Rebecca Gagan

Rebecca Gagan
Associate Teaching Professor

On leave

Office: CLE C339

BA and MA (McMaster)

Area of expertise

Romanticism; Pedagogy; Academic Writing; Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; Community-Engaged Learning

Since 2004, I have been teaching in the Department of English at UVic, where I have the privilege of primarily teaching first-year classes in literature and academic writing. In 2022, I was honoured with the Harry Hickman Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Leadership and the Faculty of Humanities Engaged Scholar award. In 2014, I was grateful to receive the University of Victoria’s Gilian Sherwin Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.

I research in the fields of Pedagogy and Romanticism with a focus on the pedagogy of teaching first-year students and student mental health and wellness.  In 2015, I received a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant from UVic’s Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI) to undertake a study in my first-year writing classes that sought to understand if and how students could learn to be more resilient through short in-class writing interventions. This study led to the creation of a Faculty of Humanities web and video initiative called “UVic Bounce.” This initiative seeks to de-stigmatize crisis (and even failure) as part of the undergraduate experience by sharing stories of difficulty and challenge from professors, alumni, students, and other members of the UVic community. UVic Bounce launched in 2019 with a pilot of eight Bounce videos. In 2020, I received a substantial grant from the Strategic Framework Impact Fund, which allowed me to create and launch in 2021, Waving, Not Drowning, a thirty-episode podcast featuring conversations with faculty and alumni about their experiences as students. For more information and for links to the podcast to our podcast, visit us at and follow us on Instagram @uvicbounce.

I also teach and research in the field of community-engaged learning. In January 2019, I piloted “HUMA 495: The Humanities in Action,” the Faculty of Humanities’ first-ever general course in community-engaged learning. In 2018, I received a Community-Engaged Learning Grant from UVic’s LTSI to develop and teach this course for the Faculty of Humanities.

My other research interests lie in Romanticism and education, with a particular focus on education as crisis in the works of German and British Romantic writers, including those of Friedrich Schelling, Immanuel Kant, Mary Shelley, and William Wordsworth. My essay,Bildung is Crisis: The Hospitality of Negation in Friedrich Schelling’s Clara (1810),” recently appeared in European Romantic Review (2019).