Fall 2015


John Funchion published two books: his single-author monograph Novel Nostalgias: The Aesthetics of Antagonism in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature (Ohio State University Press, 2015) and a collection, Mapping Region in Early American Writing (University of Georgia Press, 2015), in which his essay appeared, “Creole Adjudication: Governing New Orleans and Mapping Regionalism in the Long Nineteenth Century.” In addition, he delivered two conference papers as well: “Jurisdictional Crisis and the Dangers of the Antifederal Imagination in The Confidence-Man,” at the Melville in a Global Context Conference, Keio University, Tokyo, June 25-29, 2015; and “Reactionary Insurgencies: the U.S. Revolution in the Southern Partisan Imagination” at the American Literary Association in Boston, MA, May 21-24, 2015.

Amina Gautier attended the Vermont Studio Center residency and the Disquiet International Literary Conference in Lisbon. She also received a Provost’s Research Award. Her short story collection At-Risk won two book awards, the First Horizon Award and the Eric Hoffer Legacy Award, and was a Finalist for the Go On Girl! New Author Award. Her second short story collection Now We Will Be Happy won the Florida Authors and Publishers Association Award and was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Award and The Chautauqua Prize in Fiction. Dr. Gautier was a Faculty Fellow at the University of Miami Center for the Humanities this past fall. She was interviewed for the Los Angeles Review of Books and Aspen Public Radio; and was a featured author at the Chicago Public Library’s annual Carl Sandburg Awards. Her short story collection Now We Will Be Happy won the USA Best Book Award in African American Fiction. Three of her short stories, “Breathe,” “Lost and Found,” and “The Loss of All Lost Things,” which were all published earlier in the year, received Pushcart nominations. She published three book reviews in The Rumpus. Her short stories “Push” and “A Cup of My Time” were reprinted in anthologies. Her short story “Thankful Chinese” was a Finalist for the World’s Best Short-Short Story Contest. She gave readings at KGB Bar and Lit and Wright State University and was also awarded a residency at the Ragdale Foundation to take place summer 2016.

Nicole Hospital-Medina earned a second year as Writer in Residence at the Deering Estate. She had two of her paintings published in Linden Lane Magazine, “Bombshell” and “Powdered Sugar.”

The University of Miami Toppel Career Center nominated Danielle Houck in Fall 2015 for Excellence in Career Education at the inaugural Toppel Awards, which were created to recognize students, student organizations, employers, recruiters, internship programs, faculty, and administrators who are committed to professional development on campus.

David Ikard received the 2015 William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award by the McKnight Doctoral Fellows and the Florida Education Fund. He gave an invited lecture at Washington State University on “12 Years a Slaveand Lovable Racists.” He was on of the judges for the MLA’s Scarborough prize for best book in African American Literature and served on the Ford Foundation Planning Committee.

Susan Leary presented two papers, “Birthing the Future: The Island as Metaphor in LOST” at the Annual Conference of the Midwest Popular/American Culture Association in Cincinnati, OH, and “Witnessing as Collective Captivity: The Body in Marie Howe’s What the Living Do and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time” for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers in Philadelphia, PA. She was also a recipient of a College of Arts and Sciences Summer Research Award.

Patrick A. McCarthy’s recent publications include “Jaunty Jaun’s Brokerly Advice in III.2,” in Joyce's Allmaziful Plurabilities: Polyvocal Explorations of “Finnegans Wake”, ed. Kimberly J. Devlin and Christine Smedley (UP of Florida, 2015). Seventeen Joyce scholars contributed articles to the volume, each focusing on a single chapter of Finnegans Wake. He also published “Gibson’s Joyce: Waging Literature Like a Battle,” a review of The Strong Spirit: History, Politics, and Aesthetics in the Writings of James Joyce, 1898-1915 by Andrew Gibson, in English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 58:3 (2015). He and Vik Doyen (professor emeritus, KU Leuven) co-authored the foreword to The 1940 Under the Volcano: A Critical Edition, edited by Miguel Mota and Paul Tiessen (U of Ottawa Press, 2015). This volume was the third in the University of Ottawa Press series of scholarly editions of Malcolm Lowry novels, following Doyen’s edition of Lowry’s Swinging the Maelstrom(2013) and McCarthy’s edition of In Ballast to the White Sea (2014).

Brenna Munro was the discussant for the panel “Queering the Transnational: Sex/Gender Diversity as a Global Process” at the African Studies Association conference, November 2015.

