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From the archives

The Melmac Years

My peculiar resin d’être

Maple Branches

Who talks of my nation?

Listening In

What recent populist victories tell us about Canada

Jessica Duffin Wolfe

Jessica Duffin Wolfe is a professor of digital communications and journalism at Humber College, in Toronto.

Articles by
Jessica Duffin Wolfe


Two pamphlets that pack a punch March 2023
Each hilarious answer spat out by ChatGPT is a nice little bag of futility plopped on a writer’s doorstep. Two additions to Biblioasis’s Field Notes series contend with such modern flavours of literary despair. Jason Guriel’s On Browsing offers a personal “browser history” that reveals the author as much as it elegizes the habit of sifting through physical copies of…

Whims and Longings

In the vicinity of that folio October 2022
Collections are made of intentional exclusions and inclusions, but sometimes books are stolen, lost, or slotted onto shelves at random without licence or record. The whole is defined both by what it contains and by what falls outside of it — or down the stairs after a piano lesson. One night last winter, on our way to my children’s music…

Below the Brine

Wave after wave thus leaps November 2021
Once upon a time, I sailed the Inside Passage alone, but I made friends in a Chaucerian afternoon spent trading anecdotes with three fellow seafarers. There was one from Brazil, two Americans who’d named their daughter after a number, and me, raw and fresh as a scallop in mourning with a newly minted bachelor’s degree in English…

In the Human Frame

Memories of the baffled king September 2021
When I went to university in Montreal in the early 2000s, my friends and I would often meet in the Portuguese Man Park, as we called the Parc du Portugal, the little square on the Main that hosted daily minglings of pigeons and greybeards, whose most revered inhabitant was the spirit if not the fact of Leonard “September”…

A Shelter for Dreams

As we haunt our houses April 2021
In my memory, it’s a Zoom call of a house, a collection of two or three irregularly shaped buildings of five storeys or so, with amorphous facades of windows coming out on all sides and little decks with houseplants. Each apartment-sized facet was so different from the others that it seemed as though the whole couldn’t have been built as one…

Don’t Kid Yourself

A ruling on the rules December 2020
When my four-year-old left his first day of French immersion after months at home and said, “Comment ça va,” he explained that the phrase meant “Clean up right now.” This amalgam, mistranslation and all, seemed like the perfect inaugural lesson, because it combined the new language with the rules: you will inquire after the well-being of…


Old stories of a new virus April 2020
The poor People cou’d not lay up Provisions, and there was a necessity, that they must go to Market to buy, and others to send Servants or their Children; and as this was a Necessity which renew’d itself daily; it brought abundance of unsound People to the Markets, and a great many that went thither

Check Out Libby

The workings of a virtual library January | February 2020
Libby, an app available through libraries across Canada, meets readers where they are: on their phones. Since its debut in 2017, it has combined the best of e-commerce and digital book design in a space where the reads are, appropriately, free. Sign in with your library card once and — boom! You can read or listen to…

Bored to Life

Finding ourselves in zeros and ones April 2019
Sometimes I, a millennial college prof, sit in meetings and listen quietly, attentively, to complaints about how millennial students are too distracted, too bored, until I start to think that my entire generation must have leapt from the pages of an Isherwood or Waugh novel, and was not in fact scraped fully formed from Instagram’s…