Fall 2007

Faculty Updates

Two faculty members have joined our department as assistant professors in fall 2007. Jane Alison, a fiction writer, is the author of The Love-Artist (2002), The Marriage of the Sea (2003), and Natives and Exotics (2005); she has most recently taught at Bryn Mawr.  Joel Nickels has completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, on “Modernism Beyond the Subject: Literature, Spontaneity, and the Social Body”; he has articles published or forthcoming in Postmodern Culture, Criticism, and Traffic.     

Three Visiting Assistant Professors have been appointed for 2007-8: Mark Cantrell, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 2005 with a dissertation on philosophical thought in American experimental poetry and has been a Lecturer in our department since 2005; and; Debra Dean, a fiction writer and the author of The Madonnas of Leningrad (2006); and Nader Elhefnawy, who defended his dissertation on science fiction's depiction of technology in 2006. Mia Leonin has been appointed Lecturer in Creative Writing. She is the author of a collection of poems, Braid (2006), and another collection forthcoming from Anhinga Press.

This fall, the English department is conducting a senior search in Irish studies, and junior searches in transatlantic literature and culture, 1600-1850 and American literature before 1900.

Next semester we will be welcoming Edwidge Danticat, who will be teaching a graduate creative writing workshopunder the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences Stanford Endowed Visiting Professorship. We will also welcome Distinguished Visiting Scholars Rob Nixon, Rachel Carson Professor of English, and Anne McClintock, Simone de Beauvoir Professor of English, both at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

John Paul Russo, Cooper Fellow in the College of Arts and Sciences, was honored “in recognition of his enduring contributions to the University of Miami Libraries’ programs” at the symposium celebrating the library’s acquisition of the three millionth book, the illuminated French manuscript Dialogues et Chants Royaux(ca. 1515). This fall he presented papers on the ecphrastic poems of Jorie Graham and John Ciardi at the Italian Association for North-American Studies Conference, University of Macerata; on Vernon Lee’s concept of travel and leisure at the Conference on Feminist Writing 1840-1920, University of Pescara “G. D’Annunzio”; on technology and the humanities at the Machinae Conference, University of Bari; and on Guido Piovene’s American and Italian travel writing  at a conference on Piovene’s work, University of Milan.

M. Evelina Galang’s selection by the Filipina Women’s Network as one of the 100 most influential Filipinas in the United States was announced at the 5th Annual Filipina Summit in Washington, D.C. on October 25-27. Her award, in the “Nicole” category, “honors Filipina women whose words, actions, and activism inspire others to act and revolutionize our society's way of understanding traditional beliefs and customs.” She and a protégé, who will work with her to increase the number of Filipina leaders, will attend the 2012 Filipina Summit. She was also awarded the 2007 Global Filipino Literature Award in Fiction for her novel One Tribe. Galangwas invited by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to attend the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony for His Holiness the Dalai Lama held in the Capitol Rotunda on October 17th.

Sandra Pouchet Paquet served as the Chair and Judge for the Guyana Literary Prize, and gave the feature address at the Award Ceremony in August.She was theconference chair for “The Asian Experience in the Caribbean and the Guyanas: Labor, Migration, Literature and Culture” organized by Caribbean Literary Studies at the University of Miami, October 31st-November 2, and served as respondent for "Caribbean Writers in the United States and Canada: Other Black Diasporas" at the CALLALOO 30th Anniversary Conference, held at Johns Hopkins, October, 24-27. 

Walter K. Lew published “Shapely Vulgates: Respirational Form in Korean Orthography, Sexual Positions, and Vernacular Architecture,” West Coast Line 50 (40.2 [Fall 2007]), special issue on “Staging Vernaculars.” He organized and gave the introductory lecture for “Poets of the Dark: Movietelling Arrives in Miami,” an evening of multimedia performance works at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, Nov. 17, 2007, and chaired a panel on “Digital Poetry Redux: to/from Modernist Poetry,” at the Ninth Annual Modernist Studies Assoc. Conference, “Geographies of Visual and Literary Culture,” Long Beach, CA, Nov. 3, 2007.

Ranen Omer-Sherman’s “Jewish/Queer: Thresholds of Vulnerable Identities in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America” was published in Anglophone Jewish Literature, edited by Axel Stahler (Routledge). His co-edited collection of essays, The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches is forthcoming from Rutgers University Press.

Frank Palmeri published “Narrative Satire in the Nineteenth Century” in A Companion to Satire, ed. Ruben Quintero (Blackwell) and “The History of Fables and Cultural History in England, 1650-1750” in The Boundaries of Fiction in Eighteenth Century Britain, ed. Robert Mayer and Lorna Clymer (Delaware).

Women’s Political Writings, 1610-1725, a four-volume collection that Mihoko Suzuki coedited with Hilda Smith and Susan Wiseman, was published by Pickering and Chatto in September. In October, she presented “‘The Demon of Capital’: Timon of Athens in Meiji Japan” at the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Society of Japan, held at Waseda University, Tokyo. At the MLA, she will present “What’s Political in Seventeenth-Century Women’s Political Writing?” in a session sponsored by the Division on Seventeenth-Century English Literature, Reading Seventeenth-Century Genders in the Twenty-First Century.

Margaret Marshall gave an invited talk, “Connections and Collaborations: First-Year Writing, Global Initiatives, and New Media” with Sanjeev Chatterjee, at the  Northeast Regional Meeting, The Reinvention Center, held at NYU in October. At the Feminist Rhetoric Conference, also in October, she presented “Choosing or Being Silence(d): Constitutive Rhetoric, Collective Missions and Personal Identity.”

Graduate Students and Alumni

Plans are underway for the spring graduate student conference co-organized with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures on “Translations and Transitions,” to be held February 15-16, 2008. Lara Cahill and Catalina Ramirez have been acting as liaisons between the two departments.

Richard Fantina presented “A Tale of Two Charleses: Dickens and Reade," at the Twelfth Annual Dickens Symposium, in Montreal, August 17-19, sponsored by the Dickens Society. At the MLA in Chicago, Richard will be chairing a panel on “George Eliot Biography: Forty Years after Haight.”

Allison Johnson presented “‘To leave her love for friendship’: Love and Friendship in Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedie of Mariam” at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference held in Minneapolis, where she was invited by the Executive Board of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women to become a graduate student voting member for a term of three years. 

Lucas Harriman, Carmen Ruiz-Castaneda, and Amanda Thibodeau gave papers at the University of Florida English Graduate Association conference on October 17-19: Lucas  on “Fantasizing the Universal: Borges and the Undecidability of Identity,” Carmen on “Playing Conquistador in Alejo Carpentier’s The Lost Steps,” and Amanda on “Female Bodily Agency and Resistance to Closure in Two Feminist Critical Dystopias.”

In November, Amanda presented “”What is Lost in Lost?” at the New England American Studies Association held at Brown University; Lucas presented “Antifascist Subject Positions in As I Lay Dying” at the Modernist Studies Association conference held in Long Beach, CA; and David Gillota presented “Woody Allen’s Postmodern Slapstick” at the East Carolina Humorfest, held in Greenville NC.

At the conference The Asian Experience in the Caribbean and the Guyanas: Labor and Migration, Literature and Culture, organized by UM’s Caribbean Literary Studies, with the assistance of Lara Cahill, Nadia Johnson, and Sheri-Marie Harrison, Sheri-Marie presented “‘Yes, ma’am, Mr. Lowe: Lau A-Yin and the Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Patricia Powell’s The Pagoda,” and Ann Marie Alfonso-Forero presented “‘A Whole New Race’: Chinese Cubans and Hybrid Identities in Cristina Garcia’s Monkey Hunting.”

At the MLA, Chris Devault will be presenting “Joyce and Buber: An Amorous Reflection on ‘A Painful Case,’” in “James Joyce: The Next Generation,” organized by Patrick McCarthy and sponsored by the International James Joyce Foundation.