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Sarah Brophy, Ph.D.

Professor of English

Email: brophys@mcmaster.ca
Phone: 905-525-9140 x.22243
Office: Chester New Hall 331

Areas of Interest

British literature and culture since 1945; fiction, visual culture, and auto/biography; critical approaches to race, disability, gender, embodiment, intimacy, and cosmopolitanism


Sarah Brophy is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, where she pursues research on embodiment, autobiography, and visual culture; race, gender, sexuality, and disability; and post-1945 British literature. She is the author of Witnessing AIDS: Writing, Testimony, and the Work of Mourning (University of Toronto Press, 2004) and of essays in venues such as The End of Empire and the English Novel Since 1945Contemporary Women’s WritingLiterature and Medicine, and PMLA. Together with Janice Hladki (Theatre and Film, McMaster) she has co-curated two exhibitions on embodiment and self-portraiture for the McMaster Museum of Art and has co-edited the interdisciplinary book, Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography (University of Toronto Press 2014), which examines the cultural politics of health, disability, and the body in forms such as photography, video art, graphic memoir, film, body art and performance, and digital media.

Her current major project Mind the Gap: Queer and Feminist Cosmopolitanisms in Postwar Britain continues her thinking about embodied politics. This book critically analyzes forms of sociability, intimacy, and cosmopolitan dreaming since 1945 in the work of authors such as Zadie Smith, Bernardine Evaristo, Beryl Gilroy, Maggie Gee, Colin McInnes, and Andrew Salkey. Work on this book manuscript is concurrent with her role as Book Reviews editor for the Oxford UP journal Contemporary Women’s Writing, and she is also in the planning stages of a new project on women’s critical autobiographical practices under neoliberalism.

At McMaster, Dr. Brophy has been recognized for outstanding teaching and mentoring work. In 2004, she won the McMaster Students Union (MSU) Teaching Award for the Faculty of Humanities and the MSU Merit Award for New Instructors, and in 2012, she won the President’s Award for Excellent in Graduate Supervision. Winner of national SSHRC research and conference grants, in 2014 Dr. Brophy was named a Member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. Brophy’s undergraduate courses have included: Longer GenresModern British Literature; Concepts of Culture; Theories of Gender and Sexuality; Looking for Black Britain; and Reading the Bestseller: Contemporary British Fiction. Her current graduate seminars are Oh, Behave! Postwar Sexualities and Queer Historicisms and British Cultural Memory. She has supervised (or is supervising) graduate and undergraduate students’ work on a range of literary, cultural studies, critical theory, and women’s and gender studies topics, including: neoliberalism, race, and resistance in the contemporary British novel; “autoimmunity”; fat and food politics; austerity; working-class shamelessness; intersections of queer theory and Marxism; transgender youth representation on TV talk shows; the Disney Princess phenomenon; South African HIV/AIDS activism; queer time and historical fiction; mad women’s writing and visual art; queer loneliness in contemporary film and fiction; transnationalism and ethics in twenty-first-century coming-of-age narratives; and “regeneration” in contemporary apocalyptic film and television.





Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography.  Eds. Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladki. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014.  (http://www.utppublishing.com/Embodied-Politics-in-Visual-Autobiography.html)







Witnessing AIDS: Writing, Testimony, and the Work of Mourning (Cultural Spaces Series, University of Toronto Press, 2004).  (http://www.utppublishing.com/Witnessing-AIDS-Writing-Testimony-and-the-Work-of-Mourning.html)





Journal Issues:

“Pedagogy, Image Practices, and Contested Corporealities.” Special Issue of The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. Eds. Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladki. 34: 3-4 (July-October 2012): 71-211. [Republished as a book by Routledge, 2014]

“Postcolonial Intimacies.” Special Issue of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. Eds. Phanuel Antwi, Sarah Brophy, Helene Strauss, and Y-Dang Troeung. 15:1 (2013) 1-172.

Refereed Articles and Chapters:

“Innovations in Gay and Lesbian Fiction.” Equal co-author with Kasim Husain. The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction since 1945. Ed. David James. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 24 pp.  Forthcoming, 2015.

“Incendiary Legacies: Theories of Gender and Sexuality, 1949-90.”  Eds. Sarah Blacker, Imre Szeman, and Justin Sully. A Companion to Critical and Cultural Theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 27 pp. Forthcoming, 2015.

“Cripping the Museum: Disability, Pedagogy, and a Video Art Exhibition.” Equal co-author with Janice Hladki.  In “Cripistemologies.” Special Issue of Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. Eds. Robert McRuer and Merri Lisa Johnson.  8:3 (2014): 315-333.

“Postcolonial Intimacies: Gatherings, Disruptions, Departures.” Equal co-author with Phanuel Antwi, Helene Strauss, and Y-Dang Troeung. Introduction to Special Issue of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies on “Postcolonial Intimacies.” 15: 1 (2013): 1-9.

“Introduction: Pedagogy, Image Practices, and Contested Corporealities.” Equal co-author with Janice Hladki. The Review of Education Pedagogy and Cultural Studies 34: 3-4 (2012): 75-81.

“Queer histories and postcolonial intimacies in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty.” The End of Empire and the English Novel since 1945. Eds. Rachael Gilmour and Bill Schwarz. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2011.184-201.

“Entangled Genealogies: White Femininity on the Threshold of Change in Andrea Levy’s Small Island.” Contemporary Women’s Writing 4:2 (2010): 100-113.

“Olaudah Equiano and the Concept of Culture.” Teaching Life-Writing Texts (MLA Options in Teaching).  Eds. Miriam Fuchs and Craig Howes. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2008.  270-76.

“Troubled heroism: public health pedagogies in South African films about HIV/AIDS.” scrutiny2issues in english studies in southern Africa 13:1 (May 2008): 33-46.  Special Issue: South African Cultural Texts and the Global Mediascape. Eds. Patrick Flanery and Andrew van der Vlies.

“‘Compassionate Leave?’: HIV/AIDS and Collective Responsibility in Ingrid de Kok’s Terrestrial Things.” Equal co-author with Susan Spearey. Literature and Medicine 26: 2 (Fall 2007): 312-341.

“Working-Class Women, Labor, and the Problem of Community in Union Street and Liza’s England.” Critical Essays on Pat Barker. Eds. Sharon Monteith, Margaretta Jolly, Nahem Yousaf, and Ronald Paul. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2005.  24-39.

“Angels in Antigua: The Diasporic of Melancholy in Jamaica Kincaid’s My Brother.”  PMLA 117:2 (March 2002): 265-277.

Artistic and Creative Work:

Brophy, Sarah and Janice Hladki, Co-Curators. “This is Me, This is Also Me.” Exhibition, McMaster Museum of Art. November 6, 2014-March 21, 2015.

Brophy, Sarah and Janice Hladki, Co-Curators. “Scrapes: Unruly Embodiments in Video Art.”  Exhibition, McMaster Museum of Art.  November 18, 2010 – January 22, 2011.


“Not Without Ambivalence: An Interview with Sara Ahmed on ‘Postcolonial Intimacies.’” Interviewed by Phanuel Antwi, Sarah Brophy, Helene Strauss, and Y-Dang Troeung [in person], McMaster University, Hamilton, March 3, 2011. In Special Issue of Interventions 15:1 (2013): 110-126.