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/ English Studies – Department of Literatures and Languages of the World

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Heather Meek


Professeure agrégée

Faculté des arts et des sciences - Département de littératures et de langues du monde

Pavillon Lionel-Groulx office C8118

514 343-6239


  • Membre – RéQEF — Réseau québécois en études féministes
  • Membre – CELCP — Centre de recherche des études littéraires et culturelles sur la planétarité

Education Programs

  • Literature and Languages
  • Literature and Languages
  • Literature and Languages
  • Literature and Languages
  • Literature and Languages
  • Literature and Languages
  • Literature and Languages
  • Literature and Languages Humanities


  • ANG1002 Reading Fiction
  • ANG1103 Composition: Critical Writing
  • ANG2153 British Literature 1790 to 1900
  • ANG6130 18th-Century British Literature
  • ANG68951 Séminaire en études anglaises 1.1
  • ANG6896 Séminaire en études anglaises 2

Areas of Expertise

Heather Meek’s research interests include women’s writing, medical treatises, and the intersections of literature and medicine. Much of her published work looks at the subject of eighteenth-century hysteria by examining contemporaneous medical texts and first-hand accounts by women writers who themselves suffered from the condition. She has written on the ways that hysteria is at once a veritable illness, an elusive cultural condition, an intellectual affliction, and a vehicle for feminist thought. Her current project, funded by a SSHRC Insight grant (2019-2023), explores the medical knowledge of a group of eighteenth-century women writers and considers medical and literary understandings of conditions ranging from melancholy, hysteria, and madness; to chlorosis, pregnancy, and childhood illness; to smallpox, consumption, and breast cancer.

Student supervision Expand all Collapse all

“[O]ur virtues and our vices depend too much on our circumstances” : prostitution as power in John Cleland’s Memoirs of a woman of pleasure Thèses et mémoires dirigés / 2023 - 2023
Graduate : Albouchi, Asma
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M.A.
Race, mimicry, ambivalence, and third space in The woman of colour : a tale (1808) Thèses et mémoires dirigés / 2022 - 2022
Graduate : Jafarzadeh, Nikrouz
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M. Sc.
The "Effect of Education" on kinship ties in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park Thèses et mémoires dirigés / 2021 - 2021
Graduate : Brousseau, Roxanne
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M.A.
Why Say No? : Marriage Proposal Rejections in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre Thèses et mémoires dirigés / 2020 - 2020
Graduate : Agharazi, Hoda
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M.A.
The Effect of Collective Psychology on the Mistreatment of Nineteenth-Century Women in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" Thèses et mémoires dirigés / 2019 - 2019
Graduate : Pallotta, Jessica
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M.A.
Women’s Food Refusal and Feminine Appetites in the long British Eighteenth Century Thèses et mémoires dirigés / 2018 - 2018
Graduate : Hamel, Jessica Lynn
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.

Research projects Expand all Collapse all

Les études culturelles et littéraires sur La planétarité: Pratiques, épistémologies, et pédagogies transformatrices Projet de recherche au Canada / 2020 - 2025

Lead researcher : Heike Harting
Co-researchers : Simon Harel , Heather Meek , Catherine Mavrikakis , Yves-Marie Abraham , Karoline Truchon , Domenico Beneventi , Catherine Leclerc , Monica Popescu , Yasmin Jiwani , Isaac Bazié , Raphael Canet
Funding sources: FRQSC/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FQRSC)
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(SE) Programme Soutien aux équipes de recherche - Stade de développement : Nouvelle équipe

Re-Imagining Illness: The British Woman Writer's Medical Knowledge, 1660-1820 Projet de recherche au Canada / 2019 - 2024

Lead researcher : Heather Meek
Funding sources: CRSH/Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Subvention Savoir

Petticoat Doctors and their Pens: The Medical Knowledge of Eighteenth-Century Women Writers Projet de recherche au Canada / 2018 - 2021

Lead researcher : Heather Meek
Funding sources: CRSH/Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
Grant programs: PVX20020-Subvention institutionnelle du CRSH - Subventions d'exploration


Lead researcher : Heather Meek
Funding sources: FRQSC/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FQRSC)
Grant programs: PV113813-(NP) Soutien à la recherche pour la relève professorale

Publications Expand all Collapse all

Publications principales

  • “‘Meanders of [the] Purple Flood’: Blood and Bloodletting in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Medicine.” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies (JECS) 46.1 (2023): 41-57. doi:
  • “A ‘prodigious latitude’ of Words: Vocabularies of Illness in 18th-Century Medical Treatises and Women’s Writing.” BMJ: Medical Humanities 48.2 (2022): 253-60. doi: 10.1136/medhum-2020-012133
  • “Jane Barker, Medical Discourse, and the Rise of the Novel.” Literature and Medicine: The Eighteenth Century. Volume 1. Ed. Clark Lawlor and Andrew Mangham. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021. 51-69.
  • “Medicine and Health.” Samuel Richardson in Context. Ed. Peter Sabor and Betty Schellenberg. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 264-71.
  • “‘[F]ictitious [D]istress’ or Veritable Woe?: The Problem of Eighteenth-Century Ennui.” Disease and Death in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture: Fashioning the Unfashionable. Ed. Allan Ingram and Leigh Wetherall-Dickson. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017. 13-31.
  • “Frances Burney’s Mastectomy Narrative and Discourses of Breast Cancer in the Long Eighteenth Century.” Literature and Medicine 35.1 (Spring 2017): 27-45.
  • “Motherhood, Hysteria, and the Eighteenth-Century Woman Writer.” The Secrets of Generation: Reproduction in the Long Eighteenth Century. Ed. Raymond Stephanson and Darren Wagner. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015. 238-57. 
  • “An ‘imperfect’ Model of Authorship in Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere Journal.” Authorship 4.2 (Fall 2015): 1-13.
  • “Medical Men, Women of Letters, and Treatments for Eighteenth-Century Hysteria.” Journal of Medical Humanities 34.1 (March 2013): 1-14.
  • “‘[W]hat fatigues we fine ladies are fated to endure’: Sociosomatic Hysteria as a Female ‘English Malady.’” Diseases of the Imagination and Imaginary Disease in the Early Modern Period. Ed. Yasmin Haskell. Early European Research 1200-1650 Series. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishing, 2011. 375-96.
  • “Creative Hysteria and the Intellectual Woman of Feeling.” Figures et culture de la dépression (1660-1800)/The Representation and Culture of Depression (1660-1800). Vol. 1. Spec. issue of Le Spectateur européen/The European Spectator: 10 (2010): 87-98.
  • “Of Wandering Wombs and Wrongs of Women: Evolving Conceptions of Hysteria in the Age of Reason.” English Studies in Canada 35.2-3 (June/September 2009): 105-28.
  • “Medical Women and Hysterical Doctors: Interpreting Hysteria’s Symptoms.” The English Malady: Enabling and Disabling Fictions. Ed. Glen Colburn. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008. 223-47.

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