Spring 2013


We are delighted that Jaswinder Bolina will join the Department of English this fall as an assistant professor of creative writing specializing in poetry and that David Ikard will join us as an associate professor of African American literature and cultural studies. We are also very pleased to announce that Donette Francis has been awarded tenure and Joel Nickels has been promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Several faculty members have received important grants and awards in the last six months. Brenna Munro’s recent book, South Africa and the Dream of Love to Come, has been named a finalist for the prestigious LGBT Studies Lambda Award. Ranen Omer-Sherman has received a grant from the Salo W. & Jeannette Baron Foundation to participate in the “Israel Studies and Jewish Studies in America” event hosted by American University in Washingon D.C. Renée Fox, Evelina Galang, Ranen Omer-Sherman, Mihoko Suzuki, and Tim Watson have won Provost Research Awards. Donette Francis has been awarded a Center for the Humanities Fellowship for 2013-2014. Jane Alison and Evelina Galang received College of Arts and Sciences Career Enhancement Awards for Spring 2013, and Patricia Saunders and Tim Watson were selected to receive Career Enhancement Awards for Fall 2013.  

Jane Alison was an invited speaker, along with poets, translators, and scholars—including Seamus Heaney, Frank Bidart, Marina Warner, and Stephen Greenblatt—at an international conference, “Ovid Transformed: The Poet and the Metamorphoses, Readings and Conversations,” at the American Academy in Rome:

Renée Fox’s essay, “Carmilla and the Politics of Indistinguishability,” appeared in a critical edition of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, edited by Kathleen Costello Sullivan (Syracuse UP). Dr. Fox also gave a paper, “Robert Browning, Literary Influence, and Interpretive Strategy in ‘The Dead,’” at the Irregular Miami J’yce Birthday Conference in January, and she organized a panel, “Meta-Theoretical Stoker,” on which she gave a paper, “Building Castles in the Air: Female Intimacy and Resuscitative Queerness in Dracula,” for the American Conference for Irish Studies Annual Meeting in April.

Donette Francis was a plenary speaker for the Mellon-sponsored event at Tufts University, “Quarrelling with Coloniality: Carifesta Redux—A Conversation Among Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars.” Dr. Francis also presented a paper, “Before Harvard: Orlando Patterson, The Novel 1960s, & ‘The Sociology of Slavery,’” at the annual American Studies Conference. 

In November 2012, John Funchion spoke on a panel, “Roundtable: Beyond Resistance – Rethinking the Politics of the Aesthetics,” at the American Studies Association Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Funchion also published an article, “Reading Less Littorally: Kentucky and the Translocal Imagination in the Atlantic World,” in Early American Literature 48.1 (2013).

The United States Department of the Interior, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the White House Office of Public Engagement have invited Evelina Galang to participate in series of panels and forums to commemorate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month at the White House; the events include the AAPI Women Champions of Change at the White House, a White House Forum on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage, and a White House AAPI Briefing on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health. Professor Galang has also recently been a featured writer on a National Endowment for the Arts podcast ( and has had an interview with the international journal, Words Without Borders (

Pamela Hammons has accepted an invitation to join the editorial board of the South Atlantic Review, the journal of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, for a three-year term (2013-2015).

Patrick McCarthy’s most recent publication is “Ulysses: Book of Many Errors,” in Joycean Unions: Post-Millennial Essays from East to West, edited by Tekla Mecsnóber and R.B. Kershner (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2013), 195-208. The article focuses on the role of miscommunication in Joyce’s Ulysses.

Brenna Munro presented a paper, “Nelson, Winnie, and the Politics of Gender,” on the “[Re]Writing Mandela” panel at the African Literature Association Conference in Charleston; she also gave an invited talk, “The African Boy-Soldier: Gender Damage,” for the Emerging Scholars Lecture Series at Bowling Green State University.

Joel Nickels gave a paper, “Melvin Tolson, Black Internationalism, and the Poetics of Non-Alignment,” at theAmerican Comparative Literature Association Conference inToronto this spring.

Ranen Omer-Sherman’s coedited volume, Narratives of Dissent: War in Contemporary Arts and Culture, was published earlier this year by Wayne State University Press ( This spring, he was invited to join the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies of Brandeis University “Israel Literacy” project, which has commissioned him to write a chapter on Hebrew and Israeli Culture. This March, Dr. Omer-Sherman participated in the Coral Gables Art Cinema panel discussion on The Gatekeepers, the Oscar-nominated documentary. In April, he presented a discussion of “Narratives of Dissent: War in Contemporary Israeli Arts and Culture” at the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Miami and was also invited to present a paper, “Jewish and Muslim Interdependencies in a New Generation of Israeli Writers,” at the Michigan State University Symposium on Modern Hebrew and Israeli Literature. 

In December, Frank Palmeri delivered a lecture on “The Satire of Swift and Dickens” at Tokyo Christian Women’s University. At the Modern Language Association’s annual convention in Boston this January, Dr. Palmeri gave a paper, “The Hand of the Human in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Lifes of Game,” as part of a special session on the Pre-history of Animal Studies. 

