007), and From Literature to Biterature (2013). He is recognized as the foremost scholar on the late writer and philosopher Stanisław Lem.

  5. Anne Carson

    Anne Carson


    Anne Carson (born June 21, 1950) is a Canadian poet, essayist, translator and professor of Classics. Carson lived in Montreal for several years and taught at McGill University, the University of Michigan, and at Princeton University from 1980-1987. She was a 1998 Guggenheim Fellow. and in 2000 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She has also won a Lannan Literary Award.

  6. Robertson Davies

    Robertson Davies


    William Robertson Davies, CC, OOnt, FRSC, FRSL (August 28, 1913 – December 2, 1995) was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. He was one of Canada's best known and most popular authors, and one of its most distinguished "men of letters", a term Davies is variously said to have gladly accepted for himself and to have detested. Davies was the founding Master of Massey College, a graduate residential college associated with the University of Toronto.

  7. Darko Suvin

    Darko Suvin


    Darko Ronald Suvin (born Darko Šlesinger; July 19, 1930) is a Croatia born academic and critic who became a Professor at McGill University in Montreal — now emeritus. He was born in Zagreb, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now capital of Croatia), and after teaching at the department for comparative literature at Zagreb University, moved to Canada in 1968.

  8. Linda Hutcheon

    Linda Hutcheon


    Linda Hutcheon, O.C. (born August 24, 1947) is a Canadian academic working in the fields of literary theory and criticism, opera, and Canadian Studies. Hutcheon describes her herself as "intellectually promiscuous", as she brings a cross-disciplinary approach to her work She is University Professor in the Department of English and of the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, where she has taught since 1988. In 2000 she was elected the 117th President of the Modern Language Association, the third Canadian to hold this position, and the first Canadian woman. She is particularly known for her influential theories of postmodernism.

  9. Arlene Perly Rae

    Arlene Perly Rae


    Arlene Perly Rae is a Canadian journalist, literary critic and author. She is married to Canadian politician Bob Rae.

  10. Adele Reinhartz

    Adele Reinhartz


    Adele Reinhartz is a Canadian academic and a specialist in the history and literature of Christianity and Judaism in the Greco-Roman period, the Gospel of John, early Jewish-Christian relations, literary criticism including feminist literary criticism, feminist exegesis, and the impact of the Bible on popular cinema and television.

  11. Cyril Dabydeen

    Cyril Dabydeen


    Cyril Dabydeen (born October 15, 1945 in the Canje) is a Guyana-born Canadian writer of Indian descent. He grew up in a sugar plantation with the sense of Indian indenture rooted in his family background (he grew up with his mother and with a grandmother—in an extended family of aunt, nieces, nephews). He is a cousin of the UK writer David Dabydeen.

  12. Ken Adachi

    Ken Adachi


    Ken Adachi (1929 – February 9, 1989) was a Canadian writer and literary critic, who was associated with the Toronto Star's literary section from 1976 until his death.

  13. Rinaldo Walcott

    Rinaldo Walcott


    Rinaldo Walcott is a Black Canadian academic and writer, currently employed as an associate professor at OISE/University of Toronto in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education. He was previously an assistant professor in the Division of Humanities at York University (2000). Walcott's work focuses on Black Studies, Canadian Studies, Cultural Studies, Queer Theory and Gender Theory, and Diaspora Studies. He is currently the Canada Research Chair of Social Justice and Cultural Studies.

  14. Sky Gilbert

    Sky Gilbert


    Schuyler Lee (Sky) Gilbert, Jr. (born December 20, 1952) is a Canadian writer, actor, academic and drag performer. Born in Norwich, Connecticut, he studied theatre at York University in Toronto, Ontario, and at the University of Toronto, before becoming the co-founder and artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times, a Toronto theatre company dedicated to LGBT drama. Gilbert's drag name is Jane. Sky also teaches a course on Playwrighting at the University of Guelph.

  15. Isabel Paterson

    Isabel Paterson


    Isabel Paterson (January 22, 1886 – January 10, 1961) was a Canadian-American journalist, novelist, political philosopher, and a leading literary and cultural critic of her day. Along with Rose Wilder Lane and Ayn Rand, who both acknowledged an intellectual debt to Paterson, she is one of the three founding mothers of American libertarianism. Paterson's best-known work, her 1943 book The God of the Machine, a treatise on political philosophy, economics, and history, reached conclusions and espoused beliefs that many libertarians credit as a foundation of their philosophy. Her biographer Stephen D. Cox (2004) believes Paterson was the "earliest progenitor of libertarianism as we know it today." In a letter of 1943, Ayn Rand wrote that The God of the Machine is a document that could literally save the world ... The God of the Machine does for capitalism what Das Kapital does for the Reds and what the Bible did for Christianity."

  16. Geoff Pevere

    Geoff Pevere


    Geoff Pevere (born October 1957 in Ottawa, Ontario) is a Canadian lecturer, author, broadcaster, teacher, arts and media critic, and currently the Program Director with the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival in Toronto. He is a former film critic, book columnist and cultural journalist for the Toronto Star, where he worked from 1998 to 2011. His writing has appeared in several newspapers, magazines and arts journals, and he has worked as a broadcaster for both radio and television. He has lectured widely on cultural and media topics, and taught courses at several Canadian universities and colleges. In 2012, he contributed weekly pop culture columns to CBC Radio Syndication, which were heard in nearly twenty markets across Canada. He has also been a movie columnist and regular freelance contributor with the Globe and Mail.

  17. Claude Bissell

    Claude Bissell


    Claude Thomas Bissell, CC FRSC (February 10, 1916 – June 21, 2000) was a Canadian author and educator.

  18. Carole Corbeil

    Carole Corbeil


    Carole Corbeil (1952–2000) was a Canadian arts critic and novelist. Born in Montreal to Québécois parents, her writing was often informed by the cultural displacement, and the subsequent sense of dual belonging, that she experienced when her parents divorced and her mother remarried to an anglophone man.

  19. Ann Dooley

    Ann Dooley


    Ann Dooley is a professor with the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Celtic Studies Program at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto where she specializes in Irish literature. She has published a translation of Acallam na Senórach entitled Tales of the Elders of Ireland as well as a study of Táin Bó Cuailnge entitled Playing the Hero: Reading the Irish Saga Táin Bó Cuailnge'.

  20. Susan Wood (science fiction)

    Susan Wood (science fiction)


    Susan Joan Wood (August 22, 1948 – November 12, 1980) was a Canadian literary critic, professor, author and science fiction fan and editor, born in Ottawa, Ontario.

  21. Antanas Sileika

    Antanas Sileika


    Antanas Sileika (Antanas Šileika) is a Canadian novelist and critic.

  22. Sacvan Bercovitch

    Sacvan Bercovitch


    Sacvan Bercovitch (October 4, 1933 – December 9, 2014) was a Canadian literary and cultural critic who spent most of his life teaching and writing in the United States. During an academic career spanning five decades, he was considered to be one of the most influential and controversial figures of his generation in the emerging field of American studies.

  23. John Leslie Hotson

    John Leslie Hotson


    John Leslie Hotson, also known as J. Leslie Hotson or Leslie Hotson (16 August 1897 – 16 November 1992) was a scholar of Elizabethan literary puzzles.

  24. Bill Glassco

    Bill Glassco


    William Grant ("Bill") Glassco, OC (August 30, 1935 – September 13, 2004) was a Canadian theatre director, producer, translator and founder of Toronto's Tarragon Theatre.

  25. Marc Shell

    Marc Shell


    Marc Shell, born 1947 in Montreal, is a Canadian literary critic, currently Irving Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of English at Harvard University.

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