Damian Tryon (BA’09), a Language Arts teacher at Kildonan-East Collegiate, is among the first cohort of UWinnipeg graduates to obtain a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies, in 2010. Tryon has found that his UWinnipeg education, combined with his Bachelor of Education, helps him in the classroom.
“Returning to school gave me a sense of balance between study and life, which has given me a fresh perspective,” said Tryon. “Also, the interdisciplinary nature of the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies has been invaluable. The range of courses that was offered has helped me professionally and has made me a better teacher.”
Tryon was recently inspired by his former English professor, Dr. Mavis Reimer (who is the Canada Research Chair in Young People’s Texts and Cultures), to work with his students on a writing project. It resulted in an article entitled Writing from the Outside: Representations of the Outsider in Recent Canadian Fiction for Adolescents that was published in the prestigious academic journal Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures.
“Mavis came up with the idea to have my students do a collaborative review on adolescent texts,” explained Tryon.
“This is a unique project”, explained Reimer. “Reviews in scholarly journals such as Jeunesse are generally written by academics —either senior graduate students or professors. Many scholars in the field of study of young people’s texts have commented on the irony of the fact that the ostensible audience for these books is rarely included in the scholarly conversations about the books. It is highly unusual for young people to be asked to enter a scholarly conversation such as this one.”
The project involved six of Tryon’s students — Gurleen Khosa,Ryan Klimchuk, Lovejot Mann, Kieran McVicker, Sol Moon, and Will Stewart. He describes them as high achievers: “These students participate in unique and specialized learning experiences that are both academic and vocational. Some are in the trades and others are in first-year pre-calculus. But they are all in my Study Advanced Placement Literature and Composition class.”
Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures is an interdisciplinary, refereed academic journal whose mandate is to publish research on and to provide a forum for discussion about, cultural productions for, by, and about young people. To view the Tryon team’s article visit Jeunesse
The Master of Arts in Cultural Studies provides opportunities to explore culture and the arts as part of a social, economic and political environment. The educational objective of the program is to train graduate students to conduct research that reflects an interdisciplinary understanding of culture. For more information visit UWinnipeg’s Graduate Studies.