John Paul Russo participated in the inauguration of the Seminario Permanente di Poesia, Università di Trento, in March 2013, with a lecture on ekphrasis and postmodern poetry. He published a review-essay, “Greece and Rome in America: Margaret Malamud, Ancient Rome and Modern America; Carl J. Richard, The Golden Age of the Classics in America: Greece, Rome, and the Antebellum United States; andCaroline Winterer, The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900,”in Modern Intellectual History,10 no. 1 (April 2013); and a review of the definitive edition of James Fenimore Cooper’s The Bravo, eds. Lance Schachterle and James A. Sappenfield, in Italian Americana, 31 no. 1 (Winter 2013). Dr. Russo continues to be book review editor of Italian Americana and co-editor of RSA (Rivista di Studi Americani).

Maureen Seaton published two poetry collections, Fibonacci Batman: New & Selected Poems (1991-2011), Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, March 2013, andTwo Thieves & a Liar, Chicago: Jackleg Press, December 2012 (co-authored with Neil de la Flor and Kristine Snodgrass). Seven of Professor Seaton’s poems appeared in anthologies: “Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death” and “A Story of Stonewall” in Women Write Resistance, edited by Laura Madeline Wiseman, Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013;“The White Balloon,” “When I Was Straight,” “Sex Talks with Girls,” “Sally Field” in Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry, Lowbrow Press, edited by Regie Cabico and Brittany Fonte, 2013; and“The Grief of Rivers,” with Samuel Ace, in Witness, Jackleg Press, edited by Jennifer Harris, 2013.  Professor Seaton also published twelve poems in literary journals:“The Staring” and “Rex Gallactica,” with Neil de la Flor, in ACM, December 2012;“Hunting Season in Florida,” with Samuel Ace, in Panhandler, November 2012;“Muscley Maids…,” and “Billboards of Illinois,” in Court Green, 201;“Ars Poetics, with Cow,” in Plume, 2013; “Necessary Roughness,” with Samuel Ace, in Rhino, 2013;“The Visions of Sane Persons,” in Ploughshares, 2013;“A Minor History/of Secret Knowledge,” “A Guide for the Perplexed,” and “Seven Unsolved Mathematical Directions,” with Samuel Ace, in Pear Noir!, 2013; and“Road to the Multiverse,” with Samuel Ace, in Fourteen Hills, 2013. Professor Seaton gave poetry readings at Las Manos Gallery with Neil de la Flor and Kristine Snodgrass in Chicago in December and at Books & Books with Denise Duhamel and Julie Marie Wade in Coral Gables in April. Finally, she gave an invited lecture, “Poetic Collaboration in the Spirit of Queer: Couple, Triads, Orgies,” as a keynote speaker at the Queer Studies Conference held at the University of North Carolina, Asheville on April 4, 2013.

Mihoko Suzuki published a review of David Norbrook and Reid Barbour’s edition of Lucy Hutchinson’s translation of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura in Classical Review. She presented “Jacobitism and the Fronde in the Poetry and Fiction of Jane Barker,” at the University of London Women’s Studies Group in November; in January, she delivered “Galesia, Britomart, and the ‘Faery Queen’: ‘Spencer’s aspiring fancy’ and the fiction of Jane Barker,” at the session jointly sponsored by the International Spenser Society and Division on 18th-Century English Literature at the MLA. In March, she presented “Antigone’s Example: Early Modern Women’s Political Writings and Civil War,” for the Society for the Study of Women in the Renaissance at the CUNY Graduate Center. Dr. Suzuki was elected to a five-year term to serve on the Executive Committee of the MLA’s Division on Seventeenth-Century English Literature.

Tim Watson published “Literature of the British Caribbean,” Oxford Bibliographies Online: Atlantic History, edited by Trevor Burnard, Oxford University Press:  In April 2013, Dr. Watson was invited to give a lecture, “‘L’ethnologue de moi-même’: Édouard Glissant and Anthropology in the Postwar Atlantic World” to Columbia University’s Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Graduate Students and Alumni

Kezia Page was named to the Arnold A. Sio Chair in Diversity and Community at Colgate University in New York. Dr. Page joined the faculty at Colgate in 2003. She is the author of Transnational Negotiations in Caribbean Diasporic Literature: Remitting the Text (Routledge, 2010). Stephanie Selvick has accepted a tenure-track job as an assistant professor of world literature at Utica College starting in Fall 2013.

Several graduate students have won important fellowships, grants, and prizes this year. Claudia Amadori has been awarded a Center for the Humanities Dissertation Fellowship for next year. Elizabeth Kelly has won a College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Award for 2013-14, and David Borman has been granted a College of Arts and Sciences Summer Award for Summer 2013. Kurt Voss-Hoynes has been named the English Department’s Outstanding PhD TA for 2012-13, and Jen Mehan has been selected as the Outstanding MFA TA. Lauren Riccelli has been named Composition Fellow for 2013-14. Barry Devine and Ng’ang’a wa Muchiri were both granted English Department Archival Research Travel Awards. Muchiri was also the recipient of an Outstanding Achievements award from the University of Miami Graduate Student Association, a travel award from the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, and the African Literature Association’s Best Graduate Student Paper award.

