William James in a seance, sometime before 1910

Dissertation

Canadian Modernist Poetry and the Rise of Personal Religions

My dissertation, “Canadian Modernist Poetry and the Rise of Personal Religions,” examined the influence of what William James calls “personal religion” in relation to the mid-twentieth-century Canadian poetry of E.J. Pratt, Margaret Avison, Louis Dudek, and P.K. Page. In particular, my study focused on how this poetry was affected by the relegation of religion to the private sphere in and leading up to the 1960s, a decade which witnessed a marked increase in non-doctrinal forms of religious expression.