You are now in the main content area

Dr. Elizabeth Podnieks

EducationBA (McGill); MA (Toronto); PhD (Toronto)
PhonePhone: 416-979-5000 x 6547
Areas of ExpertiseModernism; motherhood studies; life writing; women’s literatures; popular culture


Elizabeth Podnieks is a Professor in the Department of English. She has published on a range of figures such as Vera Brittain, Buchi Emecheta, Zelda Fitzgerald, Nella Larsen, Virginia Woolf, silent film stars, Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie, celebrity mom bloggers, father memoirists, and trans parents, among others. In addition to her monographs on modernist motherhood and modernist diary literature, she has produced a critical edition of the diary of modernist Emily Coleman; edited (and contributed to) four scholarly essay collections; and guest edited two issues of the scholarly journal a/b: Auto/Biography Studies. Articles and chapters have appeared in, among others, The Journal of Popular Culture, the Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, Life Writing, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, the Encyclopedia of Motherhood, The Routledge Companion to Motherhood, The Diary: The Epic of Everyday Life, and The Routledge Auto/Biography Studies Reader. She is a member of the International Association of Maternal Action and Scholarship (IAMAS) and is the founder (and served as first Area Chair, 2011-2017) of the Popular Culture Association’s Area on Motherhood/Fatherhood. She has been quoted in articles about parenting in The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and, among others.

Current projects include co-editing the Palgrave Handbook on Parenthood in Popular Culture and contributing a chapter on Indigenous mothering.


Selected Publications:

“‘Their mothers, and their fathers, and everyone in between’: Queering Motherhood in     Trans Parent Memoirs by Jennifer Finney Boylan and Trystan Reese.” Narratives           of Motherhood and Mothering in Fiction and Life Writing, edited by Helena    Wahlström Henriksson, Anna Williams, and Margaretha Fahlgren. Palgrave      Macmillan/Springer. March 2023.

Maternal Modernism: Narrating New Mothers. Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2023.

“‘The Synergy Between You’: Mothers, Nannies, and Collaborative Caregiving in            Contemporary Matroethnographies.” Life Writing, vol. 18, no. 3, 2021, pp. 337-    354.

“The Literary Author as Diarist.” The Diary: The Epic of Everyday Life. Ed. Batsheva      Ben-Amos and Dan Ben-Amos. Indiana UP, 2020, pp. 274-         295.

“Matrifocal Voices in Literature.” Routledge Companion to Motherhood. Ed. Lynn           Hallstein-O’Brien, Andrea O’Reilly, et al. Routledge, 2019, pp. 176-190.

Pops in Pop Culture: Fatherhood, Masculinity, and the New Man. Edited by Elizabeth     Podnieks, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Rough Draft: The Modernist Diaries of Emily Holmes Coleman, 1929-1937. Edited by     Elizabeth Podnieks, Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.

Mediating Moms: Mothers in Popular Culture. Edited by Elizabeth Podnieks, McGill-      Queen’s UP, 2012.

Textual Mothers/ Maternal Texts: Motherhood in Contemporary Women’s Literatures.     Edited by Elizabeth Podnieks and Andrea O’Reilly, Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2010.

Hayford Hall: Hangovers, Erotics, and Modernist Aesthetics. Edited by Elizabeth             Podnieks and Sandra Chait, Southern Illinois UP, 2005.

Daily Modernism: The Literary Diaries of Virginia Woolf, Antonia White, Elizabeth         Smart, and Anaïs Nin. McGill-Queen’s UP, 2000.