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Dr. Lauren Kirshner

Assistant Professor
EducationPhD, Joint Program in Communication & Culture, York-Ryerson University
Areas of Expertisecreative writing; fiction writing; community arts education; contemporary Canadian and American fiction


Dr. Kirshner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English. She received her PhD from the Joint Program in Communication & Culture at York-Ryerson University and an MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Her creative work and research creation projects use storytelling to examine how women experience gender, sexuality, mental health, work, and family.

Dr. Kirshner’s creative publications include a coming-of-age novel set in the 1990s, Where We Have to Go, external link (M&S), which was a finalist for the City of Toronto Book Award. Her short fiction, memoir, feature writing, literary reviews, and interviews have appeared in literary journals and popular publications across North America including Hazlitt, external link, Carousel, ELLE CANADA, THIS, The Globe and Mail, PRISM, and Room. Her current non-fiction project examines how American popular culture represents women sex workers in a neoliberal economy and in light of ongoing feminist debates.

In addition to her creative work, Dr. Kirshner is involved in research creation projects that focus on arts for social justice. She is Founding Director of Sister Writes, external link, an intersectional creative writing and publishing program that strives to empower women through workshops, external link, mentorship with acclaimed Canadian writers, public arts events, external link, and literary magazines. In 2018, Sister Writes was the recipient of an Arts Bridges Award for Remarkable Achievement in Community Arts. Dr. Kirshner’s other initiatives, including an intergenerational oral history program, have won the support of various arts councils and foundations, and her Young Authors Project was a finalist for the 2013 Ontario Minister’s Award for Innovation in the Arts. 

In addition to her research, Kirshner teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in creative writing and magazine production, and actively works with students on White Wall Review, external link.