University of Leipzig, MA
University of British Columbia, MA, PhD

I have an M.A. in art history from Universität Leipzig, Germany, an M.A. in English from UBC, and a Ph.D. in English language studies from UBC. I have also studied at Carleton University in Ottawa.

My research interests include genre theory, forms of public address in social and political movements in Canada, discourse analysis of research writing, as well as late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Canadian literature.

Recently Taught Courses

WRDS 150 – Telling Stories: Oral History in Academic Contexts (Research and Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences)

WRDS 150 VC – How the Olympics Are Changing Communities: Security, Legacy, and Urban Design (Research and Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences)

ENGL 222 – Literature in Canada

ENGL 224 – The Contemporary “Global” Novel (World Literature in English)

ASTU 204A – Global Citizenship and the Culture of the Olympic Games (Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities)

ASTU 400A – Academic Writing and Disciplinary Knowledge (Interdisciplinary Studies in Arts)

Winter 2018

ENGL110 Approaches to Literature Sections

Study of selected examples of poetry, fiction, and drama. Essays are required.

Winter 2018

ENGL312A Discourse and Society - DISCOURSE&SOCIET Sections

Introduction to theories of language and culture, and to techniques for analysing discourses in their social contexts.

Thieme, Katja. “Letters to the Woman’s Page Editor: Francis Marion Beynon’s ‘The Country Homemakers’ and a Public Culture for Women.” Basements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace: Explorations in Canadian Women’s Archives. Eds. Linda Morra and Jessica Schagerl. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012. 215-231.


Thieme, Katja. “Constitutive Rhetoric as an Aspect of Audience Design: The Public Texts of Canadian Suffragists.” Written Communication 27.1 (2010): 36-56.

Abstract: This article offers a way of using the theory of audience design–how speakers position different audience groups as main addressees, overhearers, or bystanders–for written discourse. It focuses on main addressees, that is, those audience members who are expected to participate in and respond to a speaker’s utterances. The text samples are articles, letters, and editorials on women’s suffrage that were published between 1909 and 1912 in Canadian periodicals. In particular, the author analyzes noun phrases with which suffrage-skeptical women are addressed, relying on the theory of constitutive rhetoric to highlight the interpellative force with which the audience design of this public political debate operates.


Thieme, Katja. “‘The Grim Fact of Sisterhood’: Female Collectivity in the Works of Agnes Maule Machar, Nellie L. McClung, and Mabel Burkholder.” Diversity and Change in Early Canadian Women’s Writing. Ed. Jennifer Chambers. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars P, 2008. 100-117.


Thieme, Katja. “Uptake and Genre: The Canadian Reception of Suffrage Militancy.” Women’s Studies International Forum 29.3 (2006): 279-288.

Abstract: From 1909 onward, the Canadian suffrage debate was heavily influenced by reports on suffrage militancy from Great Britain and the United States. Militancy played an influential role in Canadian suffrage history not through its practice–there was no Canadian militant campaign–but through an ongoing discussion of its meaning. Using Anne Freadman’s notions of genre and uptake, this paper analyzes the discursive uptake of suffrage militancy–from news reports on front pages, to commentary on women’s pages, to reviews of Emmeline Pankhurst’s Canadian speaking engagements. The Canadian debate about militancy is a fertile site for drawing out the roles of genre and uptake in the political positioning of both suffragists and suffrage sceptics. Talk about militancy serves as a way to regulate the uptake of this particular genre of political action, whereby both sides tended to share the optimistic view that Canadian suffragists where not yet in need of militancy.

I work with rhetorical genre theory and use it to analyze networks of discourse such as the Canadian women’s suffrage movement, public debates about Canadian literature, and the Idle No More movement. I study the text genres used in these political and literary debates, and investigate how they emerge from previous historical situations and are taken up by subsequent one. You can find my publications on or I also tweet.

Areas of specialization:

  • Discourse studies
  • Rhetorical genre theory
  • Research writing & disciplinarity
  • Canadian studies
  • Writing & political movements