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Department of English

News and Events

Publicity Announcements:
Summer 2004


Awards and Honors: Creative Writing

In 2004, Instructor Miranda F. Mellis received The John Hawkes Memorial Prize in Fiction, The Micheal S. Harper Praxis Prize (for non-fiction), and a New Words Sudden Fiction Prize. She is an editor of the forthcoming interdisciplinary publication Encyclopedia ( Her work has appeared most recently in Persephone and Cupid and Psyche, two issues of a series reinterpreting Greek myths (edited by Andrea Lawlor out of San Francisco, She has published articles and stories in Cabinet, Fence, and elsewhere. Work is forthcoming in the spring 2005 issue of The Kenyon Review.

Jody Lisberger, a new Instructor in the English Department, has won third place in the 2003 American Literary Review Fiction contest for her story, “In the Mercy of Water.” Jody hails most recently from Brown where she was a visiting lecturer teaching intro and advanced creative nonfiction, and from Harvard where she was teaching fiction, nonfiction, and academic essay writing.

Teachers and Writers Collaborative (T &W) has announced that the winners of the first annual Bechtel Prize for Educating the Imagination are Professor Mary Cappello and Sam Swope. One of the only prizes in the country that honors an exemplary essay or article relating to creative writing education, literary studies, and/or the profession of writing, the Bechtel prize comes with an honorarium of $3500 and publication in the September issue of Teachers and Writers Magazine which will be distributed this year to all attendees of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs(AWP) annual conference in Vancouver, BC, in March. Teachers and Writers Collaborative chose to honor two essays this year in their international competition: “Can Creative Writing be Taught?,” a piece that Cappello delivered to a group of Russian teachers and that was inspired by the question as it was posed to her by her chair at the Gorky Literary Institute, Sergei Petrovich, citing the dearth of creative writing courses in the Russian curriculum, and “The Tree Project,” an essay from Sam Swope’s forthcoming book (Henry Holt), a nonfiction account of teaching creative writing to a group of 28 kids from 21 different countries in a Queens public school. The winner of 10 Educational Press Awards for Excellence, Teachers & Writers is a bimonthly publication that engages writers, educators, critics, and students in a dynamic conversation on the nature of creativity and of the imagination. For 35 years, articles and essays published by T&W have been at the forefront of educational reform and the development of innovative curriculum materials. The prize is endowed by the Cerimon Fund in commemoration of editor, author, and children’s literature innovator Louise Seaman Bechtel (1894-1985).


Awards and Honors: Critical and Cultural Studies

Jamie Carr, Ph.D., has been accepted as a Visiting Scholar to the Pembroke Center seminar this year at BrownUniversity. Pembroke Seminars enable a select group of international scholars the opportunity to share and develop work on a topic determined by the center each year in advance.This year’s theme is “The Orders of Time.” The Pembroke Center supports Research of Postdoctoral Fellows, Scholars in Residence, Graduate and Faculty Fellows; offers instruction in Gender Studies; and houses one of the premier journals in the field, differences: Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. Previous participants in Pembroke Seminars from among our ranks include Professor Jean Walton, Chair of the English Department, and Graduate Student, Ted Williams.

Thanks to an award from the Career Enhancement Program, University of Rhode Island Council for Research, Assistant Professor Ryan Trimm spent two weeks in the UK this summer researching museums, curricular debates, and the politics of the past in contemporary British culture.


