Suzanne Steele


Telephone: 07517159982 

College: College of Humanities

I am a practising artist (video installations), a poet, librettist (Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation 2012 with composer Jeffrey Ryan), scholar, and analyst in war literature (First World War/current Afghan war), advanced technologies, telecommunications, education, and the cultural industries. Recently, I have become a Named Collaborator to the 1914FACES2014 Project, led by Professor David Jones, Exeter, UK, and Dr. Bernard Devauchelles, internationally renowned surgeon, of Amiens, France. 1914FACES2014 is an interdisciplinary study of the cultural and scientific legacies of the disfigured facially wounded from the Great War, and the subsequent pioneering and innovative surgeries that developed. While my role is as literary advisor, I am also interested in constructing a geo-genealogy of Great War surgeons.

In the private sector, I have worked extensively with CEOs, and teams of engineers on private sector and government policy and projects in advanced technology. My undergraduate degree is a BMus, and my graduate degree is a Master of Library and Information Science. I believe the combination of creativity and scientific discipline serves my clients well. For the past five years I have concentrated on my work as an official war artist, the first poet to be chosen as such in the 90 plus history of Canadian war artists deployed into the theatre of war. I tracked a Canadian infantry battalion for three years and spent months embedded with rifle companies in the field, and finally visited them outside the wire in Afghanistan in 2009. My war work has been widely published in popular as well as scholarly journals and has been broadcast internationally on the BBC World Service three times, and nationally in Canada numerous times. In 2011 the University of Exeter invited me to do a PhD in English. I have chosen to do a critical thesis with a section of my creative work. The title of my thesis is The Art of Witness: Truth, Process, and Form in the Work of Robert Graves, Mary Borden, and David Jones. This work examines the ethics and aesthetics of the artist witness in the theatre of war. I am interested in the role trauma plays in narrative, and the role of literature in the redemption of the war-wounded.