Spring 2009

Five members of the department received Orovitz awards for summer research: Anthony Barthelemy, “Culture and Cruelty: Foxe, Ovid, and the Public Stage”; John Funchion, “Romancing Revolt: Nostalgia and the Impossibility of Reconstruction”; Pamela Hammons, “Katherine Austen's 'Book M' (1664)”; David Luis-Brown, “Blazing at Midnight: Slave Rebellion and Social Identity in Cuban and U.S. Culture”; and Frank Palmeri, “Conjectural History and the Formation of the Social Disciplines, 1750-1915.”

Two members of the department have been awarded faculty fellowships from the Center for the Humanities: Joel Nickels, for “The Art of the Possible: Spontaneity, Modernism, and the Multitude”; and Patricia Saunders, for “Buyers Beware, Hoodwinking on the Rise: Epistemologies of Consumption in Jamaican Popular Culture.”

John Funchion delivered “Exporting Locality: Gilbert Imlay’s The Emigrants and Transatlantic Regionalism after the Revolution,” at the Society for Early Americanists conference in Bermuda in March.

Thomas Goodmann published two reviews: of Anna Baldwin, A Guidebook to Piers Plowman, in the Yearbook of Langland Studies; and of Nicolette Zeeman, Piers Plowman and the Medieval Discourse of Desire, forthcoming in Speculum.  He organized a plenary session, “Gateway, Crossroads, Frontier: Mapping Central Europe in the Middle Ages” for the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America in Chicago in April; in May, he chairs two sessions he organized for the annual Congress on Medieval Studies on the state of support for medieval languages.

Pamela Hammons has been awarded a General Research Support Award for her work toward a modernized, glossed transcription of Katherine Austen's manuscript, “Book M” (1664), for the series, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe.

David Luis-Brown's Waves of Decolonization: Discourses of Race and Hemispheric Citizenship in Cuba, Mexico and the United States was published by Duke University Press (fall, 2008). At the MLA in December, he presented “Traveling Theories of Race in Cuba and the United States.” As a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University in the spring, he delivered a public lecture entitled, “An 1848 for the Americas: the black Atlantic, ‘El negro mártir,’ and Cuban Exile Anticolonialism,” in April 2009. His essay-in-progress, “The Antipodes of Social Identity in Slave Societies: Guajiros, Poor Whites, and Haiti in Faulkner and Villaverde,” served as the basis for a Du Bois Institute workshop in April.

Ranen Omer-Sherman’s co-edited volume, The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches was published in November by Rutgers. An essay, “‘On the Verge of a Long-Craved Intimacy’: Distance and Proximity Between Jews & Arabs in A.B. Yehoshua’s The Liberated Bride,” appeared in the Journal of Jewish Identities (2009); a book chapter, “‘The Orient Sun Gleams from the Eye’: Emma Lazarus’s Lyrics and the Tropes of Orientalism,” was included in Orient and Orientalisms in US-American Poetry and Poetics, ed. Christian Kloeckner and Sabine Sielke (Peter Lang, 2009). He published six book reviews in newspapers and journals including the Miami Herald, Forward, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, and Shofar. He recently presented “The Jewish Writings of Michael Chabon,” at the Association for Jewish Studies Conference in Washington, D.C., December, 2008; and “Yehuda Amichai: the Poetics/Politics of the Heavenly and Earthly Jerusalem” at the Western/Mountain Jewish Studies Association at the University of Denver, April 2009. In March 2009 he was awarded the Maurice Amado Faculty Incentive Grant sponsored by UCLA’s Maurice Amado Program in Sephardic Studies and Center for Jewish Studies.

Frank Palmeri published “The Cartoon: The Image as Critique” in History Beyond the Text, ed. Sarah Barber and Corinna Peniston-Bird, (Routledge, 2009). He received a General Research Support Award to conduct research on nineteenth-century working men’s political cartoons in Manchester this summer.

John Paul Russo delivered a lecture on the present state of the humanities to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Italy, at the University of Salerno, December 2008: “Have the Humanities Declined?”; as well as “James Merrill's Changing Light at Sandover and the Epic Tradition” at the University of Roma Tre in March 2009. He has published: “The Machine in the Humanities Classroom,” in Machinae: Techniche, Arti, Saperi, nel Novecento, ed. Giuseppe Barletta, (Bari: Crav; B.A. Graphis, 2008); a review of James Contursi, Umberto Eco: An Annotated Bibliography of First and Important Editions, and a review of Texas Tavola: A Taste of Sicily in the Lone Star State. A Documentary Film by Circe Sturm and Randolph Lewis. He also gave a Cooper Fellow Lecture on technology and the state of the humanities in March 2009 to an audience of UM faculty and students.