Martha Otis was awarded scholarships to attend both the Disquiet Literary Seminars in Lisbon and Can Serrat Artist Residency in El Bruc, Spain, in the summer of 2015.  Her novel-in-progress was a finalist for the Graywolf prize at Disquiet. At Can Serrat, she did a multi-media performance version of an excerpt of the novel. An Italian translation of one of her stories, "Apollonia alla Casa di Riposo per Grandi Scimmie," was published in December 2015 in DUDEMag.

Frank Palmeri published "Bernard de Mandeville and the Shaping of Conjectural History," in Bernard de Mandeville's Tropology of Paradoxes, ed. Edmundo Balsemao-Pires and Joaquim Braga (Springer, in the series Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science). He delivered a paper, "Morris's News from Nowhere and Pynchon's Against the Day," at the International Pynchon Conference in Athens. His first book, Satire in Narrative: Petronius, Swift, Gibbon, Melville, Pynchon, was re-issued in paperback, and he was the recipient of an NEH Summer Stipend for work on a chapter of his current book project, Satire and the Public Sphere: Fiction, Caricature, and Censorship in Nineteenth-Century England.

Jessica Rosenberg’s chapter, “Poetic Language, Practical Handbooks and the Vertues of Plants,” appeared over the summer in Ecological Approaches to Early Modern English Texts: A Field Guide to Reading and Teaching (Ashgate). This fall, she presented new work on Martin Lister’s book of shells at “Shapes of Knowledge,” a conference at the University of Southern California. Sharing her work on Hamlet, hospitality, and poetry with the Early Modern Working group at the Center for the Humanities was a highlight of her semester. She has been enjoying her first semester teaching in the Department of English, including initiating a tradition of conversations with students over office hours: “Tea with Shakespeare.” Jessica was recently awarded a fellowship at the UM Center for the Humanities for 2016-2017.

John Paul Russo’s 25-year book review editorship of Italian Americana was coming to an end with last summer's final issue, when suddenly the Rhode Island Legislature came through with a grant, and the journal is back in business. In the Summer 2015 issue (33.2) he published a review of the film The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza, dir. Paolo Sorrentino, Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2014), and another review of a touching memoir, Cecelia Tumminello De Luso, Remember Me Young. He also published a chapter in a book on immigrant fiction: “Divinity and Ekphrasis: DeLillo’s Short Fiction, 1990-2015” in Critical Insights: Contemporary Immigrant American Short Fiction, ed. Robert Evans (Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2015).

Joshua Schriftman delivered a talk at the Conference on Community Writing at University of Colorado-Boulder in October. The panel was called "Prison Writing Communities: Reflections on Building Ethical Relationships through Programs and Publication," and his talk was titled "Failure, Revision, and Ownership in the Civic-Engagement Writing Exchange."

Maureen Seaton’s eighteenth book of poems, Caprice: Collected, Uncollected and New Collaborations, with Denise Duhamel, was published in fall 2015 (Sibling Rivalry Press, Arkansas). Her flash fiction/iStory, “This Kind of Life Keeps Breaking,” was chosen by Robert Olen Butler for The Best Small Fictions 2015 (Queens Ferry Press). Poems appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Fence, Waxwing, Pleiades, Tammy, and Plume; and “Eighty-three” was featured on Brian Blanchfield’s National Radio Show, “Speedway & Swan,” on October 25, 2015. A new collaborative poem with Denise Duhamel, “Florida Doll Sonnet,” appeared on June 4, 2015, on the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day website.And from November 9-13, 2015, she was Guest Author, with Denise Duhamel, on the Best American Poetry Blog. She read her work in September in UM’s Ibis Literary Reading and Performance Series with Ana Menéndez; and at the Decatur Book Festival with Denise Duhamel. In October she read with Duhamel at Books & Books, Coral Gables; Hudson Valley Writers, Sleepy Hollow, NY; and the KGB Bar, Manhattan.

Mihoko Suzuki published two articles: “Animals and the Political in Lucy Hutchinson and Margaret Cavendish” in The Seventeenth Century (in a special issue on Lucy Hutchinson edited by David Norbrook); and “Women’s Literacies and Social Hierarchy in Early Modern England,” coauthored with Margaret W. Ferguson, in Literature Compass. In June, she gave a paper, "Animals, the Political, and the Epistemological in Margaret Cavendish,” at the International Margaret Cavendish Society in Nicosia, Cyprus. She was also invited to contribute to an interdisciplinary conference on early modern periodization held at Folger Shakespeare Library in November that included historians as well as scholars in music and art history. Also in November, she presented “Stéphanie de Genlis and the Politics of the French Revolution,” at “Difficult Women 1680–1830,” held at the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York, UK.

