Jack Robinson

Associate Professor, English

PhD (Alberta), MA (Carleton)

6-223J, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB


Appreciation and celebration are hallmarks of my approach to literature. (I tell my daughter that I write "literary criticism." She says, "Oh, criticism! That sounds harsh!" I say, "But I write only about texts I admire, so what I write would more aptly be called "literary appreciation.") The same is true of my approach to students. I know what I think: I want to know what my students think: I believe that we will discover valuable things together as we participate in intellectual community. I practice an interactive approach to teaching (and will continue practicing until I get it right!), while retaining the onus placed on the professor to provide challenging and relevant knowledge. Social relevance is also a watchword for me. I believe that socially relevant knowledge will stay with students and be useful to them in their lives. It will stick to their bones, as it has to mine.

Available to supervise honours or individual study students.

Modern Canadian fiction, Indigenous literature of residential schools

Teaching and Research Interests

I have always been ethically committed to drawing attention to whatever is neglected or denied because of conventional thinking. This motivated my choosing Canadian Literature as a field of study. Because of our still robust Canadian mentality, our literature is still under-taught in our universities, and even more unknown outside of them. Similarly, I have been drawn to the Indigenous literature of residential schools because I believe every Canadian should know about it and the broader field of colonial trauma, and the even broader field of Indigenous cultural values. At the same time, I am a lover of fine prose style, so I gravitate to lyrical novels and powerfully-phrased essays. And I am a lover of innovation: I believe that there is no absolute when it comes to fine style, and I am always on the lookout for new models of excellence.

Selected Publications / Presentations / Conference Papers

Robinson, Jack. "Re-Storying the Colonial Landscape: Richard Wagamese's Indian Horse." Studies in Canadian Literature. vol. 38, no. 2, 2013, pp. 88-105.

Robinson, J. “Re-Reading David Adams Richards: Ironies of Allegory in Mercy Among the Children.” Studies in Canadian Literature. vol. 36, no. 2, 2011, pp. 143-164.

Robinson, Jack. “The Aesthetic of Talk in Thomas King’s Medicine River.” Studies in Canadian Literature vol. 31, no.1, 2006, pp. 75-94.

Robinson, Jack. “Yann Martel’s Life of Pi: Back in the World, or ‘The story with animals is the better story.’” Other Selves: Animals in the Canadian Literary Imagination, edited by Janice Fiamengo, Ottawa University Press, 2007, pp.125-144. 

Robinson, J. “Personal Speech: Cultural Difference and Gender in the Book of Jessica by Maria Campbell and Linda Griffiths.”  Quilting a New Canon: Stitching Women’s Words, edited by Uma Parameswaran, Sister Vision Press, 1996, pp. 347-358.

Awards / Grants / Fellowships

MacEwan University, sabbatical leave (2013-14)
MacEwan University, Outstanding Service Award (1998)

Professional Associations / Memberships

ACCUTE, Canadian Association of University Teachers of English 

Boards / Committees

MacEwan University. Department Council, member
MacEwan University. Faculty Council, member