Professor Susan Rudy, Honours BA (Wilfrid Laurier), MA (New Brunswick), PhD (York)
Director, Centre for Poetry, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow
I am an Honorary Professor in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for Poetry at Queen Mary. Prior to moving to the UK in 2011, I enjoyed a long career in Canada where I served as a Professor of English (1999-2016) and in other roles at the University of Calgary, including Head of the Department of English (2003-2008). In London, I held Senior Research Fellowships at the Gender Institute, London School of Economics (2012) and the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London (2012-2013). From 2012-2016, I carried out research at and directed The Rhodes Project, a London-based charity and research centre founded to work toward gender equality. Qualitative research on work/life data collected by The Rhodes Project Rhodes led to a collaboration at Said Business School, University of Oxford, where I was elected Visiting Fellow 2014-2016. I joined Queen Mary in August 2016.
Photograph by Honza Cervenka
My key research interests are:
- Contemporary and experimental poetry and poetics
- Queer feminist theory
- Women's experimental writing
Recent and On-Going Research
I have been writing, editing, and publishing at the intersection of experimental poetry and queer feminist theory since the 1980s and am the author or editor of four books and many journal articles and book chapters. Recent publications include ‘A Queer Response to Caroline Bergvall’s Hyphenated Practice’ in Reading Experimental Writing (2020) and ‘Gender’s Ontoformativity, or Refusing to be Spat out of Reality’ (2021) in Feminist Theory. Other recent publications include poetry at New York’s Politics/Letters Live, articles at The New Statesman, and ‘Writing What Exists’ at many gendered mothers. Current work includes an autotheoretical memoir tentatively entitled Queer Openings: Reading, Gender, Experimental Writing.
Queer Openings is a story of profound transitions across sexualities, geographies, ways of being, reading, writing. Yet it is also literary criticism. My scholarly interest in experimental writing arose out of my very early publications as a poet. While studying early modern literature for an MA at the University of New Brunswick, I attended a poetry summer school led by the Jewish-Canadian scholar and poet Eli Mandel, a Professor of English at Toronto’s York University. Mandel’s encouragement of my writing and enthusiasm about his home Department changed my life and I soon found myself studying for a PhD in contemporary Canadian literature amongst the lively community of writer-practitioners and feminist theorists that had formed in 1980s Toronto around the journals Open Letter and Tessera. The completion of my York PhD (1988) was preceded by the birth of my first daughter (Erin, 1986), at which point I turned my professional attention toward the establishment of a track record as a literary critic. My early interest in writing poetry led, however, to a lifelong desire to engage with poets and to think about poetry and literary criticism as aspects of my own writing practice.
I have been an active participant in dialogues around poetry and poetics and continue to engage in community-building work with other writers, academics, and critics. I curate Conversations about Innovative Aesthetics, Feminism, Racism and the Future, a Facebook group with 350+ members. In 2019, I founded and currently facilitate the Queer Poetics Research Network in the Centre for Poetry at Queen Mary. And with Georgina Colby at the University of Westminster, I founded S A L O N - LONDON, a site for reading and responding to the present through women's experimental writing in 2016. SALON-LONDON is hosted jointly by Queen Mary’s Centre for Poetry and Westminster's Centre for Modern and Contemporary Culture.
- Butling, Pauline and Susan Rudy. 2005. Writing in Our Time: Canada’s Radical Poetries in English (1957-2003). Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
- Butling, Pauline, and Susan Rudy. 2005. Poets Talk: Interviews with Marie Annharte Baker, Dionne Brand, Jeff Derksen, Daphne Marlatt, Robert Kroetsch, Erin Mouré, and Fred Wah. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press.
- Rudy, Susan, ed. 2005. Fluid Arguments. By Nicole Brossard. Trans. Nicole Brossard, Anne-Marie Wheeler, Alice Parker, Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood, Patricia Claxton, and Marlene Wildeman. Toronto: Mercury Press.
Recent Articles and Book Chapters
- Rudy, Susan. 2022. ‘A reach for what we only hope is there’: Bronwen Wallace’s Writing at the Interval.’ In Bronwen Wallace: Collected Essays. Wanda Campbell. Quebec: Guernica.
- Rudy, Susan. 2021. (Available online early view.) ‘Gender’s Ontoformativity, or Refusing to be Spat out of Reality: Reclaiming Queer Women’s Solidarity Through Experimental Writing.’ Feminist Theory 1. DOI: 1177/1464700119881311.
- Rudy, Susan. 2020. ‘A Queer Response to Caroline Bergvall’s Hyphenated Practice: Toward an Interdependent Model of Reading.’ In Reading Experimental Writing. Ed. Georgina Colby. Edinburgh University Press. 163-184.Rudy, Susan. 2020. ‘Reading for Queer Openings: Moving. Archives of the Self. Fred Wah.’ In Moving Archives. Linda M. Morra. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 169-190.
- Hemmings, Clare and Susan Rudy. 2019. ‘I don’t know what gender is, but I can and I do and we all do’: An Interview with Clare Hemmings, Head of the Department of Gender Studies, London School of Economics. European Journal of Women’s Studies. 2 (May): 1-12. DOI: 10.1177/1350506819833240.
Queer Poetics Research Network To provide a framework for collaboration across generations, institutions and practices; races, genders, and sexualities, in 2019 I founded the Queer Poetics Research Network within the Centre for Poetry at Queen Mary.
S A L O N - LONDON With Dr Georgina Colby of the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture (IMCC) at the University of Westminster, I founded and direct S A L O N - LONDON, a site for reading and responding to the present through women's experimental writing. S A L O N - LONDON is hosted jointly by QMUL's Centre for Poetry and Westminster's IMCC.
The New Statesman blogs
Rudy, Susan. 2016. Can we celebrate all who identify as women on International Women’s Day?The New Statesman. 8 March. [Accessed 19 May 2016.]
Rudy, Susan. 2016. What does Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign tell us about gender equality today? The New Statesman. 16 February. [Accessed 19 May 2016.]
Debate at the Oxford Union
Rudy, Susan, Amanda Poole, Josh Levs. 2015. Member, winning team arguing against the proposition that feminism needs to be rebranded. Featured event at the Power Shift: Women in the World Economy. Said Business School, University of Oxford. [Accessed 23 May 2016]
Other Contributions to Digital Culture / Engagement with Artists and Writers
Rudy, Susan. 2010. Editor, compiler, webmaster. The Fred Wah Digital Archive. Accessed 8 April 2011. [http://www.fredwah.ca, accessed 08 April 2011.] This site has been rebuilt as http://fredwah.ca/ [Accessed 21 September 2016.]
Recent Public Lectures
Contemporary Innovative Poetry Seminar, Institute for English Studies, University of London (2013)
Hall-Carpenter Archives, London School of Economics (2013)
Contemporary Innovative Poetry Seminar, Institute for English Studies, University of London (2012)
Gender Institute, London School of Economics (2012)