Luke Kernan

Luke Kernan

PhD student


Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier


Culture, health and inequality
Visual anthropology and materiality

Luke is a SSHRC-MSFSS scholar, literary anthropologist, graphic novelist, internationally published poet, and an anthropology PhD student at the University of Victoria. He is in the process of completing his first book of love poetry, NUOVA; one that has been modeled after Dante’s La Vita Nuova in exploring a contemporary Fedeli d'Amore (“the Faithful of Love”) praxis, poetics, and spirituality. Also, his graphic novel series, SAMÆL, is geared for submission to IMAGE COMICS. This dark, mythopoetic comic-narrative focuses on sublime grittiness and a supernatural multiverse of dæmons and world story-weaving.

Often, he performs poetry at spoken-word venues in either Kelowna or Victoria. As a volunteer at Foundry Victoria, he is actively organizing a poetry and music open mic fundraiser, Unquiet Minds II, to support youth mental health initiatives via Foundry BC, a new network integrated mental health clinics for youth, and the Children’s Health Foundation (CHF) of Vancouver Island.

Currently, he is researching psychosis narratives for his PhD, wherein he will conduct ethnographic fieldwork and publish an original, innovative, multimedia volume of comics-poetry on the matter to accentuate and accompany his dissertation. UVic’s Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, a Center for Imaginative Ethnography co-curator, is his supervisor. He is interested in imaginative ethnography and how comics-poetry, inter-arts narratives can be incorporated in anthropological writing—essentially how depth and expression can break and remold plateaus of communication.

Research Areas

Visual, medical, and symbolic anthropology; consciousness studies; psychosis and altered states of mind; mythography; indigenous storytelling and myth; comics; creative writing and inter-arts practices; ethnography; ethno-poetry; art therapy.


Publications & Contributions

Peer-Reviewed Articles

2020 “‘Psychotic Bodies/Embodiment of Bipolar Suicidal Poets’—Navigating through the Sensorium of Immersive Worlds and Psychoscapes.” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies. 16(1): 1-31.

2019 “Somatic Shockings across Ailment Narratives: Lessons from the Sacred Geographies of an Indigenous Spirit-world.” PlatForum. Vol. 16: 52-83.

2011 “The Mythopoetic Mind of Plato: The Kingdom-Sage’s Muthos in Timaeus, The Republic, and The Symposium.” Metapsychosis.


2019 “Psychosis and Catastrophic Ontological Precedence—A Case for (Re)Futuring Co-Transformations in Community Arts Practices,” AAA-CASCA 2019 Conference. Vancouver, BC.

2019 “‘Minding Myth-Scapes’—Sensorial, Theoretical, and Psychotic Engagements with Ethnographic Hauntologies. Conference on ‘Folk Belief’ & ‘The Supernatural in Literature and Film.’ Svaneti and Tbilisi, Georgia.

2019 “Dictionary of the Lost.” Summer of Theory CSPT Symposium. Cultural, Social, and Political Thought Program. University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.

2019 “Storytracking SAMÆL: Synesthetic Trance, Entoptic Storytelling, and Comics as a Creative Process.” Anthropology of Consciousness 38th Annual Conference. Portland, Oregon.

2019 “Of Violent Ends, Of Virtue Erased: Dæmonic Echoes in a Time of Atrocities.” Worlds Without Us – Cultural, Social, and Political Thought Conference. University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.

2018 “Co-Assembling Contrapuntal Realities in the Field—An Ethnographic Exodus into Creative Liminalities, Spirited Innovation, and the Mythscapes of the Comics Mediums,” CASCA-Cuba 2018 Conference. Universidad de Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.

Creative Outputs

2019 “abandon.” Published in poetry audio collections: Soundbite, vol. 2. 

2017 “Inspired Word Café: Season 2, Episode 22.” Featured poet for recorded TV broadcast. Shaw TV (Channel 11). Kelowna, BC. April 20, 2017.

2016 “Meridians of Melolight.” Published in poetry anthology: Reinventing Myths (Mytho-मंथन), Authorspress. December 11, 2016.

2016 “A Highlander, a Whitebeam.” Invited for poetry reading and performance, poetry workshop, and chapbook printing: Beginnings and Endings: The Creation of Meaning, Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA), Kelowna, BC. November 18 – December 2, 2016.

Selected Performances

2019 “Elegy” and “Skylarks Swallowing Stars.” Invited for poetry reading and performance: Public Reading with Local Contributors of The Anti-Languorous Project. Victoria, BC. June 5, 2019.

2019 “Sketches of Adnan Selimović; Heteroglossic Hearts.” Invited for poetry reading and performance: HREV Presents: UVIC Spoken Word ‘Injustice.’ Victoria, BC. February 27, 2019.

2018 “Sonnet 01: Lala Ragimova,” “Sketches of Adnan Selimović; Heteroglossic Hearts,” “The Hanged Man’s Nous; The Note-Taker’s Needle,” “Rilke Soaring,” “Dark Phoenix,” “Skylarks Swallowing Stars.” Featured poet. August Château Dome Soirée. Victoria, BC. August 18, 2018.

2017 “Serenade for Ika Chigogidze; the Starless Seas of the Storm.” Accepted for poetry reading and performance: Tonight It’s Poetry. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. August 20, 2017.


2017-Present Foundry BC – Kelowna and Victoria, BC.

2018-Present Mental Health Recovery Partners. Victoria, BC.

2017 BC Schizophrenic Society (BCSS) – Kelowna, BC.

2017-Present Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Victoria, BC.

2016-2017 Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Kelowna, BC.

2013 Kanamkek-Yile Ngala Museum, Wadeye Aboriginal Languages Centre (WALC), and Thamarrurr Catholic School – Wadeye, Northern Territory, Australia.

2010-2011 Saint Vincent de Paul Society (SSVP) – Kamloops, BC.