Meet Your English Department #3: Heidi!

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!

Photo of Heidi Rennert holding an owl, profile view.

Heidi Rennert

What is your year of study / What is your role in the UVic English Department?
I’m a second year M.A. student and the Vice President / MA Rep for the EGSS.

What are your main research interests?
Victorian biker gangs! I’m only being slightly facetious. I’m writing my M.A. essay on the intersection between fin-de-siècle aestheticism and Victorian cycling and travel literature (think: bicycle dandies). More broadly, my research focuses on science and technology studies in Victorian visual and literary culture.

What are your hobbies and/ interests outside of academia?
Meticulously reconstructing the life of a 11th century monastic. I also enjoy making things and running a few projects at a time. To paraphrase Emerson, self-reliance is the purest high.

What is your favourite coffee shop in Victoria?
I live really close to Fig Mediterranean Deli on Cedar Hill X and Shelbourne. Occasionally, I’ll walk down the aisles and fantasize about buying one of their industrial-sized cans of pickles. But their Turkish coffee and olive bread are the real treats.

What is your favourite thing about the UVic English Department?
The smaller department size really lends itself to a close-knit and supportive community. It’s given me the opportunity to take risks and gain confidence in myself as a scholar, which I appreciate tremendously. Also, sometimes there are fresh cookies in the grad lounge!

What are you watching on Netflix right now?
Ugly Delicious! I recommend it to anyone who’s interested in fusion foods, immigration, and challenging the notion of an “authentic” pizza.

(Trick question) Are you a dog or a cat person? Justify your answer?
I’m a dog person solely for the fact that I one day want to roam the peat bogs of England with a pack of Scottish deerhounds by my side.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Sometime around age seven or eight, I was very determined to be a park ranger with a motorcycle. I moved on after I learned the motorcycle wasn’t guaranteed.



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