Alok Amatya presented a paper on Deepa Mehta’s Fire at Florida International University’s Women and Gender Studies Graduate Student Conference. 

Jonquil Bailey presented a paper, “Mysterious Strangers: Gender, Disability, and Space in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Good Country People’ and ‘The Life You Save May Be Your Own,’” at the University of Georgia’s English Graduate Conference, “Strangeness, in Context: Investigating the Outlandish, the Uncertain, and the Simply Bizarre,” in Athens. 

Eric Behrle presented a paper, “A ‘Kynde’ of Partridge in a Pear Tree: Heterosexual Queering in The Merchant’s Tale,” at Florida Atlantic University’s 15th Annual Women’s Studies Graduate Student Association Symposium.

David Gillota’s book, Ethnic Humor in Multiethnic America, will be published in June 2013 by Rutgers University Press:,4830.aspx

Andrew Gothard published an essay, “‘Who’s He When He’s at Home?’: A Census of Woody Allen’s Literary and Philosophical Allusions,” in A Companion to Woody Allen (Blackwell: Oxford), and he also gave a paper, “‘Mucus, rising higher than mucus was ever intended to rise’: Snot, Art, and the Grotesque Body in Joyce’s Ulysses and Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children,” at the University of Miami’s 18th Irregular Miami J’yce Birthday Conference held in Coral Gables this winter. 

Allison Harris presented “Haunted by the Abject: Xuela’s Ghost Family in Jamaica Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother” at the 2013 British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference in Savannah, GA. 

Barbara Hoffmann presented a paper, “Stephen Dedalus and Identity Homonymy,” at the Miami J’yce Conference, and she gave another paper, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Madman,” at the 2013 American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS) in Chicago in April.

Elizabeth Kelly presented “What the Sea Allows: Emmanuel Appadocca’s Radical Project of Resistance” at the 2013 Society of Early Americanists Conference in Savannah, GA. She has also recently had another paper, “Foreign Influence, Science, and Mind Control: Magnetic Somnambulism in Edgar Huntly and Dred, accepted for the upcoming 9th Biennial Charles Brockden Brown Society conference in Paris.

Ng’ang’a wa Muchiri presented the following papers: “Sibling Rivalry: Law and Literature as Competing Paths to African Liberation” at the meeting of the African Literature Association; “Natural Leitmotif: Land as a Symbol in East Africa’s Socio-Political Movements” at the University of Texas, Austin; and “Women’s Relationship to Property: Pre-Colonial Great Lakes Region” at the meeting of the African Studies Association.

Lauren Riccelli gave a paper, “‘Femina of the Thoroughfare’: Female Bodies and the Gendering of Public Space in ‘On Third Avenue’ and ‘Mass Production on 13th Street’ by Mina Loy” at the Louisville Conference in February 2013.

Sarah Ritcheson gave two papers: “Prophetic Utterance and the Intersection of Written and Oral Forms in Dorothy White’s Letters,” for the “Between the Written and the Oral: Medieval and Early Modern Women and Their Texts” panel at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Modern Language Association conference held at Tufts University in March and “‘The Spirit of Counsel and Might’: Prophetic Utterance and the Invocation of the Spirit in Dorothy White’s Letters” at the Université de Haute-Alsace’s conference on “Radical Language, Radical Voices, Radical Ways: Articulating and Spreading Radical Ideas in Early Modern Britain” in April 2013. 

Brad Rittenhouse presented a paper, “‘Einstein Has Come by Force’: Scientific Methodology and Affect in the Poetry of William Carlos Williams,” at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900. 

Stephanie Selvick’s article, “LGBT Youth and (New) Media: 1950-Present,” is forthcoming in Christopher Pullen’s edited collection LGBT Youth and Media Cultures. Stephanie also presented a paper, “Translating Sexuality and Trauma in Achmat Dangor’s Bitter Fruit” at the 39th Annual African Literature Association Conference.

Jennifer Slivka has published an article, “Irishness and Exile in Edna O’Brien’s Wild Decembers and In the Forest” in New Hibernia Review 17.1 (Spring 2013): 115-131. Dr. Slivka also presented a paper, “Re-membering Contested Spaces: Identity, Memory, and the Paradoxical Home in Jennifer Johnston’s The Christmas Tree” at the 2013 International Meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies held in Chicago this spring.

In February, Spencer Tricker presented a paper, “Respite on the Brink: Complicating the Crisis of Caribbean Identity in Andrew Salkey’s Escape to an Autumn Pavement,”at the British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference. A revised and expanded version of this essay is forthcoming in the collection Diasporic Identities and Empire (Cambridge Scholars Press).