Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Meet Caroline Diezyn, PhD candidate in English

“The faculty in the English department at Western University are beyond compare. When I was considering which professors I’d most like to work with, the answers kept pointing me back to Western.”

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Don’t worry about not having a crystal clear idea for your dissertation. Part of the process of the first year of coursework is to narrow down your interests so that you can choose a dissertation topic that you actually love working on. Don’t be afraid to work on what you love!

Describe your research in 100 words or less.
My research concerns nostalgia and the occult in American literature and art.

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
My grad program’s graduate assistant, Leanne Trask, enables us all to thrive and be successful. Without her tireless help, I’d be lost.

What is your “dream” career?
Well, my dream career is “rock star.” But I would be over the moon if I could get a job researching, writing, and teaching the weird stuff I get to research, write, and teach on now.

Have you worked as a TA or RA?
Yes, I’ve worked as both. Teaching experience is invaluable and it’s important to remember that there is a real technique and skill required for effective teaching. Being a TA has helped me hone that skill and technique (though I know I’ll continue to do that throughout my career).

Do you belong to any university or community groups?
I organize “Drink & Draw #ldnont,” a monthly club that meets at a pub to drink and (wait for it) draw. Find us on Facebook and come out to a meeting!

What are you most passionate about?
I’d say that I’m most passionate about people nurturing their creative side. I try to encourage people to view creative pursuits as legitimate and worthwhile, because there’s a lot of rhetoric to the contrary these days, particularly in academia.

What one thing would you like people to know about you?
My personal interests inform my research, and vice versa, but there’s more to my personality and identity than “grad student.”

Program Websites

Program Contact

Leanne Trask (genglish@uwo.ca)
Graduate Affairs Assistant

Department of English

Western University
University College 2401
London, Ontario N6A 3K7

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 85793
f. 519-661-3776

The Department's graduate program ranks as one of the strongest and most diversified graduate programs in Canada. Its central attraction is the Department's distinguished faculty and its considerable accomplishments in all areas of criticism and scholarship. The faculty's range of expertise provides the advantages of traditional scholarship and an array of historical approaches to the major literary periods and genres, as well as diverse theoretical and interdisciplinary perspectives that include discourse analysis, cultural studies, postcolonial literature and theory, feminist and gender studies, gay studies and theories of masculinity, ecological criticism, film, hypertext, theories of race, and the intersection between literature and the discourses of science, medicine, music, art, and law.

The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program will help you become a career-ready graduate with the skills necessary to excel in your studies and achieve your future goals. By participating in the program, you will assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth, choose what skills you want to enhance during your time at Western, and learn how to articulate the skills you gained in your degree to optimize your future career opportunities. To learn more, visit www.uwo.ca/ownyourfuture.

Program Length

  • 12 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Thesis-based

Funding Information

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships (if eligible):

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee schedules (per term) are posted on the Office of the Registrar's website at http://www.registrar.uwo.ca/student_finances/fees_refunds/fee_schedules.html

Graduate Student Affordability Calculator

Use this helpful tool to estimate how much money you will need to pay for your tuition, fees, housing, food, and other necessities for a 12-month (three term) academic year.

Admission Requirements

  • Strong first-class MA degree or its equivalent in English Literature or related field.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

Application Deadline

  • January 15

Fields of Research

  • American Literature
  • Canadian Literature
  • Cultural Studies
  • Indigenous Literature and Literary Criticism/Theory
  • Literary Criticism and Theory
  • Nineteenth-Century British Literature
  • Old and Middle English Language and Literature
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • Renaissance (Includes separate Qualifying examinations in English Drama to the Restoration and Renaissance Non-Dramatic Literature)
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
  • Textual Studies (may only be chosen as a secondary field)
  • Twentieth-Century British and Irish Literature
  • Women’s Literature and Gender Studies