English assistant professor invites students to view different perspectives
Liane Tanguay was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, but, as the old saying goes, she got to Texas as soon as she could.
“It’s been positive,” she said of her experience in the Lone Star State. “It was a bit of a culture shock at first.”
Before she took the job as a UHV assistant professor of English, there were several stops along the way. Tanguay went to a university in Toronto and then took a detour for a year to South Korea, where she taught English in an after-school program for students ages 5 to 14.
After that, she began studying at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. After obtaining her doctorate in 2006, Tanguay moved back to Canada to teach at Lakehead University in Ontario and Acadia University in Nova Scotia. Since 2014, she has taught at UHV.
Tanguay said one of her favorite things about teaching is encouraging students to go beyond conventional wisdom and view things from different perspectives – in short, challenge their “common sense” in the same way Texas challenges hers.
When she’s not working, Tanguay runs at Riverside Park. Although she doesn’t run competitively, weekend runs often exceed 10 miles. She also looks after her 8-year-old Shih Tzu, a traveling companion since her days in Nova Scotia. Tanguay loves long road trips and is known to post a picture of her dog to Facebook at every interstate welcome center.
It was her time at the University of Manchester that sent her down her current path studying the intersection of culture and politics in post-Cold War America. Her doctoral supervisor, a leading critic and theorist of literature and culture, inspired and helped cultivate her interest in the subject.
In 2012, she published a book about the war on terror that examined its representation in popular culture and official discourse. The book “Hijacking History: American Culture and the War on Terror” seeks to account for the public’s support for the war, and the disillusionment that followed by illuminating recurrent themes in popular culture in relation to the experience of contemporary capitalism.
Tanguay said the study of America – in particular its popular culture and brand of politics – has always interested her because of the country’s diversity, uniqueness and influence on the world stage.
“It’s the center of everything,” she said. “South Texas lets me experience it from the inside out.”
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The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities, and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.
Sky Chadde, special to UHV