Faculty & Staff

Jason Camlot

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Tel:   514 848-2424  ext. 2353

Room:     LB 685.7

Email:     Jason.Camlot@concordia.ca

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updated July 2009

Associate Professor

Research Narrative 

My research since I arrived at Concordia in 1999 has been pursued on an array of disciplinary fronts (including Victorian literature and culture, the history of technology, contemporary American poetry, and Canadian poetry), but has demonstrated a consistent concern with questions of genre, media/publication, the history of authorship, and, in the broadest sense, the history and cultural politics of rhetoric. I have completed a few big projects over the past two years: a book entitled Style and the Nineteenth-Century Critic about theories of rhetoric in the context of nineteenth-century periodicals, a co-edited collection of essays called Language Acts, about English-language poetry in Québec, and a new collection of poems, The Debaucher

     I am nearing completion of a book called Documenting the Phonotext: Sound Recording and its Victorian Legacy, which gives an account of the literary significance of early spoken recordings. This SSHRC-funded project tracks the impact of sound recording technology upon the literary imagination, both in the sense of this technology’s symbolic significance for literary authors and readers, and of its implication in modes of literary production and consumption.  It tells this neglected story of “talking records” and their significance for literature from the invention of the phonograph in 1877 to the recorded performances of early modernist works, and consequently challenges the textual and visual assumptions of much contemporary literary criticism by making the recorded, oral performance or “phonotext” its primary object of analysis.  This project has gone through a series of phases.  While it started with an exploration of some contemporary experiments in the relationship between poetry and sound recording (by poets like Michael McClure and david antin), it has become a more historically specific project, and has led to research about a series of contexts—technological, elocutionary, generic, pedagogical, etc.— that help explain what late-Victorian and early twentieth-century voice recordings meant (and what these ‘acoustic’ artifacts might mean in relation to our new, digital audio media).           

      I am also at the very beginning of a project about the use(s) of poetry in the Victorian period.  This work will consider Victorian poetry in relation to historically located formulations of use, usefulness and uselessness.  By considering Victorian ideas of what use poetry is, this project will probably (only time will tell…) develop an historically located argument about what poetry was, and was able to do, in Victorian England.  In short, this work will tell the story of particularly purposive nineteenth-century conceptions, activities and practices of poetry.  I am also working on a new collection of poems that engage, in a variety of ways, with the forms, themes and ‘essence’ of Victorian poetry.  My scholarly research certainly influences my creative work, and this new poetry project, in particular, will benefit from the recent research I have been doing on Victorian poetry in material contexts.  I have even toyed with the idea of collapsing these two projects together into one big research-creation project.  In addition to publishing on Victorian topics, and writing books of poetry, I also write and publish articles in a more ad hoc manner on contemporary American poetry, and I am always open to learning about a new poet I hadn’t heard of before.  So if you have a new favorite discovery feel free to let me know about it.  Other extra-curricular activities include editing the Punchy Poetry imprint for local small press, DC Books, and playing ice hockey in several house leagues.  



Ph.D. (1998)—Department of English, Stanford University, Stanford, California, U.S.A.

Master of Arts (1991)—Graduate Program in English, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Bachelor of Arts (1990)— English (Major), Western Civilization Studies (Major) & Creative Writing (Minor), Concordia University, Montreal,  Quebec, Canada

Research  / Teaching  Interests 

Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth Century Print Culture and Rhetoric, History of Technology, Sound Recording, Elocution and Recitation, Poetry as a Genre, Romantic Literature, Contemporary American and Canadian Poetry.  


Selected Publications                     


  • Style and the Nineteenth-Century British Critic.  Burlington, USA & Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2008.
  • The Debaucher [Poems] Toronto: Insomniac Press, 2008.
  • Language Acts: Anglo-Québec Poetry, 1976 to the 21st Century [Co-edited with Todd Swift]  Montreal: Véhicule Press, 2007.
  • Attention All Typewriters [Poems] Montreal: DC Books, 2005.
  • The Animal Library [Poems]. Montreal: DC Books, 2000.

