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Department of English


Inaugural Publicity Announcement:
2002-2003 Academic Year

 

The English Department on the International Scene: Fulbright Awards and Outcomes; Additional International Projects

Professor John Leo is currently the recipient of a third Fulbright Award, this one to The Slovak Republic, where he will teach at Constantine the Philosopher University, in Nitra. The title of his successful project was "Teaching Critical Internationalism in American Studies." URI students have been the recipients of the fruits of Leo’s previous Fulbright experiences through his Film Theory and Criticism Courses where over 50% of the films screened represented significant European and Central/South American filmmaking since 1950s/1960s (e.g. films from the former East/former West Germany, USSR, etc., as well as France, Italy, Brazil ["Pixote"]); theorizations of "audiences" in light of Socialism, nationalism, and "Socialist Realism" as aesthetic practice. Leo also greatly expanded the international holdings in our film library in Central Eastern European and Russian titles. With Vice Provost Rick Rhodes and with the financial support of the Office of the President and the RI Fulbright Association, Leo organized a two-day conference with workshops and reception on preparing and submitting a competitive Fulbright application across a range of Fulbright programs. This event brought in Dr. Muriel Joffe, Senior Program Officer for the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and whose portfolio is in much of Central Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. This was Leo’s 2nd such "Fulbright Conference," and the one in 2002, sponsored by the Polish and the Hungarian Fulbright Commissions, the US State Department and the Department of Education and with assistance from URI, brought distinguished speakers to URI to conduct workshops on Central Europe for US high school teachers (speakers included, for example, John Shattuck, former Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor and US Ambassador to Czech under President Clinton, and now CEO for the JFK Library and Foundation). Leo’s most recent internationally inflected publication is a collection of essays coedited with William Boelhower ( University of Padua), a collection of American (geo)cultural studies essays, Working Sites: Texts, Territories, and Cultural Capital in American Cultures, for a series under the general editorship of Rob Kroes and the European Association for American Studies, forthcoming from the University of Amsterdam Press.

Former Graduate Student, and Lecturer in Women’s Studies, Donna Bickford has won a Fulbright Lectureship this year in Feminist Literary Studies at Abo Akademi University in Turku , Finland .  Bickford will be teaching a course in Feminist Literary Theory in the Department of Comparative Literature, and Contemporary Women Writers of the Americas at the Institute of Women's Studies.

Graduate Student Andrea Yates participated in two international symposia this year. In January 2003, Andrea Yates delivered a paper at the International Samuel Beckett Symposium, Sydney Australia (University if Western Sydney), entitled, “Repetition and the Homosocial in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.” InSeptember 2003, Yates participated in a conference, Encounters with Derrida, at the University of Sussex , UK , where she made a presentation on “Derrida and Benjamin: Truth, Knowledge and the Art of Testimony.”

Based on her Fulbright experience teaching Creative Writing and American Cultural Studies at the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow, Russia, in the Fall of 2001, Professor Mary Cappello wrote an essay entitled, "Moscow, 9/11," which has appeared in Raritan, August 2002:86-100. Theessay, cited in the Times Literary Supplement, has subsequently been translated into Russian by Yaroslava Muratova, and is scheduled to appear in Druzhba Naradov (Friendship of Peoples), the premier journal in Russia of literature in translation, under its original title, “Kak Pa Russkie ‘Terror’”(“How Do You Say ‘Terror’ In Russian?”) Cappello’s memoir, Night Bloom, is currently being translated into Russian by Julia Lapteva as Lapteva’s thesis project at the Gorky Literary Institute. Professor Jean Walton, also a Fulbright Fellow at the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow, Russia, where she taught courses in Film Studies, delivered a presentation with Professor Cappello in Spring 2003, entitled, "Feminism: Assumptions, Struggles, Encounters in Post-Soviet Russia," at The Annual Dana Shugar Womens Studies Spring Colloquium, University of Rhode Island. Cappello and Walton are currently preparing their transcript of an interview with independent Russian Jewish filmmaker, Galina Yevtushenko , for publication. Both Walton and Cappello have incorporated the work of Russian writers and filmmakers into film and creative writing courses that they offered at URI in Fall/Spring ’02-03.

