Queen's University

Leading By Example

Specializing in the study of Indigenous and Canadian literatures, Dr. McKegney says he feels very fortunate to oversee graduate studies at Queen’s in the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. He points out that while he is involved in a number of graduate-related initiatives, the acting head of the Department of English Language and Literature regularly utilizes a collaborative approach.

He is currently involved in the development of the MPhil degree in English Literature – a two-year Master’s Level degree with direct entry into the doctoral program. He is also overseeing two experiential learning components for graduate programs. The first – the Literary Internship –provides master’s students with work experience that is directly related to literary studies, including Kingston WritersFest, the Strathy Language Unit, and McGill-Queen’s University Press.  The second – the Publishing Practicum –takes students through the revision and submission stages of scholarly publishing with the goal of achieving a publishable piece by the end of the student’s first year of doctoral study.

In receiving the award, Dr. McKegney provides the following advice for incoming graduate coordinators:

“Be personally invested in the wellbeing and successes of your grad students, but do not take their struggles personally. Try to focus on developing solutions to concerns that arise without bearing the burden of responsibility for things beyond your control.” (Full Story).

Photo L-R: Kelly McDevitt (PhD student), Ian Moy (MA student), Sam McKegney (former Graduate Chair), Jhordan Layne (PhD student), Suyin Olguin (PhD student), Hannah Skrynsky (MA student), Sarah Kent (PhD student).

Photo Credits: Chelsea Pope Photgraphy.

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Dr. Sam McKegney

I am a settler scholar of Indigenous literatures. My research seeks to register the ways in which Indigenous literary artists: (1) interrogate ongoing settler colonialism and the violent history upon which it is based, (2) use artistic means of expression to imagine modes of sociality and Indigenous persistence that exceed the confines of the settler colonial nation state, and (3) mobilize the expressive arts to provoke extra-textual responses from Indigenous, settler, and diasporic readers that might contribute to projects of decolonization. My hope is that my research can in small ways serve to catalyze the visionary interventions of Indigenous writers and artists. I have published on such topics as residential school survival narratives, environmental kinship, masculinity theory, prison writing, Indigenous governance, discourses of reconciliation, and Canadian hockey mythologies.