Kathleen Venema

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Contact Information

Kathleen Venema
Associate Professor


  • Aging
  • Brain Dysfunction
  • Death / Dying
  • Literature / Creative Writing
Areas of Expertise:
  • Canadian Literature
  • Illness, Aging, and Death Studies
  • Life Writing and Auto/Biographical Studies
  • Literary and Cultural Representations of Disability
  • Literary and Cultural Representations of Peace and War
Languages Spoken:
  • English
Available To:
  • Provide comment to media

Dr. Kathleen Venema is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at The University of Winnipeg.

Her previous research, on early Canadian exploration writing and imperial women’s letters, has evolved into an inquiry into narratives – especially graphic narratives – of illness, aging, disability, and care. Dr. Venema's 2018 Alzheimer’s matriography, Bird-Bent Grass: A Memoir, in Pieces (Wilfrid Laurier UP), was shortlisted for the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-fiction (2019) and is being made into an audiobook.

She is a member of the Manitoba Walls-to-Bridges (W2B) Research Initiative, having completed the W2B Facilitator Training program in 2015. This program trains post-secondary instructors to deliver courses inside prisons and jails. W2B courses bring on-campus students into prisons to learn with students who are incarcerated and are further unique in their commitment to egalitarian circle pedagogy, which emerges out of Frierian principles, Indigenous pedagogy, decolonizing and intersectional analysis, and feminist anti-racist practice.

In spring 2016, Dr. Venema facilitated a W2B course at the Headingley Women’s Correctional Centre, with seven incarcerated and eight campus-based students.

Media Expert

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UWinnipeg prof earns the 2016 Gabrielle Roy Prize

The 2016 Gabrielle Roy Prize (English section) has been given to 'Canadian Graphic: Picturing Life Narratives', edited by UWinnipeg’s Dr. Candida...

UWinnipeg grad a rising literary star

UWinnipeg graduate Katherena Vermette already has one Governor General’s award and was shortlisted for a second one for her debut novel, The Break,...

Graphic picturing tells Canadian stories

UWinnipeg’s Dr. Candida Rifkind co-edited the book Canadian Graphic: Picturing Life Narratives with Linda Warley. The book also features essays by...