Reviews of Faculty Books

Over the summer, several reviews of Associate Professor Katherine Scheil's book The Taste of the Town: Shakespearian Comedy and the Early Eighteenth-Century Theater, Bucknell UP, 2003 have appeared. In Restoration and Eighteenth-Century TheatreResearch, Michael Dobson (University of Surrey) calls the book “an impressively dense account of what happened to particular Shakespeare plays at particular times, deploying a formidable body of research into the repertory, theatrical memoirs, contemporary satirical pamphlets, and contemporary theatrical publishing.” He adds, “No one interested in this period of London theatre history would fail to profit from looking up particular shows or topics in its excellent index, and a very full and up-to-the-minute bibliography lists as many primary and secondary sources on the Restoration and eighteenth-century reception of Shakespearian comedy as any scholar on the subject could ever need.” Dympna Callaghan (SyracuseUniversity) in SEL: Studies in English Literature states that the book “provides a valuable and scholarly history of theater adaptation, examining the way comedies were altered and appropriated in light of current trends and audience demand. Scheil makes the careful and compelling argument that audiences of the early-eighteenth-century knew their Shakespeare well as a printed text but did not have a fixed conception about or any great reverence for ‘Shakespeare’ on the stage.” And Robert Sawyer (EastTennesseeState) in South Atlantic Review states, “Scheil’s book makes an important contribution to the growing work on adaptation and alterations of Shakespeare’s plays in the eighteenth century. Carefully and convincingly demonstrating how contemporary fashion and taste often shape dramatic productions, The Taste of the Town is especially impressive in its use of hard-to-find primary sources.” He remarks that the book “adds a great deal to our understanding of Shakespearean reception between 1660 and 1737, as her study carefully traces the comedies from hidden source material for delivering comedy and song to more reverential treatments influenced by emerging textual scholarship.” He adds, “I also think her scholarship is superb, her research timely, and her extensive footnotes invaluable.”



Following the lead of an article that appeared in the University Reporter, that followed the lead of one of our monthly publicity missives, Rick Massimo of the Providence Journal has interviewed Graduate Student Rebecca Romanow for her work on the Icelandic band, Sigur Ros and the relation between language, music and globalization. The interview with Romanow, entitled, “Syllables Send Anti-English Global Message,” appeared in the Journal on September 5 th, and can be accessed at: | Providence , R.I. | Music


Exhibits: British Romanticism

Assistant Professor Jennifer Jones, who will join the Department in Fall of 2005, has, along with two Graduate Student assistants, completed a museum exhibit of rare books and images at U Colorado/Boulder. The exhibit will be inaugurated at (and has been funded by) the annual North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) conference, which CU is hosting this year (September 8-12). Although the gala opening will take place during the conference, the exhibit will be open to the public and to students throughout Fall term. The theme of NASSR this year is "Romantic Cosmopolitanism," and the exhibit, to complement that theme, is entitled "Women Romantics and Cosmopolitanism," showcasing the fairly substantial holdings of first editions of books published by Romantic-era women writers at CU Boulder's SC library.


Publications: Creative Writing

Instructor Bob Leuci, adjunct faculty member in the English department for the past five years, former New York city police detective, and author of six previously published detective thrillers, has recently published a memoir with Harper Collins entitled, All The Centurions. The book documents Leuci’s view of the New York City police department and the city of New York during the 60s-70s into the early eighties. This is Leuci’s first non-fiction book.

Instructor Talvi Ansel ’s book, Jetty and Other Poems came out from Zoo Press last November. Ansel also has poems forthcoming in Blackbird, an online journal of Literature and the Arts. Ansel won the 1996 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition for another collection of poems, My Shining Archipelago. Library Journal described the poems in that collection this way: “Whether she is describing a pear ("The tear-shaped, papery core,/ precise seeds"), noting how her hair falls in her eyes as she dissects a bird ("Inside out/ the wing's white bone/ juts up"), explaining how her mother cut off the top of an egg "with one swift crunch," or observing "The bright painted crosses/ on the steepest banks" in the Amazon River Basin, Ansel has a great sense of physicality, exact, strenuous, and totally unsentimental. ” A recent reviewer of Jetty and Other Poems, describes how “in this meticulous concern with the edges of things, Jetty carries on the excellent work of My Shining Archipelago…The earlier book included extended sonnet sequences about bird-banding in Brazil as well as the inspired fiction that Shakespeare's Caliban has become a gardener in England. In both of those sequences, Ansel examines an environment from the perspective of an observer not truly of it, one who straddles multiple worlds, often quite literally. In Jetty she continues to speak from the in-between, the places of transition.”

Professor Don Kunz’ poem, "English as a Second Language," appears in the Sierra Nevada College Review (Spring 2004), XV: 29, and "Displacement Anxiety," appears in The Iconoclast (2004): 19.

The opening pages of Mary Cappello’s booklength essay on awkwardness will appear in Western Humanities Review, volume LVIII, Number 2, Fall 2004.

An online Argentine science-fiction magazine has just reprinted a story of Professor Dan Pearlman’s in Spanish translation, "The Heart of the Overchild" (1993) published as "El Corazón de la Sobrehija," in AXXÓN, issue 141, Aug. 1, 2004. The URL is .


Publications: American Cultural Studies

True West, a collection of essays on authenticity and the American West, just out from University of Nebraska Press, includes an essay by Associate Professor Nancy Cook on Long Lance.

Assistant Professor Valerie Karno's article "Remote Justice: Tuning In To Small Claims, Race, And The Reinvigoration Of Civic Judgment" appears in the journal Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 30. The article examines the way Small Claims Court Television Shows offer spectators an opportunity to re-envision their relationship to legal and civic judgment.

Professor John Leo’s essay, "Realism and Representation: Considering Some Images," will appear in the forthcoming volume, The Poetics of America: Explorations in the Literature and Culture of the United States, eds. Agata Preis-Smith and Marek Paryz, Warsaw: English Institute/University of Warsaw, 2004. Leo’s chapter, which will open the collection, is on 19th-century media and Manifest Destiny.


Publications: Sexuality Studies

Jamie Carr, Ph.D. has an essay in the inaugural issue of The Christopher Isherwood Review entitled, “ Christopher and His Kind: 1929-1939: The Performative and Rememorative Politics of Queer Textuality." The issue is due out this month to coincide with the centennial anniversary of Isherwood's birth. A month long celebration that includes an exhibit of some of Isherwood’s unpublished materials is being held at the Huntington Library where his papers are housed.


Publications: Postcolonial Studies

Rebecca Romanow has contributed a chapter entitled "The Postcolonial Rogue: Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia and the Picaresque Hero" to a forthcoming book, The Postcolonial Picaresque, edited by Shannon Young, Pace Univ.



Graduate Student Claire Reynolds is now fully trained as new Assistant Editor of ATQ: American Transcendental Quarterly.



Nancy Cook is reviewing book manuscripts for University of Nebraska Press, article manuscripts for Western American Literature, and tenure materials for a faculty member in English at Santa Clara University.


Presentations: Cultural Studies

Associate Professor Nancy Cook, Director of Graduate Studies, gave a paper at the annual meeting of the American Literature Association, a literary version of a previously presented essay of hers entitled, "Fast Food, Slow Food and the Edible West." Cook is also an invited panelist at the 2nd Annual Malone Conference "Cultural Studies and Place," 320 Ranch, Big Sky Montana, coming up 9/23-26. Cook will be one of two token English professors among Philosophers and Historians.

Assistant Professor Ryan Trimm presented “Spectral Culture: Signifying Britain Since the Rise of Thatcher” at the Cultural Studies Association Conference in Boston in May. In June, he delivered “Posthumous Culture and the Birth of a Discipline: Cultural Studies in Retrospect” at the Crossroads in Cultural StudiesConference in Urbana-Champaign, IL.


Presentations: Film Studies/Sexuality Studies

Professor John Leo will be presenting a paper entitled, "Desire's Disorderly Freedoms and Cultural Coercions: Cinema's Queer Cultural Politics in the USA and the DDR, 1989," at the Polish Association of American Studies Annual Meeting, Warsaw University, October 2004. This project draws from 1980s Euroamerican intercultural dialogues centering on gay social relations, popular media, and aesthetics as manifested in two distinct yet related films—Heiner Carow's "Coming Out" (DDR; 1989) and Marlon Riggs's "Tongues Untied" (USA; 1989). Both films work to create new subjectivities around similar aesthetics, i.e. by deploying revisionist notions of Socialist Realism and/or postcolonial agitprop by means of melodrama or documentary filmmaking. The films seek to create representational spaces in which urban cultures and populisms, history and storytelling, join to "enlighten" publics about gay and other multi/intercultural conditions of daily life. Both cultures were appropriating similar tenets and assumptions (e.g. youth as the future, the building of a "consciousness" imbued with ideals of justice and equality). Carow's film focuses on the crises in a young high school teacher's life as he "comes out" and struggles with his family and colleagues against post-1945 promises and DDR "normalization." Riggs' documentary mixes styles and methods (e.g. newsreel footage, performance pieces with movement and music), but it remains focused on HIV/AIDS+ urban gay men under relentless attack by black clerics and politicians. It reprises constantly the chant/mantra, "Black men loving Black men is the true revolutionary act."


