Jane McGaughey is the Johnson Chair of Québec and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University and is the principal investigator for the Gender, Migration & Madness project.
Who is your favourite academic?
What are you reading for work and/or for leisure these days?
For work: Patricia O’Brien’s new article, “Wild Colonial Boy: Errol Flynn’s Rape Trial, Pacific Pasts and the Making of Hollywood.”
For leisure: The Coldest Case, which is the latest in the Bruno, Chief of Police series by Martin Walker. It’s not summer without a new Bruno mystery to read over morning coffee.
What is your favourite archive or library?
I love the view over the Ottawa River from the LAC’s reading room. The National Library of Ireland has the most glorious downstairs bathroom. And I’m still territorial about my seat in Humanities 2 at the British Library.
What book or movie changed your life?
The Rebel Angels by Robertson Davies
Do you play music while you work? If so, what?
This year it’s been a lot of Glenn Gould, especially the 1981 Goldberg Variations recording and his 1970 broadcast of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Toronto Symphony.
What do you know now that you wish you had known at the beginning of your career/degree?
Invest in a proper keyboard, wrist brace, and desk chair. Resist the temptation to slouch or balance your laptop on your knees while curled up in a chair no matter how good it feels in the moment. Your shoulders and neck will thank you forever. And write your own index.
What is your favourite way to de-stress?
Early morning coffee or a 5 p.m. cocktail with a crossword from Country Life. Watching an old favourite show or movie is also a magical way to turn off the brain. My husband knows if he hears the Outlander theme music, I am done for the day.