AboutSue Sorensen lives in Winnipeg, where she teaches English at Canadian Mennonite University. In 2015 she published The Collar: Reading Christian Ministry in Fiction, Television, and Film (Cascade). She is the author of a novel, A Large Harmonium (Coteau, 2011), winner of Best First book at the Manitoba book Awards, and she’s also the editor of West of Eden: Essays on Canadian Prairie Literature (CMU Press, 2008). A collection of poetry, Acutely Life, is expected in spring 2024 (At Bay Press).
Academic publications range from studies of the novels of A. S. Byatt, Henry James, Ian McEwan, and Guy Vanderhaeghe to detective fiction, children’s books, rock lyricists, and the filmmaking of Neil Young. In 2021 she took on the direction of academic publisher CMU Press.
Her poetry has been published in journals such as The New Quarterly, Exile, CV2, Grain, Room, and Prairie Fire. Her work “Blue: Three Sonnets to Mary” won Best Poem in Exile’s 2017 Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Competition.
EducationPhD, English, University of British Columbia (1999) Dissertation: Verbal and Visual Language and the Question of Faith in the Fiction of A. S. Byatt (Supervisor: Keith Alldritt)
MA, English, University of British Columbia (1993)
BA Honours, English, University of Regina (1985)
The Saint John’s Bible and its Tradition: Illuminating Beauty in the Twenty-First Century. Eds. Jack Baker, Jeffrey Bilbro, and Daniel Train. Wipf and Stock, 2018. 90-103.
“Incandescence That Hurts and Protects: Twelve and a Half Ways of Looking at Words.” A University of the Church for the World: A Festscrift for Gerald Gerbrandt. Ed. Paul Dyck and Harry Huebner. CMU Press, 2016. 181-196.
“Locked Room Mysteries from the Book of Daniel to Laurie R. King.” Christianity and the Detective Story: Essays. Ed. Anya Morlan and Walter Raubicheck. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 47-57.
“John K. Samson, Poet Laureate of Winnipeg Rock.” States of the Art: Considering Poetry Today. Ed. Klaus Martens. Königshausen & Neumann, 2010. 123-134.
“A Visual Approach to The Turn of the Screw.” Approaches to Teaching Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw and Daisy Miller. Ed. Kimberly C. Reed and Peter G. Beidler. Modern Language Association, 2005. 195-201.
“ ‘He Thinks He’s Failed’: Representations of Christian Clergy in English Canadian Fiction.” Studies in Religion / Sciences religieuses 43.4 (2014): 553-74.
“Battle or Gratitude? Attitudes Conveyed to Children by Pokémon, Bakugan, and Magic Tree House Books.” Peace Research 41.2 (2009): 5-29.
“Ian McEwan’s Saturday: The Pre/Post-Modern Novel.” Academic Exchange Quarterly 12.1 (Spring 2008): 51-55.
“Rocker Auteurs: David Byrne and Neil Young as Film Directors.” Studies in Popular Culture 30.1 (Fall 2007): 105-123.
“Don’t Hanker to Be No Prophet: Guy Vanderhaeghe and the Bible.” Canadian Literature 191 (Winter 2006): 32-46.
“A. S. Byatt and the Life of the Mind: A Response to June Sturrock.” Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate 13.1-2 (2003/2004): 180-190.
“Something of the Eternal: A. S. Byatt and Vincent Van Gogh.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 37.1 (March 2004): 63-81.
“Taking Possession: Neil LaBute Adapts a Postmodern Romance.” Literature/Film Quarterly 32.1 (January 2004): 71-77.
“Death in the Fiction of A. S. Byatt.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 43.2 (Winter 2002): 115-134.
“ ‘Damnable Feminization’?: The Merchant Ivory Adaptation of Henry James’s The Bostonians.” Literature/Film Quarterly 25.3 (Fall 1997): 231-235.
“ ‘The Terrific Darkness’: Writers, Addiction, and Depression.” Review essay of Addicted: Notes from the Belly of the Beast edited by Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane. Essays on Canadian Writing 79 (Spring 2003): 170-177.
“A Dangerous Fecundity.” Review essay of A Fine Daughter by Catherine Simmons Niven. Essays on Canadian Writing 70 (Spring 2000): 118-126.
Upcoming Talks and Conferences
Past Conference Presentations (Peer-Reviewed)
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“ ‘From a Mere Glance’: Reticent Gospel Illustration in Hunt, Tissot, Copping, and the Saint John’s Bible.” Illuminating Words Conference. Midwest Conference on Christianity and Literature. Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, Michigan. 19-20 February 2016.
“Reflections on Several Birthdays: Generations of Dickens Criticism.” The Other Dickens Conference: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Contexts. University of Portsmouth, England. 6-8 July 2012.
“What Charles Dickens Never Said about the Christian Life.” The Public Life of Literature. Conference on Christianity and Literature Midwest Regional Meeting. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 18-20 April 2012.
“Alexander McCall Smith and the Gentlewoman’s Whodunit.” Female Detective Fiction across Cultures panel. Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention. Los Angeles January 6-9, 2011.
“Locked Room Mysteries from The Book of Daniel to Laurie R. King.” Christianity and the Detective Story. Conference on Christianity and Literature Northeast Regional Meeting. Pace University, New York, NY. March 5-6, 2010.
“John K. Samson, Poet Laureate of Winnipeg Rock.” States of the Art: Considering Poetry Today Conference. Department of North American Literature & Culture. Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrucken, Germany. October 24-26, 2008.
“Moderns and Modernism on Film: Tom and Viv, The Moderns, and Kafka.” Literature/Film Association. Towson University, Baltimore. November 4, 2006.
“Keeping Silent in the Church: Cinematic and Literary Representations of Female Clergy.” Christianity and Literature Study Group, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. York University, Toronto. May 27, 2006.
“Cue the Frightsome Trogglehumpers: Film Adaptations of Roald Dahl.” Performing Childhood: Children’s Literature Association Conference. Winnipeg. June 10, 2005.
“Death by Landscape: Atwood’s Revision of Wordsworth’s ‘Lucy’ Poems.” Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture Conference. University of Louisville. February 26, 2005.
“Our Pathetic Martyrdoms, Or, Why Am I Apologizing for Reading with Faith?” Faith, Freedom and the Academy: The Idea of the University in the 21st Century. Conference. University of Prince Edward Island. October 3, 2004.
“Against Photography: Susan Sontag and the Violent Image.” The Photograph: A Conference organized by Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature. University of Manitoba. March 12, 2004.