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Lloyd Siemens was a professor in the University of Winnipeg’s English department from 1968 to 1996. Siemens attended United College and graduated with a B.A in 1956, and earned his graduate degrees at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. During his tenure at the University of Winnipeg, Siemens’ course lectures and research focused on Elizabethan dramas and nineteenth century novels and poetry, with a particular focus on the works of Thomas Hardy and H. Rider Haggard. After his retirement in 1996, he taught English literature to seniors at the University of Winnipeg and for Creative Retirement until his death in 2010.
Siemens was born in Kane, Manitoba on January 17, 1935 to Tina Siemens (nee Heinrichs) (1910-1957) and George G. Siemens (1902-1984). G.G. Siemens was the principal of the Kane Consolidated School from 1934 to 1944, and then taught at Winkler Collegiate until his retirement in 1967. Siemens had an older brother, Reynold, a professional cellist and English professor, and a younger sister, Kathryn. In 1944, at the age of nine, Siemens and his family moved to Winkler, Manitoba from Kane. He graduated from Winkler Collegiate and won the Governor-General’s Medal. Siemens, along with his brother Reynold, was a lifelong musician. He attended The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in the late 1940s, and frequently performed as both a soloist and as part of an ensemble. As a youth, he played with the Manitoba Schools Orchestra, the Mennonite Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra.
In 1956, Siemens graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from United College. While working on his Bachelor of Paed degree at the University of Manitoba, Siemens taught English and Math in Miami and Altona, Manitoba. In 1957, Siemens married his high school sweetheart, Irene. They had two sons, Gerard and Rene, and three grandchildren. In 1960, after completing his MA in English literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Siemens taught English at United College Collegiate. Three years later, he returned to Madison to complete his doctorate in English literature on a senior post-graduate fellowship and a Canada Council Doctoral grant.
After graduation, Siemens accepted a position at the University of British Columbia, but in 1968, Siemens and his family returned to Manitoba where he joined the English faculty at the University of Winnipeg. For twenty-eight years, Siemens was a member of the English faculty. His academic focus lay with Elizabethan drama and Victorian literature, with a specific focus on the works of Thomas Hardy and H. Rider Haggard. He frequently visited the United States and England for research, and spent several sabbatical leaves with his wife Irene in Cambridge, England where he was a fellow at Darwin College and frequently visited Dorchester, London and East Anglia. His academic publications included dozens of articles that focused on Victorian literature, and, in particular, the works of Hardy. He was a frequent contributor to the journal English Literature in Transition 1880-1920. Siemens also served as chair of the provincial senior high school English Examination Committee and as a member of the Department of Education English Curriculum Committee during the early 1970s.
While Siemens retired from the University of Winnipeg in 1996, until 2010 he continued to teach courses in Shakespeare, the Victorian novel and poetry in the University of Winnipeg’s 55+ (Continuing Ed) program, at Creative Retirement Manitoba and at New Frontiers in Arizona during the winter. In his retirement, Siemens also returned to music and performing in public with the Consort of Friends, and the Winnipeg Seniors’ Chamber Ensemble.