Ryerson University

Contact

emma.dunn@mlc.ryerson.ca

Emma Dunn is a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in the Communication and Culture program at Ryerson University, having previously completed an M.A. in English (2015), a B.Ed. (2014), and a B.A. (Honours) in English Language and Literature (2014) at Brock University. Emma's research interests span the fields of feminist theory, body studies, and youth cultures. Her M.A. project was funded by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master's Scholarship, and explored connections between anorexia and post-feminism in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. Supported by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship and supervised by Dr. Irene Gammel, Emma’s doctoral work examines how the logic of anorexia functions through the figure of the post-feminist action heroine in popular speculative fiction franchises for young adults. Emma has her office at the MLC, where she is also involved as a research assistant and peer-mentor, engaged in a culture of research and publishing.

Doctoral Research Statement

Dunn, Emma. “Starving For Justice: Teen Action Heroines and the Logic of Anorexia.” Communication and Culture PhD Programme. Yeates School of Graduate Studies. Ryerson University, 2015. Read the statement.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Dunn, Emma. “Rape and Reconciliation: A Comparison of Karen Jayes’ For the Mercy of Water and Emma Ruby-Sachs’ The Water Man’s Daughter.” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, vol. 17, no. 1, 2016, pp. 88-101.

Peer-Reviewed Conference Papers

Dunn, Emma. “‘What if I’m just parts?’: Anorexic Bodies and Undead Subjectivity in Mattel’s Monster High: Freaky Fusion.”  Talking Bodies 2017, 19 April 2017, Institute of Gender Studies, University of Chester, UK. Conference Paper.

Dunn, Emma. “Voracious Vampires: Anorexic Logic in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series.”Association of Canadian College and University Teachers in English, 30 May 2016, University of Calgary, CAN. Conference Paper.

Dunn, Emma. “(Un)natural Citizens: The Metaphor of ‘Anorexic as Alien’ in Canadian Television.” International Girls Studies Association, 8 April 2016, University of East Anglia, UK. Conference Paper.

Doctoral Statement

“Starving For Justice: Teen Action Heroines and the Logic of Anorexia”

This project builds on feminist cultural studies of eating disorders and Leslie Heywood’s notion of “anorexic logic” to examine how the logic of anorexia resonates through the increasingly popular figure of the post-feminist action heroine, specifically within speculative fiction franchises for young adults. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, and their subsequent film and fan fiction adaptations serve as the primary case studies for my investigation. All three of these series feature a female protagonist with post-feminist attributes, and emerged as top-selling YA speculative fiction franchises in the post-Harry Potter era, giving rise to enormous fandoms that spawned thousands of fan fiction narratives in turn. If anorexia is a “crystallization of culture” as Susan Bordo suggests, then these series, as record-breaking cultural phenomena and female-lead multimedia franchises, are vital objects of study in this field. Although scholars like Jeffery Brown have begun to analyze the discourses surrounding powerful female protagonists in post-feminist contexts, the correlation between anorexia and these complex female figures has yet to be fully explored.

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

MLC Themes

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

Amid the unprecedented social change of World War I, women renegotiated their identities by dramatically changing the way they engaged with the arts. But how did they do so? And how did everyday citizens engage with the war?

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

MLC Themes

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, considered by many to be the mother of Dada, was a daringly innovative poet and an early creator of junk sculpture. “The Baroness” was best known for her sexually charged, often controversial performances.

Modernism in the World

MLC Themes

Modernism in the World

Recent research has departed from the Euro-centric and national view of Modernism to include approaches and methods studying Modernism across national boundaries and across different art forms to include fashion, dance, performance, technology, and visual culture.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

MLC Themes

Lucy Maud Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery is perhaps Canada's most important literary export. She was prolific writer of over 500 short stories and poems, and twenty novels, including the beloved Anne of Green Gables.

Canadian Modernism

MLC Themes

Canadian Modernism

The works of numerous Canadian authors who lived during the modernist era may well constitute the most central and experimental articulation of Canadian modernism in prose, allowing authors to stage cross-cultural, controversial, and even conflicted identities.

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

MLC Themes

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

Life writing, including autobiographical accounts, diaries, letters and testimonials written or told by women and men whose political, literary or philosophical purposes are central to their lives, has become a standard tool for communication and the dissemination of information.