Monica Sousa received her B.A. (Honours) in 2017 and her M.A. in 2018 from Brock University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the department of English at York University. She is a recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2019–2020).

Monica specializes in contemporary literature, and her research focuses on animal studies, posthumanism, and biotechnology in contemporary science fiction. Her dissertation will be exploring human and nonhuman animal relations in contemporary science fiction, with a focus on technologically engineered animals (or “biotech animals”, as she calls them) which can include genetically modified animals or animals with cybernetic/robotic enhancements. She is interested in care responses, such as empathy and sympathy, and in the ethics regarding how we treat these animals and how we show care towards them after they have been created.

Monica contributed a chapter to Critical Insights: Life of Pi (2020) published by Salem Press. She also has a forthcoming chapter contribution on Jeff Vandermeer’s novel Borne, to be published by Routledge in April 2021 in Posthumanism and Transhumanism in Twenty-First Century Narrative. She has presented conference papers at WorldCon (2018), the International Conference on Contemporary Narratives in English, the European Association for Critical Animal Studies, and the Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Monica’s other research interests include feminist theory and women and gender studies, gothic literature (including Southern gothic), post-apocalyptic literature, and ecofeminism/ecocriticism.


PhD in English                                                                                          2018 – Present

York University, Toronto, ON

Dissertation working title: “Biotech Animals, Ethics, and Care Approaches in Contemporary Science Fiction”

Supervisor: Dr. Allan Weiss

Committee members: Dr. Marcus Boon and Dr. Jody Berland


Master of Arts in English: Community/Text/Discourse                            2017 – 2018

Brock University, St Catharines, ON

Major Research Paper title: “Animality and ‘the Human Part’: Empathizing with Zom-beings and the (Non)human”  

Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Pendakis      


Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English Language and Literature        2012 – 2017

Brock University, St Catharines, ON                                  


a.      Chapter Contributions to Books

       “Reassessing the Predator: Representations of Predatory Animals in Vaillant’s The Tiger and Blakeslee’s The Wolf.” Posthumanist Perspectives on Literary and Cultural Animals. Ed. Krishanu Maiti. Springer Nature, 2021.

 “‘Am I a Person?’: Biotech Animals and Posthumanist Empathy in Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne.Posthumanism and Transhumanism in Twenty-First Century Narrative. Ed. Baelo-Allue, Sonia and Monica Calvo Pascual. Routledge, 2021.

 “Empathizing with Animals through Fiction: Animal Studies in Life of Pi.” Critical Insights: Life of Pi. Ed. Bogar, Adam T and Rebeka Sara Szigethy. Salem Press Grey House Publishing, 2020.


b.      Book Reviews

Review of Glutton for Punishment by Christopher Doda, Cries from the Arc by Dan MacIsaac, and Dust Blown Side of the Journey by Eleonore Schönmaier. House, Home, Hospitality, Special issue of Canadian Literature, 2019. Pg. 139-141.


c.       Reference Entries

       Reference entries for Watership Down (1972) by Richard Adams, The Giver (1993), Lois Lowry, Super Sad True Love Story (2010) by Gary Shteyngart, and Night of the Living Dead (1990) directed by George A. Romero. Dystopian States of America: Apocalyptic Visions and Warnings in American Literature, Film, and Politics. ABC-CLIO Publishers. Forthcoming late-2021.

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