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Kirshner, Lauren


Assistant Professor


BA Honours (Toronto); BEd (Toronto); MA (Toronto); PhD (ABD) (York-Ryerson)




416-979-5000 ext 3031


I’m a writer, researcher, and community arts educator. I teach courses in creative writing in the Department of English’s Undergraduate program.

In my creative work, I’m interested in exploring issues of gender, family, adolescence, and sexuality. I am the author of a novel, Where We Have to Go (M & S), which was a finalist for the City of Toronto Book Award. My fiction, memoir, and journalism have appeared in anthologies, journals, and popular publications including The Globe and Mail, Hazlitt, Room, THIS, Carousel, and ELLE CANADA. My current non-fiction project, based on my doctoral research, examines how North American popular culture – TV shows, films, video games, and websites – represents women sex workers, in light of feminist debates.

As an arts educator, I focus on developing creative writing programs that reduce barriers to participation in the arts. I have created programming for Luminato, Harbourfront Centre, and The Toronto Public Library, served as a Canada Council for the Arts Writer-in-Residence, and facilitated many community-based initiatives, including the Young Authors Project, a finalist for the 2013 Ontario Minister’s Award for Innovation in the Arts. I serve as the Founding Program Director of Sister Writes, a Toronto-based creative writing program for women marginalized by factors such as poverty, mental health issues, and extraordinary life circumstances.

My current projects also include a book of inter-connected short stories, and a study on participatory creative writing programs.

Research Interests:

Creative writing, cultural studies, popular culture, feminism, participatory communications, arts education, contemporary Canadian and American literature.