With RIC photographer, Paola Ferrario , and in conjunction with the West Broadway Neighborhood Association in Providence , Mary Cappello received a Rhode Island Foundation Grant , in Fall 2002, for “Tales Tra Piazza y Parque/Tales Between the Piazza and The Park: Dialogues on Immigration.” The exhibit of Ferrario’s photographs and Cappello’s prose poems, scheduled to appear this October 2003 in Providence , represents a portion of the results of their collaborative venture "Pane Amaro/Bitter Bread: The Struggle of New Immigrants to Italy," for which Cappello and Ferrario received the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in 2001.

 

The prodigious output of faculty and graduate students in the area of Cultural Studies focused this past year on queer and sexuality studies; ethics and aesthetics; Renaissance and 18 th Century Studies; feminist studies; war; nationalisms and identity studies; race studies; literature and the law; history of the book, and literature and the environment

 

Queer and Sexuality Studies

In Fall 2002, Routledge published Associate ProfessorStephen Barber’s, Regarding Sedgwick: Essays on Queer Culture and Critical Theory, a collection of essays by prominent literary and queer theorists on the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick that Barber co-edited with Dr. David L. Clark and for which Barber wrote the critical introduction to Sedgwick and co-wrote, with Clark, the introduction to the collection as a whole. The book has been reviewed in a number of literary papers and journals, such as The London Review of Books and GLQ. Barber’s solicited entry on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick for the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism went into press during spring 2003, at which time he accepted an invitation to write an entry for a similar Guide to be published by the University of Minnesota Press. In Fall 2002 Barber also gave an invited talk on queer theory at McMaster University, Ontario.

Graduate Student, Jamie Carr presented a paper entitled, “Christopher Isherwood's Political and Aesthetic Experimentation: Homosexuality, Fascism, and Critical Theory” at the French/Francophone Interdisciplinary and Multicultural Studies Symposium at URI, Dec. 4, 2002. Jamie Carr has also previously published an article on re-reading sexuality and madness in Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway in Selected Papers from the Tenth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf: Virginia Woolf Out of Bounds, Pace UP.

In October 2002, Graduate Student, Theresa DeFrancis presented a paper entitled "Stephen Gordon and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: Reconfigured Identities" for the panel, Literature and Gender: Body Talk, at the 13th Annual Central New York Conference on Language and Literature, SUNY, Cortland.

Professor Jean Walton has been asked to be the respondent for an MLA special session, “Sapphic Modernities,” with papers by Laura Doan, Jane M. Garrity, and Heather K. Love, San Diego , December, 2003.

John Leo was a presenter and discussant (with Stephen Barber and Jeff King) of "Queering High Modernism," at URI's 9th annual lesbigay and transgendered studies conference, April 2003. The symposium, now in its 10 th year, was founded by Mary Cappello and Jean Walton. John Leo is finishing up a solicited review essay for The European Journal of Cultural Studies on Douglas Crimp's Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics.

Mary Cappello’s agent, Malaga Baldi, is currently circulating, My Commie Sweetheart: Scenes from a Queer Friendship. Composed in a spirit of poetic reverie, and following a tradition of queer portraiture (e.g., Stein, H.D., Plante, Als) and queer theory (especially Foucault and Sedgwick), My Commie Sweetheart attempts to enact the forms, literary and relational, made possible by a friendship between a gay man and a lesbian.

 

Ethics and Aesthetics

Stephen M. Barber’s essay "Exit Woolf," on the late political, ethical, and aesthetic thought of Virginia Woolf and Michel Foucault, collected in Feminism and the Final Foucault(eds. Dianna Taylor and Karen Vintges), went into press (University of Illinois Press). The essay is a version of a chapter from Barber’s book in progress (Virginia Woolf, Here and Now) on Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, and Virginia Woolf.

