Chantel Lavoie

Chantel Lavoie
Massey 319 (SSC33, 2018-2019)
(613) 541-6000 x 3843
(613) 541-6405
Department of English

College Address

Royal Military College of Canada
PO Box 17000, Station Forces
Kingston, Ontario, CANADA
K7K 7B4

Personal and Professional Bio:

Originally from rural Saskatchewan, I received my BA and MA from the University of Ottawa, and my PhD from the University of Toronto. I taught at the University of Toronto, chiefly on eighteenth-century poetry and prose, before coming with joy in my heart to RMC. I am passionate about early women writers, and increasingly fascinated with children's literature (particularly books and series that deal with boys becoming men). Occasionally I write poetry, and less often, publish it.


Creative writing, early-modern boyhood, eighteenth-century women writers, particularly poets; Collecting in the early modern era; Early and contemporary children's literature; Canadian literature

Current Research Projects:

I have recently published a monograph titled Working Through Boyhood in the Eighteenth Century: Age, Gender and Work. The book explores masculinity and youth in the long eighteenth century, from the world of the chimney sweep, to that of the schoolboy, to the boy in prison, to the youngest apprentice in the printing press. I am now working on a fourth poetry collection, short stories, and a novel.

Selected Publications:

  • Writing through Boyhood in the Long Eighteenth Century: Age, Gender, and Work (University of Delaware Press, 2023).
  • This is about Angels, Women, and Men (Toronto: Mansfield Press, 2021).
  • “The Boy in the Text: Mary Barber, Her Son, and Children's Poetry in Poems on Several Occasions,” ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830, May, 2021.

  • “Romancing the Purse and Sexualizing the Schoolboy in The Fortunate Blue-Coat Boy (1770),” ESC: English Studies in Canada, 44.4 January 2021.

  • Serve the Sorrowing World with Joy (co-authored with Meg Freer, Kingston: Woodpecker Lane Press, 2020).

  • “A Little Book for Mothers and Sons (1919): a church army book of days for boys and the women who raised them”, First World War Studies, Jun 2018.

  • “Thinking, Doing, and Delaying Insemination in L’Engle’s Many Waters,” Dimensions of Madeleine L'Engle: New Critical Approaches, ed. Suzanne Bray. McFarland, 2016: 51-64.
  • “Good-enough, Bad-enough, Animal, Monster: Mothers in Alice Munro’s The Love of a Good Woman,” Studies in Canadian Literature, 2015, 40, 2: 69-87.
  • Gregor the Overlander and A Wrinkle in Time: Father Lost, Father Found,” Jeunesse: Young People, Cultures, Texts, Winter 2015, 7: 65-85.
  • “Tristram Shandy, boyhood, and breeching,” Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Fall 2015, 28:85-107.
  • Where the Terror Lies (Quattro Press: Toronto, 2012).
  • "Rebelling against Prophecy in Harry Potter and The Underland Chronicles," The Lion and the Unicorn, January 2014, 38:1 45-65
  • "Putting this Boy into Breeches: the Ambivalent Ritual of Breeching in the long Eighteenth Century," Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Hamilton, ed. Peter Walmsley (2015)
  • Collecting Women: Poetry and Lives 1700-1770 (Bucknell University Press) 2009.
  • "Lies, Lies, Lies: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Harry Potter" in Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays II, ed. Giselle Anatol. Praeger Press, 2009: 77-87.
  • "The Anthology and the Anachronisms: Aphra Behn in Poems by Eminent Ladies," Eighteenth-Century Women, 2005, 4: 75-103.
  • "Poems by Eminent Ladies: The Encyclopedic Anthology of 1755," 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and the Early Modern Era, 2004, 9: 207-236.
  • "Safe as Houses: Sorting and School Houses at Hogwarts," Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays, ed. Giselle Anatol. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2003: 35-49.

Teaching Philosophy:

There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting. I want to convey this to students. Like their own education and appreciation of literature, their own writing skills are part of a process that we are here to work on together. In most of the courses I teach I assign reading journals to be handed in weekly, and this helps both in encouraging discussion and especially with the continued improvement of writing skills. In aid of the latter, I generally also give the class what I call a TWT (today's writing tip) in which I take 3 minutes with a brief example on the board to illustrate one way of reducing wordiness in their prose, or direct their attention to an online writing website or specific method (for instance, reverse outlining or the paramedic method-both useful writing developments from Purdue University). A fifty-minute class passes quickly, yet much can be achieved and the attention of students engaged with a mixture of lecture, discussion, close-reading, theory, and help with practical application of writing skills.

In upper-level courses, complementing my own research interest in the Eighteenth Century, my teaching involves conveying to students an awareness of the history of the book as well as the history of ideas. I ask students to question the canon they are being taught and the nature of the texts (editions, anthologies) that tend to be too readily accepted.

Courses Taught:

  • ENE111 and ENE 112 Introduction to Literary Studies and University Writing Skills
  • ENE121 and ENE122 Introduction to Literary Studies and University Writing Skills
  • ENE290 Introduction to Creative Writing
  • ENE300 Eighteenth-Century Satire
  • ENE322 Eighteenth-Century Fiction
  • ENE380 Poetry Writing Workshop
  • ENE381 First Feminists
  • ENE385 Early Children's Literature
  • ENE387 Contemporary Children's Literature
  • ENE389 The Influence of English Literature in Enlightenment France
  • ENE391 Literary Masculinities
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