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Department of English

News and Events

Publicity Announcements: May 2006

Awards and Honors: Creative Writing

Assistant Professor Peter Covino’s collection of poetry, Cut off the Ears of Winter, is one of three finalists for The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry presented by the 2006 Publishing Triangle Awards. Covino’s book shares the company of Frank Bidart, Star Dust (Farrar Straus Giroux), and Richard Siken, Crush (Yale University Press). 2006 Publishing Triangle Awards in poetry, nonfiction, and fiction honor books published in 2005. Awards will be presented the evening of Thursday, May 11, 2006, in the Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 66 West 12th Street, New York, N.Y. The event is free and open to the public.

Graduate Student Evan P. Schneider’s poem "Traffic" won URI's New Leaves Press poetry contest and was printed as a limited edition broadside in April, 2006.


Publications: Creative Writing: Books

Professor Mary Cappello’s book-length essay, Awkward: A Detour in Prose has been accepted for publication at the Bellevue Literary Press. A new publisher of books on Medicine, the Sciences and the Arts, BLP is a trade imprint affiliated with NYU Press and New York University’s School of Medicine. Cappello’s book was chosen along with two other titles to launch the new series and will appear with them in the Spring of 2007: Galileo's Gout: Science and the Age of Endarkenment by Gerald Weissmann (a book of essays on science and culture by “a man of wide culture [and] a captivating and graceful writer.”--The New Yorker), and, Doctored Drawings by Mark Podwal, who has illustrated works by Elie Weisel and others, been frequently published on the NY Times op ed page, and who currently has an exhibit of his work at the Yeshiva Gallery on W 16th St in NYC (“Mark Podwal is one of those startling souls--they are very few--who can imagine, through the power of a unifying eye, connections so new that they shake the brain into fresh juxtapositions of understanding.” --Cynthia Ozick). According to their press release, “The Bellevue Literary Press intends to publish books of the greatest artistic and intellectual merit from the larger community, both medical and non-medical, while reflecting NYU’s excellence in scholarship, humanistic medicine, and science. The Bellevue Literary Press will feature original authoritative literary works--both fiction and nonfiction--in the sciences, social sciences and arts. It is the natural outgrowth of the Bellevue Literary Review, founded in 2000 as ‘a journal of humanity and human experience… it features fiction, nonfiction and poetry by Bellevue’s doctors and well-established writers.’ ( Washington Post ) The BLR has published work by Rick Moody, Abraham Verghese, Julia Alvarez, Philip Levine, Rafael Campo, Sharon Olds, and David Lehman. Erika Goldman, the Executive Editor of the Press and Cappello’s editor writes of BLP, “This is a remarkable opportunity to publish imaginative and challenging books that will make a real contribution…one that couldn't be rarer in today's marketplace. We can't wait to make the most of it." Goldman has been an editor of fiction and nonfiction for over twenty years at several major publishing houses in New York City, including Scribner, Simon & Schuster and W. H. Freeman . She has edited books ranging from literary fiction to popular science including works by Marguerite Duras, Isaiah Berlin, the New York Times Science Times writer, Claudia Dreifus, and best-selling author/physicist James Trefil, among others.

Dr. Mark Todd's black comedy novel, The Silverville Swindle, was just released by Ghost Road Press, a literary house based in Colorado. The book, co-written with wife Kym, is a social satire about life in the New West. The press describes the novel this way: "What happens when a mountain town's coffers need money and a local resident claims to have spotted a UFO? Silverville decides to take full advantage and builds its economy around all things alien. This novel is a comic look at greed, chicanery, and friendships as the town faces challenges and challengers it never saw coming." Ghost Road Press has placed the Todds under contract for the sequel as well. For more information and an interview with the authors, go to the Ghost Road web site and The Todds' web site for the book. Todd teaches creative writing and literature online for CCE.

