Anne Nothof began her post-secondary education with an Honours BA at Queens University and then earned her PhD from the University of Alberta. From 1981 until her retirement in 2019, Anne taught at Athabasca University. As Professor of English, she developed and taught undergraduate and post-graduate distance education courses in literature and drama. She maintained a prolific publishing career with numerous critical essays in journals and book chapters covering a wide range of topics but with a special focus on feminist, Indigenous, and post-colonial literatures.
This is how Anne once spoke about her role as an educator who learned how to engage students at a distance long before the pandemic required most of us to replace in-person learning with video conferencing software:
“Although teaching theatre via distance education has its challenges,” Anne said in 2007, “it also offers many benefits. “The main advantage […] is it enables so many people wherever they are to at least become acquainted with [theatre]; that they develop an interest in it and then they might pursue it by going into more theatre studies or going to more plays. It opens up the possibility for them of experiencing theatre.” (AU Tutor Bio – Anne Nothof; https://www.voicemagazine.org/2007/10/05/au-tutor-bio-anne-nothof). This is the voice of encouragement, support, and empathy that many of our students sought during the times of pandemic, and that many of us are learning to acquire.
So today we celebrate Anne’s passion as an educator and also her love for writing about theatre and her sharp eye for new talent. An astute reader, critic and editor, Anne has been instrumental in supporting Canadian playwrights, emerging and established. In collections such as Ethnicities: Plays from the New West (1999) and The Alberta Advantage: An Anthology of Plays (2008), Anne championed many new voices, whereas in her collection of essays Theatre in Alberta, which she edited for Playwrights Canada Press in 2008, she advanced scholarly attention to their work. Anne’s work appeared in Guernica, NeWest, and Playwrights Canada Press. For twelve years she hosted a weekly radio program on drama, and developed a television series on world theatre. She may be best known for her important relationship with Sharon Pollock, as the editor of two anthologies of and on Pollock’s work. A special kind of mentor, she helped many emerging scholars to publish their work.
Anne served as President of CATR from 2000 to 2004.
Now a Professor Emerita living in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Anne’s passions are theatre, music, and painting. She continues to serve as a Board Editor for NeWest Press, a Board member at the Strathcona County Library, and as the editor for the important and oft-read Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia (http://www.canadiantheatre.com).