Faculty, Writing and Rhetoric Program


Sharon English

Sharon English


Sharon English is currently the Director of the Writing and Rhetoric program. Since 2000 she hasbeen teaching academic writing in the Innis College Writing Centre, which she also directs, and the Writing and Rhetoric and Innis One programs, where she teaches creative writing. Sharon has also worked as a freelance editor and as a writing instructor at New College, Ryerson University, George Brown College, and the School of Continuing Studies at U of T.

After receiving an MA in English Literature from the University of Western Ontario, Sharon pursued further graduate work before focusing on fiction writing. She has published two collections of short stories: Uncomfortably Numb (2002) and Zero Gravity (2006), which was long-listed for the Giller Prize, among other recognitions. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Best Canadian Stories and Dark Mountain 5 in Britain. She’s especially interested in writers and writing focused on place, and the role of literature in re-visioning a post-industrial society. Sharon has recently completed a novel called What Has Night To Do With Sleep?


Cynthia Messenger

Cynthia Messenger


Cynthia Messenger was the director of the Writing and Rhetoric minor program, from its launch in 2003 until 2016. Cynthia spearheaded curriculum and course design for the program, working with an interdisciplinary Faculty of Arts & Science Advisory Committee, and with her Innis colleagues, Roger Riendeau and Roger Greenwald. Cynthia brings to the Writing and Rhetoric Program extensive experience as a writing instructor in a wide array of settings, including colleges, universities, and the professional workplace. In 2002, she was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for her work as a writing consultant in the office of Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor (The Honourable Hilary Weston).

Cynthia’s undergraduate training focused on Canadian and American literature. Her graduate work was on Canadian poetry, in particular the poetry and visual art of P.K. Page. Her publications include refereed articles on Canadian poetry in journals such as Canadian Literature and Journal of Canadian Studies; essays and shorter entries in reference texts such as the Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, Blackwell’s Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry, and the Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada; and numerous reviews in scholarly journals.Over the years, Cynthia has developed several courses for the Writing and Rhetoric Program, many of which have since been taught by other instructors. Cynthia’s curriculum development reflects her interest in belle lettres and, more recently, visual rhetoric and the decorative arts. Cynthia is an active member of the University of Toronto’s Faculty Association (UTFA). From 2012-2014, she served as UTFA’s chief negotiator on the Teaching Stream Subcommittee in the Special Joint Advisory Committee (SJAC) negotiation that achieved landmark changes in appointments policy for the teaching stream. She is a signatory on that new policy. Currently, Cynthia serves as President of UTFA.


Roger Riendeau

Roger Riendeau

Vice-Principal, Innis College

Roger Riendeau, Vice Principal of Innis College, has been a member of the Innis College faculty since 1976, in addition to serving as a senior academic administrator at the College since 1994, including being the coordinator of the Innis One Program entitled The Creative City. Until 1994, he was an instructor in the Innis College Writing Laboratory (now Writing Centre) and taught INI202Y (The Canadian Experience), a course that introduced students for whom English is a second language to Canadian culture and society. He also taught in the Writing Laboratory and the Pre-University History Program at Woodsworth College from 1974 to 1983, and he was the first Director of the Trinity College Writing Center from 1977 to 2002.

In 1979, Roger launched INI204Y (The Academic Writing Process). This course was included in the Innis College Minor Program in Writing and Rhetoric, which he inaugurated in 1983 and coordinated until 1993. In a further effort to enhance the critical thinking and argumentation skills of undergraduates, he devised HUM199Y (Who Shot JFK? Truth, Lies, and the Illusion of Evidence), which was offered in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 academic terms. The popularity of this course inspired him in 2005 to launch INI304H (The Illusion and Reality of Evidence), now listed as Critical Thinking and Inquiry in Written Communication. Teaching the latter two courses has allowed him to develop and to demonstrate his encyclopedic knowledge of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Along with INI204Y, INI304H is included in the Writing and Rhetoric Program, revitalized in 2003 under the direction of Cynthia Messenger.

A graduate of Glendon College, York University and the University of Toronto (Canadian history specialist), Roger has focused his research and writing on Canadian urban history. From the mid 1970s to the early 1990s, his main research and publication interest was the development of municipal services and infrastructure in the metropolitan Toronto area from Confederation to the beginning of World War II. He also published the first, and thus far the only, history of Mississauga, tracing its transformation from a sprawling rural township into Canada’s sixth largest city. Because of his interdisciplinary approach to Canadian urban history, he was invited to be a resident member of the Centre for Urban and Community Studies from 1989 to 2000, and he taught the history section of INI235Y (Introduction to Urban Studies) during the early 1990s. His most recent publication is A Brief History of Canada (first edition 2000; second edition 2007), one of the few comprehensive single-volume scholarly textbooks on the subject published in the past three decades.

