Spring 2010

Faculty Updates

Seven members of the department received Provost’s Research Awards:

Jane Alison-Shumate, for “Le Corbusier and Gray: A Novel”; John Funchion, for “Finding Fathers: Historical Romances and Revolutionary Nostalgia in the 1850s”; Patrick A. McCarthy, for a scholarly edition of Malcolm Lowry’s In Ballast to the White Sea; Brenna Munro, for “Queer Generations: The Politics of Sexuality in Contemporary Nigerian Writing”; Ranen Omer-Sherman, for “The Kibbutz in Israeli Literature and Cinema”; Patricia Saunders, for “Buyers Beware, Cultural Content not Guaranteed: Epistemologies of Consumption in Caribbean Popular Culture”; and Tim Watson, for “Literature, Anthropology, and Empire in the 1950s.”

Two members of the department will be Fellows at the College of Arts & Sciences Center for the Humanities in 2010-11: John Funchion, who will be working on “Divisible Pasts: Nostalgia & the Struggle to Imagine U.S. Culture, 1848-1929”; and Tim Watson, whose project is “Literature, Anthropology, and Empire in the 1950s.” 

Pamela Hammons’ bookGender, Sexuality, and Material Objects in English Renaissance Verse was published by Ashgate in April 2010 in the series Women and Gender in the Early Modern World.

Walter K. Lew was one of three U.S. speakers invited to Incheon, South Korea for "Humanistic Reflections for the Humane City," an international urban humanities conference October, 2009. He presented a paper co-authored with Alan Rámon Clinton (UM English Dept. Lecturer) titled "Whirled between Ocean and Screen: Korean Topographical Poetry, Nomadological Enlightenment, and Pack Observation of the City," which was published in the conference proceedings volume. Lew also made a presentation for "World Literature in the United States Today," a roundtable discussion, April, 2010 at UM.

“Molloy, or Life without a Chambermaid,” by Patrick A. McCarthy, was published in A Companion to Samuel Beckett, ed. S.E. Gontarski (Blackwell, 2010): 263-74.

In April 2010, Joel Nickels delivered a talk as part of a reading and roundtable devoted to the work of Chilean poet Raúl Zurita, entitled “Historical Trauma and Potentiality in Raúl Zurita’s Purgatory."

“Longing to Belong: Levantine Arabs & Jews in the Israeli Cultural Imagination,” by Ranen Omer-Shermanappears in the Spring issue of MQR (Michigan Quarterly Review). He presented “Paradoxes of Identity: Jewish/Muslim Otherness & Nearness in 21st Century Israeli Literature” for the President Navon Program for the Study of Sephardic & Mizrahi Jewry, at Florida International University, January, 2010. He delivered a paper on "The Kibbutz & the Disenchanted: Representations in Contemporary Israeli Narratives" at the Association for Jewish Studies annual conference, Los Angeles, December, 2009. He also wrote a chapter, "Revisiting Charles Reznikoff's Urban Poetics of Diaspora and Contingency," that appeared in Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture, ed. Stephen Paul Miller & Daniel Morris (Alabama, 2010).

At the MLA in December, Frank Palmeri presented “Satire as Moralistic Aggression.” In March, he delivered an invited lecture “Conjectural History and the 19th-Century Novel,” for the Early Modern Study Group at Penn State University.

Jeffrey Shoulson delivered a lecture,“Purity and Admixtion:  Jews, Alchemy, and Early Modernity,” for the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies Colloquium Series, New York University.In 2010-11 he will hold a year-long Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania's Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.

Mihoko Suzuki gave two papers at conferences this spring: “Women’s Civil War Writings: The Memoirs of Lady Anne Halkett,” at the Renaissance Society of America meetings in Venice, Italy; and “Daughters of Coke: Brilliana Harley and the Female Levellers,” at the Shakespeare Association of America meetings in Chicago. She also gave two invited lectures: one for the Early Modern Studies Research Group at Miami University, Ohio, on “Women’s Legal Discourse in Civil War England,” and another for the retirement symposium for Arthur F. Marotti, Distinguished Professor of English, at Wayne State University, on “Hester Pulter and Literary Tradition.”

