Upcoming Events

More events coming soon!

Past Events

Don't miss Dr. Asma Sayed's Speaker Series Talk! - Wednesday, September 16

We are very excited to announce that the English Department's Asma Sayed will be speaking with KPU graduate Rahil Faruqi at the season's first Speaker Series!

This year’s series will take place entirely online via Microsoft Teams and will include an encore presentation from President Alan Davis on the topic “Remote Life” in November.  

The first event is scheduled for Wednesday, September 16 from 1-2 PM and will feature Dr. Asma Sayed (Dept. of English and Canada Research Chair in South Asian Literary and Cultural Studies) and KPU graduate Rahil Faruqi (Philosophy) sharing their collaboration on “Confronting Racism: The Role of South Asian Radio in Canada.” (Sign-in link forthcoming.)

Attend the upcoming talk at the KPU Science World Speaker Series!

Between Science and Mythology: The World of Bollywood Science Fiction Film

A presentation by Dr. Asma Sayed, KPU English Department

KPU Science World Speaker Series

Attend Dr. Asma Sayed's talk on science fiction, mythology, and Bollywood film at Science World at Telus World of Science on January 20, 2020, from 7-8:30pm. Tickets are free, but registration is required. Register here:



Along with 1001 Steps Theatre SocietyKPU students and faculty are staging a modern-day, corporate, comic grotesque adaptation of Shakespeare's King  Lear by Fred Ribkoff (KPU English/IDEA) and Paul Tyndall (KPU English) entitled LEAR INC.: ALL OR NOTHING at The Cultch (Vancouver East Cultural Centre) Historic Theatre on September 17th and 18th at 7pm. The play features current and former KPU students Chantele Franz (co-director), Justin Spurr (Edgar), Tessa Kennedy (Regan), and Stephanie Davies (Cordelia), as well as a host of talented cast and crew, including two Surrey high school students. 


You can book tickets on The Cultch website:

The Cultch's Historic Theatre is a beautiful venue with a full cyclorama (a huge screen) and LEAR INC. utilizes striking imagery and surreal video to compliment and complicate action and dialogue adapted to our contemporary world.

Dr. Asma Sayed - March 19, Surrey Boardroom (Cedar 2110), 12-1pm

On Tuesday, March 19, the English Department's Asma Sayed will give a talk entitled "'I Am a Tandoori Chicken; Swallow Me with a Glass of Alcohol': Female Objectification in Bollywood Films." 

Her talk argues that the depiction of female objectification and sexual violence against women in Bollywood films is indicative of broader socio-cultural issues and rape culture more generally. Taking examples from post-1970s Hindi films, this presentation will open a discussion about the role of popular culture in either upholding or disrupting patriarchal social structures. At the intersection of the fields of Film Studies, Feminist Cultural Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, this talk will be of interest to faculty, staff, and students, as well as cinema lovers generally. 

Asma Sayed Arts Speaker Series

Challenging Toxic Masculinities: A Dialogue - Friday, March 15, 6 - 7:30pm

Challenging Toxic Masculinities

Join KDocs and the KSA for the screening of  "The True Cost" on Monday, March 4!

Docs - The True Cost



Visiting Speakers!

Poet Brian Bartlett, recently retired faculty member from Saint Mary's University and editor of The Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan (2017), will give a reading of his animal-related poetry from 11:30 AM -12:50 PM on October 31, 2018 in Andrew Bartlett’s 1204 classroom (Richmond campus, Room 2525). In the afternoon from 3:00 – 3:50 PM, Brian will present a brief reading of his food-related poetry followed by an informal conversation about the project of editing Nowlan’s work in Shelley Boyd’s ENGL 4401 seminar (Surrey campus, Cedar 2005). Both talks are open to the KPU community. 

On November 7, 2018, poet and visual artist Andrea Alexon, author of Broken Teapots (FREDA, 1997), will be speaking on post-traumatic stress and personal and political abuse, and will be reading some of her newest poems that emerge out of such experiences. This talk, hosted by Dr. Fred Ribkoff and scheduled to coincide with English 3370: Life Writing (course title: Trauma and Survival), will take place from 10:00 - 11:20 a.m. in Fir 328 and is open to the KPU community.

