Dr. Carrie Dawson joined the Mount Saint Vincent University community as the new Dean of Arts and Science on August 1, 2019. Dr. Dawson came to MSVU from Dalhousie University where she was Associate Professor in the Department of English and also recently served as department Chair. Her other previous academic leadership roles include Coordinator of the Canadian Studies Program at Dalhousie and President of the Dalhousie Faculty Association.
Dr. Dawson’s scholarship exemplifies her deep commitment to diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. She has taught Canadian Literature with an emphasis on citizenship, migration and diaspora. With numerous publications to her name, her current research is exploring literature by and about refugees in Canada. In response to popular stories depicting refugees as pitiable and passive, she is examining how refugees are shaping their own stories and how storytelling plays an essential part in the refugee certification process.
— Dr. Carrie Dawson
I’m thrilled to be part of a uniquely diverse Faculty that is widely recognized for its personal approach to education.”
— Dr. Carrie Dawson
MSVU’s commitment to equity and inclusion, as well as a strong tradition of social responsibility, are what drew Dr. Dawson to the University. With those things in mind, she cited the American science-fiction Robert Heinlein, who said that, “among other things, ‘A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, [and] pitch manure…. Specialization is for insects.’ Though I’m not interested in planning an invasion or butchering a hog, and I think Heinlein gives insects a bad rap, I share his interest in celebrating the full and quirky diversity of our interests and abilities. So, I’m thrilled to be part of a uniquely diverse Faculty that is widely recognized for its personal approach to education.”
She also sees opportunity in the inclusion of Arts and Science in one Faculty, as it helps emphasize continuities and synergies between disciplines. “By developing existing connections across Arts and Science, we encourage our students to be innovative and well-rounded, and we can build on the Mount’s long tradition of being forward-thinking,” she said.
In her first weeks in her new role, she is looking forward to immersing herself in the Faculty, with an emphasis on listening and learning to zero in on priorities and challenges.
Dr. Dawson holds a PhD in English from the University of Queensland (Australia), an MA in English from the University of Sussex (United Kingdom), and a BA (Hons) in English from the University of British Columbia.
She frequents Point Pleasant Park with her dog, Lu, enjoys running and reading, and has a weakness for Scandinavian murder mysteries. Dr. Dawson lives with her partner, Anthony, and teenage sons Quinn and Connor.