Katherine R. Larson

Professor Larson smiling speaking at Scholars in Residence Welcome Session 2023 Photographer Gustavo Toledo
Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs (ON LEAVE)


Vice-Dean Larson will be on administrative leave from 1 July 2023 - 30 June 2024. While on leave, Professor Suzanne Sicchia will be Acting Vice-Dean Teaching Learning & Undergraduate Programs.

Professor Larson is a Professor in the Department of English at U of T Scarborough. Her research and teaching are rooted in feminist practices and centre on 16th- and 17th- century literature and culture; women's writing; gender and language; rhetoric and embodiment; and music and song. Her most recent book, The Matter of Song in Early Modern England: Texts in and of the Air  (Oxford University Press, 2019; pbk 2022), integrates her training as a singer through an online companion recording.

As an academic leader, Professor Larson has been actively involved in equity-related work and responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action, especially as they relate to curriculum and pedagogy. Professor Larson is convenor of the Working Circle, which collectively led the Campus Curriculum Review at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the development of the 2022 report “Recommended Actions, Learnings, and Next Steps

Prior to her appointment as Vice-Dean, Professor Larson was Chair of the Department of English, where she also has served as Associate Chair and Program Supervisor. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

For administrative matters pertaining to the portfolio, and to schedule a meeting with the Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs contact: Suma Philip, Executive Assistant to the VIce-Deans.


7 Questions with Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs, Professor Katherine R. Larson

  1. What can you tell us about a project you are currently working on?  An important focus of my work this year has been on post-pandemic planning and recovery, with a number of projects drawing on learnings from the COVID context. One of these projects was the pilot installation of auto-tracking cameras in 10 of our classrooms. Nicknamed AuRA (Automated Recording Apparatus), this project has been a collaboration between the VP Dean’s Office, IITS, CTL, and AccessAbility Services. Coming out of the pandemic, a growing number of instructors are interested in making lecture recordings available to students. Students have also shared feedback that recordings provide an important support to learning in facilitating access, enabling review of course content, and supporting preparation for assessments. The new cameras, which reflect the kind of technology that will be available in new buildings under construction at UTSC, are able to follow the movements of faculty as they are teaching, while projected content (slides, etc.) are embedded directly into the video file for student access. The feedback on the Winter 2023 pilot was excellent, and in the Fall of 2023 AuRA will be further expanded into 15 additional classrooms.
  2. If you had to define yourself in three words, what would they be? Relational, imaginative, strong.
  3. What do you enjoy most about your role? I love being in a role where I have the opportunity to lead curricular and pedagogical renewal at UTSC through the lens of inclusive excellence. I love working collaboratively with the team in the VP Dean’s Office and with colleagues from across the campus. I love thinking creatively about structure and process. And I love the days when I feel like our work is making a difference.
  4. Why U of T Scarborough?  I joined the faculty in 2007 after finishing my PhD, and sixteen years later I still feel fortunate to be working at UTSC. For me, the best aspects of working here are the students, wonderful colleagues, and the campus’s commitments to social justice. I also love the beauty of the ravine, and often walk the trails when taking a break during the day.
  5. What important lesson have you learned in your current role?  I joined the VP Dean’s Office in the early months of the pandemic, and much of my work as a Vice-Dean has unfolded in the COVID context. I learned that institutions can change and adapt very quickly when they need to. This became an important part of the foundation for the curriculum review Working Circle.
  6. What is the one thing people likely do not know about you? Not many people know that I am a singer and that my musical background is reflected in my academic work. My recent book on women’s song performance in 16th- and 17th-century England includes a recording of me singing, accompanied by lutenist Lucas Harris. You can listen to it online
  7. Which movie, book, or show makes you laugh the most? My 7-year-old daughter is a big fan of Mad Libs, and we laugh a lot creating silly stories together.


Photographer credit: Gustavo Toledo <May 2023>