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UPEI Arts Review Author Profile: Stephanie Cairns

The Arts Review is a student-led print publication that strives to promote excellence in student writing at UPEI. Last year, the Review published its sixth volume: White Water. This volume contains a wide variety of both creative and academic pieces that demonstrate the exceptional writing skills of UPEI students. Stephanie Cairns, a third-year math major, was one of the authors whose work was featured in Volume VI.

When asked about her experience with the publication, Cairns replied: “Over the course of my second year as a math student, I wrote an uncountable number (this is a math pun if that wasn’t clear) of assignments and an almost torturous number of midterms. I also wrote one, and exactly one, essay. This essay, written for Dr. Shannon Murray’s Children’s Literature class, was apparently, by some unexplained miracle, deemed worthy of not only a good mark but also of encouragement from my professor to submit it to the UPEI Arts Review.”

Cairns continued, “The process that followed – working with an editor and poring over every aspect of my paper – might not sound like the most thrilling of adventures, but it provided a genuinely exciting learning experience. The result – the publication in a real-life academic journal – was even more satisfying. So, if you, dear reader, have one paper, one poem or one wickedly perplexing mathematical proof that you’re particularly, or even marginally, proud of, I would highly recommend submitting it to the Arts Review! I can guarantee the experience will be anything but dull or derivative (more math puns!).”

Stephanie is now a tutor at the UPEI Writing Centre, and she has recently taken an editorial position with the Arts Review.

To give you an idea of some of the work that has appeared in the publication in the past, here is an excerpt from Stephanie Cairns’, “The Rabbit, the Witch and the War on Women: Femininity and Power in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”:

“Two authors known as “Lewis” have created unique literary villains: C.S. Lewis’s White Witch plots, Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts chops. Yet, both of these female characters do something far more extraordinary in their twin eras of sepia-induced sexism: they rule. Moreover, the rule of these women is only contested by the arrival of a little girl, the most perplexing and seemingly pathetic of creatures. Despite these equalities –seeking surface strides, neither author succeeds in depicting a particularly feminist world. Indeed, the flaws of these two protagonists are practically mirror images of one another – while Carroll’s female characters tirelessly argue and arrogantly boast their way out of the confines of a gendered world, none of them achieve much in the way of lasting power. Contrastingly, Lewis’s women thrive and ascend to startling heights, but that ascent is dented slightly by their blunt and unapologetic adherence to traditional gender roles.”

The Arts Review will be accepting writing and artwork submissions for Volume VII until December 23rd. Sent your submissions via email to 

If you would like to learn more about the submission process click here.

By: Julia Henderson

Photo: Stephanie Cairns: Author of “The Rabbit, the Witch and the War on Women: Femininity and Power in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”