Department of Modern Languages & Classics

Dr. John Plews

Associate Professor of German
Office: MN 431
Email: jplews@smu.ca

John L. Plews is Associate Professor of German at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. He completed his Bachelor of Arts (1991) in Modern Languages at the University of Manchester, England, and his MA in German Literature (1992) and PhD (2001) in German Literatures, Languages, and Linguistics as well as a second PhD (2010) in Secondary Education at the University of Alberta (Edmonton). He has lived in the UK, France, Germany, Canada, and Portugal. He has taught English as a foreign language, German language and culture, curriculum and instruction for second languages, second language acquisition theory, curriculum studies, and education research literacy. In his current research, he makes use of critical theory, interpretive inquiry, and creative narrative analysis to investigate students’ and teachers’ lived experiences of second language curriculum and international education / study abroad, especially as they relate to identity formation, subjective voice, and pedagogical tasks. He is co-editor of Traditions and Transitions: Curricula for German Studies (2013), Interkulturelle Kompetenzen im Fremdsprachenunterricht. Intercultural Literacies and German in the Classroom (2007), German Matters in Popular Culture (2000), and Queering the Canon (1998) and has published on study abroad, language teaching, and aspects of German culture.

Recent Publications

Books and journal editions

  • Plews, J. L., & Schmenk, B. (Eds.). (Forthcoming, 2013). Traditions and transitions: Curricula for German studies. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press.
  • Lorey, C., Plews, J. L., & Rieger, C. L., eds. (2007). Interkulturelle Kompetenzen im Fremdsprachenunterricht. Intercultural literacies and German in the classroom. Festschrift für Manfred Prokop zum 65sten Geburtstag. Giessener Beiträge zur Fremdsprachendidaktik. Tübingen: Narr Verlag. 436 pp., illus.
  • Plews, J. L., ed. (2002/2003). torquere. Journal of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Studies Association 4/5. 244 pp., illus.
  • Plews, J. L., ed. (2001). torquere. Journal of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Studies Association 3. 198 pp., illus.
  • Lorey, C., & Plews, J. L., eds. (2000). German matters in popular culture. Journal of Popular Culture 34(3). 267 pp., illus.
  • Plews, J. L., ed. (2000). torquere. Journal of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Studies Association 2. 151 pp.
  • Plews, J. L., ed. (1999). torquere. Journal of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Studies Association 1. 124 pp., illus.
  • Lorey, C., & Plews, J. L., eds. (1998). Queering the canon. Defying sights in German literature and culture. Columbia, SC: Camden House. 534 pp., illus., index.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in books

