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Department of English

News and Events


Publicity Announcements:
November/December 2004 and January 2005


Awards and Honors: Creative Writing

Raven Chronicles has nominated Professor Don Kunz’ story, “A Parade On June 25th,” for a 2004 Pushcart Prize.

Instructor Penelope Cray’s collection of poems, The Farther Afield We Go, was a Finalist in the 2004 Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series search. Though it was not one of the two they chose for publication, they say, in part: "It is our feeling that finalist manuscripts are publishable" and "finalist manuscripts need not be revised in order to be resubmitted."


Invitations: Creative Writing

Professor Mary Cappello has been invited to give a presentation and a reading over a two-day period in early October as part of a Speakers Series in the Humanities at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, focused on “Words and Music.” USL/Lafayette is one of the few universities in the country to offer the Ph.D. in Creative Writing. The Series is co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. By happy coincidence, URI alum, and German exchange student, Ronja Veith, is currently enrolled in Lafayette’s Ph.D. program in American Literature and Culture.


Publications: Feminist and Sexuality Studies

A chapter of Professor Jean Walton's book Fair Sex, Savage Dreams: Race, Psychoanalysis, Sexual Difference has just appeared in a book on anthropologists Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. The book, titled Reading Benedict / Reading Mead: Feminism, Race, and Imperial Visions, edited by Dolores Janiewski and Lois W. Banner, is published by Johns Hopkins University Press (2005) and is part of the New Studies in American Intellectual and Cultural History Series. Contributors to the book reflect a wide range of topics and perspectives: Benedict and Mead's complicated personal and professional relationship; their activities as scholars and outspoken intellectuals; their efforts to promote feminism and undermine racism; their contributions to (and the challenges they posed to) the imperialist project; and the stories behind their best-known works, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword and Coming of Age in Samoa.

The book is described at the following site:


Publications: Contemporary British Literature

Assistant Professor Ryan Trimm’s essay “Inside Job: Professionalism and Postimperial Communities in The Remains of the Day” has been accepted by LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory.


Publications: Shakespeare Studies

Associate Professor Katherine Scheil is reviewing Shakespeare, Law, and Marriage by B.J. and Mary Sokol ( Cambridge, 2003) for the journal Theatre Survey, and Cynthia Marshall's edition of As You Like It (part of the Shakespeare in Production Series, Cambridge, 2004) for the journal Shakespeare Bulletin.


Reviews of Faculty Books

Katherine Scheil's book The Taste of the Town: Shakespearian Comedy and the Early Eighteenth-Century Theater (Bucknell UP, 2003) was recently reviewed in Shakespeare Bulletin. Tiffany Stern ( Oxford, Brookes) described the book as a "scholarly and serious volume" which will "undoubtedly--and deservedly--become an important reference work: it is an extremely useful repository of information, painstakingly gathered together and lavishly footnoted."


Presentations: Modernism and Interdisciplinary Studies

Jean Walton, English Department Chair, presented a paper at the MLA Convention in Philadelphia in December. The paper was titled "James, Biomechanics, and the Transmission of Affect in Meyerhold and Eisenstein," and was included in a Special Session on "Modernism's Minds: Psychology beyond Psychoanalysis." Jean's paper traced the intersections among William James' theory of emotion, the principles of Taylorist scientific management in industry, and the "biomechanical" actor training of Soviet directors Vsevolod Meyerhold and Sergei Eisenstein.


Presentations: British Cultural Studies

Ryan Trimm has presented different versions of his essay “Rhythm Nation: Peter Ackroyd’s English Music and the Cultural Narration of Postimperial Britishness” at two conferences: The Politics of Cultural Memory Conference in Manchester, UK and the Cultural Politics Conference at the University of California at Berkeley.

Graduate Student Claire Reynolds will be presenting "Decorum and the Dance: Jane Austen Minds her Manners" at both the College English Association Conference in Indianapolis on March 31 and the British Women Writers Conference in Lafayette, Louisiana, April 14.


