Skip to main content
Department of English

New Faculty and Graduate Student Publications

Click here to access our archive of other faculty news including conferences, invited talks, awards and honors, pedagogical initiatives, national and international appearances, research projects, and community outreach.

“The Dialogue of Early Modern Mathematical Subjectivity,” by Professor Travis D. Williams

Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology 21:1 (2013): 53-84.

Travis Williams’s review of The Machine in the Text: Science and Literature in the Age of Shakespeare and Galileo, by Howard Marchitello, also recently appeared in Notes and Queries 60:2 (2013): 313-15.

"Procrustean Marxism and Subjective Rigor: Early Modern Arithmetic and Its Readers," by Professor Travis D. Williams

In "Raw Data" Is an Oxymoron. Ed. Lisa Gitelman. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2013. 41-59.

"Richard Blanco, Inagural Poet: An Appreciation" by Professor Peter Covino


Lambda Literary, January 9, 2013.

Professor Peter Covino's latest poetry collection

The Right Place to Jump (2012), from Western Michigan University/New Issues Press, was released in October 2012. Please see a recent review of his work here, at The Huffington Post

His co-edited collection Essays on Italian American Literature, also appeared this summer 2012, from Bordighera Press, City University of New York.

Boarding Out: Inhabiting the American Urban Literary Imagination, 1840-1860 (Northwestern University Press, 2012), by Professor David Faflik

Driven by intensive industrialization and urbanization, the nineteenth century saw radical transformations in every facet of life in the United States. Immigrants and rural Americans poured into the nation’s cities, often ahead of or without their families. As city dwellers adapted to the new metropolis, boarding out became, for a few short decades, the most popular form of urban domesticity in the United States. While boarding’s historical importance is indisputable, its role in the period’s literary production has been overlooked. Boarding Out accordingly argues that the urban American boardinghouse exerted a decisive shaping power on the period’s writers and writings. Boarding was thus at once psychically, artistically, and materially central in the making of our shared American culture. Professor Faflik's book enjoys a feature in The Boston Globe.

Instructor Elisabeth Ly Bell.  “Robert Coover and the Neverending Story of Pinocchio.”  Review of Contemporary Fiction, vol. 32, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 32-46.

Dan Wickett wrote: The latest edition of The Review of Contemporary Fiction (Spring 2012/Vol. XXXII, Dalkey Archive) has just recently come out and it's well worth the eight dollar price tag for the 270 pages about, or by, Robert Coover in honor of his 80th birthday.

35 essays, letters, fictions, poems, and plays written and/or inspired by Robert Coover.  There are pieces from Dawn Raffel, Brian Evenson, John Barth, Kate Bernheimer, Bradford Morrow, William Gass, Mary Caponegro, Shelley Jackson, Percival Everett, Georges Borchardt, Rick Moody, Rikki Ducornet, and others that I was until now not as familiar with.  Some standouts to me (removing the pieces by Coover from the equation) include "Robert Coover and the Neverending Story of Pinocchio," by Elisabeth Ly Bell...  Literary Journals, August 21, 2012.

Professor Mary Cappello most recently published

an essay on the sounds that libraries make titled "Reading Room" to accompany visual artist, Peter Eudenbach's installation, To Arrive Where We Started at the Redwood Library and Atheneum, Newport, RI, July 15 to June 30th, 2013; and, "Rituals in Transfigured Time (After Maya Deren)," a Catalog Essay to accompany an art exhibit at the Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University, Newark, "What cannot be cured must be endured," Anonda Bell, Curator and Director, August 2012 to January 2013. Cappello's essay, "Flower Power," appears in Heide Hatry: Not a Rose (new work by Heide Hatry), Milan and New York: Charta, accompanied by a Paul Craddock directed film, and readers can find Cappello's "A Macabre Parade of Missing Thumbs: Elias Smith's Atlas of Colored Plates," in the magnificent Hidden Treasure: 125 Years of the National Library of Medicine, New York: Blast Books, edited by Michael Sappol and designed by Laura Lindgren. Cappello's annual review essay on the state of the art of (creative) nonfiction for the literary annual, Water~stone, just appeared, "Writing the Past in the Future: Memoir, Fictive Nonfiction, and Graphic Poetry."

