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Germaine Warkentin was born in Toronto in 1933 and received her B.A. (hons.) in English from the University of Toronto in 1955. Upon her graduation she engaged in freelance writing for radio, television, and the University of Toronto Press. Two years later she and her husband moved to Winnipeg where he had accepted a position in the Geography Department at the United College (now the University of Winnipeg). Germaine entered the graduate programme at the University of Manitoba, receiving her M.A. in English in 1965. She returned to Toronto and joined the Department of English as a lecturer in 1970. After completing her Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Toronto, she became Assistant Professor, rising through to ranks to become Professor in 1990. She was director of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies from 1985 to 1990 and was cross-appointed to the Centre for Comparative Literature beginning in 1990. Upon her retirement in 1999, she was honoured as Distinguish Senior Fellow of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies and continues to be an active member of the academic community.
Professor Warkentin research interests include the history of the book, English Canadian literary pre 1914, the renaissance sonnet sequence from Petrach to Shakespeare and Sir Philip Sidney and family members to 1743.She has written numerous articles, chapters in books, reviews and has been the editor of many books including "Poems" (1972) as well as other publications by James Reaney, "The White Savannahs" (1975) by W.E. Collin, "Set in Authority (1906)" (1996) by Sara Jeannette Duncan. She also co-edited "The New World Journal by Alexander Graham Dunlop" with David Sinclair. Her interest in early exploration writings led to her efforts on "Canadian Exploration Literature: An Anthology" and "Critical Issue in Editing Exploration Texts" and later a two volume work for the Champlain Society "The Collected Writings of Pierre-Esprit Radisson" (2102 and 2014). "Decentring the Renaissance: Canada and Europe in Multi-Disciplinary Perspective 1500-1700" (2001) was co-edited with Carolyn Podruchny arose out papers presented at a conference in 1976, organized by Warkentin and sponsored by the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at Victoria College. In 2013 she co-authored with Joseph L. Black and William R. Bowen, "The Library at Penhurst Place.ca 1665".
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University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services / Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto