posted on Nov. 8: English PhD student to receive Governor General’s Gold Medal


[img_inline align=”left” src=”” caption=”Sarah Brophy”]The recipient of this year's Governor General's Gold Medal, to be awarded at Convocation on Friday, Nov. 10, is a gifted writer, researcher and doctoral student who has consistently achieved outstanding academic results.

In 1995 Sarah Brophy graduated (Hon. BA) with distinction from Wilfrid Laurier
University, having earned 15 A+ grades. She also
earned A+ grades in her MA studies at McMaster.

She continued her PhD studies at McMaster, completing her English program
this year with A+ grades in all three of her doctoral
courses. Her thesis, “Strange Burdens: AIDS Memoirs and the Politics of
Inconsolability,” was supervised by English professor
David L. Clark.

“My dissertation examines published memoirs written by and about people
living with HIV and AIDS. While the project is a
literary study, it necessarily crosses a number of boundaries, making it
perhaps less than immediately recognizeable as such: it mixes
literary analysis with personal musings, critical readings of the public
rhetoric of the pandemic, and philosophical speculation, all
the while exploring the contribution of AIDS memoirs to an anti-homophobic
politics,” says Brophy. She's delighted that her
project is being recognized in the form of the Gold Medal. “The warmly
supportive environment of the Department of English and
the dedication of my supervisory committee (David L. Clark, Mary O'Connor,
and Lorraine York) have made the timely completion
of my doctorate work possible.”

Brophy currently teaches two courses for the Department of English.

Brophy has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Post-doctoral Fellowship and in January will be
continuing her research at the University of California (Berkeley) under
the supervision of Judith Butler, a prominent feminist

The Gold Medal is awarded to the graduate student who achieves the highest
academic standing in his/her graduate degree