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Dean appointed

Dr. Natasha Hurley appointed dean of humanities and social sciences

Teaching and Learning

By Jennifer Batten

The search committee for the role of dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) has completed its work and recommended Dr. Natasha Hurley for the position.

President Vianne Timmons has accepted the recommendation; the Board of Regents approved the appointment on Aug. 5, 2022. Dr. Hurley will begin a five-year term effective Aug. 30, 2022.

‘Academic and administrative leadership’

Dr. Hurley comes to Memorial from the University of Alberta (U of A) where she held the academic leadership positions of associate director of intersections of gender (IG), a university-wide signature area of teaching and research in the Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation; and director of media and technology studies in the Faculty of Arts. Dr. Hurley is also an associate professor in the Department of English and Film Studies, Faculty of Arts, at U of A.

“Dr. Hurley has a significant background in both academic and administrative leadership in higher education,” said Dr. Margaret Steele, interim provost and vice-president (academic). “She is highly regarded for her interdisciplinary teaching and research and has done some truly groundbreaking work on the intersections of gender. We are fortunate to welcome Dr. Hurley to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and to the Memorial community in general.”

She has previously served as senior director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies at U of A. In the early years of her career, Dr. Hurley also taught at Mount Saint Vincent University, St. Mary’s University and Dalhousie University. She was also a Killam Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of English and Film Studies at U of A.

Her teaching and research interests include American literary culture and history (long 19th century); children’s literature; gay and lesbian literary history; history of the book; material culture studies; queer theory; feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; psychoanalysis; media studies; studies of the archive; critical theory.

Dr. Hurley’s formal education includes a PhD in English from Rutgers University, a master’s in English from Western Ontario, and a BA (Hons.) in English from Mount Saint Vincent University.

“I can’t wait to come home and be part of this.” — Dr. Natasha Hurley

A community-engaged and collaborative leader, Dr. Hurley has served in a variety of volunteer and community service roles, including roles with the Association of Research in the Cultures of Young People, the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, and the Modern Languages Association. She was co-founder and organizer of the annual Faculty of Arts Conference for Undergraduate Research on Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and a board member of Exposure: Edmonton’s Queer Arts and Culture Festival.

As a born-and-bred Newfoundlander hailing from North River in Conception Bay, Dr. Hurley says she is looking forward to her return to the province and is excited to join the Memorial community.

“Memorial makes so much possible for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, “said Dr. Hurley. “And the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences foregrounds the values, research and teaching that are collectively central to the social and creative spirit of this province. I can’t wait to come home and be part of this.”

Dr. Hurley replaces Dr. Ailsa Craig, who served as interim dean of HSS since May 2021.

“I thank Dr. Craig for their contributions to advancing the priorities of HSS for more than a year, and for their commitment to the role,” said Dr. Steele.


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