In addition to his work at the University of Toronto, Roger is a professional editor who has served in an advisory or a production capacity on many scholarly and popular books in various disciplines. Most notably, he has been the Managing Editor of the Canadian Journal of African Studies since 1986. His editorial work has contributed to his special insights into the writing and research process and the teaching of writing and rhetoric to university students. He is currently researching and writing a history of Innis College and developing his comprehensive Teaching and Writing Website.


Daniel Adleman

Daniel Adleman was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After acquiring his undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Manitoba, he moved to Akita, Japan, where he taught English and studied Japanese. He eventually moved to Vancouver to study English Language and Literature at the University of British Columbia while he worked as a freelance journalist. Upon receiving his Master’s Degree, he decided to enroll in UBC’s English PhD program, receiving his doctorate in 2016. His PhD dissertation explores new-rhetorical approaches to American fiction grappling with the emergence of a new media environment at the turn of the millennium. In 2012, impelled by his passion for learning and community-building, Daniel co-founded the Vancouver Institute for Social Research (VISR), a critical theory free school situated in downtown Vancouver. Since that time, VISR has hosted lecture series on subjects ranging from sovereignty to new media theory to theories of violence. In 2017, he left his post as VISR’s co-director to take up a teaching position at the University of Toronto’s Innis College. Daniel has taught Rhetoric and Composition, English Literature, and Media Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design. His writing has appeared in Performing Utopias in the Contemporary Americas, Canadian Literature, The Part of No Part Catalogue, The Western Front Catalogue, Discorder Magazine, Tooth and Dagger Magazine, and The Republic of East Vancouver. He is currently writing a book about new conjunctures of media theory, rhetoric, and political thought.


Sessional Lecturers


Dr. Vikki Visvis

Dr. Vikki Visvis received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto in 2004. She is a lecturer at the University of Toronto, and has taught courses in the Department of English since 2004 as well as in the Innis Writing and Rhetoric Program since 2009. Currently, she also teaches at the Innis College and the University College Writing Centres, and has taught at the New College Writing Centre. Her research areas are Canadian literature, trauma theory, and rhetoric. She has published essays on Canadian and American fiction by Eden Robinson, Joseph Boyden, Dionne Brand, Kerri Sakamoto, Michael Ondaatje, David Bergen, and Toni Morrison in Studies in Canadian Literature, Mosaic, ARIEL, and African American Review. In 2012-13, she was the recipient of ASSU’s Ranjini (Rini) Ghosh Excellence in Teaching Award.



Dr. Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic

Dr. Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic   Dr. Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic joined the Writing and Rhetoric Program in 2007 from York University where she worked for many years in the  English and Professional Writing Department. Viktoria brings with her years of experience in English stylistics and grammar, as well as business and technical communications from various academic institutions across Canada and Europe. Research wise, she has published in the areas of rhetoric and war, spinning and framing tactics in the press, attitude and engagement in writing and grammar and rhetoric. Her book "So, where's your thesis?" was published in 2012 and the sister copy, "So, how's your grammar?" is forethcoming.  Currently, Viktoria is working on a book-length project which considers attitude and engagement on social media sites and online free personal pages, such as Craig's List.


Rebecca Vogan

Rebecca Vogan received a BA in English Literature from the University of Western Ontario, where she earned the Helen B. Allison gold medal, and an MA from Queen's University, where she held a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council special scholarship. She has worked as an editor for over twenty years, specializing in literary fiction, literary nonfiction, language arts textbooks, and ESL resources.  After teaching editing courses at George Brown College, she joined Ryerson University’s Publishing program in 2000 and the Writing and Rhetoric Program in 2011. Becky also teaches academic writing skills in the Innis College and University College writing centres.


Roz Spafford

Roz Spafford writes poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, and has taught courses in all three genres. Her first book of poetry, Requiem, received the 2008 Gell Prize from Writers & Books, and her fiction has won awards from Quarry West, New Millennium Writings, Southwest Review, and other journals. She has also written journalistic pieces, newspaper columns and blogs, and is at work on a memoir. Until 2006, she taught writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz; while there, she served as Chair of the Writing Program and Provost of Rachel Carson College. She now teaches in the New College and Health Sciences Writing Centres. Some of her work, along with her teaching philosophy, is available at rozspafford.org.