Dr. Luke Bresky
Associate Professor, English
Phone: (403) 254-3712
PhD English, University of California, Los Angeles
MA English, University of California, Davis
BA English, University of Calgary
Specialization/research interests: American literature, critical theory and African-American literature
Born and raised in Calgary, I went to the United States to do my graduate studies soon after finishing my B.A. at U of C., where my father had taught French literature. I did an M.A at the University of California, Davis, and worked as a journeyman conversation and composition teacher in Germany before undertaking my PhD at UCLA. As a specialist in U.S. literature and culture, I wrote my dissertation on the deliberate, often anxious efforts of the first internationally recognized American authors to produce a distinctive national literature—and to become national heroes in the process. My original interest in the pre-Civil War period, sometimes called the “American Renaissance,” sprang from the recognition that the early stages of U.S. Literature had much in common with the much more recent “project phase” of Canada’s national literature. At a time of growing academic interest in nationalism and national identity, I found grants to conduct research abroad: In Paris, I spent a year studying early 20th century theories of tribal and national solidarity; and in Mainz, Germany (as a new PhD), I was a Fulbright lecturer in American Studies. I came home to the following year, and found St. Mary’s to be the most exciting new feature of Calgary’s landscape. I taught my first course here in 2004, when the English B.A. became our first accredited four-year degree. Since then, my research has concerned the cross-fertilizing relation between the American Literary Renaissance and the phenomenal social reform movement that coincided with it.
“Impounders of Stray Women: Feminine Fugitives at Blithedale.”American Political Fictions. Martin Griffin, ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. (Forthcoming 2013.)
“The Recuperative Trend in Hawthorne Studies: New or Improved?”Canadian Review of American Studies Vol. 41.2 (August 2011).
“Latitudes and Longitudes of Our Condition: The Nationality of Emerson’s Representatives.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance Vol. 48.4 (October 2002).
“Kindred.” Literature and Its Times. Vol V. Joyce Moss, ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 2003.
“Invisible Man.” Literature and Its Times. Vol IV, 1999.
“Marcel Mauss’s National Internationalism: An Approach to The Gift.” In Paroles Gelées 15.2 (1997).
“Babbitt.” In Literature and Its Times. Vol III, 1997.
“Reflections on ‘Reading the Landscape: Exploring a Southern Albertan Sense of Place Through Literature, Ecology, and History.” Presented jointly with Drs. Mary Ann McLean and Gayle Thrift. Under Western Skies 2: Environment, Community and Culture in North America. Mount Royal University, Calgary, October 10-13, 2012.
“Japhy Ryder’s Footprint: Kerouac’s Rucksack Revolution in Consumer Culture.” The Aesthetics of Renewal (Canadian Association of American Studies Conference) Ottawa, November 3-6, 2011.
“Total Social Services and the American Patient in Melville’s Typee.” Health/Care/Nation: An Interdisciplinary Conference in American Studies, University of Windsor, November 2010.
“Ecocriticism, Nature Writing and Our Sense of Place.” Interdisciplinary Course proposal/presentation: “Reading Wilderness.” St. Mary’s Colloquium Series, February 2010.
“Octavia Butler’s Kindred: Synchronic Crisis and Diachronic Calm.” Canadian Association of American Studies Annual Conference, University of Western Ontario, November 2009.
“Reading Wilderness in the Landscape of South Alberta.” Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ottawa, May 2009.
“The Spirit of Burke’s Sublime: Learning How to Fall.” St. Mary’s Arts and Spirituality Speakers Series, November 2008.
“On the ‘Edge’ of American Irony: Hawthorne/James, Provincial/Cosmopolitan.” Canadian Association of American Studies Annual Conference, Montreal, November 2007.
“Contexts for The Blithedale Romance: the Abolitionist Schism in Universal Reform.” St. Mary’s Colloquium Series, Fall 2005.
“Imperfectionism in Hawthorne’s ‘The Birthmark.’” Invited Paper, Mount Allison University, May 2004.
“Impounders of Stray Women: Feminist Abolitionism in The Blithedale Romance.” University of Manitoba, English Department Colloquium, March 2004.
“Transatlantic Travel as Time-Travel.” Fulbright Lecture Series in American Studies, University of Rostock, May 2003.
“Europhilia and Cosmopolitanism in James Weldon Johnson’sAutobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.” Invited Lecture (Vorlesungsvertrag), University of Würzburg, January 2003.
“Diversity/Religious Diversity.” (Panel chair and discussant) Inter-Cultural America—International Conference in American Studies, University of Mainz, November, 2002.
“Imperialism and Self-Possession: Frederick Douglass’s Diplomacy in Haiti.” American Studies Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., November, 2001.
“The ‘Foreign Greatness’ of Emerson’s Representative Men—Is There Any Other Kind?” UCLA Center for Modern and Contemporary Studies International Conference, Los Angeles, March 2000.
“Melville’s Israel Potter: Everyman Meets Representative Man.” UCLA Melville Seminar, January 1998.
“Mauss and Durkheim on Nationalism.” States of Identity: UCLA French Department Interdisciplinary Conference, Los Angeles, April 1997.