Patricia Saunders has published “Woman Overboard: The Perils of Sailing the Black Atlantic, Deportation with Prejudice,” Small Axe: A Journal of Caribbean Criticism (March, 2009); and “Designs for Diversity: The University of Miami’s Caribbean Summer Writer’s Institute and Caribbean Literary Studies” in Doing Diversity Work in Higher Education (Rutgers, 2009). She delivered two invited lectures: “Slackness Meets Culture: Interpreting Audience in Jamaican Dancehall Music,” University of California, Berkeley, Ethnomusicology Department, December 2008; and “Buyers Beware, ‘Hoodwinking’ on the Rise: Epistemologies of Consumption in Terry McMillan’s Caribbean,” University of California, Berkeley, African American Studies Department, December 2008. She was the invited keynote speaker at “Consumerism and Commercialism: A Black Music Symposium,” at Florida Atlantic University, February 2009, where she read “Is Not Everything Good to East, Good To Talk: Consuming Caribbean Music, Sexuality and Culture in the African Diaspora.”

Jeffrey Shoulson has two essays forthcoming;  “Man and Thinker:  Milton, Saurat, and the Old New Milton Criticism” in The New Milton Criticism, ed. Peter Herman and Elizabeth Sauer; and “Zaphenath, Kugelmass, and Milton, or, What's a Nice Jewish Boy Doing in a Place Like This?” in a volume of essays on the Book of Genesis edited by Beth Kissileff. With Andrew Strycharski of the FIU English Department, he co-organized a two-day symposium, “Milton Alive at 400:  Samson Agonistes and Religious Violence.”

Mihoko Suzuki published “What's Political in Women's Political Writing?” in Blackwell's Literature Compass, and “‘The Demon of Capital’: Timon of Athens in Meiji Japan” in Shakespeare Studies (Japan), in a special issue on “Pacific Shakespeare.” She presented “Political History and Political Theory in Madame de Motteville's Memoirs” at the Renaissance Society of America conference in Los Angeles in March, and “The History of the Fronde ‘from below’: The Memoirs of Madame de la Guette” at the Sixteenth Century Studies conference in Geneva in May. She received a General Research Support Award to conduct research at the Bibliothèque Mazarine for her project on gender and civil war in early modern England and France.     

Graduate Students


From left to right: Jen Slivka, Amanda Thibodeau, Michelle Ramlagan, Yi Huang.


Four graduate students presented their work at the first Forum for dissertation prospectuses: Yi Huang, “Borderland without Borders: Chinese Diasporic Women Writers in the Americas”; Michelle Ramlagan, “Ecofeminist Nations”; Jennifer Slivka, “Strangers at Home: Threshold Identities in Contemporary Irish Women’s Writing”; and Amanda Thibodeau, “Gender, Utopia, and Temporality in Women’s Science Fiction.”

Ann Marie Alfonso Forero presented “Elizabeth Nunez's Beyond the Limbo Silence: A Novel of Transnational Development” at the Northeast MLA's annual convention in Boston in February.

In November 2008, Terra Caputo presented “Sordid Traditions: Gender Normativity in Popular (Women's) Texts,” at Allegheny College as a part of the institution’s Humanities Lecture Series. In March, she presented at the 2009 Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies “Languishing Bodies and Letters: Representations of Female Authenticity in Aphra Behn’s Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister.” 

Chris Devault has accepted a position as assistant professor of English at Mount Mercy College. His “Love and Socialism in Joyce's ‘A Painful Case’: A Buberian Reading,” has been accepted for publication in College Literature

Lucas Harriman was named the Department of English Outstanding Teaching Assistant. His article “The Russian Betrayal of G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday” is forthcoming in Comparative Literature.

Chu He has accepted a position as Assistant Professor at Indiana University at South Bend.

Allison Johnson received the College of Arts and Sciences Summer Research Award and was named the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Assistant. “The ‘Simple Lyfe’ of Isabella Whitney: Love, Friendship and the Single Woman Writer” is forthcoming in a collection of essays on early modern friendship edited by Daniel T. Lochman (Ashgate).

Thomas Lolis received an Ahmanson/Getty Postdoctoral Resident Fellowship at the Clark Library, UCLA, 2009-2010. His project is: “Visionary Publishing: The Philadelphia Society and the Development of Early Modern Mysticism.”

At the African Literature Association Conference; Stephanie Selvick presented “Gender Panic!: Battling for South African Lesbian Subjectivity Through Resistance Poetry.” She also received a One Laptop Per Child grant of $10,000 to work in women’s centers in Mauritania this summer.

Jennifer Slivka was awarded an English Department Summer Research Award for archival research in Ireland and Northern Ireland. She is also presenting “Strangers at Home: Locating Identity in Places in Kate O’Riordan’s The Memory Stones,” at The American Conference for Irish Studies Conference, Galway, Ireland.

Timothy Sutton received an Auburn Instructor Teaching Award. He has an essay on Ford Madox Ford in a collection on Ford that is forthcoming from Rodopi (Amsterdam).

Graduate students organized, planned, and presented papers at the third annual Graduate Symposium on May 1. The topic of the Symposium was "Challenging the Borders of Nation and Identity."

Faculty and students in the audience for the Graduate Symposium