Photo of Simon Turner

Simon Turner

Degrees:M.A. (Carleton University), B.A. (Trent University)

Alternative kinship; experimental media; British modernism; marginalized subjectivity; identity politics; poststructuralist theory

My research examines configurations of kinship outside family relations, arguing that they expose the fault lines of neoliberal identity politics. Bringing into dialogue diverse texts from across the past century, I build on intersectional kinship discourses to study a broad array of alternative kinships, such as those formed by queer “chosen families,” Black diasporic networks of belonging, and communities based on artistic practices. My work uses the ethos expressed by the works of queer British modernist author and social commentator E. M. Forster as a lens for interpreting how the ethical investments shared by multiple media depicting queer, Black, and trans lives address the problematics of identity today, while also speaking back to the issues with which Forster wrestled in his time. I further study the ways aesthetic forms themselves can model alternative kinship relations through narrative structure or media composition. In creating an interdisciplinary dialogue between diverse texts, my project interrogates their aesthetics and ethics alongside their production and reception to consider the lines of kinship that form within, across, and in the process of creating these narratives, in turn exploring the potentials for empathizing with others regardless of sharing an identity label.

– Turner, Simon and Stuart J. Murray. “Becoming Host: Zooming in on the Pandemic Horror Film.” Creative Resilience and COVID-19: Figuring the Everyday in a Pandemic, edited by Irene Gammel and Jason Wang, Routledge, pp. 145-154, 2022.

– “Celebrating the Ecstasy of Death in ‘Dr Woolacott.’” Re-Orientating E. M. Forster: Texts, Contexts, Receptions, Apr. 2020, University of Cambridge. Cancelled due to COVID-19.
– “Speech in Action: (Mis)communication and Achieving Desire in E. M. Forster’s Maurice.” Department of English MA Colloquium, 3 July 2019, Carleton University.
– “Ecstatic Death as Biopolitical Resistance in E. M. Forster’s ‘Dr Woolacott.’” Endnotes: Disruption, Resistance, Resilience, 30 May 2019, University of British Columbia.
– “‘In My Heart Do I Play a Double Part’: Troubling Identity and the Concept of Home in Countee Cullen’s ‘Heritage.’” English Graduate Student Society Conference: [Per]forming the Present, 28 Apr. 2019, Carleton University.
– “Icarus and Différance: Derrida’s Theories in W. H. Auden and Rob Winger.” Québec Universities English Undergraduate Conference, Mar. 2016, Bishop’s University.

– SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, (2021-present)
– Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2020-2021)
– Gordon J. Wood Graduate Scholarship in English, Carleton University (2018-2019)
– George Johnston Poetry Award (First Prize), Department of English, Carleton University (2019)
– Barbara Rooke Travel Prize, Department of English, Trent University (2017)
– Sylvia Cherney Scholarship, Department of English, Trent University (2014-2015)

– Affiliated Scholar, Transgender Media Lab, Carleton University (2020-present)
– Committee Chair, Department of English MA Colloquium, Department of English, Carleton University (2019)
– Panel Chair, Interface: “(Un)bound: Interdisciplinary Dialogues,” Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture, Carleton University (2019)
– Committee Member and Panel Chair, English Graduate Student Society Conference: “[Per]forming the Present,” Department of English, Carleton University (2018-2019)