Ph.D. candidate, Nancy Caronia’s essay,

“Meeting at Bruce’s Place: Springsteen’s Italian American Heritage and Global Notions of Family,” appears in Essays on Italian American Literature and Culture. Eds. Dennis Barone and Peter Covino. NY: Bordighera P, 2012. Her poem, “Underworld,” appears in She is Everywhere!: An Anthology of Writings in Womanist/Feminist Spirituality Vol. 3. Eds. Mary Saracino and Mary Beth Moser, 2012.

Recently from Professor Kathleen Davis

“Time, Memory, and the Word Hoard” By Kathleen Davis. Critical Terms for Anglo-Saxon Studies, ed. Renée Trilling and Jacqueline Stodnick. Oxford: Blackwell Press, 2012.

“Cross-Dressing the Rose: Sly Allegory in Sea of Poppies” By Kathleen Davis.
 History of the Present 2: (2012): 86-94.

“Old English Poetry” By Kathleen Davis. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Ed. Roland Greene and Jahan Ramazani. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.

"Fact, Fiction, and Fidelity in the Novels of Jonathan Safran Foer," by Professor Naomi Mandel

in Novel: A Forum on Fiction 45.2 (Spring 2012): 238-256. Print.

When violence blurs the distinction between fiction and fact, how is fiction to be true? This essay examines the role of fact, the injunction of fidelity to it, and the ethical potential of fiction about violent historical events. Taking as its starting point Jonathan Safran Foer's 2002 novel Everything is Illuminated (set in the wake of the Holocaust) and his 2005 novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (set in New York City after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001), and with recourse to Alain Badiou's concept of fidelity, the author uncovers multiple trajectories of fidelity both toward and away from history, and posits fiction, not fact, as a site of ethical engagement with violence in the 21st century.

Recent publications by Rachel May, Ph.D. candidate

"Tumbling Blocks Victorian Tea Cozy," Blanket Statements: Quarterly News Publication of the American Quilt Study Group, Issue 108 (Summer 2012): 1-3. "Avery," The Literary Review 55:4 (Fall 2012). "The Vermont Studio Center Experiments," Word for/Word 19 (2012): "Some Artists I Needed To Talk To," Memoir(and), Issue 9 (2011): 45-8. "Bee & Grim," Michigan Quarterly Review, Winter 2011. Rachel recently learned that she's been awarded a month-long residency at the Millay Colony, for Summer 2013.

"Media Activists for Livability: An NFB Experiment in 1970s Vancouver," by Professor Jean Walton

in Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 54 (Fall 2012).  In the early 1970s, the National Film board brought its Challenge for Change Program to a troubled suburb on Canada’s West Coast, putting cameras into the hands of disenfranchised residents. The land use battles that ensued complicated Vancouver’s image as the Shangri-La of the North.  

Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts Co-edited by Professor Travis D. Williams,

Russ McDonald, and Nicholas D. Nace. London: Arden Shakespeare, 2012.

This collection includes an introduction by the editors, Travis Williams's essay "The Story of O: Reading Letters in the Prologue to Henry V," and 38 more essays by 39 authors.

“The Earliest English Printed Arithmetic Books,” by Professor Travis D. Williams

The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, ser. 7, 13:2 (2012): 164-84.

Travis Williams’s review of Playing Dirty: Sexuality and Waste in Early Modern Comedy, by Will Stockton, also recently appeared in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society 17:1 (2012): 104-7.


“The Bourn Identity: Hamlet and the French of Montaigne’s Essais,” by Professor Travis D. Williams

Notes and Queries 58:2 (2011): 254-58.

"'It All Does Come to Nothing in the End': Nationalism and Gender in Louise Erdrich's The Plague of Doves" by Professor Gina Valentino

A collection of new essays by noted scholars of Native American Literature on three important novels that chart the trajectory of Erdrich's novelistic career, Tracks (1988), The Last Report on the Miracles At Little No Horse (2001) and The Plague of Doves (2007). The book illuminates Erdrich's multiperspectival representation of Native American culture and history. Focusing on such topics as humor, religion, ethnicity, gender, race, sexuality, trauma, history, and narrative form, the essays collected here offer fresh readings of Erdrich's explorations of Native American identities through her innovative fictions.