Josie Urbistondo published two articles. The first, “Bending Bone China: Juana Valdes’ Politics of the Skin” was published in Miradas: Revista digital de historia del arte y la cultura Ibérica e Iberoamericana. It examines Afro-Cuban artist, Juana Valdes's work on porcelain, which interrogates gender and racial ideologies, speaking to a pan-Caribbean, transcultural moment, all the while countering the newly minted “post-racial” American myth. ( Her second publication is an interview with Colombian-born artist, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, for University of Miami's peer reviewed Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal. They discuss his most recent works "Genesis III" and "Tropical Mythologies," along with broader reflections on visual culture and art in Miami. (

Graduate Students and Alumni

Samina Gul Ali presented at two conferences. She was part of our UM English graduate student panel at the May 2015 Caribbean Studies Association conference in New Orleans, and presented her paper “Negotiating Afro-Puerto Rican Female Liminality in Amina Gautier’s “Pan is Dead’.” In October 2015 she presented at the West Indian Literature Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, her paper entitled “Belonging and Tradition in Caribbean-New York Spaces: Afro-Dominican Female Subjectification in American Literature.”  

Alok Amatya presented his conference paper “‘The Company Has Swallowed It’: Framing Indigenous Resistance against Corporate Mining in India” at the eleventh biennial conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, “Notes from Underground: The Depths of Environmental Arts, Culture and Justice,” at the University of Idaho in June 2015. He also presented a conference paper titled “Transnational Environmentalism from the Fourth World: Cultural Authenticity and Literary Form in Arundhati Roy’s Walking with Comrades” at the “In Dialogue with Borders”conference at Brown University in April 2015.

Alisa Bé presented "Satiric Undercurrents in Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton" at the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States in Denver in October and "The Carnivalization of the Political Public Sphere: Elizabeth Inchbald's Nature and Art" at the 2015 SAMLA in Durham, NC in November.

David Borman published an article, "Playful Ethnography: Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Nigerian Education" in ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature (46.3).

Nicole Carr published an article: "'Spoilt like a Rotten Oyster': Fictive Sterilization in Kathryn Stockett's The Help" in the Mississippi Quarterly. She also published a book review, "James Baldwin and the Queer Imagination" in the journal Modern Fiction Studies.

Marta Gierczyk presented “Unsettling the City: A Post-Urban Thematics in Dinaw Mengestu’s Immigration Novels” at the 2015 American Literature Association Symposium on “The City and American Literature” in September 2015.

Allison Harris presented “Sexualizing Dick-tators: Fidel’s and Guevara’s Formidable Phallus” at the 2015 West Indian Literature Conference, at the Universidad de Puerto Rico-Río Piedras in San Juan in October 2015. She organized the panel “Cultural Transmissions in the Hispanophone Diaspora” to include presentations from fellow graduate students Karla Heusner and Samina Gul Ali.

Barbara Hoffmann presented at two conferences. In November, she presented a paper called “‘If Ned Kelly Was King’: Irishness and the Legendary Bushranger in Contemporary Australian Literature” at ACIS New England, University of New Haven. Over the summer she presented “Irish Convicts and Australian Identity in Roger McDonald’s The Ballad of Desmond Kale” at “Ireland’s Others: Diversity in History and Culture,” the 21st Australasian Irish Studies Conference, ISAANZ, Maynooth University, Ireland, June 2015.

Brad Rittenhouse was selected as an inaugural UGrow fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year and is currently working on a digital humanities project at the Center for Computational Science entitled "TMI: Mining the Thick Literature of Nineteenth-Century America." He also presented a paper entitled "Digital Humanities and American Literature" at the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College in June.

In June, Spencer Tricker presented a paper on representations of Asians in Moby-Dick at the 10th International Melville Conference, held at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.

Monica Urban presented “‘As If They Had Slipped on Masks’: Storytelling and the High Cost of Things in Quicksand and The Living is Easy” at the South Central Modern Language Association conference in Nashville, and “Fashioning True Womanhood in Nineteenth-Century American Dime Novels” in Durham at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference in November 2015.