Professor Margery Fee has been a valued UBC faculty member for the past 22 years, having served as Director of the Arts One Program (2005-08), Director of the Canadian Studies Program (2005-08) and Editor of Canadian Literature (2007-2015). Her contribution to academic administration also includes her role as Associate Dean, Students (1999-2004). She has won 12 awards and distinctions throughout her career, including a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (2008) and a Killam Teaching Prize that same year. Her award-winning work has been recognized by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Canada Council among others.
Margery Fee has contributed important research in three areas: Language, notably Canadian English, Canadian literary criticism and bibliography, and the study of Indigenous literatures and cultures. Her work in First Nations literature and culture, and her unique perspective on language as a changing landscape of cultural identity, distinguishes her among many humanities scholars.
In the McLean Lectures, Professor Fee will outline the history of Indigenous texts in the Canadian northwest and model ways to read them. Since the 1990s, literary works by Indigenous writers have been brought into the curriculum. However, oral and written works from earlier periods are rarely included. Instructors are concerned about how to teach these works while respecting their difference. To teach oral stories requires knowledge of national cultural protocols, languages, histories, and worldviews. Prominent early Indigenous written genres, such as life stories, political commentary, and ethnography require ways of reading that differ from those typically used to analyze the preferred European genres of poetry, fiction and drama.
With this appointment as McLean Chair, Margery Fee will bring people together within the university and across the divide of academy and First Nations communities. Professor Fee will be teaching Canadian Studies 450.