Gudrun Dreher completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of British Columbia in 2003 with a dissertation on Skaay of the Qquuna Qiighawaay (one of the classical mythtellers from Haida Gwaii). On her first research trip to Haida Gwaii, Gudrun fell in love with the place where Skaay’s stories were born and lived there for several years. During her time on the islands, Gudrun focused on studying First Nations culture (in particular carving, dance, music, and ceremonies) but also taught violin, yoga, karate, creative movement, and relaxation at a small exercise and music studio.

In 2008, Gudrun moved back to Vancouver and has spent the past few years teaching literature and writing at UBC and Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU). Through interaction and discussions with students from a variety of disciplines and cultures, she has become more and more aware of the flaws of the current North American education system and has started to develop ideas for an alternative university program to integrate creativity, spirituality, and service to others into the academic curriculum and to focus on promoting responsibility, open-mindedness, peace, sustainability as well a holistic lifestyle. The ultimate goal of this alternative education model is to help individuals reach their fullest potential and develop leadership skills that will make a positive difference in the world. More info:

I write about my teaching philosophy at

Courses Taught at UBC:

ENGL 225 – Poetry: “Poetry from Around the Globe”
ENGL 222 – Literature in Canada: “Storytelling and Identity”
ENGL 470 – Canadian Literature: “Echoes from Elsewhere, Echoes from Here”
ENGL 112 – Strategies for University Writing
ENGL 110 – Approaches to Literature (as a TA during my Graduate Student Time)

Courses Taught at FDU Vancouver:

CORE 1001 – Perspectives on the Individual
CORE 2002 – The American Experience
CORE 2003 – Cross-Cultural Perspectives
ENGL 1102 – English Composition, II
ENGL 1101 – English Composition, I
ENWR 1101 – Academic Writing
ENWR 1102 – Academic Writing and Research
POLS 1111 & 2112 & 3113 Political Science for Global Scholars


  • “The Seven Essential Arts: Suggestions for an Alternative University Education.” Global Review: A Biannual Special Topics Journal. 1.1 (2013): 39-89. Print. [without images]
 Also available [with images] at: < sity_Education>. Web. 2013. [Academic Essay]
  • Stories are Maps, Songs are Caches and Trails: The Verbal Art of Haayas, Kingagwaaw, Gumsiiwa, Ghandl, and Skaay – Five Classical Mythtellers from Haida Gwaii. Part I: Skaay of the Qquuna Qiighawaay. Ph.D. Dissertation, UBC, Vancouver, 2002. <>. Web. [Academic Dissertation with Fictional Dialogues, Journal Entries, Poems, and Other Creative Parts.]
  • “Who He Is Meant to Be: Circling Around a Haida Miniature Myth by Skaay.” American Vistas and Beyond: Festschrift for Roland Hagenbüchle. Ed. by Josef Raab & Marietta Messmer. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag: Trier, 2002. 109-26. Print. [Academic Essay.]

* Poetry (all times & places)
* Creativity
* Literature and Music/ Literature and Visual Art/ Literature and Dance
* World Literature
* Multicultural Literature
* Canadian Studies
* First Nations Literature & Culture (in particular North-American Northwest Coast) * Comparative Mythology
* World Literature * Drama
* Fiction
* Consciousness Studies
* Science and Spirituality
* Alternative Education & Curriculum Development