Graduate Student Brett Rutherford published three new books in April, at The Poet's Press, a press that he also operates. Brett edited and annotated two of these volumes, a 30th anniversary edition of Barbara A. Holland's Crises of Rejuvenation and a posthumous collection of the poems of John Burnett Payne titled Emily and Walt, Walt and Emily. The books are distributed as both PDF e-books and printed editions, from the publishers' web site.

Invitations/Workshops: Creative Writing

Instructor Kathryn Kulpa is going to be teaching the Short Story workshop at the Stonecoast Writer's Conference this summer in Maine.


Presentations/Invitations: Creative Writing

Instructor Talvi Ansel gave a poetry reading at DePauw University ( Greencastle, Indiana) for their Visiting Writers Series and met with a creative writing workshop.

Graduate Student Evan Schneider’s poem "Art Crime" was presented at “Going Awry: A National Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference,” at Indiana University Bloomington.

Instructor Jody Lisberger will be giving a fiction readingThursday, May 4, 7 p.m. at O'Keeffe Books, 629 Boston Neck Rd. in North Kingstown (Rt. 1A south of Wickford)

Instructor Kathryn Kulpa has had a busy couple of months. She led a 3-week fiction writing workshop at the Barrington Public Library in February and then gave a reading and book discussion there. She also had a reading and discussion at Baker Books in Dartmouth, MA on the Ides of March and she read at the Redwood Library on Wednesday, March 29. Another reading is scheduled for May 23 at the Providence Athenaeum.

Instructor Robert Leuci will participate in RIPEN’s (RI poets, playwrights, essayists and novelists) brunch to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, Saturday, May 27, 2006, at 11AM-1PM, at Luigi's Restaurant, Johnston, RI. Bob will participate on a panel of writers who will each be giving a three minute reading on the theme of mothers. Cathleen Calbert, Thomas Chandler and other distinguished writers will help raise funds for the awareness, prevention and treatment of ovarian cancer.


Invitations/Symposia: British Romanticism

Assistant Professor Jennifer Jones has been invited to take part in a two-day symposium on "Romanticism: The Future of the Field" to be hosted at the University of Colorado, Boulder on May 22 and 23, 2006. This symposium is being co-hosted by the Center for British and Irish Studies and the Center for Humanities and the Art's workshop, "1650-1850: Beyond Syncrhonicity." According to professors Jillian Heydt-Stevenson and Jeffrey N. Cox, who will run this event, "the goal of this symposium is to bring together some of the best minds in the field to discuss new directions for scholarship and what we can do to promote new initiatives." Run as a series of extended open seminars around three topics including "Bodies and Things," "Empire and Slavery," and "Engaged Romanticism, Communal Romanticism," this colloquium will consist of ten members of the North American Romanticist community and will revolve around three major texts: Maria Edgeworth's Belinda, Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative, and William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell.


Presentations: British Romanticism

Graduate Student Jessica Gray presented a paper entitled “Revolutionary Thought Redefined: Nonviolent Resistance in Shelley's 'Mask of Anarchy,'" at the NYCEA conference entitled "Resistance to Tyranny", held at Fordham's Tarrytown, NY campus at the end of April.


Presentations: 19th Century American Literature

Graduate Student Theo Greenblatt presented a paper entitled "Putting California on the Map: Envisioning Land and Law in The Squatter and the Don,” at the 7th Annual Graduate Student Conference, held at Southern Connecticut State University on April 22.


Presentations: Cultural Studies/Victorian Literature

Assistant Professor Carolyn Betensky presented papers at two conferences in March and April: at the ACLA (American Comparative Literature Association) in Princeton, she presented “Affective Conversion in Preston Sturgess’ Sullivan’s Travels,” and at the Interdisciplinary 19 th Century Studies Conference at Rutgers University she presented a paper with the title “Narratives of Conflict and Conflicting Narratives in the Victorian Social-Problem Novel.” Carolyn also served on the Program Committee for the Northeast Victorian Studies Conference at Drew University in April.


