Meet Your English Department #2: Janice!

Every couple of weeks, an interview with an English department student, faculty member or staff member will be featured on this blog as part of our Meet Your English Department series! Interview topics range from areas of research to favourite restaurants in town which, we hope, will give you a bit of insight into the lives of the people who you see almost every day in the third-floor halls of Clearihue. Enjoy!


Janice Niemann

What is your year of study / What is your role in the UVic English Department?
I am a second-year PhD student as well as the EGSS President and the TAPM.

What are your main research interests?
I work on shrubberies and garden spaces in Victorian novels, but I also love basically all children’s literature.

Where did you do your previous degree(s)?
I did both my BA and my MA at Queen’s.

What is your favourite thing about the UVic English Department?
I love that our department is small enough to give me the chance to know most of the people in it. I am also lucky enough to have an amazing supervisor and committee, so being surrounded by wonderfully smart and supportive people is a bonus too.

What are you reading right now for fun?
Hahahahahahaha… I reread Harry Potter over winter break, does that count?

What are you watching on Netflix right now?
I am watching Grey’s Anatomy with my roommate, Skins, Parks and Rec, and also rewatching my favourite episodes of Buffy.

(Trick question) Are you a dog or a cat person? Justify your answer?
Cat person because I have superior taste.

What is your favourite place in Victoria? On the island?
My favourite place on the island is probably Parksville, specifically the beach at Rathtrevor campground. I spent my summers there as a kid and when the tide is out, you can walk out on the beach for what feels like kilometres. (ocean + nostalgia = happiness)

What would your dream graduate course look like?
I don’t know about course to take, but I have always dreamed about teaching a course on adaptations of Pride and Prejudice. I think the world needs to spend some time looking critically at both the Lizzie Bennett Diaries and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Plus, what could be better than watching Bridget Jones for class?

Have you gone on any fun trips recently? / Are you planning any fun trips right now? Tell us about them.
I haven’t been on any fun trips recently, but I did work at a castle in England (Herstmonceux Castle) for the year before I came to UVic, which gave me many opportunities to travel in and around Europe. Some highlights include London (obviously), visiting my dad’s extended family in Hamburg, spending Christmas in Moscow, traveling from Marrakech out into the desert to sleep under the stars, going on the fastest waterslide of my life in Budapest, seeing a World Junior’s game in Helsinki, watching The Nutcracker in St. Petersburg, and walking on top of the wall around Dubrovnik.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher and an artist, the latter being a dream based in no way, shape, or form on my talents or abilities.

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