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Department of English

News and Events

Publicity Announcements:
End of Semester 2005 into January 2006


Awards: British Romanticism

 Assistant Professor Jennifer Jones is this year’s co-winner of the Keats-Shelley Association award for the Best Essay of the Year in the period. Jennifer’s essay, "Sounds Romantic: the Castrato and English Poetics Around 1800," appeared in the special issue of Romantic Circles Praxis entitled Opera and Romanticism, and many of us remember Jennifer’s rousing presentation of a version of this paper in our Faculty Colloquium Series last Spring. Jennifer shares the award with Professor Mary Favret of Indiana University. A letter from senior Romanticist, Stuart Curran at U Penn invites Jennifer to the Annual Awards dinner sponsored by the KSAA at the MLA, on the evening of 29 December in Washington, DC, and goes on to say, “You must know that this is a very special honor, and it is especially so for someone just starting out in the profession, a presentiment of your future success. My warmest commendation.” With this top honor in the Romantics field, Jennifer joins previous winners Julie Carlson, Chuck Rzepka, Orrin Wang, and Margaret Homans.

Invitations: Literary Theory and Renaissance Studies

Associate Professor Katherine Scheil has been invited to contribute an essay for a special issue of the journal Reader: Issues in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy, forthcoming Fall 2006. Katherine has also been invited to be a reader for University of Missouri press.


Presentations: Literary Theory and Renaissance Studies

Visiting Assistant Professor Hillary Kelleher’s paper, "Repining Restlessness: Herbert's Human Différance," has been accepted for the American Comparative Literature Association Meeting whose theme this year is “The Human and Its Others,” Princeton, March 23-26. Hillary will be participating in a seminar called "Renaissance Humanism and Critical Theory."


Awards: Early American Literature and Culture

Assistant Professor Martha Rojas has been granted a Fellowship for her work on the continuing representational problems posed to Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, and to the U.S. Congress by diplomatic gift giving practices in the late eighteenth century. Over winter break, Martha was in residence at the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, VA, carrying out research.


 Presentations: 19th Century American Literature

 Graduate Student James P. Gorham’s paper, “The Lightning-Rod and the ‘Body Electric’: Electricity, Aesthetics, and the Body from Franklin to Whitman" has been accepted for a panel in a conference entitled "Nineteenth-Century Literature and the Cultural Moment," to be held at the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, SC, at the end of March.


Awards: Creative Writing

Three of Instructor Talvi Ansel’s poems have been selected by The Poetry Foundation to be broadcast on the "Poem of the Day" segment of the Martha Stewart Satellite Radio Network. Talvi has also been awarded a Lannan Residency Fellowship. Lannan Residency Fellowships (in Marfa, TX) are by nomination and provide time & support for writers. She is looking forward to going in May.


Publications: Creative Writing

 Talvi Ansel has poems "Jealousy, “Enkidu," "Part Two," and "Places to Swim" forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, and two other poems accepted by Pool, a journal in L.A.

 Professor Dan Pearlman had a short story accepted for publication in Polish translation in Poland's chief science-fiction magazine, Nowa Fantastyka.

Professor Mary Cappello has had a prose piece on “Stuttering” accepted for publication in the Spring 2006 issue of Interim. The piece is excerpted from her book-length essay on “awkwardness.”


Community Outreach

State Coordinator Valerie Karno of The Changing Lives through Literature Program reports that the current class, co-taught by Martha Rojas of URI and Terri Hasseler of Bryant University, is about to hold its graduation. We will begin another class taught by Carolyn Betensky of URI in February. The Changing Lives through Literature program is an alternative sentencing program whereby the RI District Court and university English departments in RI team up to offer literature classes as alternative sentencing.


Alumni News

 English Graduate Alum Andy Doolen has just published a book entitled Fugitive Empire: Locating Early American Imperialism with University of Minnesota Press. In Fugitive Empire, Andy Doolen investigates the relationships among race, nation, and empire in colonial and early national America, revealing how whiteness and American identity were conflated to stabilize racial hierarchy and to repulse challenges to national policies of slavery, war, and continental expansion. Fugitive Empire begins not in 1776 but in 1741 with the New York Conspiracy trials. Linking them to the British conflict with the Spanish in the West Indies , Doolen describes how white colonists were led to suspect all foreigners, particularly slaves, as insurgents. He shows how this protonational story resonated later in the suppression of resistance to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793. In addition to examining the only extant record of the New York Conspiracy trials, Doolen catalogs the rampant fear of aliens in Charles Brockden Brown's novels; places James Fenimore Cooper's The Pioneers in the context of early efforts to relocate African-Americans to Liberia ; and considers Pequot writer William Apess, whose writing on Native rights landed him in jail. Bridging the gap between the British Empire and the new United States , Doolen concludes that imperial authority lies at the heart of American republicanism, an unstable mixture of idealism, force, and pragmatism, wielded in the name of freedom even today. (See also Doolen’s article in the Fall 2004 issue of American Literary History, “Reading and Writing Terror: The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741”). Andy is currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of Kentucky .

English Alum, Michael Keith is coauthoring a book on the history of FM radio for UNC Press and developing a proposal for a book on the cultural history of the car radio.

Theresa Ammirati, Ph.D. '03, has been appointed as Interim Dean of the College Community at Connecticut College, where she teaches in the English and American Studies Departments and has served as Dean of Freshmen.


Invitations and Presentations: Literature and Law

Assistant Professor Valerie Karno has been invited to submit an essay for a special issue of Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, on "Law and Literature Reconsidered," forthcoming in 2007. Valerie Karno also had a paper accepted at the upcoming American Comparative Literature Association in March, 2006, entitled "Shame on the Human."


Publications: Politics and Media

 Graduate Student Piotr A. Skusa’s article entitled "La Guerre d'Albanie n'a pas eu lieu: Media and Simulated American Presidency in Wag the Dog." was published in American Politics, Media, and Elections. International Perspectives on US Presidency, Foreign Policy, and Political Communication, ed. Tomasz Pludowski. Warsaw and Torun: Collegium Civitas Press and Adam Marszalek, 2005


Presentations: Popular Culture

 Graduate Student Evan P. Schneider's paper, "Naming and Renaming: Rhetorical Tendencies in the Language of Marketing and Consumerism," was accepted for a panel in the Food and Culture area of the Southwestern Popular Culture and American Culture Association conference to be held this February in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Publications: Contemporary British Cultural Studies

Rebecca Romanow is contributing an essay entitled "Forgetting Time and Space: The Body's Anthropological Exodus in Kureishi's Buddha of Suburbia," to a book entitled Indiscretions: At the Intersection of Queer and Postcolonial Theory, edited by Murat Aydemir. This text is part of the Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex, and 'Race' Series edited by Ernst van Alphen, published by Rodopi ( Amsterdam / New York ), and should appear in 2006.


Invitations: Reviews

Graduate Student Rebecca Romanow reviewed the forthcoming new 7th edition of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction (ed. Richard Bausch) at the invitation of WWNorton.