Jonathan Goossen, PhD

Associate Professor of English
+1 (403) 410-2000 ext. 5960
Office Location:

My teaching and research centre on the literature of the English Renaissance, especially the drama of Shakespeare and his fiery friend, Ben Jonson. An interest in these things also invites a secondary one in the philosophy and literature of the ancient world. Most of my writing to date has treated the relationship of Aristotle’s Poetics to Shakespeare’s and Jonson’s comedies. I am particularly intrigued by classical and Renaissance literary theorists’ insistence on the unity of literature’s moral and emotional effect. Their apparently simple dictum that literature “teaches and delights” belies a sophisticated understanding of the effect of language, plot, and character upon the soul. In addition, I have recently begun a study of Janet Lewis’s use of tragedy in her three-novel series, Cases of Circumstantial Evidence. In these and my other pursuits, I try, with the help of God, my wife, and children, to be good.


PhD (Dalhousie University)
MA (University of Saskatchewan)
BA (Honours) (University of Saskatchewan / St. Thomas More College)
BCM (Bethany College)

Select Publications

Recent Conference Presentations

1-4 November 2018. “Hamartia and Tragic Plot in Janet Lewis’s The Wife of Martin Guerre.” Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers Annual Meeting, Nashville.

28-30 May 2016. “What fire is in my ears”: Aristotle, Augustine, and the Language of Shame in Shakespeare’s Romantic Comedy.” Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies, Congress, Calgary.

24-26 March 2016. “Shakespeare’s Language of Botched Repentance” (rev. version). Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans.

18-20 June 2015. “Shakespeare’s Language of Botched Repentance.” Shakespearean Theatre Conference, Stratford, Ontario.

31 March, 2014. “‘Kill Claudio’: Much Ado About Nothing and Aristotle on Comedy.” Ambrose Research Conference, Ambrose University College, Calgary.

28-30 March, 2013. Seminar co-organizer, “Aristotle, Jonson, Shakespeare.” Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, Toronto.

5-7 April, 2012. “Aristotle, Jonson, and Twelfth Night.” Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, Boston.

10-12 May, 2011. “Daniel Heinsius and Recent Accounts of Aristotle’s ‘Katharsis.’” Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting, Halifax.