Lecturer, Department of English, University of Saskatchewan
Lecturer, Department of English, University of Saskatchewan
I'm Justin Pfefferle, a lecturer in the Department of English and Graham School of Professional Communication at the University of Saskatchewan. I teach courses in modern British and American Literature, Film, Cultural Studies, and Rhetoric & Communication. Prior to coming back to Saskatchewan, I was Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the State University of New York, my first job after getting my PhD at McGill University in 2015.
As a researcher, I'm preoccupied with all things mid-century, with a focus in wartime and the immediate postwar period. I've presented work at the Space Between and Modernist Studies Association Conferences on figures like Patrick Hamilton, Humphrey Jennings, Elizabeth Bowen, and Lee Miller. I'm currently working on a book project called Surrealism and Documentary in Britain during the Second World War.
I'm developing a burgeoning interest in contemporary digital and new media arts, especially video and sound art. Some of my writing on media art can be found in the newly released book Paved Meant, a collection of essays about installations that exhibited at the terrific artist-run gallery Paved Arts in Saskatoon SK, Canada. I'm also an enthusiastic reviewer of Canadian fiction, for such literary publications as the Maple Tree Literary Supplement, the Malahat Review, and the Bull Calf Review.
My primary area of research involves excavating connections between experimental and mass-cultural forms, especially at mid-century in Britain. I'm a committed interdisciplinarian, and my work stretches from literary to visual media, especially cinema and photography. I'm currently working on a book called Surrealism and Documentary in Britain during the Second World War, which includes chapters on Lee Miller, Humphrey Jennings, William Sansom, and Elizabeth Bowen.
I'm also building a project that deals with how novels in the twentieth century contend with other media, including photography, radio, the telephone, cinema, and television. I'm looking at novels by Joseph Conrad, Patricia Highsmith, Muriel Spark, Graham Greene, Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, and Martin Amis.
I'm putting the final touches on a couple articles, too: one called "Mass-Observation, the English Pub, and Patrick Hamilton's The Slaves of Solitude," and another called "Reading James Bond Reading Women: 007's Hermeneutics of Suspicion." Lastly, I'm presenting a paper on Daphne Du Maurier's and Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca at the Space Between Society Conference in Oxford, Mississippi, in May 2017. That paper is called "Rebecca, Adaptation, Rebecca."
Hit play on the video to watch a talk I gave at SUNY New Paltz in March 2016 called "Lucid Abnormality: Lee Miller, Elizabeth Bowen, and the Surrealism of the Second World War." That talk includes stuff that's going into the book!
In my classes, I encourage students to make connections between texts, ideas, and each other, and to use the classroom as a space for indulging intellectual curiosity. Below you can find descriptions and links to syllabi for some of the courses I've developed and taught at McGill University, SUNY New Paltz, and the University of Saskatchewan.
In introduction to film, we view and discuss significant films, read seminal works of film criticism and theory, and cultivate a vocabulary for thinking, speaking, and writing critically about cinema. Starting with early experiments in photography and moving image technology, we follow a trajectory that includes silent film, German Expressionism, Surrealism, film noir, American Direct Cinema, the French New Wave, and Canadian documentary.
Syllabus: Introduction to Film
Reading narrative begins from the premise that human beings are story-telling animals and that we cannot not narrate our realities. In this class, we engage with a variety of literary forms—essays, short fiction, poetry, the novel, and drama—in order to clarify what we mean when we’re talking (and writing!) about narrative.
Syllabus: Reading Narrative
In his “First Principles of Documentary,” John Grierson admitted that “documentary is a clumsy description,” but urged his reader to “let it stand.” Rather than accept Grierson’s advice, we examine precisely what it means to describe a film as documentary by viewing and talking about a survey of significant films, including Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North, D.A. Pennebaker’s Dont Look Back, Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Reassemblage, and Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine.
Syllabus: Introduction to Documentary Cinema
This course introduces students to a representative survey of British literature from the 17th century to the present. We study a variety of canonical texts. As well as discussing the formal and aesthetic properties of the works we examine, we spend time situating these texts in their respective cultural, historical, social, and political contexts. Of necessity, this involves a sustained conversation about what the very concept of the canonical entails.
Syllabus: The Canon and its Discontents
The etymology of “essay,” from the French essai, describes a practice that hinges on the idea of attempt. In this class, we hone our skills as essayists—readers and commentators who embrace the experience of thinking and writing as an ever-going process—through the close reading and discussion of seminal essays of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Syllabus: The Art of the Essay
The purpose of this course is to prepare students to negotiate the rhetorical, political, ethical, and interpersonal challenges of communicating in a professional environment. The class mixes theory with practice in order to help develop students’ communicative judgement and effectiveness.
Syllabus: Rhetoric and Professional Communication
This course follows the evolution of the novel as it developed in the twentieth century alongside other communications technologies, including photography, radio, telephony, television, cinema, and the internet. The course is aimed at heightening our appreciation of the dominant literary form of the twentieth century and better understanding the various ways and forces through which media interact with one another.
It’s not easy to put together a successful application for arts, research, and business funding. Oftentimes, people submit their applications without knowing what their audience is looking for, and without the benefit of professional editorial guidance. As an experienced and successful writer of grants and a scholar trained in professional communication, I've helped numerous people secure institutional and government funding for arts and research projects. I want to help you, too.
At Pfefferle Editorial and Consulting, I provide editorial services and face-to-face consultation to make sure your applications are as strong as they can possibly be come deadline-day. If you're applying for a Canada Council or Saskatchewan Arts Board grant, SSHRC funding, or writing a graduate school or post-doc application, let me know if I can be of assistance!
Check the three packages below to see if one of them fits your needs. And if you want to have an informal chat about what I can do for you, drop me a line at PfefferleEditorialConsulting(at)gmail.com!
Editorial Feedback (up to 4 pgs)
I help make your document as strong as possible by providing commentary on clarity of writing, structure, tone, grammar, etc., within document, as well as giving 1-2 pages of substantial general written feedback
Editorial Comments (4pp)
Consultation (45-60 mins, Face-to-Face or Skype)
As well as providing commentary on clarity of writing, structure, tone, grammar, etc., within document, and 1-2 pages of substantial general written feedback, I discuss your proposal with you and help you develop a strategy for a next draft or submission.
Editorial Comments on Follow-up Draft
As well as providing commentary on clarity of writing, structure, tone, grammar, etc., within document, and 1-2 pages of substantial general written feedback, I discuss your proposal with you and help you develop a strategy for a next draft or submission. Following our meeting, I provide in-document commentary and general feedback on a subsequent draft following our meeting.