Graduate Student, Maria Chaincola Glade, presented a paper, "A Medley: The Ethical Practice of Freedom as Performed by Woolf's Between the Acts," at the "Woolf in The Real World" Conference at Smith College June 5-8.

Graduate Student, Jamie Carr, presented a paper, “Aesthetics, Politics, and the 1930s: Christopher Isherwood on Art and Fascism” at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Space Between: The Work of Art, 1914-1945, Kansas State Univ., May 29-31, 2003

 

Renaissance and 18 th Century Studies

Associate Professor Katherine Scheil, published a book-length study entitled, “The Taste of the Town": Shakespearian Comedy and the Early Eighteenth-Century Theater with Bucknell University Press, 2003, in the Bucknell Series in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture. 336 pgs.

[See also Graduate Student Mike O’Hara’s work, listed under “War”]

 

Feminist Studies

Jean Walton published “Female Peristalsis,” in differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 13.2 (2002), pp. 57-89. An exploration of how women manage and attach significance to their bowel habits, or more generally, the movement of substances through their bodies, even as their bodies are moved through, or positioned within, social, political, domestic, erotic, and ideological systems.

Professor Karen Stein’s essays, “Talking Back to Bluebeard: Margaret Atwood’s Fictional Storytellers,” and “Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin: A Left-Handed Story,” appeared in Sharon Rose Wilson, ed. Margaret Atwood's Textual Assassinations: Recent Poetry and Fiction, Ohio State University Press, 2003. Professor Stein also published a book review of To Join, To Fit and to Make: The Creative Craft of Margaret Atwood’s Fiction, by Christina Ljungberg in the University of Toronto Quarterly. 72.1, Winter 2002-3.

Presentations in Feminist Studies include, Karen’s Stein’s, “Building Networks for Feminist Activism in the Academy” at The Ecofeminism and Activism Conference, Southern CT State University, October, 2002, and “Gender, Costume and Disguise in Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman , Cat's Eye , and The Blind Assassinat theRocky Mountain MLA, November, 2002.

 

War

Professor Don Kunz’ essay, "Barry Levinson's Good Morning, Vietnam," has appeared in War, Literature and the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities, (2002): 225-232. Graduate Student David Kramer’s essay “Infirm Soldiers in the Cuban War of Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Harding Davis” is forthcoming in the same journal. Kramer’s essay examines representations of Spanish-American War soldiers by Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Harding Davis, and how their texts subtly anticipate the war neuroses so prevalent in World War I.

Assistant Professor Naomi Mandel guest-edited a Special Issue of The Journal of Mundane Behavior entitled Atrocity, Outrage, and the Ordinary, 3.3 (2002). Mandel also published an essay, “To Claim the Mundane.”Journal of Mundane Behavior, 3.3 September 2002.

Graduate Student, Mike O’Hara presented a paper this summer at the British Graduate Shakespeare Conference hosted by the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-Upon-Avon (3-5 July). The title of his paper was "Love is a Battlefield: Constructing the Comic Warrior." The paper will be published in the Shakespeare Institute’s compendium of presented papers. Mike reports that “Overall, the event was excellent! I can't recommend it more highly to URI students. I found a warm reception, great support for my research ideas, tickets to the RSC, and lots of fun. I'd be happy to share any information with those interested.”

Graduate Student, Jamie Carr presented,“‘The LeaningTower’ and a Critique of Fascism: Virginia Woolf’s Influence on Christopher Isherwood,”at the13th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf in the Real World, Smith College, June 5-8, 2003

 

Nationalisms and Identity Studies

Naomi Mandel published, “I Made the Ink: Complicity, Identity, 60 Million, and More,” in Modern Fiction Studies 48.3 (2002): 581-613, and was an invited speaker at Tel Aviv University, March 2003, where she delivered a presentation entitled "Against the Unspeakable: Complicity, Identity, and the Spectre of the Holocaust." Mandel also made a conference presentation entitled, “Conceived in Language, Not in Blood: the Specter of the Body in the Modern Nation” at the ACLA Conference, Spring 2003.

