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.



Omeka Launch 2018

Hi everyone! Please drop in to the soft launch of the most recent pages on the English 500 graduate student digital library exhibit, Movable Type: Print Material in Special Collections, on Thursday 29 March at 9-10am in the departmental meeting room (Cle C344).

Students will be giving demos of their material:

  • Chase Templet on Sir Walter Ralegh’s The History of the World(1614)
  • Ashley Howard on John Donne’s Biathanatos (1648)
  • Gennie Kirk on A Collection of Plays Performed at the Theatres Royal in London and Dublin (1764-1801)
  • Jordan Erlendson on James Cook’s Voyage to the Pacific Ocean(1784)
  • Kate Fralick on The Strand Magazine (1891-1950)
  • Kailey Fukushima on The Girl’s Own Paper: Supplementary Volume (1915)
  • Tyler Fontenot on BLAST: The War Number (1915)
  • Carly Cumpstone on the Castle of Frankenstein (1962-1975)
  • Talia Greene on Heresies Magazine (1977-1993)
  • Graham Boldt on The Play of Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Barbarian Press, 2010)

Hope to see you there to celebrate this impressive graduate student collections-based research using the Omeka digital exhibit platform, which builds on student work from the previous year’s cohort.

Some of the students will also be presenting their material at a Treasures and Tea event, organised by Special Collections, on Wednesday 4 April at 1-3pm in the Special Collections seminar room.

Treasures and Tea: Old Books, New Tools

Oh My Goat! 2018

Goat2018The EGSS is thrilled to invite you all to Oh My Goat 2018! This Friday, March 30th, our end of term social will be taking place at Beacon Hill Children’s Farm from 10am-12pm. The EGSS will be making a donation to cover entrance costs for all participants. The only thing you may want to bring your wallet for is ice cream. As this is a family event, children and partners are more than welcome!

EGSS Meeting: 4 April 2018

We’re at our last meeting of the semester! We’ll be holding the next EGSS meeting on Wednesday April 4, from 3:30-4:30 pm in the grad lounge. All English graduate students are welcome to attend. Our colloquium is on the following Friday, April 6. The final Pomodoro will be happening right after the EGSS meeting, so stick around—there will be pizza!

At the upcoming meeting, we’ll be reviewing our Date with a Book fundraiser (which is this Thursday!), strategizing for the colloquium, giving a budget update, and talking about future plans and possible roles for the next year.