  • Plews, J. L. (Forthcoming, 2013). “Can anyone recommend a good German grammar?”: An analysis of a popular North American German grammar. Forum Deutsch. 39pp.
  • Plews, J. L., & Schmenk, B. (Forthcoming, 2013). Traditions and transitions: On broadening the visibility and scope of curriculum inquiry for German studies. In J. L. Plews & B. Schmenk (Eds.), Traditions and transitions: Curricula for German studies. 33pp.
  • Plews, J. L. (Forthcoming, 2013). Postsecondary Germanistik, or German as a foreign language in Canada from a postcolonial perspective. In J. L. Plews & B. Schmenk (Eds.), Traditions and transitions: Curricula for German studies. 28pp.
  • Plews, J. L., & Zhao, K. (2010). Tinkering with tasks knows no bounds: ESL teachers’ adaptations of task-based language teaching. TESL Canada, 28(1), 41-59.
  • Plews, J. L., Breckenridge, Y., & Cambre, M.-C. (2010). Mexican English teachers’ experiences of international professional development in Canada: A narrative analysis. e-FLT 7 (1), 5-20. Available at http://e-flt.nus.edu.sg/v7n12010/plews.pdf
  • Beaudoin-Lietz, C., & Plews, J. L. (2010). Co-occurring attributive adjectives in German: Presenting a special case of alternations of strong and weak inflections. Forum Deutsch 18(1), 20pp.
  • Johnston, I., Richardson, G., Plews, J. L., Carsen, T. R., Donald, D., & Kim, M. (2009). Awareness, discovery, becoming, and debriefing: Promoting cross-cultural pedagogical understanding in an undergraduate education program. Alberta Journal of Education Research 55(1), 1-17.
  • Plews, J. L. (2007). The core, the outside, and the borders: A critical curriculum history of postsecondary German in Canada. In C. L. Rieger, J. L. Plews, & C. Lorey, eds., Interkulturelle Kompetenzen im Fremdsprachenunterricht. Intercultural literacies and German in the classroom. Festschrift für Manfred Prokop zum 65sten Geburtstag (pp. 1-27). Giessener Beiträge zur Fremdsprachendidaktik. Tübingen: Narr Verlag.
  • Plews, J. L. (2007). Internationalization begins at home: Domestic collaboration for international second language teacher education. In B. Johnston & K. A. E. Walls, eds, Voice and vision in language teacher education: Selected papers from the fourth international conference on language teacher education [2005] (pp. 163-178). Minneapolis: CARLA.
  • Plews, J. L. (2005). Physiognomy and the artist community in Eduard Mörike’s Maler Nolten. In M. Percival & G. Tytler, eds, Physiognomy in profile: Lavater’s impact on European culture (pp. 121-136). Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press.
  • Plews, J. L. (2003). “Aus dem Gesicht verloren”: The physiognomical shade and Chamisso’s Peter Schlemihl’s coming-out story. Seminar 40(4), 327-348.
  • Plews, J. L. (2003). German photography: A cultural content course for all comers. Forum Deutsch 11, 13-21.
  • Plews, J. L. (2001). Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s Der Richter und sein Henker: Gluttony, victory, and justice. Monatshefte 93(1), 87-97.
  • Lorey, C., & Plews, J. L. (2000). German matters in popular culture. German matters in popular culture. Journal of Popular Culture 34(3), 1-8. Guest ed. C. Lorey & J. L. Plews.
  • Plews, J. L. (2000). Ingeborg Drewitz’s Das Hochhaus: The family meal and the myth of communion. International Fiction Review 27, 1-9.
  • Lorey, C., & Plews, J. L. (1998). Defying sights in German literature and culture: An introduction to queering the canon. In C. Lorey & J. L. Plews, eds., Queering the canon. Defying sights in German literature and culture (pp. xiii-xxiv). Columbia, SC: Camden House.
  • Plews, J. L. (1997). Martin Walser’s Ein fliehendes Pferd: Good food, health, and immortality. Michigan Germanic Studies 23(2), 158-171.
  • Plews, J. L. (1997). Ingeborg Drewitz’s Gestern war Heute: Food as a danger zone for women. In M. Henn & B. Hufeisen, eds, Frauen MitSprechen – MitSchreiben. Beiträge zur literatur- und sprachwissenschaftlichen Frauenforschung (pp. 468-478). Stuttgart: Akademischer Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz.
  • Whitinger, R. G., & Plews, J. L. (1996). The anti-heroic consistency of C.D. Grabbe’s historical dramas. Poetological discourse and intertextuality in Gothland, Hohenstaufen, and Napoleon. Colloquia Germanica 29(1), 39-60.
Research reports
  • Plews, J. L. (2004, Jul.). Report on the University of Alberta Initiative for the Internationalization of Second Language Teacher Education in Alberta. For the University of Alberta International and Alberta Learning, Government of Alberta. Available from University of Alberta International, 1204 College Plaza, 8215 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2C8. 64 pp.

Recently Taught Courses

  • GRMN 1101.1 Introduction to German Language I
  • GRMN 1102.2 Introduction to German Language II
  • GRMN 2201.1 Intermediate German I
  • GRMN 2202.2 Intermediate German II
  • GRMN 3306.2 German Culture and Civilization
  • GRMN 3307.2 Introduction to German Literature / WMST 2833.2 Special Topic in Women and Gender Studies
  • GRMN 3311.1 Advanced German I
  • LING 4890.1 Directed Readings in Linguistics: Aspects of the German Language (Independent study)
  • AU-GER 400 Advanced German III & IV (Canadian Summer School in Germany / University of Alberta)
  • AU-GER 415 German Immersion Community Service Learning (Canadian Summer School in Germany / University of Alberta)
  • GCRD 6301.01 & .03 Foundations of Curriculum I (MSVU)
  • GCRD 6302.01 & .03 Foundations of Curriculum II (MSVU)
  • GCRD 6303.01 Principles of Language Acquisition for Education (MSVU)
  • GEDU 6170.04 Seminar: Focus on Research Literacy (MSVU)