Assistant Professor Ryan Trimm’s essay, “Inside Job; Professionalism and the Postimperial Chronotope in The Remains of the Day is under review at Contemporary Literature.Ryan Trimm has presented,“Haunting Heritage and Cultural Politics: Signifying Britain Since the Rise of Thatcher” at the Culture and the State Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, Ca. May 2003, and “Heritage Rebranded: The North of England Open Air Museum at Beamish and the Performance of Nation” at the Cultural Studies Association Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2003. Both essays have been submitted to the respective conference proceedings, and the latter piece has already appeared in vol. 2 of the e-journal, Politics and Culture.

Graduate Student Rebecca Romanow attended the Cultural Studies Association Founding Conference in Pittsburgh on June 7, 2003, where she presented a paper entitled "The Erasure of Language in the Globalization of Rock Music: Sigur Ros and the Politics of Hopelandic," which explored the ways in which the band's use of an imaginary language, Hopelandic, creates resistance to the dominance of English in popular music, and negotiates a new cultural position for rock in the axis of globalization and localization. Rebecca Romanow’s paper will appear in the e-journal, Politics and Culture, vol. 3, 2003.

 

Race Studies

Professor Lois A. Cuddy and Graduate Student Claire M. Roche, edited and introduced a volume just out from Bucknell University Press entitled, Evolution and Eugenics in American Literature, 1880-1940, Essays on Ideological Conflict and Complicity. The book treats issues relative to race, but also class, gender, genre, politics, sexuality, and identity studies. According to the book jacket, "The consequences of Darwinian and eugenic assumptions on the treatment of the poor, or the 'feeble-minded,' on racial distinctions, on reproductive rights and limitations, on politics and laws, and even on the tourist industry [in Vermont] become evident in these essays."

Assistant Professor Valerie Karno’s essay, "Remote Justice: Tuning In to Small Claims, Race, and the Reinvigoration of Civic Judgment" is forthcoming in the journal, Studies in Law, Politics, and Society. Valerie Karno ’s review of Prejudicial Appearances: The Logic of American Anti-Discrimination Law appeared in American Quarterly, December 2002. Karno presented "Race and War: Projecting Domestic Tensions about Indians Abroad in Vietnam " at the Southern New England Consortium on Race, URI Campus, April 2003.

Ryan Trimm’s essay, “The Times of Whiteness; Or, Race Between the Postcolonial and the Postmodern,” will be appearing in Postcolonial Whiteness. Ed. Alfred Lopez. SUNY Press.

Karen Stein delivered a paper entitled, “Recovering the Black Body in Toni Morrison” at the Third Biennial Conference of the Toni Morrison Society, June 2003.

 

Literature and the Law

Assistant Professor Valerie Karno has been extremely active in the field, both delivering papers and organizing panels. In 2003, Karno presented "The Democratic Subject: Legal Narrative and the Photographic Corpse," at the Narrative Conference, U.C. Berkeley, (March, 2003). She was the Panel Organizer of "Comparative Narratives of Justice" at the American Comparative Literature Association (April, 2003), and she chaired a panel on "Law & Image," at the Law, Culture, & Humanities Conference (March, 2003) where she also delivered a paper entitled, "Counter-Cultural Legal Geography: Gary Snyder, The Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, and the Problem of Jurisdiction." Additionally, Karno has been working with the RI Bar Association to develop a series of "Small Town Meetings" (which she is scheduled to moderate) in either Fall or Spring. She has also have been working with Professor Dorothy Donnelly to get the Changing Lives Through Literature Program off the ground.

