(December 21, 2012) — Luke Bresky studied and taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his PhD in 1999. At that large institution, he lectured to groups of up to 400 students.
After completing a one-year J. William Fulbright Scholarship at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, he decided to return to Calgary, his hometown, in 2003.
Shortly after that, he began teaching at St. Mary’s University. While it was a far cry from UCLA in many ways, he has found this to be the perfect place to share his passion for literature with equally passionate students.
“The advantage that we have here at St. Mary’s, over the model of education of universities such as UCLA, is hard to put a price on,” Dr. Bresky said. “It is a luxurious thing to spread your time and resources as a teacher that thickly.”
Dr. Bresky said that students in the English program at St. Mary’s are “first-rate, judged by any standard,” noting how much they benefit from becoming members of a close-knit academic community.
“I come into my class sometimes, and the talk is deafening,” he said. “The students know each other and they like each other.”
With typical classes numbering less than 20, even the most reticent students become engaged in the fascinating conversations that frequently occur.
“By their second year, students are on a first-name basis with the entire English program,” Dr. Bresky said. “You know these people won’t bite you and you know they will catch you if you fall.”
“I love teaching here.”
Dr. Bresky has pursued his academic interest in American literature, critical theory and African-American literature through conference presentations and academic publications. He is currently Executive Secretary of the Canadian Association of American Studies (CAAS), and committee chair and adjudicator for the two academic prizes sponsored annually by the CAAS.
He has co-edited a book, The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne, with his UCLA mentor Michael Colacurcio, which will be published in 2013. Additional articles and reviews are forthcoming in 2013, as well.
As president of the St. Mary’s University Faculty Association, he represents his colleagues at regular Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) meetings across the country.
He recently developed a new course, ENGL 381.6 – The Lost Generation: American Writers in Exile, which is offered as a travel study opportunity in France and Spain in July 2013. French Professor Dr. Antoine Sassine will teach IDST 301 – Contemporary Mediterranean Cultures on the same trip.
Dr. Bresky lived in Paris for a year during graduate school, and often travelled to Europe for extended periods with his family as a child. Fluent in French, he is looking forward to his Paris “homecoming” and to walking the streets frequented by American writers living and working in Europe after World War I.