Photo of Sara Jamieson

Sara Jamieson

Associate Professor

Degrees:B.A., M.A. (University of Toronto), Ph.D. (Queen’s University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2431
Office:1819 Dunton Tower

Research Interests

  • Representations of aging in contemporary Canadian fiction and poetry
  • Canadian short fiction
  • Alice Munro

Current Research

As Canada’s population ages, Canadian writers have increasingly turned their attention to exploring the social, psychological, and political aspects of growing old in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. My research is focused on how fictional texts engage with conceptions of “successful” aging currently circulating in popular culture, as well as the literary modes and narrative forms they utilize to represent aging subjectivities in the context memory and language loss. I am particularly interested in fictional texts that explore the spatial and social complexities of life in residential care facilities. My recent research traces a shift away from fictional depictions institutional life as something to be avoided or escaped at all costs, to a new willingness to explore how the disadvantages of the institution might be mitigated and a habitable existence sustained within its walls. Mirroring the recent proliferation of housing options available, particularly to affluent seniors, as well as a gerontological shift away from an emphasis on the depersonalizing aspects of the old age home as a “total institution,” such literary representations participate in a wider cultural and political dialogue about end-of-life care.

Recent Publications

“Comics, Middle Age, and Second Adolescence: Joe Ollmann’s Mid-Life.” Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 53, No. 2, 2020, pp. 473-98.

“Picturing Midlife: Aging and the Limits of Narrative in Carol Shields’ Larry’s Party.”  Age, Culture, Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Journal  No. 4, 2019.

“Ethics and Infant Feeding in Alice Munro’s Stories.” Ethics and Affects in the Fiction of Alice Munro. Edited by Amelia DeFalco and Lorraine York, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018. 13-33.

“Alice Munro and the Memorized Poem.” Alice Munro’s Miraculous Art: Critical Essays. Ed. Janice Fiamengo and Gerald Lynch. University of Ottawa Press, 2017. 79-95.

“Reading the ‘St. Louis Whirligig’: Hockey, Masculinity, and Aging in Paul Quarrington’s King LearyJournal of Canadian Studies 48.3 (2014): 181-199.

“Reading the Spaces of Age in Alice Munro’s ‘The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 47.3 2014. 1-17.

“‘Surprising Developments’: Midlife in Alice Munro’s Who Do You Think You Are?Canadian Literature 217 (2013): 54-71.

“Joan Barfoot’s Exit Lines and the Pastoral of Old Age.” American Review of Canadian Studies 42.2 (2012): 370-83.

Recent Presentations

“‘Iona’s Arms’: Infant Feeding and ‘Bonding’ in Alice Munro’s ‘My Mother’s Dream.” ACQL Annual Conference, University of Calgary, May 28-30, 2016.

“Reading the St. Louis Whirligig: Hockey, Masculinity, and Aging in Paul Quarrington’s King Leary.” ACQL Annual Conference, May 30-June 2 2015, University of Ottawa.

“Alice Munro and the Memorized Poem.” The Alice Munro Symposium, May 9-11 2014, University of Ottawa.