Matthew Zantingh, PhD

Associate Professor of English
Reading literature is like peering through a window into someone else’s world. It is both an invitation to meet someone else and to learn more about yourself. 
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Matthew Teaches:
  • Canadian Literature
  • Environmental Humanities
  • American Literature
  • Film Studies
  • Graphic Novels
  • Literary Theory

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching English is not so much about distilling knowledge into a simple quantifiable form, but about setting up the possibility of and conditions for a student's deeply meaningful experience with literature in all of its various forms. The classroom is the place where each student and the instructor brings their own reading of a shared text together to collaboratively build up an understanding of that work and its contexts, to carefully ask critical questions of it, and move towards a broader understanding of all of the facets of human experience, not least those expressed by the authors or texts present on a particular syllabus. My role as an English professor is to facilitate this movement outwards, from specific knowledge about a literary text in a small place towards larger artistic, cultural or national trends, or, in different words, from the local to the global. However, students are an essential part of this process as they bring their own views and different knowledges to the table. I am deeply motivated by a desire for greater social and environmental justice, so that each classroom is a unique learning community on a journey towards not only understanding but also personal and corporate transformation.


Raised in southern Ontario, I returned to the Prairies in 2014 and now call Moose Jaw home. I love living at the edge of the Missouri Coteau, exploring Saskatchewan's varied landscapes, and reading in the warmth of my living room on a cold winter's night. My wife Lynn and I have a son, Reuben, and a daughter, Jacoba, both of whom also happen to be avid readers.


PhD, English & Cultural Studies, McMaster University, 2014
MA, English, McMaster University, 2010
BA, English, The King's University College, 2008


Canadian literature
Comics studies
20th Century American literature
Film studies


  • “Tekkietsertok’s Anger: Colonial Violence, Post-Apocalypse, and the Inuit in Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth Series.” Studies in Canadian Literature, volume 45, issue 1, 1 Jan 2021.

  • “Wildness and Windsor: Di Brandt’s “Zone:,” Environmental Praxis, and Urban Nature.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Volume 25, Issue 2, 1 September 2018, Pages 396–411,

  • “Frye as Forefather?: The Bush Garden and Canadian Ecocriticism.” The Goose: A Journal of Literature, Environment, and Culture, volume 14, issue 2, 2015,

  • “When Things Act Up: Thing Theory, ANT, and Toxic Discourse in Rita Wong’s Poetry.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Volume 20, Issue 3, 1 December 2013, Pages 622–646,