Recent Articles

  • “Tennyson’s ‘The Charge of The Light Brigade,” Or, Ideology’s Intonation.” [Forthcoming.] Victorian Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Victorian Studies (Spring 2009).
  • "Anglo-Québec Poetry."  Books in Canada (April 2007): 37.
  • “The Victorian Critic as Naturalizing Agent.” ELH 73 (2006): 489-518.
  • “Early Talking Books:  Spoken Recordings and Recitation Anthologies, 1880-1920.”  Book History 6 (2003): 147-173.
  •  “The Victorian Postmodern.” Postmodern Culture 13.1 (2002): n.p. [4,000 words]
  • “’The Talk’ as Genre: David Antin, Apostrophe and the Institution of Poetry.” Recherches Semiotiques/Semiotic Inquiry 22(1-2-3) (2002): 275-291

Recent Conference Papers / Readings / Talks


Selected Conference Papers

  • “Immortality in 1899.”  NAVSA, Yale University, 15 November 2008.
  • “The Earliest Sound Recordings.”  Presentation with Richard Warren, Yale University Music Librarian.  NAVSA, Yale University, 14 November 2008.
  • "Hearing Trilby."  Forms of Science in 19c Britain Conference.  McGill University. 30 April 2008.
  • "Performer la poésie."  Round Table Participant.  Poètes, vos micros! Conference and Reading.  McGill University, 4 March 2008.
  • "Dickens Comes Alive:  From Lyceum "Life Portrayal" to Victorian Ed. Tech."  North American Victorian Studies Association.  University of Victoria, B.C., 12 October 2007.
  • "Reading Tennyson Out Loud."  Plenary Lecture at Pop Goes the Poem conference.  English Department, SUNY, Buffalo.  23 March 2007.
  • "Robot Love Poetry: The Lyric Voice of the Machine from Analogue to Digital." American Culture Association (ACA) National Conference.  Boston, 6 April 2007.
  • "'Back from the mouth of Hell': A Retrospective History of Reading Tennyson Out Loud."  North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA), Purdue University, West Lafayette Indiana, 2 September 2006.
  • “Ango-Québec Poetry, (b.1976- d.  ).”  L’Association Francophone Pour Le Savoir (L’ACFAS) Annual Conference, McGill University, Montreal, 16 May 2006.
  • “On Poetry’s Use, From Alfred ‘Lord’ Tennyson to Will ‘Fresh Prince’ Smith.”  American Culture Association (ACA) National Conference.  Atlanta, Georgia, 14 April 2006.
  • “Elocutionary Contexts for The Waste Land Recordings.”  Harvard University Humanities Center.  27 April 2006.
  • “Popular Culture, Hyper and Otherwise.”  Panel Participant.  Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival.  Montreal, 9 April 2006.

Grants / Research  Projects / Honors & Awards  

  • VPRGS Aid to Research Related Events Competition, for 19c Technologies, Media and Representations Workshop and Conference, Sept. 2008.
  • Finalist, Gabrielle Roy Prize 2007 (Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures), for Language Acts: Anglo-Québec Poetry, 1976 to the 21st Century (Véhicule Press, 2007)
  • Arts & Science GRF Research Grant, 2007-2008, “The Use(s) of Poetry in Victorian Britain”
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Standard Research Grant, 2004-2007,  “Documenting the Phonotext: Sound Recording and Its Victorian Legacy”
  • Quebec Research Foundation Grant (FCAR), Nouveaux Chercheurs Grant, 2001-2004, “Phonopoetics: Poetry and Performance”
  • CASA SSHRC Grant.  Concordia University.  2003-2004.
  • Finalist, Quebec Writer's Federation A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry 2000, for The Animal Library (DC Books, 2000).
  • Quebec Research Foundation Grant (FCAR), Equipment Grant, 2001-2002
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Special One-Time Institutional Grant, 1999-2000

Other Activities 

I am presently involved in three interdisciplinary (and mostly inter-institutional) research teams.  The Nineteenth-Century Technologies, Media and Representations Research Group considers the implications of vastly different disciplinary approaches to shared subjects in nineteenth-century culture and society, The Anglo-Québec Literature Research Team considers the implications of English language writing of Québec for definitions of Québecois, Canadian and American literature, and The Technoculture, Art and Games Initiative—a cross-faculty interdisciplinary research team—explores the relationship between art, and contemporary digital culture.  

Research-Related Web Links 

Links to Books:

Style and the Nineteenth-Century British Critic   (Ashgate 2008)

Language Acts   (Vehicule 2007)

The Debaucher   (Insomniac 2008)

Attention All Typewriters   (DC Books 2005)

The Animal Library   (DC Books 2000)


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