Feeling for the Poor (University of Virginia Press Victorian Literature and Culture Series, 2010), by Professor Carolyn Betensky

What if the political work of Victorian social-problem novels was
precisely to make the reader feel as if reading them -- in and of
itself -- mattered? Surveying novels by Charles Dickens, Frances Trollope, Benjamin Disraeli, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, and Henry James, Carolyn Betensky tracks the promotion of bourgeois feeling as a response to the suffering of the poor and working classes. Victorian social-problem novels, she argues, volunteered the experience of their own reading as a viable response to conflicts that seemed daunting or irreconcilable. Encoded at multiple levels within the novels themselves, reading became something to do about the pain of others.

Carolyn Betensky's review of A Dark Trace:  Sigmund Freud on the Sense of Guilt, by Herman Westerink, also recently appeared in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society (2010) 15, 429–431.

Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them by Professor Mary Cappello (The New Press, January 2011)

A revelatory, poetic exploration of swallowing—and of a strange collection of objects preserved by a single-minded medical pioneer

Read a feature article on Swallow in The New York Times, an interview with Thomas Rogers about Swallow on (December 18, 2010), and a conversation with LA Times journalist Carolyn Kellogg on the most interesting book Cappello was taught in school.

Poem "Don't Tell Me," by Instructor Talvikki Ansel, Poetry Magazine, Sept. 2010

Instructor Talvikki Ansel's poem "Don't Tell Me" appeared in the Sept. 2010 issue of Poetry Magazine, and can also be read on-line here.
Ansel was also recently honored with a grant from the Money for Women / Barbara Deming Memorial Fund to assist in the completion of a poetry manuscript.

Special Journal Issue: "The Sublime and Education" guest-edited by Professor J. Jennifer Jones (Romantic Circles Praxis, August 2010)

Rooted in the critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, this diverse collection engages comparatively with Romantic-era literature and cultural theory of the 20th and 21st centuries. One underlying inspiration is the pedagogical theory of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, who has thought widely about humanities-based training using Romantic-era texts as principal theoretical and literary tools, formative among them the aesthetic philosophy of Kant. Spivak's pedagogical theory can perhaps best be apprehended through the claim that proper pedagogy consists in "the uncoercive rearrangement of desires," which is to say a pedagogy founded on a notion of an immanent rather than a transcendental sublime. In complementary but nevertheless highly individuated ways, each contributor to this volume offers just this type of reformative work.

This volume of the Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes an editor's introduction by J. Jennifer Jones; essays by Christopher Braider, Frances Ferguson, Paul Hamilton, Anne McCarthy, Forest Pyle, and Deborah Elise White; and an afterword by Ian Balfour.

Recent poetry publications by Professor Peter Covino include:

“Disappearance and Modulation,” The Yale Review 98.4 (2010): 55-56, “Built on the Foundation of What Isn’t True” and “Rain Delay” in Ph’atitude Literary Review 2 (2010):44, “High Tide in the Veins,” “Dispossession,” and “Millennial Wyoming in Popular Imagination with Codeine” in roger 5 (2010): 111-113, and a review of  Mairead Byrne’s Talk Poetry in Ph’atitude Literary Review 2 (2010): 21, 25-26.

“Innovation, Interdisciplinarity, and Cultural Exchange in Italian American Poetry” by Peter Covino also recently appeared in Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture. Ed. Giunta, Edvige and Kathleen McCormack. New York: Modern Language Association, MLA P. 2010. 97-108.

“Donald Sutherland: The Politics and Erotics of Submission,” by Professor Jean Walton in Hollywood Reborn: Movie Stars of the 1970s, edited by James Morrison, New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2010: 202-237.

“Modernity and the Peristaltic Subject,” by Professor Jean Walton, Neurology and Modernity: A Cultural History of Nervous Systems, 1800-1950, Laura Salisbury and Andrew Shail, eds. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 245-266.

