Heather Cyr

BA (STU), MA (Queen's), PhD (Queen's)
Surrey Office: Fir 318

Heather Cyr is a faculty member and current Chair of the English Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

I have been a faculty member at KPU since 2011, teaching composition and literature courses, including Children's Literature and Young Adult Literature. Supported by an Educational Leave, I completed my PhD at Queen’s University in 2017 with a dissertation on real world landscapes in contemporary children’s fantasy literature. I have published on several children's fantasy novels and my research interests focus on spaces and places in literature for young people. I have been fortunate to attend the University of Antwerp Children's Literature Summer School in both 2018 and 2019. Currently, I'm working with Dr. Shelley King of Queen's University on final touches to a critical edition of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, a project supported by several KPU student research assistants and a 0.6 Award. From 2015 to 2022, I co-led the instructional team that created and continues to run the First-Year English Writing Labs for the English Department, welcoming hundreds of students a year for flexible supplemental instruction.

Courses taught

  • ENGQ 1099 Writing Skills with Readings
  • ENGL 1100 Introduction to University Writing
  • ENGL 1104 Reading and Writing Skills for Educational Assistants
  • ENGL 1202 Reading and Writing about Selected Topics: An Introduction to Literature
  • ENGL 1204 Reading and Writing about Genre: An Introduction to Literature
  • ENGL 2317 English Literature: 18th to 20th Centuries
  • ENGL 2430 Children's Literature
  • ENGL 3330 Studies in Children's Literature (themed "Fantasy')
  • ENGL 3331 Young Adult Literature
  • ENGL 3380 Popular Writing
  • First-Year Writing Labs (co-creator and co-instructor)

Areas of Interest

My general research and teaching interests include mapping, literary tourism, fantasy, and nostalgia in the spaces and places of Children's and YA Literature. I am interested in how space and place intersects with childhood and nostalgia in both fictional and real world environments. I have most recently given conference papers on Disneyland as a multi-layered and multi-valent space; diversity and representation as a form of anti-nostalgia in Young Adult Regency Romance; child agency as informed through humour in the late Victorian practice of bouquet-giving in E. Nesbit's The Wonderful Garden; and flexible pedagogical practices in instructor-led Supplemental Instruction. 

Scholarly Work