Pageturners Event - October 29!

Pageturners event

Visiting Speaker - Dr. Mark Olyan - October 17!

On October 17, 2018, Dr. Mark Olyan, an archivist from McGill University’s Living Testimonies Project, will speak from 10:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. about the Canadian (NFB) Holocaust documentary film Memorandum, and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. about survivor testimony housed at McGill University. This talk, hosted by Dr. Fred Ribkoff and scheduled to coincide with English 3370: Life Writing (course title: Trauma and Survival), will take place in Fir 328 and will be open to the KPU community.

Don't miss Dr. Jennifer Hardwick's Speaker Series Talk! - Thursday, October 11

Dr. Jennifer Hardwick - Speaker Series


The Training of the Shrew is at the Vancouver Fringe Festival!

The Training of the Shrew

Come to the Granville Island Picnic Pavilion to enjoy this production of The Training of the Shrew, featuring Dr. Fred Ribkoff (producer, co-director, actor) and Dr. Paul Tyndall (actor), as well as current KPU students Stephanie Davies (English), Justin Spurr, Zach Allan, and Joseph Beland (all actors) and former KPU students Jay Reedy (actor) and John Rowell (co-director, graduated in English from KPU, now finished his Masters in English at SFU). 

KPU students Stephanie Davies as Tranio and Joseph Beland at the Ring Guy.jpg
Recent KPU graduate Jay Reedy as The Jazz Man


Baptista Minola

Paul Tyndall the Ring Announcer.
current student Justin Spurr as Grumi

Images above:

KPU students Stephanie Davies as Tranio and Joseph Beland as the Ring Guy; recent KPU graduate Jay Reedy as the Jazz Man; Dr. Fred Ribkoff as Baptista Minola; Dr. Paul Tyndall as the Ring Announcer; and current student Justin Spurr as Grumio.

Pageturners Book Club - Join Us!

Join the Kwantlen Pageturners as we discuss our Summer Semester Book: Artemis, by Andy Weir.

Come if you've read the book, and come if you haven't read the book!

Tuesday (July 24) at 6pm, OR Thursday (July 26) at 6pm, in the front seating area of the Library.

Pageturners 2018 Book

"Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first."


Is the book ALWAYS better than the movie? Let's find out!

The Kwantlen Pageturners are holding an event next Monday (Feb 26th) from 4pm-8pm. Since our last "Books vs Movie" night was successful, we're going to have another one! This time we're going to be discussing "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone".

Page Turners - Harry Potter

Exciting Guest Lecture from Actor Bob Frazer!

Please join us for a lecture by award-winning actor and director Bob Frazer. Bob will discuss his development as an actor and give insight into how he prepares for and plays a role, focussing on his experience of performing Macbeth

Topic: "Acting Shakespeare"

When: Wednesday, March 14th

Where: Cedar 1205 B

Bob Frazer as Richard III at Bard on the Beach`

Is the book ALWAYS better than the movie? Let's find out!

KPU's student group, the Pageturner's Club, invites you to...

Pageturners Event

Come join us while we watch "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," and try to figure out which did it better: the book or the movie?

November 16th, 4 - 7pm

Movie starts at 4:30pm

KSA Multipurpose Room (Birch 250)

English Department Coffee Hour set for Oct. 5

Coffee Hour - English Department

The Merchant of Venice Performance Installation: Sept. 28th and 29th in Arbutus Gallery


In late May of this year, KPU alumni John Rowell and KPU English faculty member Fred Ribkoff delivered a paper to the British Shakespeare Association for their conference on “Offensive Shakespeare.” The paper, entitled “The Merchant of Venice and the Metatheatrical Machine of Offence,” suggests a version of the controversial play which embraces stereotyping. As they articulate in the paper, "[o]n a post-Holocaust stage, The Merchant of Venice should be a parade of comic stereotypes functioning as a metatheatrical    machine of offence in which Antonio, Shylock and everyone in between are but cogs exposing the absurdity of believing a stereotype to be true" (1).