Invitations/Presentations: International: 20th Century British Literature and Culture

Professor Jean Walton chaired the panel "Gender, Sexuality and Faking It" at the First World War and Popular Culture conference in Newcastle, U.K. in the last week of March. The conference brought together scholars working on all aspects of the popular culture of the First World War to investigate how the war shaped popular culture and how the memory of war was shaped in turn.

Assistant Professor Ryan Trimm presented his essay “Redressing Heritage: Adaptations of The Tempest in the Crystalline Regime” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Vancouver, Canada in March.


Presentations: 20th Century British Literature and Culture

Associate Professor Stephen Barber presented on Deleuze and Woolf’ssenile sublime at this year’s annual NEMLA conference in Philadelphia.

Graduate Student Jessica Gray presented a paper entitled "Painting a Portrait by Words: The Creative Role of Language in James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” at the Graduate Conference at Southern Connecticut State University on April 22.

Graduate Student Kim Sims presented a paper entitled "'Bundles of Habit' Or An 'Ill-Joined Web of Nerves': Re-Constructing the Nervous Body in William James and Virginia Woolf", at the College English Association (CEA) conference held in San Antonio, Texas on April 6. 


Publications: 2 th Century British Literature and Culture

Ryan Trimm’s essay length review of John Marx’s The Modernist Novel and the Decline of Empire and John Su’s Ethics and Nostalgia in the Contemporary Novel is forthcoming in Twentieth Century Literature.


Invitations/Books Reviews: 20 th Century Comparative Literatures

Stephen Barber reviewed (solicited) Proust's English for the journal Novel.


Publications: Film Studies

Professor John Leo’s essay, "Disorderly Freedoms and Cultural Coercions: Cinema's Queer Cultural Politics in the USA and the DDR, 1989," has just appeared in American Freedoms, American (Dis)Orders, Ed. Zbigniew Lewicki (War-saw: American Studies Center of Warsaw University, 2005): Vol. 1, pp. 195-205.


Honors and Presentations: Rhetoric and Composition

Libby Miles, Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric, was the Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence for Michigan State University's Department of Writing & Rhetoric Department during the week of April 9th through 14th. Among other duties, she delivered a lecture, "ShipHop and Herstory Rants: Students Writing from Weird Places." This was the first public presentation of her sabbatical research project on student writing in an experiential, residential, interdisciplinary Maritime Studies program.

Graduate Student Theo Greenblatt presentedapaper entitled "Balancing Equality and Expertise: Peer Tutors' Complex Connections within the University," at the North East Writing Center Association Conference in Amherst, NH on April 4.


Publications: Literature and Law

Associate Professor Valerie Karno's essay "Sovereignty and the Cinematic Image: Gary Snyder, The Civil Rights Act of 1968, and the Witnessing of Jurisdiction" will be forthcoming in May in a special issue on Law and Literature of ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, Vols.35.1&2.


Presentations: Feminist and Womens Studies

Professor Karen Stein will be moderating two panels and speaking on "Women Don't Ask: Negotiating Practice in the WMS Intro Course" June 16 at the National Women's Studies Association Conference in Oakland, CA.


Presentations/International: Literature and Philosophy/Literary Theory

Assistant Professor Mathew Frankel will be presenting at the International Alfred North Whitehead Conference at the University of Salzburg between July 3-7. The title of Matt’s paper is “The Philosopher's Plea: Immanence and Imagination in Whitehead and Deleuze.”


