James Smoker

James SmokerPHD CANDIDATE

Hometown: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Education: B.A. (Creative Writing) Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC
Diploma (Television Production) Southern Alberta Institute for Technology, Calgary, Alberta
M.A. (History of Christianity) Regent College, Vancouver, BC
ThM (Interdisciplinary Studies) Regent College, Vancouver, BC

Thesis topic
Under the supervision of Judith Wolfe, James’s research explores Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s definition of the imagination as a means of perceiving and repeating the divine creative act, set in contrast with both the dark imagery present in his poetic works and the way his own imagination tormented him in nightmares and persistent self-destructive fantasies. Coleridge’s considerable collections of notebooks, letters, essay fragments, and lectures—not to mention well-established poetry, drama, and prose—provide rich source material for this venture. They reflect a brilliant interdisciplinary thinker in the midst of grappling with his own creative power, faith, mental health, and search for healing.

Other information

James’s recent academic career has been marked by a duality, as he both studied theology at Regent College and worked as an administrator there, first as the Academic Secretary than as the Assistant to the Academic Dean. While at Regent he was privileged to a close-up view of the academic life—not only the ideals of forming eager students, research, and publishing, but also the less-glamorous side of committee work, budgeting, accreditation processes, and curriculum planning. He enjoyed both sides of his work, both reveling in learning in a richly interdisciplinary context and the satisfaction of administrative organization. When he’s not working or studying, James also enjoys reading all sorts of fiction, trying new recipes, and catching up on all of the pop-culture he missed in his homeschooled childhood.

Taking advantage of this time devoted fully to research, James enjoys exploring the town of St Andrews, has joined the Friends of Coleridge based in the UK, and is looking forward to forming friendships with likeminded scholars. He is married to Siobhan, and they have three wonderful children, Eilidh, Ian, and Sadie.