Graduate Students and Alumni

Yi Huang received a 2010-2011 College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Award for “Borderland without Borders: Chinese Diasporic Women Writers in the Americas.”

Dissertation Fellowships from the College of Art and Sciences Center for the Humanities for the Spring 2011 semester have been awarded to Jennifer Slivka for “Strangers at Home: Threshold Identities in Contemporary Irish Women's Writing,” and Amanda Thibodeau for “Gender, Utopia, and Temporality in Women's Science Fiction.”

Michelle Ramlagan received a Summer Graduate Research Award from the College of Arts and Sciences for “Ecofeminist Nations.”

Ann Marie Alfonso-Forero chaired a panel on "National Identities in Twentieth Century Women's Writing" at the annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Montreal in April. Also in April, her article, "'A Whole New Race': Chinese Cubans and Hybrid Identities in Cristina García's Monkey Hunting" was published in Anthurium.

Marta Fernandez Campa presented papers at two conferences in the spring: "The Ethics of Edwidge Danticat´s Writing: The Importance of Mourning and Memory,” Francophone Caribbean and North America International Conference, Florida State University, February 2010; and "Caribbean Voices in Britain: Redefining the Politics of Location and Belonging," Global Caribbean(s): The Politics of Location in Caribbean Literature & Culture, University of Miami, March, 2010.

Alan Gravano has accepted a position as Lecturer at Xavier University in New Orleans. He is also the co-editor of the proceedings of the 2009 American Italian Historical Association (with Prof. Jo Hendin, chair, English, NYU, and president of AIHA).

Lucas Harriman presented "Isak Dinesen, 'The Monkey,' and Barack Obama’s White Grandmother" at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts in March. In April, he presented "Father Anse on Mount Moriah: The Betrayal of Ethics in As I Lay Dying" at the 2010 Southeast Conference on Christianity and Literature.

Nadia Johnson has accepted a position as a faculty member in English and Global Studies at Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Brandi Kellett presented papers at three conferences in the last six months: "The Memory of Migration: Accessing Power in Toni Morrison’s Paradise," Midwest Modern Language Association, St. Louis, October, 2009; "The Past as (Dis)Orienting Force: Diasporic Consciousness in Praisesong for the Widow," Global Caribbean: Interrogating the Politics of Location in Literature and Culture, Miami, March, 2010; and  "Accessing History in Toni Morrison's Tar Baby," Caribbean Enlightenment: An Interdisciplinary Caribbean Studies Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, April, 2010.

Thomas Lolis has been awarded a three-year Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He gave three papers in the last six months: “Visionary Publishing and the Religion of Dissent,” Seventh International Conference on the Book, University of Edinburgh, Oct. 2009; “The Heavenly Cloud Now Circling: Jane Leade and the Trap of Theological Mediation,” Clark Conference Series, University of California , Los Angeles, Dec. 2009; and “It’s the Economy, Superman: The Marketing of The American Graphic Novel in the Twenty-First Century,” Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, Dec. 2009. He delivered a guest lecture on "Immaterial Rebellion: Satanic Technology and the War of  Angels in Paradise Lost," Department of English, University of California, Los Angeles, Feb. 2010; and he will give an invited talk in May at UC Irvine (hosted by the history department) entitled "Resignation and Revelation: The 'Self-Murder' of Jane Leade's Philadelphian Society."

Transnational Negotiations in Caribbean Diasporic Literature: Remitting the Text, by Kezia Page, has been published in the series Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures.

Stephanie Selvick will be presenting “Can ‘I’ be Gay & Egyptian?: Exploring Sexual Citizenship in Alaa Al-Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building,” at a conference on Dissident Citizenship: Queer Postcolonial Belonging at the University of Sussex.

Steven Sowell, who has been Chair of the English Department at the Miami Country Day School, will move to become Chair of the English Department at the Chadwick School in Los Angeles.

Timothy Sutton’s book, Catholic Modernists, English Nationalists, was published by University of Delaware Press, April, 2010. He has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of English at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Rising from the Ruins: Roman Antiquities in Neoclassic Literature, by Bruce Swaffield, has been published by Cambridge Scholars.  He is Professor of Communication and the Arts at Regent University, and is the Founder and Director of the Worldwide Forum on Education and Culture.