Jonathan Goossen, PhD, MA, BA, BCM

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


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


My teaching and research interests centre on the literature of the English Renaissance, especially the drama of Shakespeare and his fiery friend, Ben Jonson. An interest in them, though, 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 these and my other pursuits, I try, with the help of God, my wife, and children, to be good.

Recent Publications

Recent Conference Presentations

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.

28-30 May, 2010. “‘We mock ourselves’: Indignation, Catharsis, and Jonson's Epicoene.” Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies Annual Meeting, Montreal.

9-11 April, 2009. “What Aristotle Might Have Said About Comedy and Measure for Measure’s Feigned Death Hoax.” Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

20-21 September, 2007. “Coming out of Retirement in Andrew Marvell’s Poetry.” Atlantic Renaissance Conference, Acadia University, Wolfville, N. S.

24-26 March, 2006. “Marlowe’s Delineation of Religion and Providence in Tamburlaine I II.” Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, San Francisco.

Invited Lectures 

28 March, 2014. “‘Kill Claudio’: Much Ado About Nothing and Aristotle on Comedy.” The Medieval and Renaissance Cultural Studies Research Group Speakers’ Series, University of Calgary.

1 March, 2012. “Aristotle, Shakespeare, and the Effect of Comedy.” The Great Debates Seminar, St Thomas University, Fredericton, N. B.

22 March, 2011. “Indignation in Epicoene and Measure for Measure.” Jonson and Shakespeare Honours Seminar, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N. S.

21 February, 2011. “Shakespeare and Aristotle.” Gordon College, Wenham, Mass.