The aim of the paper was not to solve the issues of race at play within the text, but rather to suggest that unduly sympathetic post-Holocaust renderings of Shylock are not the only way in which to engage an audience’s “progressive cultural consciousness” (9). This interpretation of the text led them to question how Shylock is (and was) perceived by different audiences.

On September 28th and 29th a performance installation based upon the ideas addressed in Rowell and Ribkoff’s paper will be exhibited at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Arbutus Gallery in Surrey, British Columbia. A live performer will recite Shylock’s “Hath not a Jew eyes?” speech in three different modes, to three pre-recorded “stock” audiences projected onto a wall of the gallery. The three modes of performance—villainous, sympathetic and comic—will be directed towards the three stock audiences—hostile, dead-pan and raucously laughing—resulting in the speech being performed nine times in succession. The performer will be dressed in Elizabethan “Jewish” garb, visibly typed and objectified by virtue of his appearance, with the audience reactions capturing varied receptions of the character and the play.

The installation explores Shylock’s evolution and reception over time for the purposes of examining the pedagogical value of offensive material. The project is designed to challenge students and teachers (though all members of the public are invited) as they engage their critical faculties through the analysis of why they do or do not find certain portrayals of Shylock offensive.

Attendees are encouraged to complete an anonymous questionnaire addressing whether or not they found the installation offensive and, if so, which combination of performance and pre-recorded audience reception appeared to be the most discomforting. Faculty members are encouraged to bring their students and to engage critically with the topic of offence.


Join us at KPU’s Arbutus Galley on September 28 & 29, 2017
2:00pm-3:00pm       3:30pm-4:30pm       5:00pm-6:00pm
For more information, contact project organizer John Rowell at
We look forward to seeing you!

ENGL4401 Alzheimer's Awareness Event and Film Screening

On Monday, June 12, from 5-8PM at Surrey Campus, Conference Room A, please join English 4401 for the screening of Away From Her and a panel discussion.

This event is to raise awareness for Alzheimer's. Entrance is by donation!


Public lecture features local director

Local director

Director John Rowell will speak on "The Rhetoric of First Impressions: Performing and Re-Performing the Introduction of Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer's Equus." This talk will involve live staging and analysis of selected scenes from Shaffer's 1973 play, Equus.

February 10th in Fir 128 from 10am to 11:30am.

Lecture open to the whole KPU community.





Guest Lecture by Craig Meadows: “The Trans-Identified and the Prison Abolition Movement”

Friday, October 21st, 10-10:50am, Surrey campus in Fir 128

With the emergence of a growing number of trans-identified celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Lana Wachowski (co-director of Cloud Atlas and The Matrix), the term has entered into widespread use within dominant society. Typically, issues and threats to trans-identified people are read in terms of intolerance and transphobic hatred or violence. However, transgender, and the related term genderqueer, identities experience forms of systematic exclusion and violence that go far beyond the question of bathrooms or hate-fueled perpetrators of violence. The results are overall incarceration rates for trans-identified individuals that are six times the average, and eleven times for transgender/two-spirit individuals from Indigenous groups, and transgender Blacks face incarceration rates that are seventeen times the average (based on available numbers from the US). The purpose of this talk is to briefly outline some of the conditions that produce this disparity and the prison abolition movement that has emerged as a response.

Craig Meadows (he/him) is a critical theorist from the Social & Political Thought programme at York University (Ph.D., ABD) and one-time student at Kwantlen (Arts Certificate, 1999). His area of specialization is sleep and insomnia, but he has a longstanding interest in queer culture and transgender prison issues. He has most recently taught theory courses in the Department of Sociology, Criminology and Women’s Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, as well as Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University, and will be teaching at the University of British Columbia Okanagan starting January 2017.

All are welcome!