Presentations: Eighteenth Century Studies

Associate Professor Katherine Scheil presented a paper entitled "Permeable Playtexts: Crossing Borders between Theatres and Fairs" at the Twenty-eighth Annual Conference of the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Burlington, VT, November 2004. She also organized and chaired a panel at the conference, "Crossing Borders in Eighteenth-Century Theatre History."


Presentations: American Cultural Studies/Sexuality Studies

Graduate Student Theresa DeFrancis presented her paper, "Sanctioned Love: Eroticized Female-Female Love in Willa Cather's O Pioneers!” for the panel Psychoanalytical Approaches to Willa Cather at SAMLA in Roanoke, VA Nov. 12-14.


Presentations: American Cultural Studies/19 th Century

Assistant Professor Mathew Frankel will deliver a paper entitled, "Emerson and the Public Sphere," at the Southern Humanities Council Conference in Richmond Virginia on Feb. 4 th, and "A New Vitality" for our Faculty Colloquium Series on March 3rd.

Graduate Student Claire Reynolds will present a paper entitled "Ruth McEnery Stuart: Gentility on the Block" at the Pennsylvania CEA Conference in Gettysburg on April 7. Stuart was a post-bellum writer from Louisiana.


Presentations: American Cultural Studies/Popular Culture/Music

Graduate Student George Steele will be presenting a paper entitled, “‘ What the fuck! Why is this his song?’: Music's Dirty Work in the Sopranos” at the Stony Brook Graduate Conference in Manhattan this February.


Presentations: American Cultural Studies/Legal Studies

Assistant Professor Valerie Karno presented the paper, "Televised Court Shows: Judges and the Development of a Classed Citizenry" at the American Studies Association conference in November. The talk, as part of a panel on "Asian and African Americans at the Crossroads of Class," examined the ways Small Claims Court Television shows use racialized judges to legally "educate" morally impoverished litigants and spectators.


Presentations: Rhetoric and Composition

Associate Professor Celest Martin will be presenting at the national conference, the 4 C's, in March on "The Rhetoric of Disability."


New Courses

Assistant Professor Mathew Frankel is currently offering two new classes: Eng. 202: Modes of Inspiration, and English 396/543: "Fixed in Ocean Reveries": Technology, Art, and the Sea.” A description of Professor Frankel’s Literature of the Sea course follows: “In one tradition of Western Enlightenment thought, “technology” and “art” appear as opposing terms. This is not hard to understand. Once technology is taken to denote a brand of mechanized or applied science and art is defined simply as a kind of creative human expression, then some irreducible tension follows. The topic of the “sea,” if raised at all in this context, will serve therefore merely to illustrate the conflict. Thus, on the one hand, we have technology, instrumental reason, or scientific rationality, which in turn treats the sea as an occasion for technical mastery; on the other hand, there is art, aesthetic apprehension, or artistic representation, which tends to elevate the sea as source of spiritual wonder. Against this strict dichotomy, “Fixed in Ocean Reveries” charts a different course—one in which these easy definitions no longer hold, and, consequently, a new relationship between technology, art, the sea must be mapped.

To this end we will explore a variety critical perspectives and positions. We begin with an examination of some 20 th-century Marxist analyses of technology, including Herbert Marcuse’s critique of the “lifeless machine,” Walter Benjamin’s brief history of the mechanical reproduction of art, and Jurgen Habermas’ diagnosis of “technocratic consciousness; next we will assess Gilles Deleuze’s unique affirmation of “the continual whirr of machines” and Michel Foucault’s definition of the “technology of the self” as a practice “of making one’s life into an object for a sort of knowledge, for a techne—for an art”; and, finally, we will read Moby-Dick both with an express interest in the novel’s investigation of the distinctions and interrelations between various modes of technology (artistic innovation, self-creation, and material production), as well as with an eye toward comparing Deleuze’s philosophy of “the wave” with Melville’s own metaphysics of the sea.”


International Programs

Katherine Scheil reports that she will be “taking over the URI in Bath Program this summer, with Reva Greenburg from the Department of History. After leading the program through its twenty-fifth year last summer, our own RB Reaves and Bob Gutchen (History) will leave a legacy of a well-planned, expertly organized, and admirably executed experience for generations of students. Thanks, RB.”