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Hoi Cheu

Hoi Cheu

Full Professor

School of Liberal Arts
L-708, R.D. Parker Building Sudbury Campus


Early in his academic career, Dr. Cheu specialized in literary theory (esp. Poststructuralist and Marxist writings) and modernist literature (Ph.D. dissertation, Zen and the Art of James Joyce). An interest in bibliotherapy -- the use of literature as a tool for mental and physical well-being -- changed his research direction.  He studied systems therapy scholarly and clinically under Dr. Joseph Gold.  Currently, he works on a variety of subjects in the framework of bibliotherapy, including feminist filmmaking and rhetoric of biblical narratives.  He also collaborates with various interdisciplinary healthcare research teams, working and publishing with researchers from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital, and the Centre for Rural and Northern Health. He directs the Laurentian Film Studio for Knowledge Communication.  His book, Cinematic Howling: Women’s Films, Women’s Film Theory (2007), was nominated for the Canadian Women’s Studies Association Book Prize.

After publishing a series of articles to theorize arts-based research, he is writing a book on the implication of bibliotherapy to literary studies in English.  In 2018-2019, he will focus mainly on two SSHRC funded collaboration projects on rural medical education with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.


  • Ph.D. (Literary Theory, Western University)
  • M.A. (English Literature, University of Waterloo)
  •  B.A. (English Literature, University of Waterloo)

Academic Appointments

Full Professor, Laurentian University


Research Focus: Bibliotherapy, Arts-Based Research, Digital Storytelling, Literary Theory

Current Book Projects: (1) Bibliotherapy and Applied Literature

Current Team Projects

The Transformative Potential of Socially Accountable Education (Northern Ontario School of Medicine, funded by SSHRC New Frontiers, PI: Erin Cameron)

​Preparing Students for Rural Careers: Examining the Learning Processes and Outcomes in Rural Medical Education in Canada  (Northern Ontario School of Medicine, funded by SSHRC Insight Development Grant, PI: Erin Cameron)


  • Teaching Excellence (2011, Laurentian University)
  • MacIntosh Lecture Award (1997, Western University)


Favourite 5 courses taught:

Favourite courses taught: (1) Literature, Health and Storytelling, (2) Science Writing, (3) James Joyce, (4) Rhetoric of Film and Image, (5) Documentary Filmmaking


Selected Publications (from 1 Book, 4 chapters in book, 2 scholarly encyclopeida entries, 9 articles, 35 conference papers, 42 documentary films ad director or cinematograher) -- updated March 2019


Cheu, Hoi et al.  "Teaching compassion for social accountability: A parallaxic investigation," Medical Teacher.  Oct 26, 2022.  Open Access: DOI: 10.1080/0142159X.2022.2136516

Strasser, Roger, Hoi Cheu.  “The Needs of the Many: NOSM Students’ Experience of Generalism and Rural Practice.  Canadian Family Physician.  2018 Jun: 64(6): 449-455.

Stories as a Scientific Method in Arts-Based Health Research,” Journal for Applied Arts and Health.  Vol. 8, No. 2  2017, pp. 209-224.,id=169/


Cinematic Howling: Women's Films, Women's Film Theories (UBC Press, 2007).

Chapter in Book:

"We Choose to Read: Bibliotherapy and Memories of Loss," in Gwendolyn Broadmore (ed.) Life Came to a Stand Still: True Accounts of Loss, Love, and Hope.  Friesen Press, 2017, pp. 197-203.

Collaborative Research: The Making of the Northern Ontarion School of Medicine (McGill-Queen's, 2009).

Films for Research:

Truly and Humbly: Memories of the First Apology (2017).

The Rural Challenge and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (2015).