"Tycoon Medievalism, Corporate Philanthropy, and American Pedagogy," by Professor Kathleen Davis

Special issue on American Medievalism. American Literary History 22:4 (2010): 1-20.

"Periodization and the Matter of Precedent," by Professor Kathleen Davis

Medieval Cultural Studies 1:3 (2010): 1-7.

Medievalisms in the Postcolonial World: The Idea of “The Middle Ages” Outside Europe, (John Hopkins University Press, 2009), edited by Professor Kathleen Davis

Professor Kathleen Davis is the co-editor with Nadia Altschul of Medievalisms in the Postcolonial World: The Idea of “The Middle Ages” Outside Europe, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009. Her introduction to the volume, co-written with Nadia Altschul, is titled, “The Idea of ‘the Middle Ages’ Outside Europe.” Professor Davis' recent publications also include “The Sense of an Epoch: Periodization and Sovereignty from Schmitt and Benjamin to Blumenberg and Koselleck" in The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages, ed. D. Vance Smith and Andrew Cole. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. Pp. 39-69, and “Boredom, Brevity and Last Things: Ælfric’s Style and the Politics of Time.” A Companion to Ælfric. Ed. Hugh Magennis and Mary Swan. Leiden: Brill Press, 2009. Pp. 321-344.

Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho, Glamorama, Lunar Park, edited by Professor Naomi Mandel

This collection of nine critical essays on U.S. novelist Bret Easton Ellis focuses on the writer’s mature period: American Psycho (1991), Glamorama (1999) and Lunar Park (2005). The volume is composed of three sections, each devoted to a key text, presenting newly-commissioned essays from scholars based in the U.S. and Europe; each section is accompanied by a short introduction.

The collection reflects Ellis' uneasy positioning between the literature of Generation X and Blank Fiction, and treats American Psycho as his definitive work. American Psycho elicited unprecedented public debate and remains one of the most controversial novels of the contemporary period. Ellis' subsequent novel Glamorama foreshadowed the centrality of terror and the ubiquity of cyberculture in the 21st century, and Lunar Park offers a retrospective, quasi-biographical account of the author and his work.

The objectives of the volume are to examine the alchemy of acclaim and disdain that accrues to this controversial writer, and to establish Ellis's centrality to scholarship and teaching of contemporary American literature in the U.S. and in Europe.

Professor Mandel won this year’s Graduate Mentoring Excellence Award from the College of Arts and Sciences

"With this passionate and coherent book that emphasizes the evolution, continuity and complexity of Ellis's work, Mandel and her team have clearly succeeded in making a significant contribution to research on an important writer and, more generally, on contemporary American literature and culture." - Studies in the Novel

“Negotiating Gifts: Jefferson’s Diplomatic Presents” by Professor Martha Elena Rojas

appears in The Old Word and the New: Exchanges Between America and Europe in the Age of Jefferson, ed. Leonard Sadofsky, et al. University of Virginia Press, 2010.


“Problematic Paradice: Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake,” by Professor Karen Stein

in Margaret Atwood: The Robber Bride, The Blind Assassin and Oryx and Crake ed J. Brooks Bouson, Continuum Press, 2010:  210-233, and “Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin as a Modern Bluebeard” in 21st Century Gothic:  Great  Gothic  Novels  Since  2000, ed. Danel Olson, Scarecrow Press,  2010: chapter 4, pp. 32-41. Rachel Carson and the Web of Life by Karen Stein is currently under contract for the Challenging Authors series edited by Paul Thomas for Sense Press. Stein is this year’s judge for the best MA thesis on Margaret Atwood for the Margaret Atwood Society.


Instructor Kevin McLellan has recent poems in:

BLOOM, Dogs Singing (Salmon Publishing, 2010), Southern Humanities Review, and Spaces Between Us (Third World Press, 2010).  Kevin has forthcoming poems in: Diagram, EOAGH, Fringe, Horse Less Review, Like a Fat Gold Watch (Fat Gold Watch Press, 2011), Muse & Stone, Poetry East, and Sugar House Review.