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Faculty of Arts professors named Professor Emeritus

November 5, 2018 — 

On Thursday, October 11, the following professors in the Faculty of Arts were honoured with the title Professor Emeritus for their many contributions and years of service to the University of Manitoba.

  • Christopher Johnson, Department of English, Theatre, Film & Media
  • John Walker, Department of Psychology (adjunct)
  • David Williams, Department of English, Theatre, Film & Media
  • Arlene Young, Department of English, Theatre, Film & Media

Citations are as follows:


Dr. Christopher Johnson BA, MA (UBC), PhD (Leeds)

Dr. Chris Johnson has had an enduring impact on the theatre program at the University of Manitoba and on Winnipeg’s vibrant theatre community. Over the three decades of his career, he produced a remarkable body of work as a writer, director and advisor.

Dr. Christopher Johnson

Dr. Christopher Johnson BA, MA (UBC), PhD (Leeds)

Dr. Johnson joined the department of English, film and theatre in 1979, serving as coordinator of the theatre program until 2008. He brought to all of his tasks a quiet and piercing intelligence, good humour and generosity of spirit.

An outstanding teacher and mentor, Dr. Johnson developed and taught over 14 new courses and supervised both critical and creative graduate work. He published plays and book reviews, served on editorial boards and presented many papers and public addresses on plays, performance and directing.

With a publication record of over 35 articles, chapters and scholarly encyclopedia entries on Canadian theatre, he is considered a national expert on the work of playwright George Walker, about whom he wrote several articles and a book.

Over his distinguished career, Dr. Johnson was active in theatre productions and leadership capacities. He directed or acted in over 40 theatrical productions, both on and off campus. He was key to the organization and success of the annual Royal MTC Master Playwrights Festival and contributed extensively to Theatre Projects Manitoba.

Dr. Johnson’s creative and scholarly work was supported and celebrated by the Canada Council and by University Creative Grants, Major Outreach and Merit Awards. He was a significant champion of the new John J. Conklin Theatre in the Gail Asper Performing Arts Hall. He recently received the Winnipeg Theatre Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award for Theatre Educator.

The University of Manitoba is honoured to confer upon Dr. Chris Johnson the title of Professor Emeritus.


Dr. John Walker, BA hon., MA, PhD (Manitoba)

Dr. John Walker has had a profound impact on the availability and delivery of mental health services in Manitoba. He influenced a generation of clinical psychologists and other colleagues in the mental health field, and is recognized internationally for his work in anxiety and knowledge translation.

Dr. Walker joined the University in 1980. He retired from his clinical position with the Regional Health Authority in 2014 after 34 years of distinguished service. An exemplary clinician-scientist, he continues as a fulltime researcher in the department of clinical health psychology in the Max Rady College of Medicine.

In the early 1980s, he established the first anxiety disorder clinic in Manitoba at St. Boniface Hospital, integrating research and clinical services. He was a founding member of the boards of the Anxiety Disorders Association in Manitoba, and later Anxiety Canada.

A prolific researcher, Dr. Walker was lead investigator or co- investigator on over $10 million in research grants. He authored or co-authored 150 articles and book chapters, a practitioner’s treatment guide and two books. He was an outstanding clinical teacher and research mentor who supervised over 100 students from multiple health disciplines, encompassing the spectrum from undergraduates to postdoctoral fellows.

For his notable contributions to the field, he was recognized twice by the Canadian Mental Health Association, in 1988 with the National President’s Award and in 1993 with the President’s Special Recognition Award. He received the Clifford Robson Award from the Manitoba Psychological Society in 2000 and was recognized in 2010 as a fellow of the clinical section of the Canadian Psychological Association, which honoured him with the Award of Clinical Excellence in 2018.

The University of Manitoba is honoured to confer upon Dr. John Walker the title of Professor Emeritus.


Dr. David Williams Pastor Dip. (Briercrest), BA (Saskatchewan), MA, PhD (Massachusetts-Amherst)

An outstanding scholar, teacher and member of the University of Manitoba community, Dr. David Williams has been an example and a source of wise counsel to his department, faculty and his field.

Dr. David Williams

Dr. David Williams Pastor Dip. (Briercrest), BA (Saskatchewan), MA, PhD (Massachusetts-Amherst)

Dr. Williams joined the department of English, film and theatre in 1973 and retired after over four decades of dedicated teaching, research and service. He was a Canada Council Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

He taught over 29 different courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and supervised 30 MA and PhD students to completion. In 1992, he won the Olive Beatrice Staunton Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 1993 was nominated Canadian Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Washington, D.C.

Over his distinguished career, Dr. Williams’ contributions to the study of literature, and the social and political consequences of media change, were widely recognized in the U.S. and in Canada. Author of five monographs, the latest published in 2017, Dr. Williams’ books are owned by more than 3,000 university and college libraries over six continents. He also published over 30 refereed articles and chapters, three novels and several short stories. His critical and creative work received Canada Council grants and an Rh Award.

Dr. Williams’ 2009 book, Media, Memory and the First World War, was nominated for the prestigious James Russell Lowell Prize (Modern Language Association) and his book on media in Canadian fiction, Imagined Nations, was awarded the 2003 Gabrielle Roy Prize by the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures. Most recently, his essay in English Studies in Canada won the 2017 Priestley Prize.

The University of Manitoba is honoured to confer upon Dr. David Williams the title of Professor Emeritus.


Dr. Arlene Young BA, MA (Manitoba), MA, PhD (Cornell)

Dr. Arlene Young is an inspiring academic and a principled, supportive colleague and mentor to many. Her contributions to her field and to her department, faculty and the University leave a lasting legacy.

Dr. Arlene Young

Dr. Arlene Young BA, MA (Manitoba), MA, PhD (Cornell)

She joined the department of English, film and theatre in 1998, having served the University in other capacities, including as an assistant professor of women’s studies and as an executive assistant to President Emőke Szathmáry.

Dr. Young’s many publications, including a monograph, literary editions, articles, chapters and scholarly encyclopedia entries, established her as an internationally recognized expert and a sought-after academic keynote speaker in Victorian studies, and especially on women and work in the literature and social life of late 19th-century England.

An engaging teacher, Dr. Young taught compelling undergraduate and graduate courses informed by her period research on working women, the professionalization of nursing and Victorian literature’s “new woman,” including the female detective. Her expertise informed her teaching in ways inspiring to students, making her a popular graduate supervisor.

She was recognized with honours throughout her tenure, including outstanding achievement awards in her faculty and three University Merit Awards. Her research program was supported by an Rh Award, and by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, most recently by a Partnership Development Grant that engaged over 24 researchers from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada in The Affect Project, a multidisciplinary study of the role of emotion in aesthetics, memory and ethics.

Dr. Young also served as director of the Institute for the Humanities, and as associate head and then head of the department of English, film and theatre.

The University of Manitoba is honoured to confer upon Dr. Arlene Young the title of Professor Emeritus.

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