 

History of the Book, and Literature and the Environment

Associate Professor Nancy Cook has a chapter in Perspectives in American Book History(U Mass) and two book reviews forthcoming. Cook’s essay on the cultural work of Montana romance novels has been accepted for publication in a collection on Montana writing, to be published by University of Utah Press. She has been invited to compose a 4000 word essay on book publishing in the 19 th century for a Twayne series book on 19 th century American culture, eds.,Tom Quirk and Gary Scharnhorst. Cook’s numerous presentations and attendance at conferences this year include: Ranch Management Consultants Biennial Ranching Conference, Wichita, KS, 6/02; Perspectives in American Book History Publication Symposium, Center for the Book, Library of Congress, 10/02; “Getting Supper, or My Life in the Food Chain,” Western Literature Association Conference, Tucson, AZ, 10/02; Quivera Coalition Sustainable Land Practices Conference, Albuquerque, NM, 1/03; PCA conference, Montana romance novel paper, New Orleans, 4/03; ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and Environment) Biennial Conference, Boston, 6/03. This year Cook reviewed manuscripts for ATQ; Western American Literature; Journal of American Studies; University of Nebraska Press; and, MIT Press.

 

Creative Writing

The Department boasts outstanding publications in Creative Writing this year.

 

Fiction

Among both Professors Dan Pearlman and Don Kunz’ numerous outstanding fiction publications this year appear stories that were inspired by our very own Department. Memini, Dan Pearlman’s first published science fiction novel, is just out with Prime Books. This hardcover book is Professor Pearlman’s first “published science-fiction novel--about a century-distant future in which the world is run by amnesiacs. It was inspired by a meeting of the departmental graduate committee during which nobody, including the committee chair, could remember what we did at the meeting before.” Readers may also recognize academe as fodder for dystopic satire in Don Kunz’ “The Final Week for Revolution,”The Rejected Quarterly (Winter/Spring 2003): 2-10.

Dan Pearlman has also published a short story and an interview in Breaking Windows, a hardcover "best of"anthology culled from the avant-garde webzine Fantastic Metropolis, edited by Luis Rodrigues, Prime Books, Spring 2003. Pearlman’s novella, "Great White Hope," recently appeared in Imaginings, Pocket Books, a trade paperback anthology of previously unpublished long stories in the literature of the fantastic. This story harks back to an encounter Pearlman had in Mexico with the long-retired pugilist FrankWalter Moran. Imaginings is currently available at all major bookstores. In March, Pearlman contracted with a literary agent, Regina Brooks of Serendipity, New York, to represent his new novel about Spain, Weeds in Franco’s Garden.

Don Kunz has published three additional short stories this year, “Missing in Action,” Heist Magazine 9 (June 2002): http://www.mockfrog.com/heist/h9stories/kunz_d.html; “The Dancer’s Hand,” The South Carolina Review 35.2 (Spring 2003): 50-57; and, "How to Become A Blues Musician (for James Baldwin),"Fugue, no. 5 (Summer, 2003): 77. Kunz was also the Co-Director & Master of Ceremonies for Visualizations, URI’s film/Video Festival this year, and he is a Contributing Editor of Literature/Film Quarterly.

Graduate Student Brian A. Dixon has published, "The McMillen Golf Penalty," in the Spring 2003 issue of Weston Magazine. The story, which was previously awarded the Shannon Searles Fiction Prize by Connecticut Review, chronicles an incarcerated convict's obsession with the game of miniature golf and, in the process, seeks to illuminate some of the dark and seemingly inescapable qualities of human nature.

Former Graduate Student Angel Green ’s story "Kissing the Brass Serpent" appeared in URI Review, Volume III, Spring 2003. Angel Green was also included in Who's Who in America 2003 , 57 th edition .