Presentations: Postcolonial Studies

Graduate Student Rebecca Romanow will be reading a paper entitled “The Mocking Phantom”: Mustafa Sa’eed, Season of Migration to the North, and the Ghost of Imperialism" for the "Haunted Exiles" panel at the CNYCLL in October, 2004 at SUNY Cortland. In addition, Romanow is chairing a proposed panel at the NEMLA conference in Cambridge, MA in May, 2005 entitled "The Postcolonial Body."


Presentations: British Romanticism

Assistant Professor Jennifer Jones is giving a paper at this year’s North American Society for the Study of Romanticism Conference for Gillen D'arcy Wood's special session on Romanticism and Opera. Jones’ paper will be published in the journal Romantic Circles later this year. The paper is entitled "The Rise and Fall of the Sublime Voice: The Castrato in Post-1750 London."


Presentations: Rhetoric and Composition

Graduate Student Theo Greenblatt’s paper,"The 'I's No Longer Have It: Context in Composition Research" has been accepted for presentation at the 14th Annual EGAD (English Graduates for Academic Development) Interdisciplinary Symposium at Texas A&M University-Commerce, on September 17, 2004. Greenblatt will also be presenting a paper entitled "Beyond 'Mentally, Morally, and Physically': How English Composition Supplements the Standard 'Character Development' Education in a Military School," as part of a panel on Character Education in the Classroom, at the 14th Annual Central New York Conference on Language and Literature, at Cortland College (SUNY) in Cortland, NY, on October 29-31, 2004. Further into October and November, Greenblatt will deliver papers at two more conferences: for the 2004 Tufts Graduate Conference on "Conjuring Difference," Greenblatt’s paper is titled: "Conjuring Sameness: Attitudes Towards Difference in a Military Academy," and at the University of Cincinnati Graduate Student Conference, "'80s in Literature and Culture," Greeblatt will deliver a paper entitled: "Not Dead Yet: A First Wave Memoir."


Presentations: Pedagogy

In May, Graduate Student Claire Reynolds spoke at URI at the Annual Conference for Teachers participating in the Early Credit High School Program. The subject of her presentation was "Emphasizing Visual Appeal in the Informative Report." She stressed the visual element as an enhancement to scholarly research.


Hiring News

Graduate Student David Malley, was offered and accepted a tenure track position at Three RiversCommunity College in Norwich, CT, this past December. The position began in January, with the Spring '04 semester, and David’s title is Instructor of Literature and Composition. In addition to the courses that his title would suggest, David has also been teaching creative writing workshops, is the faculty advisor for S.W.A.G. (Student Writers of Any Genre -- the student organization devoted to creative writing), and has begun the process of establishing an annual literary/arts student publication on campus.

Newly-minted Ph.D. Stephen M. Mercier is teaching part-time at SUNY/New Paltz this Fall Semester. His classes include American Literature I, and a special topics course he designed titled "American Romanticism, Transcendentalism, and Nature Writing."

DJ Moores, Ph.D., has been hired into a tenure-track job at Norwalk Community College, Connecticut's flagship community college campus. NCC is the state's largest community college with enrollment at over 4000 (and growing). The English Department is very well respected among the CC system, and Moores is honored to be joining the institution. The position involves teaching writing and developing several literature, honors, and interdisciplinary courses. Moores will also be able to teach his sub-specialty, World Religion.