ENGL4300 Students and KDocs present Pride film event


In partnership with the KDocs Community Outreach program, practicum students in ENGL 4300: Writing and Persuasion Beyond the Classroom are hosting a special double bill for LGBTQ2S Pride Week: a screening of the CBC documentaries Transforming Gender and How We Got Gay. The event features a keynote address from Gerald Walton (Educational Studies) and  a post-screening panel discussion with Ryot Jey (Kwantlen Pride), Tara Lyons (Criminology), and Kari Michaels (KSA/WOOW). Brandy Svendson (Be the Change) is the moderator for this free community event. Many thanks to the official sponsor, KPIRG.

KPU Faculty and Students present Jag and The American at the Cultch

Jag and the American

Jag and The American is a play based on two Ernest Hemingway's stories, "Hills Like White Elephants" and "Cat in the Rain," which follows a young, South Asian woman and an American, post-WWI veteran travelling through Europe and Siam during the 1920s. The play features live music (a sitar player and singer) and contemporary dance. Written by Fred Ribkoff, John Rowell, and Paul Tyndall. Directed by Fred Ribkoff and John Rowell.


The English Department welcomes award-winning playwright Joan MacLeod March 16th


The English Department is pleased to welcome back Governor General award winning playwright Joan MacLeod. She will read from her new play, The Valley (coming to the Arts Club stage April 7-May 7) in Fir 122 from 10:00am-12:00pm on March 16th. Discussion will follow. Everyone welcome.

Joan MacLeod’s plays include Jewel, Toronto, Mississippi, Amigo’s Blue Guitar, The Hope Slide, Little Sister, 2000, The Shape of a Girl, Homechild, Another Home Invasion and The Valley.   Her work has been translated into eight languages.  She is the recipient of numerous awards including two Chalmers Canadian Play Awards, the Governor General’s Award and in 2011 she received the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre.  For seven years she was a playwright-in-residence at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre.  She is currently working on a new one woman show and also writes poetry, prose and for television. Since 2004 she has worked at the University of Victoria as a Professor in the Department of Writing. The Valley premiered in 2013 at Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary; the sixth production of The Valley will be presented by the Arts Club (Granville Island) from April 7th  – May 7th.

For more information on Joan MacLeod's reading: PDF iconEnglish Visiting Speaker Series March 16

Register Now for The Canadian Culinary Imaginations Symposium

Canadian Fare

Mark your calendars for February 19-20, 2016! 

PDF iconThe Canadian Culinary Imaginations Symposium.pdfis a two-day interdisciplinary event with over 25 invited speakers, including artists, writers, curators, students, and academics.  Join us for an exploration of how literary and visual fare articulate Canada’s larger historical and cultural contexts. Rachel Rose, Vancouver Poet Laureate, will give a Creative-Keynote Address on poetry inspired by food. For more information, please contact Shelley Boyd in the Department of English:

ARTWORK: Tasman Brewster, Out of This World (2015)

Canadian Culinary Imaginations: A Symposium of Literary and Visual Fare

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, February 19-20, 2016

What are the shifting contours of Canada’s “culinary imaginations,” and how have innovations in form and content shaped this country’s food-related expressions?  The Canadian Culinary Imaginations Symposium invites interdisciplinary examinations of how Canadian writers and/or visual artists use food to articulate larger historical and cultural contexts, as well as personal sensibilities.

Conference paper proposals are due November 12, 2015. To see the complete call for papers, please link to the pdf below: PDF iconCFP Culinary Imaginations


A Feast of Canadian Books: Nov. 24-25

Canlit Dinner Party

Join English students for a one day feast of books starting at 2 p.m. on Nov. 24 and running until 1 p.m. on November 25 in KPU's Capital Coast Library in Surrey  (no eating allowed!).  The chefs--the students of ENGL4401: "Can Lit Food"-- are cooking up interpretive plates inspired by Canadian Literature. Stop by and feast your eyes on Canada’s dynamic traditions of story-telling through food!

Comment on what you see using Twitter: @CanLitFare #canlitdinnerparty