 

Poetry

Don Kunz has published a range of poems this year, several with Rhode Island themes, and one that was inspired by the photography of Annu Mathew in the Fine Arts Department at URI. These include: “For Lorenzo Kinney, Master Gardner,” Midwest Poetry Review, 23.1 (April 2002): 34; “Indian Diaspora (for Annu Mathew, Photographer),”English Journal, 91.5 (May 2002): 89; “Nan Goldin’s Photograph ‘Bruce with Bruno, Naples 1996,’” Maelstrom, 4.2 (December 2002): 26; “High Desert,”The Kaleidoscope Review, 2.1 (February 2002): 15; and, “The Geography of Lovers,” The Newport Review, 8 (April 2003): 4.

 

Literary Nonfiction

Mary Cappello published, "Fatso," an essay on watching the Anne Bancroft film of the same title with a friend who was terminally ill, in The Milk of Almonds: Italian American Women Writers on Food and Culture (edited by Louise DeSalvo and Edvige Giunta for the Feminist Press); and, “Breakage and Beauty,” an essay that theorizes an immigrant aesthetic in Breaking Open: Reflections on Italian American Women’s Writing, (edited by Mary Ann Mannino and Justin Vitiello for Purdue U Press). “Gone Fishing,” an experimental prose piece, an extended riff on a sentence by Vladimir Nabokov, with accompanying commentary, is due out any minute from University of Wisconsin Press in a collection of new autobiographical lesbian short stories edited by Lynda Hall.

An excerpt from Cappello’s memoir, Night Bloom (Beacon Press, 1998), “Nothing to Confess,” was reprinted in The Italian/American Reader: A Collection of Outstanding Fiction, Memoirs, Journalism, Essays and Poetry, New York: William Morrow, 2003: 427-432. (A reading with the editor, Bill Tonelli, took place at the Borders in Warwick, RI, in April 2003.) Most recent critical encounters with Night Bloom include Edvige Giunta in Writing with an Accent: Contemporary Italian American Women Authors, Palgrave, 2002; Caterina Romeo in a chapter of her doctoral dissertation, “Alla Ricerca di Uno Spazio Proprio: Mary Cappello e la Scrittura della Differenza,” at “La Sapienza” University of Rome; and Anne Marie Fortier, Professor of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK, in “Making Home: Queer Migrations and Motions of Attachment,” at www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/sociology/soc112af.htm

 

Drama

Graduate Student Brian A. Dixon's "Dogalogue ," an original one-act play that explores the sometimes outrageous limitations of human communication by giving voice to an outspoken Jack Russell terrier named Spot, was performed by Eastern Connecticut State University's Harry Hope Theater in May as a part of "Short Stuff 2003." The show has since been brought to the Sargeant Theater in New York City's off-Broadway circuit.

 

Awards and Honors

In addition to the Awards and Honors already listed above, we have the following to report:

Assistant Professor Valerie Karno received a National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Seminar Grant (2002) to participate in a seminar on Punishment with Austin Sarat (Founder of the Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Policy Program at Amherst College), as well as a University of Rhode Island Council for Research Summer Grant (2002) to pursue research on her book, Legal Topographies .

Graduate Student, Jamie Carr received a Graduate Student Fellowship in the Humanities, 2003-2004 from the URI Center for the Humanities; The Christopher Isherwood Foundation Fellowship from the Huntington Library at San Marino, CA, 2003; and University of Rhode Island Graduate Research Fellowship, 2002-2003

Associate Professor Nancy Cook received a Travel Grant from USBoR (United States Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior) to present a paper at the Symposium to Celebrate the 100 th anniversary of the Bureau, Las Vegas, Nevada 6/02. Cook also received a course development grant from the Sustainability Minor Committee, URI, funded by USDA (US Department of Agriculture) for a new course, HPR 411: Imagining Sustainability in American Culture, Fall 2003.

Graduate Student Claire Roche, who is specializing in Rhetoric and Composition, was awarded a University Dissertation Fellowship for 02-03.

The URI Council for Research presented Associate ProfessorsStephen Barber and Katherine Scheil with Recognition for Outstanding Work in Research awards.

