Alumni & Friends - Ways to get involved and give back

SELF (Students of English Literature and Film)

Students of English Literature and Film (SELF) at UTSC is a student-run organization that works in close partnership with the English faculty to build a community of English Literature and Film students by providing student services, organizing academic and social events, and bringing student feedback and issues to the UTSC Administration. Through our events, we also promote professional, scholarly, and research excellence among our fellow students.  Our full members have complete access to these events and all the services that our organization provides. We always have opportunities open for involvement throughout the year, so find your SELF and join us! Events are open to English and non-English majors alike!

Twitter: @SELFatUTSC
Instagram: self_utsc

Organization E-mail:

Click here for a list of SELF events.


2020-2021 SELF Executive Team

Farah Rahim, President

Public Policy Co-op and English, 4th Year

How do you relate to literature/film?

“Literature helps me articulate my feelings and experiences in a way that is cathartic and freeing. I appreciate the creativity and power that comes with being a writer, and the ability to impact and/or connect with people through words or films is amazing to me.”

Why did you join SELF? What are your goals with SELF?

“I joined SELF to meet new people in the English department and help create a sense of community at UTSC! I hope to meet and engage with other students who also share a love for literature and film like I do. My main goal for SELF is to reach out to as many people as I can and establish lasting relationships with my peers and faculty in the department.”

Tell us about yourself!

“Since quarantine started, I have been keeping busy with work and school. To keep things interesting though I have *tried* to pick up skateboarding and I also volunteer at a welfare centre on the weekends! Lately I've been watching a lot of documentaries, basketball, and I'm super excited to start watching holiday movies soon. Fun fact: one of my favourite books that I re-read periodically is Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie Macdonald because I feel like I learn something new about the characters every time.”

Follow her! Farah Rahim (Facebook)

Joanne Lee, Vice President of Academics

Major in English, Possibly Double Minor in Creative Writing & Linguistics, 2nd Year

How do you relate to literature/film?

“Reading and writing are my ultimate passion, and I especially love learning more about Literature from the 1800s.”

Why did you join SELF? What are your goals with SELF?

“I joined SELF because as an opportunity to gain experience being a leader in the community, working along with the Department of English. My goals with SELF is to help and support students in the areas of English, while improving my skills in writing.”

Tell us about yourself!

“Hi! I'm Joanne and I'm super excited to be on the committee team this year! You can usually catch me dancing and creating choreographies to KPop, Pop/Hip-hop, and Christian Worship Songs! Aside from dancing, I also enjoy listening to music, bullet journaling, and meeting new people. Feel free to reach me on IG and remember to stay safe & warm!”

Follow her! @jdaeunlee (Instagram); for personal writing @present.words (Instagram)

Maidah Afzal, Vice President of Operations and Marketing Communications Coordinator

Double Majoring in Biology and English, 3rd Year

How do you relate to literature/film?

“Literature and film act as my comfort blanket. Whenever I'm in a haze of panic about life, I turn on a good movie or open up a novel to help me keep my mind calm and at ease. I find that a lot of people can agree that literature and/or film, besides being an artistic outlet, can be a comforting form of therapy (probably cheaper, too).”

Why did you join SELF? What are your goals with SELF?

“This is actually my first year doing an English major, so I've been trying to get more involved doing what I love (and that's talking about books and movies)! When I heard about SELF, a team specifically dedicated to the Students of English Literature and Film, I lost my mind. Now, I'm managing the accounts and learning more about the English community at UTSC. I'm really looking forward to hosting future events so all like-minded students can come out and express their love for film and literature!”

Tell us about yourself!

“Recently in quarantine, on top of engaging in some hobbies of mine (such as painting and drawing), I've picked up on playing the guitar (amongst the list of other instruments I can play!), and let me tell you, it's...going. Along the lines of literature and film, my favourite book is A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (notable mention: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, but that's only when I'm really sad), and my favourite film is The Devils (1971) (notable mention: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), but that's also when I'm really sad). Also! I've been studying tarot, palmistry, and astrology, but I have the worst memory and can't seem to carry them out (for those who would like to read me: I'm a Gemini sun, Sagittarius moon, Leo rising!). Honestly, if you're willing to lend a hand, send a message through either Instagram or Twitter (where I'm most active), where I'm down to talk about anything, and will probably just ramble on for pages. Hope everyone is staying healthy and warm!”

