Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Natasha Hurley leaning on a metal rail with windows in background

Dr. Hurley began her five year term as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences on August 30th, 2022.

Prior to filling this position at Memorial University, Dr. Hurley was an associate professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, where she also held academic leadership positions including Senior Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies; Associate Director of Intersections of Gender; and Director of Media and Technology Studies in the Faculty of Arts. 

She is highly regarded for her interdisciplinary teaching and research, and is well known for her groundbreaking work on the intersections of gender.

In the early years of her career, Dr. Hurley taught at Mount Saint Vincent University, St. Mary’s University and Dalhousie University, and was a Killam Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of English and Film Studies at university of Alberta. She holds a PhD in English from Rutgers University.

Her teaching and research interests include 19th century American literary culture and history; children’s literature; gay and lesbian literary history; history of the book; material culture studies; queer theory; feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; psychoanalysis; media studies; studies of the archive; and critical theory.

A community-engaged and collaborative leader, Dr. Hurley has served in a variety of volunteer and community service roles, including roles with the Association of Research in the Cultures of Young People, the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, and the Modern Languages Association. She was co-founder and organizer of the annual Faculty of Arts Conference for Undergraduate Research on Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and a board member of Exposure: Edmonton’s Queer Arts and Culture Festival.

Memorial University makes so much possible for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Dr. Hurley is passionate about how the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences foregrounds the values, research and teaching that are collectively central to the social and creative spirit of this province.




  • Circulating Queerness: Before the Gay and Lesbian Novel. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018. 

Co-edited Book

  • Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children (with Steven Bruhm). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004.

Edited Journal Issue 

  • “Childhood and Its Discontents.” Special Issue of ESC: English Studies in Canada. 38.3-4. Ed. and “Introduction” 1-24. (Double Issue: 330 pp. total)

Journal Articles (all peer-reviewed) 

  • Typee and the Making of Adult Innocence” SAF: Studies in American Fiction. Spring 2019.
  • “Pornocracy’s Queer Circulations” Cultural Critique 100 (Summer 2018): 157-75. 
  • “Reproduction/Non-Reproduction” Jeunesse: Young People. Texts. Cultures. 7.2 (2015): 148-161. 
  • “Childhood and Its Discontents: An Introduction” Childhood and Its Discontents. (Special Double Issue) ESC: English Studies in Canada. 38.3-4. 1-24.
  • “The Perversions of Children’s Literature.” Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures. 3.2 (Winter 2011): 118-32.
  • “The Queer Traffic in Literature, Or Reading Anthologically” ESC: English Studies in Canada. 36.1 (March 2010): 81-108. (Winner of the F.E.L. Priestly Prize, 2012)
  • “Lyric Pronouncements, the Cachet of the Offended Reader, and the Limits of ‘The Public Good.’” ESC: English Studies in Canada. 29:3-4 (December 2003): 40-51.
  • “Soliloquy ‘Lately Spoken at the African Theatre’: Race and the Public Sphere in New York City, 1821" American Literature 73.1 (March 2001): 1-46. Co-authored with Michael Warner, Luis Iglesias, Sonia Di Loreto, Jeff Scraba, and Sandra Young. (Foerster Prize for best essay in American Literature 2003)

Book Chapters 

  • “The Little Transgender Mermaid: A Shape-Shifting Tale.” Seriality and Young People’s Texts: The Compulsion to Repeat. Ed. Mavis Reimer et al. Palgrave, 2014. 258-80.
  • “Alice Lost and Found: A Queer Book History.” Textual Transformations of Children’s Literature. Ed. Benjamin Lebfevre. New York: Routledge, 2012. 101-125.  
  • with Susanne Luhmann. "The Capital 'I': Feminism, Language, Circulation." Punkt, Punkt, Komma, Strich? Geste, Gestalt, Bedeutug philosophischer Zeichenzetsung. [Period, Period, Comma, Hyphen? Gesture, Figure, and the Philosophical Meaning of Punctuation.] Editors Christine Abbt and Tim Kammasch. Bielefeld: transcript, 2009. 215-32.
  • “Henry James and the Sexuality of Literature: Before and Beyond Queer Theory.” The Blackwell Companion to Henry James. Ed. Greg Zacharias. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. 309-23.

Encyclopedia Entries 

  • “Queer Studies” SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies. Accepted and forthcoming, Spring 2019.