Dr. Deborah C. Bowen

Professor Emerita of English

Phone: 9056482131 Ext:


Office: 219M

Department: English


Ph.D. (1990), English, University of Ottawa
Dissertation: Mimesis, Magic, Manipulation: A Study of the Photograph in Contemporary British and Canadian Novels.

Cert. Ed. (1971), English, Cambridge University, UK

B.A. Hons (1970) & M.A. (1974), English Language and Literature, Oxford University, UK


  • Western Culture & Tradition II (HUM-120)
  • Ways of Reading: Fiction (ENG-103)
  • Environmental Literature (ENG-241)
  • Nineteenth-Century English Literature II: Victorian (ENG-346)
  • British Literature, 1950-Present (ENG-347)
  • Contemporary Fiction (ENG-357)
  • Postcolonial Literature (ENG-376)
  • Contemporary Critical Theory (ENG-416)
  • Modern Canadian Poetry (ENG-427)
  • Studies in Postcolonial Literature (ENG-476)


Bowen’s monograph Stories of the Middle Space: Reading the Ethics of Postmodern Realisms (McGill-Queen’s U P, 2010) and her edited collection of essays The Strategic Smorgasbord of Postmodernity: Literature and the Christian Critic (Cambridge Scholars P, 2007) demonstrate her concern with reading contemporary literature from a Christian perspective and her belief that God is at work in literature even where the divine is not immediately obvious there. She regularly publishes articles on contemporary British and Canadian fiction and poetry in books and scholarly journals, and has also contributed a number of papers on pedagogy and on the importance of the humanities. She has presented over seventy papers at Christian/confessional academic conferences and public academic conferences in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and elsewhere. In the winter semester of 2013, she was the ARCU (Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities) lecturer for the year, and gave lectures at Tyndale U.C., Trinity Christian College in Chicago, Geneva College in Pennsylvania, The King’s University in Edmonton, and the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. Though Bowen retired from full-time work in June of 2017, she is still teaching part time, and hopes to do so for as long as her family situation allows. She is presently working with a SSHRC grant on The Poetry and Ecology Project, one of whose outcomes is the leaflets posted at Dr. Bowen is co-director, with Dr. Katherine Quinsey at the University of Windsor, of the national Christianity and Literature Study Group.

Research Interests

Current Research

Research Funding

Awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant to work on “The Voice of Environmental Hope in Contemporary Ontarian Poetry,” June 2016-May 2018.

Awarded a Zylstra grant to work on “EcoAtwood meets EcoChristianity,” April 2015

Stories of the Middle Space: Reading the Ethics of Postmodern Realisms (McGill-Queen’s UP) was awarded an Aid to Scholarly Publications grant by SSHRC.

Recent Publications


Stories of the Middle Space: Reading the Ethics of Postmodern Realisms. Deborah C. Bowen. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010.

The Strategic Smorgasbord of Postmodernity: Literature and the Christian Critic, ed. Deborah C. Bowen. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007.

Book Chapters

“Reading the Devil in the Landscape.” The Hermeneutics of Hell: Devilish Visions and Visions of the Devil in World Literature. Dan Russ and Gregor Thuswaldner, eds. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, July 2017.

“‘What’s the Use of Stories That Aren’t Even True?’ Salman Rushdie, Religion, and the Magic Real.” Visions and Revisions: The Word and the Text. Ed. Roger Kojecký and Andrew Tate. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 51-65.


“Ecological Endings and Eschatology: Margaret Atwood’s Post-Apocalyptic Fiction.” Christianity and Literature, Sept. 2017.

‘Do you understand what you are reading?’–rhetoric, ethics and aesthetics in the undergraduate classroom.” International Journal of Christianity & Education 20.1 (Winter 2016): 7-19.

‘Seeing Beyond the Scenery’: Exploring the World Through Metaphor.” Canadian Theological Review2.1 (2013): 59-78.

Selected Book Reviews

Spatial Engagement with Poetry by Heather H. Yeung.” The Goose 14.2 (2016), Article 14.

The poetry of Daphne Marlatt, by Daphne Marlatt (S. Knutson, Ed); North of California Street: Selected poems, by George Stanley (S. Thesen, Ed); The order in which we do things: The poetry of Tom Wayman, by T. Wayman (O. Percy, Ed)]. Journal of Canadian Poetry 31 (2016): 74-83.

Red Doc >, by Anne Carson. Journal of Canadian Poetry 30 (2013).


Stories of the Middle Space – Learn more 

The Strategic Smorgasbord of Postmodernity – Learn more

For the Christianity and Literature Study Group (a national organization allied with ACCUTE), find more information HERE.

The Poetry and Ecology Project