Follow her! @maidahafzal (Instagram); @maidahafzal (Twitter); Maidah Afzal (Facebook)

Hongda Wang, Marketing Graphics Coordinator

Double Major in Computer Science and Sociocultural Anthropology, 4th Year

How do you relate to literature/film?

“I see literature and film as tools through which I can understand the people and the world around me.”

Why did you join SELF? What are your goals with SELF?

“I joined SELF to exercise my graphic design skills whilst interacting with people that are also interested in literature and film. My goal is to create marketing material that highlights the significance of literature and film, and why it brings people together.”

Tell us about yourself!

“For as long as I could remember, I have always been drawn to edgy literature and film. When I was a child, I remember trying to read as many Japanese manga as I could get my hands on, and when I grew older, I turned my eye to films. While in quarantine, I've been revisiting some of my favorite motion pictures with a more mature understanding of literature, in hopes of discovering things that I did catch on my first viewing. Recently, I rewatched Neon Genesis Evangelion and it has become one of my all time favorites. Beyond literature and film, some of my other interests are drawing and playing video games.”

Follow him! Nicholas Wang (Facebook)

Jawad Talut, Chief Executive Editor

Majoring in English and Creative Writing, 3rd Year

How do you relate to literature/film?

“I enjoy it and I want to create my own works for others to experience.”

Why did you join SELF? What are your goals with SELF?

“To help English students with their writing abilities and to get more people into creative writing.”

Tell us about yourself!

“During quarantine I've spent a lot of time exercising outside and just spending time in nature. I do a lot of my readings for my classes outside after my daily run. Lately I've been watching Sergio Leones films about the Wild West and have been reading science fiction novels. I also write cyberpunk and dark fantasy short stories.”

Follow him! @dawaj.t (Instagram)

Dominique Diez, Executive Creative Editor

English major, Creative Writing minor and Psychology minor, 3rd Year

How do you relate to literature/film?

“Both literature and film are the sources of my knowledge and the reason my imagination runs wild. They are the two things I turn to if ever I need to relax or bring my mood back up when I’m feeling down.”

Why did you join SELF? What are your goals with SELF?

“I joined SELF to share my passion for writing and appreciate other people’s passion for it. I hope to learn more from others' experiences and build stronger connections to the world. My main goal is to develop myself as a writer and as a person who has a good understanding of how life plays out.”

Tell us about yourself!

“Since quarantine started, I’ve been mostly watching anime and kdrama on Netflix. Because I love to dance, I was happy to find time to do more of it because it was the best way to release stress and keep myself in shape. Most of the prompts I wrote during quarantine were all based from the shows I’ve watched or music I listen to. Music is another thing that I can’t live without because the many songs released encompasses any mood that I’m feeling.”

Follow her! @moniquediez (Instagram)

Amelia Shortt, Executive Critical Editor

Studying English, 4th year

How do you relate to literature/film?

“I do a lot of reading and analysis of literature in my major in English.”

Why did you join SELF? What are your goals with SELF?

“I joined SELF to gain experience in the field of editing. My goals are to practise and improve my skills as a writer and leader while contributing to the English community at UTSC.”

Tell us about yourself!

“I actually changed my major to English from journalism after taking Tolkien’s Middle Ages in my first year. I’m a big fan of Tolkien and fantasy in general, and I enjoy playing fantasy based video games like World of Warcraft and Skyrim in my spare time. I love music, painting, and writing, so even though I’m not in the creative writing program, I always do a creative project when the option is available. I also love to cook/bake, and find that making something tasty on the weekend is a great way to relax after a stressful week!”

Follow her! @amelia.n98 (Instagram); Amelia Shortt (Facebook)