Connor Byrne has Ph.D. in English literature from Dalhousie University, where he completed a dissertation examining depictions of the city in early twentieth-century British and American literature. His research interests include modernism, modernist literary theory, urban studies, and theories of everyday life.
Working at Dalhousie University, MacEwan University, and The King’s University, Dr Byrne has taught such courses as The City in Literature, Twentieth-Century Africa-American Literature, and the Novels of Jane Austen. He has also taught extensively within introductory courses in literary study, writing, and academic research.
WRDS 150: The City
This course examines the city as an object of scholarly investigation in order to introduce students to the rigours of academic writing and research. By reading publications from a range of disciplines, we will become familiar with the conventions and goals of academic criticism.
Guiding this work will be questions about urban space and experience. What kinds of thinking, action, and community give rise to cities? What social, cultural, political, technological, and economic forces impact the lives of city dwellers? How have cities changed throughout history and in what important ways do cities differ? How should cities be organized—both spatially and politically? What role to city dwellers play in impacting and/or remedying the problems of the modern world, a world marked by unprecedented changes, from the rise of industry and capitalism, to the forces of colonialism and globalization, to the trauma of war and the threat of ecological collapse, to the emergence of new forms of identity that trouble conventional notions of class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc.? In response to course material and discussion, students will reflect on their own evolving positions as modern city dwellers.