Assistant Professor Libby Miles was a finalist for URI’s Excellence in Teaching Award this year. Former graduate student, Donna Bickford, Lecturer in Women’s Studies at URI, and Professors Mary Cappello and John Leo were all nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award this year. Cappello and Leo had each coincidentally been nominated twice before this year, and Cappello was a finalist one year.

 

Pedagogy: Course Innovations, Publications and Presentations

Professor Dan Pearlman, Paula R. Pearlman, and Graduate Student, Edward Steven Shear together published Guide to Rapid Revision. Eighth Edition. New York: Longman, 2003. Dan Pearlman notes: “This surely must be one of the longest-lasting composition handbooks around. I published the first edition in 1965, when I was a toddler and saw the need to help other kids also learn to write the alphabet backwards.”

In February 2002, Associate Professor Katherine Scheil organized a workshop with Graduate Student, Stefani Fournier on teaching Shakespeare for URI English Education majors. Guest speakers included teachers from Moses Brown and from local high schools.

In January 2003, Graduate Student Rebecca Romanow presented a paper at the Conference on Teaching for Transformation at the University of Massachusetts Boston entitled "Volatology: Bringing Controversy into the Classroom."

Two sets of graduate students were on the CCCCs program in New York City in March 2003. Claire Roche, Christine Fox, and Mary Gormley (all PhD students) comprised a panel entitled "Research into Practice: Transforming Classrooms and Curricula."William Burns, William Spath, and Sally Gomaa (all PhD students) presented a panel on "Transforming Compositional Selves: Postmodern Possibilities."

 

New Course Offerings for Fall 2002-Spring 2003

Mary Cappello developed two new courses:a course on Emily Dickinson and Gertrude Stein (English 385)and a seminar that ran at both the graduate level and as the Identity Studies Capstone for English Majors entitled, “Immigrant Subjectivities and Documentary Discourse.”

Nancy Cook offered new courses on Women and the Natural World, Mark Twain, and Women and the Politics of Place. Cook substantially revised her Native American Literature courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Valerie Karno developed two new courses: a graduate seminar in "Literature & Democracy," and an undergraduate course in "Women Immigrant Authors."

Katherine Scheil offered ENG 605 Seminar in Genres, a new course focusing on Shakespearian comedy. Students read recent critical works as well as all of the comedies in the First Folio.

Karen Stein re-designed the ENG 510, Introduction to Professional Study. Among other projects for the course, MA and PhD students in the course joined listservs in their areas of study, found calls for papers, and wrote proposals and conference papers. Several of the course participants did submit their proposals and present their papers.

In Fall 2002, Jean Walton developed and taught a section of FLM 201, the history of film course offered by URI’s film studies program. This course covered the development of cinema from its inception to the late 20 th century, spotlighting certain periods in Germany, France, and Italy, but with a special emphasis on the parallel development of film culture and industry in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

In Spring 2003 Walton taught a new graduate course (ENG 650) on Theories and History of the Body. F oundational explorations of the emergence of the “body” as a focus of attention in recent literary and cultural studies. Emphasis on the discursive and disciplinary production of “bodies” in a number of overlapping contexts, including medical treatises, psychoanalytic literature, ethical discussions, industrial time and motion studies, sexological texts, cinematic and theatrical theory and practice. Special attention to the body in modernity, i.e. late nineteenth, early twentieth centuries.

In, Fall 2003 Walton is teaching ENG 625 Seminar in Media. This course will offer an investigation of pre- and early cinematic technologies for imaging the body in motion (Marey, Muybridge, Gilbreth, Edison, Lumiere, etc) as well as a consideration of the convergence of medical, scientific, surveillant, avant gardist, revolutionary, and popular cultural cinema texts. Films will be chosen from a diverse array of genres and national cinemas, with the objective of examining how the moving image mediates, incites, positions, caresses, thrills, animates, disorients the human body—taking into account all the possible positions of the body within the cinematic apparatus: at the site of enunciation, at the level of simulation or representation, as object or subject of observation and spectatorship.

