Lindsay Holmgren


Lindsay Holmgren is a Faculty member in the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, where she teaches oral and written composition, rhetoric, and ethics to undergraduate students, and holds workshops on written communications for M.B.A. candidates. Additionally, Holmgren is currently developing a curriculum for the Postgraduate Medical Education at the Faculty of Medicine in Empathic Communications and Narrative Competence for the various residency programs.

With an M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from McGill University, Holmgren brings a wide range of professional, political, governmental, and scholarly communication experience in the United States and Canada to her communications repertoire. Before Holmgren began her graduate work, she lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she helped on Senator John McCain’s campaign and aided the Arizona Governor’s policy advisor for social services – editing and writing everything from extensive policy documentation to televised gubernatorial speeches. As a founding hospitality consultant with The Sieb Organization in Phoenix, Arizona, Holmgren oversaw and approved the development, fulfillment, and implementation of marketing collateral, as well as internal training videos and documentation. Her passion for literature and language studies persuaded Holmgren, who had studied at La Sorbonne in Paris, France, to leave the private sector and undertake graduate work in a region influenced by French language and culture. Her doctorate focused on audience reception – on how readers and viewers process and are influenced mentally by verbal and non-verbal language – from cognitive, linguistic, and narratological perspectives. At McGill, Holmgren has taught in the Department of English and in the Desautels Faculty of Management, the latter of which she now calls home.

Holmgren’s primary concern has long been the manner in which oral and written language affects and influences its audience. Thus, her master’s on empathy and doctoral work on narrative theory informs the manner in which she teaches rhetoric and ethics in the Faculty of Management. Continually working to evaluate and bring home to her students the various ways in which a global community might successfully communicate thoughts and ideas among one another, Holmgren is always refining how she shares and receives information in the classroom. Moreover, as part of the Narrative and Medicine Research Group during her doctorate, which examined the linguistic and cognitive tools necessary to effect successful communications among doctors and patients, Holmgren had the opportunity to work with two physicians from the Faculty of Medicine and two other narrative theorists from the Department of English. Her work with the group developed an emerging understanding of the most effective means by which to communicate, understand, determine, and treat patients’ illnesses. It is this practical and theoretical background that now contributes to her work with physicians and residents in the Faculty of Medicine and her continuing research in narrative and medicine. Her research in the Faculty of Management is also grounded in this research and currently finds her examining language produced by and about the International Monetary Fund.

Holmgren publishes and gives talks in North America and overseas in the field of literature, narrative, medicine, and cognitive studies, and serves as a reviewer for a literary journal. Finally, Holmgren volunteers at Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School (ECS), where her two daughters attend school.

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