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Department of English

Calendar of Events

Fall 2014


Wednesday, September 24, 2014
English Department Faculty Speaker Series
Hoffmann Room, Swan 154, 5:00 pm
Professor David Faflik,
"Strong Reading: Culture, Class and the Work of Urban Form"

George Templeton StrongFor many observers of American life, George Templeton Strong is best known as a nineteenth-century New York lawyer, bibliophile, and celebrated diarist. He was also a representative reader, one who epitomized in his relations with his surroundings an interpretive way of being in the urban world. G. T. Strong “read” the city life of his native Manhattan with the same close attention to formal effect and surface detail that he reserved for his favorite literary texts. The cultural consequences of Strong’s interpretive practice - indicative of a whole mode of reading that carries his name - remain with us to this day, and invite inquiry into the origins of a pastime that, for some, made the modern city seem little more than a work of “art.”



Thursday, October 9, 2014
English Department Read/Write Series
Hoffmann Room, Swan 154, 4:00 pm

Poet Joan Houlihan from Lesley University will give a reading from her new book, Ay. Houlihan’s books will be available for sale and signing at the event.


Thursday, October 22, 2014
Swan Hall Auditorium, 7:00 pm

Professor Robert Ferguson, “The American Prison: Cruel, But Not Unusual Punishment.”

Ferguson’s latest book is Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment. He is a Professor of Law, Literature, and Criticism at Columbia University. Ferguson's books will be available for sale and signing at the event. Click here for a flyer.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014
English Department Graduate Colloquium
Hoffmann Room, Swan 154, 5:00 pm
Sarah Kruse, "The Color of Grammar: Two Steins and the Prism of the Avant-Garde.”

Kruse is a PhD candidate and graduate fellow 2014-15 at the University of Rhode Island, working on a dissertation on avant-garde poetics, the color of grammar, and philosophy of language. She has creative nonfiction forthcoming in Hotel Amerika and has had critical work in The International Journal of Zizek Studies. She is a staff writer for Propeller Quarterly, serves as managing editor for Barrow Street Press, and is a reader for the Ocean State Review. Kruse has presented at conferences at URI, CUNY, Columbia, Yale, and NeMLA at Rutgers, St. John Fisher College, and Tufts. She has received a Center for the Humanities Grant 2014 to do research at the Beinecke Library at Yale, and is a four-time 1st place recipient for the URI English Department graduate writing awards. Other research interests include poetry and poetics, the lyric essay, the ordinary and everyday, literary nonfiction, modernism, deconstruction, queer theory, and philosophy and literature. In 2008, she received her MA summa cum laude from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.


Spring 2015

Date TBD
English Department Graduate Colloquium
Hoffmann Room, Swan 154, 5:00 pm
Anna Brecke
, "Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Material Culture and the OED."

Brecke is a PhD candidate in Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Rhode Island. She holds MA degrees in both English and Gender/ Cultural Studies from Simmons College in Boston, MA and a Certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies from URI. Anna is an Advisory Board member and area co-chair in Women’s Studies for the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association. Her work can be found in The Victorian and MP: an online feminist journal. Her primary research areas are Victorian poplar fiction, gender and women’s studies, television and fairy tales.

Date TBD
English Faculty Speaker Series
Hoffmann Room, Swan 154, 5:00 pm
Professor Stephen Barber, "The Last of Woolf."

Virginia Woolf’s final phase as a thinker and writer begins in 1932 with her turn to the ethico-political or to what she names “freedom.” Although her original conception of freedom was to remain at the forefront of her thought until her death in 1941, late Woolf’s work in critical ontology is divisible into two periods, the second of which is the focus of this presentation. Beginning in 1939 she engages for the first time and in full force with Freud’s late writings on the unconscious even as she remains to the end persuaded that “the psychological life is not worth living,” as Michel Foucault provocatively claimed toward the end of his life. “The Last of Woolf” considers Woolf’s final writings in relation to the late works of a number of other thinkers for whom psychoanalysis serves at one and the same time as a grid of intelligibility and a power to be countered.