Photo of Gurli A. Woods

Gurli A. Woods

Associate Professor (Retired)

Degrees:Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)


Educated in Denmark, Germany, and Canada.

Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 1975. Held a Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship to work on Ph.D. dissertation.

Began as a Sessional Lecturer at Carleton in the Department of German in January 1973 and in Comparative Literature in 1975. Now full time Associate Professor cross-appointed between the Institute of Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture, and the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s Studies.

Founding member and Former President of the “Learned Society” Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada. Past Editor of the Association’s journal Scandinavian-Canadian Studies.

Research Interests

  • Contemporary Scandinavian and Canadian women writers from the perspectives of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and various “post” theories.
  • Writings about former Danish West Indies (now U.S. Virgin Islands) from post-colonial perspective.


Teaches gender and literature courses focusing on two different eras: European Women’s Literature around 1900, and literature written by mainly Canadian women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds (European, African, and Asian).


  • “Women Can’t Paint, Women Can’t Write: The Tyranny of Anti-Feminist Rhetoric in Truisms and Fairy Tales, as Problematized by Woolf in To the Lighthouse ,” The Canadian Journal of Rhetorical Studies/La Revue Canadienne d’études rhétoriques , vol. 3, 169-86. Edited by Randal Marlin. Ottawa: Carleton University Centre for Rhetorical Studies/Centre d’études rhétoriques de Carleton University, 1993.
  • “De <<gale>> forfattere Amalie Skram og Virginia Woolf og deres<<sindsygeromaner>>” [The `Mad’ Authors Amalie Skram and Virginia Woolf and Their`Novels of Madness’], in Amalie Skram: dikterliv i brytningstid . Ed. Inger E. Haavet and Elisabeth Aasen. Skriftsserien, vol. 6. Bergen: Centre for Women’s Humanistic Research, 1993, 113-130.
  • Ed . Isak Dinesen and Narrativity: Reassessments for the 1990s . Introduction by G.Woods. Cahiers TADAC Papers, vol. 3. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1994.
  • “The Space in the Margins: Suzanne Brøgger’s `No-Man’s Land,’ Kristjana Gunnars’ The Substance of Forgetting , and Aritha van Herk’s Places Far from Ellesmere ,” in Transcultural Travels: Essays in Canadian Literature and Society . Ed. Mari Peepre-Bordessa. The Nordic Association for Canadian Studies Text Series, vol. 11. Lund: NACS, 1994, 111-124.
  • Lilith and Gender Equality in Isak Dinesen’s `The Supper at Helsinore’ and `The Old Chevalier,'” in Isak Dinesen and Narrativity: Reassessments for the 1990s. Edited by Gurli Woods. Cahiers TADAC Pepers, vol 3. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1994, 47-61.
  • “The W(rite) of Passage: From Childhood to Womanhood in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Emily books,” Gender and Narrativ ity . Ed. Barry Rutland. TADAC Papers/Cahiers TADAC, vol. 2. Ottawa: Carleton UP / TADAC, 1997, 147-58.
  • “Aritha van Herk’s Rediscovery of Canada – or How to Avoid Travel and Story: Restlessness: A Novel .” In Rediscovering Canada – Image, Place and Text . Ed. Gudrun Björk Gudsteins. NACS Text Series 16. Reykjavik: NACS & IFLUI, 2001. 171-5.
  • “From Postmodern Fragmentation to Rebirth: Suzanne Brøgger’s Work from the Early 1990s.” In Scandinavian Women’s Writing: Contemporary Critical Approaches . Special issue of Scandinavian Studies 76.2 (2004). 257-78.
  • “A Milestone in Brøgger Scholarship: Marina Allemano’s ‘Introduction’ to Suzanne Brøgger’s Symbolic and Philosophical Universe.” Scandinavian-Canadian Studies/Etudes scandinaves au Canada 15 (2004-05). 119-29.  [Marina Allemano. Suzanne Brøgger: en introduktion. Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 2004. 236 pages.]
  • “Silenced Roots and Post-colonial Reality: Marlene Nourbese Philip’s She Tries Her Tongue: Her Silence Softly Breaks .”  In Literary Environments: Canada and the Old World, ed. Britta Olinder. Bruxelles: Peter Lang [Canadian Studies 5 and NACS Text Series 21], 2006. 157-70.
  •  “Transcending Borders in Merete Morken Andersen’s Postmodern Book of Poems: Fiendens musikk.” In Gränser i nordisk litteratur / Borders in Nordic Literature, vol 1. Eds. Heidi Grönstrand and Ursula Gustafsson. Åbo/Turku, Finland: Åbo akademis förlag, 2008. 179-87.

 Professor Woods has presented numerous papers on women writers at scholarly conferences.