Both of the Department’s new Administrators, Jean Walton, Chair, and Nancy Cook, Director of Graduate Studies, attended the ADE/ADFL Summer seminar, Snowbird, UT, 6/03.

 

News about New Students

Jacob Bodway, a Graduate Student who will be entering our program in the Fall, has published a paper that he composed as an undergraduate entitled, "The Divine Light Behind the Veil: Augustinain Mysticism and Tennyson's In Memoriam - A Comparative Essay" in Prism, the journal of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Philosophy and Religious Studies Program.

 

Alumni News

Former undergraduate English major and First Prize Winner of the Department’s Creative Nonfiction Contest, Penny Cray, has enjoyed a hugely successful first year in the MFA program at the NewSchool, NYC. Cray recently won an internship to work closely with writer, Anna Rabinowitz, editor of American Letters and Commentary. Cray’s first published work, two prose poems, currently appear in Chimera Review, Winter 2003, vol. 4. They can be accessed at http://www.ChimeraReview.com/ Cray is also doing copy-editing work for Duke University Press .

Recent undergraduate majors, Jennifer Schadlick, BA, is starting an M.A. program at the University of Chicago, and Justin DiBiasio, BA, is entering Law School at Boston College.

Former Graduate, MA student, Andy Doolen, has recently accepted a tenure track position for an Assistant Professor of 19th Century American Literature and Culture at the University of Kentucky. The department boasts some of the most important researchers in the field. Doolen was invited to apply for the position.

Sarah Holmes, Ph.D., reports that she has a full-time job as a professor at the Naval Station in Newport, RI, where she is teaching two or three classes a trimester. Last year she incorporated service learning, and her students interviewed local veterans for the Library of Congress. She has an essay coming out in a book edited by Professor Lois Cuddy and graduate student, Claire Roche, Evolution and Eugenics in American Literature, 1880-1940: Essays on Conflict and Complicity. And, she has a short essay coming out in a reference book, Encyclopedia on Men and Masculinities. She presented a paper at the American Literature Association conference in May.

Michael C. Keith, Ph.D., published a memoir The Next Better Place (Algonquin Books), about his travels with his irresponsible alcoholic father. The book has won wide acclaim and has received numerous favorable reviews in major newspapers.

Michael Cornelius, Ph.D., accepted a tenure-track position in the English department at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA, in Fall 2002. Michael has two forthcoming essays: “Conradin, Hawking: A Queerly Revised History of the Last of the Hohenstaufen Kings of Medieval Sicily" forthcoming in Entertext, and “Chaucer's Ploughman and the Nobility of Toil" forthcoming in an anthology on farming and academe entitled Black Earth, Ivory Tower, from Middle Tennessee State University Press (edited by Z. M. Jack). “Bearly Grotesque: Perspective, Representation, and Falstaffian Desire,” appears in Verisimilitude: A Cultural Quarterly for Engaging Masculinities 1.1 <bearhistroy.com/ezine/ bearlygrotesque.html>, and “Robert Henryson’s Pastoral Burlesque” appears in Fifteenth-Century Studies, vol. 28, eds., Edelgard E. DuBruck and Barbara Gusick, Camden House, 2003. Cornelius’ new book, Susan Slutt, Girl Detective, a parody of detective fiction series like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, was released this month by Vineyard Press (www.vineyardpress.com). Cornelius received a Wilson College Faculty Grant to pursue research on the twentieth-century and pop culture versions of the life of Edward II this year, and delivered the following conference presentations: "Dis Here Topia Rocks!: The Role of Homosexuality in the World of Susan Slutt, Girl Detective," at the Tenth Annual URI Symposium on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer Issues (a conference at which he also served as co-chairperson), and "Representing Jewish Monstrosity: The Golem in Popular Culture" at the national Popular Culture Association Conference in New Orleans last April.