University of Calgary

Derritt Mason

  • Associate Professor

Office Hours

via ZOOM

Professional Description

My primary research and teaching interests sit at the intersection of children's and young adult literature, queer theory, and cultural studies. I am the author of Queer Anxieties of Young Adult Literature and Culture (UP of Mississippi, 2021) and the co-editor, with Kenneth B. Kidd, of Queer as Camp: Essays on Summer, Style, and Sexuality (Fordham UP, 2019). Otherwise, my publications include essays on:

I also co-edited, with Ela Przybylo, a special issue of ESC (40.1) entitled Hysteria Manifest: Cultural Lives of a Great Disorder. For more, see my personal webpage.

I welcome undergraduate and graduate students who wish to pursue research in areas including children's and young adult literature, gender and sexuality studies, critical theory, and cultural studies. In my own research and teaching, I enjoy thinking across media and form; I draw on film, comics, video games, fan fiction, and a variety of digital texts in addition to print literature and theory, and I encourage students to do the same. I am currently co-supervising PhD projects on Asian North American Young Adult Literature (S. Yu) and the transmedia circulation of Dungeons & Dragons (S. Bauhart); I have supervised a Master's thesis on queerness in video games and video game literature (L. Brooks), and English Honours projects on the pedagogy of Harry Potter time travel fan fiction (M. Anderson), the function of fantasy and fairy tale tropes in Japanese role playing games (B. Johnson), feminist readings of Disney's 2017 version of Beauty and the Beast (J. Freeman), and ecocritical readings of the "Sleeping Beauty" tale (L. Van Dyk).

At the undergraduate level, I often teach ENGL 396 (Literature for Young People), a class in which my students and I question the boundaries of how we typically imagine children's and young adult literature. I have also designed and taught undergraduate classes on dystopian young adult literature, queer children's literature, and queer theory and video games. At the graduate level, I have offered several classes on queer theory and young adult fiction. I have also taught undergraduate and graduate versions of "The Virtual Child," a seminar on digital texts for young people. In 2020, I received the Faculty of Arts Award for Outstanding Early Career Teacher.

I am currently serving as Vice-President of the Association for Research in Cultures of Young People (2019-2021) and an Executive Board Member of the Children's Literature Association (2018-2021).

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