Nick Mount is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto, St. George campus. Professor Mount earned his undergraduate degree (B.A. Hons., 1993) from the University of Victoria and his graduate degrees from Dalhousie University (MA 1994, PhD 2001). His doctoral dissertation won Dalhousie’s Malcolm Ross Award for the year’s best dissertation in Canadian literary criticism.
Professor Mount began his teaching career as a Teaching Fellow in the Foundation Year Programme at the University of King’s College in Halifax. In his lectures and tutorials on the great books of the Western tradition for King’s, Professor Mount learned some of the core principles of his approach to teaching, including his conviction that understanding must come before criticism.
In 2001, Professor Mount joined the Department of English at the University of Toronto. His prize-winning dissertation has since become a prize-winning book, When Canadian Literature Moved to New York, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2005 and the winner of the Gabrielle Roy Prize for the best book in Canadian literary criticism. He has published articles on a range of topics, the most recent of which have all grown directly out of his teaching: from a graduate seminar, articles this year on the return of beauty in the arts of Queen’s Quarterly and The Walrus; from his first-year course, articles on the Canadian poet David McGimpsey in Canadian Poetry and on the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett in Raritan. He has also given public talks on these and other subjects in venues on and off campus, including the Toronto Centre for the Book, the Friends of Trinity Library, Salon Voltaire at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, and the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto.
Professor Mount teaches at the undergraduate and graduate level in Canadian literature and theory. Since 2003, he has also taught his Department’s largest first-year course, “Literature for Our Time,” currently capped at 440 students. As part of his course, he hosts a literary series every spring, introducing his students, the university community, and the public to young writers from Canada and the United States. Recent guests in the series have included novelist Richard Powers (since then a Pulitzer finalist), Toronto’s own Giller finalist Camilla Gibb, and the cartoonist Chris Ware, winner of the Manchester Guardian First Book Award. “Literature for Our Time” has become one of the University’s most popular first-year courses, filling up faster each year and attracting media attention inside and outside the University, most recently in a profile of Professor Mount in the Toronto Star. This spring, Professor Mount has been invited to give a series of ten lectures adapted from “Literature for Our Time” for the later Life Learning program at Innis College’s Town Hall. Discussions are in the works with TVO to broadcast this series.
A believer in the judicious use of classroom technologies, Professor Mount chaired the University’s recent Committee on Classroom Technology Standards and authored the Committee’s final report, Electronic Classrooms at the University of Toronto (2007). The reports’ recommendations are currently being implemented at all three campuses and in the Federated Universities, starting with the installation of the new U of T Teaching Station in classrooms with a seating capacity of over 100. He is currently chairing the Department of English’s Calendar & Curriculum Committee, charged this year with implementing the recommendations of the recent curriculum review by the Faculty of Arts & Science.
Professor Mount has taught his Department’s graduate seminar for PhD candidates on teaching skills and has given several workshops and talks on teaching for his Department and for the University’s Office of Teaching Advancement. Most recently, Ryerson University invited him to address faculty and students in a public lecture on teaching.
Professor Mount was a semi-finalist in TVO’s Best Lecturer Competition, a province-wide search for the best lecturer in a post-secondary institution. He was a top-ten finalist in this competition in 2007, and had been nominated again this year. In 2007, Professor Mount was the recipient of a Faculty of Arts & Science Outstanding Teaching Award.