Presentations/Invitations/International: American Studies

Professor John Leo delivered an invited paper, “American Science Fiction Movies of the 50’s and the Cold War,” before students and faculty of the Instytut Filologii Angielskiej, AdamMickiewiczUniversity, Poznañ, March 2006. John delivered four papers over March and April (one an 80 minute panel on "Canons" by Professor Josie Campbell and him before 70-80 students and staff at the English Institute, University of Warsaw); “Literary Canons and American Cultural Wars: Perspectives from the Right and the Left,” invited panel presentation from Profs. Josie Campbell and John Leo, Warsaw University, March 2006; “Film ‘Poetics’ Generates the ‘Body Politic’: Marlon Riggs in the Shadow of the Black Arts Movement,” solicited paper given at the biennial meeting of the European Association for American Studies, April 2006, Nicosia, Cyprus.


Awards, Honors, Grants


Associate Professor Naomi Mandel received a Subvention Grant from the HumanitiesCenter to cover costs for reprinting artwork for her forthcoming manuscript Against the Unspeakable, and the David Maron Faculty Sabbatical Fellowship from the HumanitiesCenter as well as a Council for Research Grant for "Visions of Violence, Ethical Work" to facilitate her work on her current book of that title.

Naomi Mandel has been accepted as a participant (with stipend) at the NEH Summer Institute at CUNY. The topic of the Institute is Human Rights in Conflict: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.

Assistant Professor Jennifer Jones has received three grants: the URI Council for Research Career Enhancement Grant, the URI Humanities Center Summer Research Support Grant, and the URI Foundation Faculty Assistance Fund. All of these grants will support archival research for her project entitled "Upon WestminsterBridge: Panoramic Vision, Urban Technology, and Poetics from Romanticism to the 21st Century." Over the summer, Jennifer will visit London to perform research at The Museum of London, The British Museum, and The Museum of the Moving Image at the British Film Institute.

Assistant Professor Ryan Trimm received a Hope and Heritage Award to deliver his essay “Redressing Heritage: Adaptations of The Tempest in the Crystalline Regime” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Vancouver. He also was awarded the Eric Kumpf Memorial Research Grant from the URI Center for the Humanities for research to be conducted in the U.K. this summer.

Nominations for this year’s URI Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award included Assistant Professor Jennifer Jones and Associate Professor Stephen Barber. Professor Dorothy F. Donnelly was a Finalist for the 2006 Multicultural Annual Diversity Award given each year to individuals who work in promoting diversity and multiculturalism. Students, faculty and administrators are acknowledged and recognized for their work with diverse populations in the interest of building a more diverse and equitable community at URI. Ted Shear, Ph.D., was nominated for the URI Foundation Outstanding Staff member award, and Professor John Leo was nominated for the Excellence in Research Award

Graduate Student Maria Glade won a Graduate School Fellowship. Graduate Student Agata Stepien is an Alternate for a Graduate School Tuition Fellowship.



Graduate Student Brett Rutherford has been appointed chairman of the Philbrick Prize Committee at the Providence Athenaeum library. This prestigious annual poetry competition, now in its eighth year, accepts chapbook submissions from previously-unpublished New England poets. This year's prize judge is Martin Espada, and past judges have included John Ashbery, Robert Pinsky, Michael Harper and other well-known poets. At the prize ceremony in May, the winning poetry manuscript is published as a chapbook and the winner and judge do a joint reading at the historic Benefit Street library, founded in 1753.

Graduate Student Brett Rutherford will teach two poetry and publishing workshops at a writers' retreat at Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey in May of 2006, sponsored by Sensations Magazine, a 20-year-old literary journal.


Alumni News

Donna Bickford, Ph.D. will become the first full-time Director of the Women's Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in June.

Donald J. Moores, Ph.D. has accepted a tenure-track position at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. He also has a first book forthcoming, Mystical Discourse in Wordsworth and Whitman (Peeters 2006).

Harmony Jankowski, MA, has accepted a fellowship offer that includes a first-year stipend and 4 years of a teaching assistantship in the Ph.D. program at IndianaUniversity, Bloomington beginning this coming Fall.

Rebecca Johnson, BA, has been accepted into SIT’s (School for International Training) Masters International program. Becky will be working toward a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management, and looks forward to working with the Peace Corps.